The superstorm is coming! The superstorm is coming! New York City is gearing up for Sandy's arrival by shutting down school and the public transit service ahead of the superstorm's arrival. Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference on Sunday morning announcing the mandatory evacuation of New York City residents in low-lying areas. If you live in "Zone A," you'll be getting this warning (maybe even on your iPhone): get out, and do it now. Residents are expected to be gone by 7 p.m. If you have no idea whether or not you live in Zone A, you can figure it out with this map. The NOAA isn't taking the storm lightly: they're saying the storm surge could be "life-threatening" and that wind will be at hurricane strength when she makes landfall.
The Metro Transit Authority also suspended service of all subways, trains and buses ahead of Sandy and announced they won't resume service until 12 hours after the storm ended. Because of that decision, schools in New York City, including NYU, have been cancelled in advance of tomorrow's big event. You can track where the storm is expected to hit here, and we'll be updating this space throughout the day as news about the storm breaks. Meanwhile, keep on trying to find someone to keep you company during the storm.
Update 1:39 p.m. The benefits of the storm are already here: there are sick waves, brah. Defying Bloomberg's wishes, surfers are braving the storm surge at New York beaches to try out the extra large swells created by Sandy.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announced the cancellation of advanced polls for tomorrow. Per the White House pool report, the President visited FEMA headquarters this afternoon and got an update on Sandy's progress.
Update 2:38 p.m. There is no one more important to follow this afternoon than foodie blog tycoon Lockhart Steele. The Zone A resident is reporting on the ground from various locations that are supposed to be evacuating right now.
Update 3:20 p.m. Your only hope for getting out of town is by car now. Amtrak has shut down service for many of the areas affected by the storm. If you are planning on leaving town, get out now before traffic becomes insane. The storm is now the biggest tropical cyclone on record at 520 miles wide. Boing Boing has a good roundup of scare quotes and pretty satellite pictures that show just how big the storm really is.
Update 4:15 p.m. Bloomberg is just finishing up his latest presser urging people to get the heck outta dodge (Zone A) before tonight. He said his biggest fear is people staying to brave out the storm. Bloomberg said they're shutting off heat and power to Zone A later this evening. He also announced subways will cease operations at 7 p.m. while busses will stop at 9 p.m. In the most revealing cancellation so far, the New York Stock Exchange has announced it will be closed tomorrow because of Hurricane Sandy. Close the NYSE down so you know it's real.
On a lighter note, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are suspending their paywalls because of the storm. So, you know, go and click on all the things while you still can. When you're done of that, head over to Quartz and peruse the selection of webcams in the area affected by the storm and find one to watch. When this thing hits tomorrow it could be better than pay-per-view, or football. Let's just hope the power stays on.
And, really, if you aren't following Miguel Bloombito you seriously need to reconsider your life and the choices you've made.
Update 4:58 p.m. Sound of the City did a roundup of everything fun that's been cancelled because of the storm. Sorry, Louis CK fans.
Update 6:33 p.m. Federal government offices in D.C. will be closed tomorrow because of the storm. Only essential personnel will be required to come in. (Insert "essential" joke here.) Also, the President has signed an emergency declaration order for the state of Massachusetts. You're in FEMA's hands now. If you're in New York and you haven't left yet, or don't know if you should leave, the city teamed up with Google to make an interactive map showing how the storm will affect different areas of the city.
The New York Times' Michael Rolston shared the duelling front pages of Sunday's late issues of the New York Post and the Daily News. This round goes to the Post, we think. Mondays papers should be just as fun.