Here are the big take-aways from Bloomberg's press conference:
- Bloomberg announced that traffic on the East River bridges and the Lincoln tunnel entering Manhattan will be restricted to vehicles with three or more passengers between 6 a.m. and midnight.
- 643,000 people are without power in New York City, 230,000 of those are in Manhattan.
- No one died because of Sandy-forced hospital evacuations!
- Thursday night's Brooklyn Nets-New York Knicks game was cancelled at Bloomberg's request.
- The New York City Marathon is on for this Sunday.
- Don't drink the flood water.
Live updates from the press conference:
2:52 p.m. Okay, Bloomberg is speaking now. He notes first the amount of loss of life. The best thing we can do for those who did lose their lives, "is to make sure the city comes back better than before." Most of the bus lines were up an running, and he thanks the MTA for offering free bus service. There might be limited subway service tomorrow, but there are a lot of things holding the subways back. Says we won't see service under the East River by the weekend.
2:55 p.m. People should use "extreme caution" when driving, and the NYPD will start directing traffic this evening where there is no power. East river bridges will be restricted to "high occupancy" vehicles between 6 a.m. and midnight. Vehicles will have to have three or more passengers to be permitted on the bridges. "I know it is convenient for people, but the streets can only handle so much."
3:01 p.m. Bloomberg says there are still 230,000 people in Manhattan without power. Cell services have asked the city with help pumping out their cell towers. Everyone's suffering, including the mayor. 1,400 contractors are helping helping ConEdison to try and restore power.
3:03p.m. There were no storm related deaths from the hospital evacuations!
3:05 p.m. There's currently 7,300 people in 76 evacuation shelters. Some of them are more crowded than others, he says. but otherwise things are going okay. Bloomberg says a mystery company donated $2.5 million to the city's recovery efforts.
3:06 p.m. Bloomberg says the dangling crane is secure and there doesn't appear to be a risk that it break off. They'll have to build another crane beside it to take it down, though.
3:09 p.m. Schools are going to remain closed for students through the weekend, but teachers are being asked to go to school on Friday to prepare how to move forward.
3:11 p.m. Stay away from downed power lines, guys. Don't cut down trees either. Bloomberg wants everyone to stay out of New York City parks until they can clear out the downed trees and everything can be declared safe. Parks should be reopened by the weekend. Some playground equipment was carried by the storm and will need to be replaced :(
3:13 p.m. Here is your New York City water guide:
- Tap water: drinkable
- Flood water: not drinkable (don't do it, seriously)
3:16 p.m. The Greenwich Village Halloween parade will happen next week sometime. Bloomberg won't be delaying trick-or-treating or anything. "That's between you and your neighbors," he says.
The first Brooklyn Nets game will be Saturday against the Toronto Raptors at the Barclays. The Knicks will play their first game on Friday against the defending champion Miami Heat. The game was cancelled on Bloomberg's recommendation, he says.
3:17 p.m. The New York City marathon is ON, folks!
3:19 p.m. "The NYPD is the only people we want on the street with guns," Bloomberg says when asked if he asked for National Guard help in Brooklyn.
3:25 p.m. Bloomberg is getting testy with a reporter just now. He asked about when the street under the dangling crane would be open. "I'm not going to jeopardize lives for some deadline you have to meet," he says.
3:26 p.m. A reporter asks what the penalty is going to be if someone tries to drive on one of the bridges with less than three people. "We're just not going to let you in," he says.
3:28 p.m. Bloomberg exits stage left. Before he left, Bloomberg brought the real talk on climate change. "It is clear that something is going on," he said. "The consequences of making a mistake in one direction are pretty severe."
Original: Mayor Bloomberg is about to give his latest briefing, which will include transportation plans for the city. Transportation options are very limited in New York at the moment, even once subways start running again. A minor panic was sparked when the New York Post tweeted that no passenger cars would be permitted to enter Manhattan tomorrow, but that was quickly denied by Bloomberg spokesperson Marc La Vorgna. The NYC Mayor's Office account assured us it wasn't true. "There will be cars in Manhattan tomorrow. Period. Mayor will provide details about transportation shortly," La Vogna said.