iOS app Android app

Hurricane Irene New York: Storm Path Points Near NYC

AP/The Huffington Post   First Posted: 08/25/11 11:49 AM ET Updated: 10/25/11 06:12 AM ET

NEW YORK — New Yorkers recovering from Tuesday's earthquake may soon be treated to their second natural disaster in a week.

Hurricane Irene is now gaining momentum in the Bahamas and its current path puts it within 30 miles of New York City. Accuweather.com says the storm may even pass right over NYC, "posing a serious danger to millions of people." And while the earthquake did nothing more than cause an explosion of Tweets, "if Irene hits the region later this week," Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski says, "it will be a very different story."

UPDATE: Governor Cuomo declares state of emergency as Hurricane Irene approaches.

New York, unlike Florida or other Hurricane-prone cities, is totally unprepared for such an event. International Business Times has a good story on the dangers of a hurricane hitting New York.

Mayor Bloomberg is urging New York City residents living in low-lying areas to line up a place to stay on high ground ahead of possible evacuations this weekend due to Hurricane Irene.

Bloomberg said Thursday that he expected to make a decision by late Friday whether residents in the city's so-called "Zone-A" would need to evacuate ahead of the storm that's now expected to hit the city Sunday. That zone includes neighborhoods along the coast, including Battery Park City in Manhattan, Coney Island in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway in Queens.

Crews are working to clean out catch basins to help with street drainage. The city has also moved police boats to station houses in low-lying areas, hired emergency forest contractors and topped off emergency generators with fuel.

While the category 3 hurricane of 1938 in Long Island killed 50, a new storm would wreak far worse havoc in those areas, according to the New York Times. "The dense development of towns on eastern Long Island in the decades since the 1938 storm could mean tremendous losses in a future storm."

For more information on the disaster readiness of New York, read this enlightening PDF from the Office of Emergency Management (here). Or you could browse a list of evacuation routes here.

FOLLOW HUFFPOST NEW YORK