NEW YORK (30-Oct-2012/PNA/Xinhua) – The New York City is beginning to feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, as winds continue to gain strength Monday afternoon, with a crane in downtown area partially collapsed. No injuries have yet been reported.
The working jib of the crane appears to have bent backwards, dangling over the street near Central Park. City officials have ordered people in neighboring buildings to move to lower floors. Surrounding streets have been closed off as a precaution.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg announced that public schools will continue to be closed Tuesday for the second day, and that there’s no chance that mass transit, shut down Sunday night, will be back in time to serve people.
“The current track provided by the National Hurricane Center shows Sandy making landfall just south of Atlantic City this evening. That keeps New York city well within the danger zone of this storm,” said Bloomberg.
According to him, New York City is now under a coastal flood warning through 3 pm on Tuesday and high-wind warning through 6 pm Tuesday.
“As we’ve emphasized all along, the greatest danger posed by Sandy is the coastal storm surge it will produce. We’ve already had as much flooding”, said Bloomberg, saying that the city has closed some important transportation path as it did in Hurricane Irene.
Bands of rain have already moved into the city. An estimated total rainfall of between 2 and 5 inches is expected for the city.
The New York City Office of Emergency Management headquarters said that approximately 3,106 residents were staying in 76 public schools that are being used as shelters as of 11 a.m. Monday.
The city is able to accommodate approximately 71,000 people in those shelters.
During a morning briefing at the World Trade Center, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said officials are keeping a close eye on the storm’s threat, mainly surges in and around the lowest lying areas of the city.
The governor says New Yorkers need to be cautious and pushed back at comments that state officials over-reacted for Irene and are over-reacting again.
Speaking from the White House, President Obama echoed both the mayor and governor’s calls for people to take storm seriously and follow the instructions of local officials. (PNA/Xinhua)