Brooklyn prepares for hurricane

The Brooklyn Cyclones have already cancelled the game scheduledfor Sunday, as, just days after an earthquake rocked the borough,Brooklyn residents are seriously preparing for a newcrisis-Hurricane Irene.

Take this one seriously, Brooklynite Christine Turner toldThe Home Reporter. I never thought that I wouldexperience an earthquake in Brooklyn, but [I] did the other day.Who’s to say that [we] can’t get hurricanes?

Brooklyn could get battered. According to the city’s evacuationmap, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Sea Gate, Sheepshead Bay, SunsetPark and Red Hook, Williamsburg and Greenpoint are all areas onBrooklyn’s coast that face a high risk of flooding. The city willmake a decision whether to order a mandatory evacuation of theseareas by 8 a.m. on Saturday, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg during apress conference held late in the afternoon on August 25.

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a state of emergency the same day,in preparation for the possibility that the hurricane now bearingdown on the East Coast could hit New York hard over theweekend.

In this emergency I am activating all levels of stategovernment to prepare for any situation that may be caused byHurricane Irene, Cuomo said. We are communicating with ourfederal and local partners to track the storm and to plan acoordinated response, and we will deploy resources as needed to theareas expected to be hit the hardest.

By declaring a state of emergency, the governor can use stateresources to assist local governments. Cuomo is also overseeing theoperations of various state organizations all dedicated to thepreparation for the potential impact of Irene-the first Atlanticcoast hurricane of the 2011 season.

The mayor said Irene could be a Category 2 storm when it hitsthe city; storms that strong can snap and uproot shallowly rootedtrees, destroy fences and pose a substantial risk of injury due tohigh winds along with flying and falling debris.

Among Brooklyn-specific precautions, the mayor said that ConeyIsland Hospital, which lies in a flood zone, began placingpatients in vacant beds in other hospitals in other parts of thecity. The hospital has also begun cancelling and reschedulingelective surgeries to reduce the number of patients to be readyfor any increased emergency care that might arise.

In addition, the office of Brooklyn Borough President MartyMarkowitz warns that evacuations may be necessary. Markowitz’soffice also posted links to hurricane preparation tips andevacuation zones in Brooklyn on its website.

Evacuation centers in southwestern Brooklyn include ChristaMcAuliffe Intermediate School at 65th Street and 11th Avenue, FDRHigh School at 20th Avenue and 58th Street, and Intermediate School136, at Fourth Avenue and 40th Street.

In case of overflow, McKinley Junior High School at FortHamilton Parkway and 73rd Street may also be utilized.

The Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) command center hasbeen activated and the city is in constant contact with theNational Weather Service (NWS) and state agencies to monitorIrene.

NWS forecasts heavy rain and thunderstorms throughout theweekend with winds forecasted to reach near 70 mph Sunday afternoonwith gusts over 80 mph.

As this paper went to press, Irene was a Category 3 hurricane inthe northwestern Bahamas with winds nearing 120 mph, althoughforecasters said its strength and trajectory may change on its tripup the eastern coast.

The NYPD, FDNY, transportation, health and other departments arepreparing for emergencies; Bloomberg said, So, what we have to dois assume the worst, prepare for that and hope for the best.

So, what we have to do is assume the worst, prepare for thatand hope for the best.

The Department of Buildings has warned residents to secure orbring inside outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants,garbage cans, garden tools and toys that can become dangerousprojectiles in the heavy winds. Gas grills and propane tanks shouldbe anchored and windows should be secured.

To facilitate cleanup from the storm, the Department ofTransportation has suspended alternate side parking regulations forSaturday and Monday. The agency has also suspended parking meterpayment for those days.

Con Edison is prepared for the possibility of mass power outagesand cautions residents that in the act of a flood they should avoidand report downed wires, and turn off lights and appliances toprevent overloads for when power is restored. They are alsoreminding residents to make sure flashlights and battery operatedradios are in working order.

The MTA is also preparing its facilities and equipment, andforewarns that service could see a partial or full shutdown toensure rider and employee safety if severe winds and rains causesfloods.

Local public officials such as Councilmember Vincent Gentile(718-748-5200), State Senator Marty Golden’s Office (718-238-6044) and AssemblymemberNicole Malliotakis (718 987-0197) said their offices will be openon Sunday in anticipation of the severe weather from HurricaneIrene, and urge residents to feel free to contact them.

Stay with for updates as they becomeavailable, and to track or find out more information about Irenevisit

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