City Closes Parks, Beaches Ahead of Storm

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The Bloomberg administration closed all parks, halted all construction, asked drivers to stay off the road after 5 p.m. and urged everyone else to stay inside as a Nor’easter headed toward the city. No evacuations were ordered, but the city advised people in areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy to consider sheltering on higher ground.

Only an inch of rain is expected, but sustained winds of up to 40 miles per hour—with gusts up to 65 miles an hour—will pose a risk to trees weakened by Sandy and drive a storm surge of 3 to 5 feet at high tide, with the biggest water rise expected in Western Long Island sound (meaning near the East Bronx and Northeast Queens).

“In light of the beach erosion and other damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, some of the lowest-lying areas in the city – particularly the areas flooded by last week’s storm – are vulnerable to storm surge today,” a mayoral spokesperson said in a statement.

“In particular, based on analysis of the erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy, residents of Breezy Point, Hamilton Beach, and Gerristen Beach should consider taking shelter with family or friends, or at a City-run shelter,” the statement continued.

A nor’easter is a storm that comes down the East Coast from the northeast and resembles a hurricane—although according to some experts, they occur much more frequently, can be far larger and kill more people than tropical storms; the 1991 storm chronicled in the book and movie “The Perfect Storm” was a nor’easter.

In 1992, a nor’easter that struck New York City caused severe subway and roadway flooding and was viewed as an early warning of the city’s vulnerability to storm surges like the one Sandy brought last week.

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