New York City Parks Will Close at 5 P.M. Today Due to Hurricane’s Anticipated Arrival; More Info

During Hurricane Irene — Park Closed

Updated 12:19 p.m. All New York City Parks, including Washington Square, will close today, Sunday October 28th at 5 p.m. due to “Hurricane Sandy’s” anticipated impact on our area.

More on the storm from the Mayor’s office as of last night (Saturday, edited version):

We expect the storm to reach our city early Monday, with the peak of the storm arriving later that day.

This is a serious and dangerous storm.  While it is not likely to produce significant rainfall, sustained winds over 40 miles per hour and a storm surge of 4 to 8 feet are predicted over an extended period.  Winds are expected to pick up very early Monday morning, with the most intense period of wind and elevated water levels occurring from mid-day Monday through Tuesday afternoon.

We strongly recommend that New Yorkers prepare to remain inside as the storm hits, whether at their own home or that of a friend or relative. For anyone who is concerned about the impact of flooding or power outages on their home and would like to seek shelter elsewhere, we will open all 65 city shelters at 9am Sunday morning and they will remain open for the duration of the storm.

These facilities are open to anyone who needs them, will provide a safe place to sleep, and will have food.  Pets are welcome.

All shelters have at least one entrance usable for wheelchairs.

To find a shelter/evacuation center, go here.

The MTA has not made a decision about whether the transit system will close.  However, in order to be prepared in case a shutdown is necessary, the MTA has outlined the procedure by which they would close subways and bus lines. This process would begin at 7pm (Sunday) evening, with all services completely closed by 3am on Monday morning.

12 noon Update: Subways will be closing 7 p.m. today

People should stay off the roads as much as possible.  Conditions may become dangerous, and any traffic would impede our emergency services crews.

The Staten Island Ferry will continue to run unless very high winds force temporary service disruptions.

The East River Ferry will be shut down after the last run tonight until the storm passes.

No decisions have been made regarding schools.  As of now schools are scheduled to be open on Monday. 12 noon update: SCHOOLS CLOSED MONDAY.

Healthcare Facilities:
Yesterday the city recommended that healthcare, nursing, and acute care facilities in low-lying areas take steps in preparation for the storm.  These recommendations include halting new admissions, discharging those patients who can leave, and making arrangements for those who need to remain in care.

Parks and Beaches:
All city parks will close at 5pm (Sunday.)

Any events scheduled in parks (Sunday) will conclude at 2pm.

Please emphasize to your constituents that going to parks and beaches during the storm will be very dangerous.  Falling tree branches and strong ocean currents will be constant threats.

The Department of Buildings has mandated that all outdoor construction be suspended as of 5pm today.

Staying Safe and Being Prepared:
All New Yorkers are encouraged to stock up on necessary supplies.  A guide for storm preparations can be found here.

During the storm flying debris will be a risk.  People should stay away from windows and draw their shades.

Staying Informed
For the latest updates on the storm, New Yorkers can:

Visit the NYC Severe Weather site on

Ryan Whalen
Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson

So, they also say to follow @nycmayorsoffice on Twitter as a way to “stay informed” but as I post this (9:46 a.m.), it was last updated 15 hours agoYou can also call 311 for information on the storm. Of course, I think these things are often hyped out of proportion but it does sound serious. Yay that the shelters now accept pets! That’s good news.

WSP is amazing in a storm … I love the park in the rain but perhaps not this kind of rain.

Stay safe!

Locations of evacuation centers via WNYC

Thank you to Eric McClure from Park Slope Neighbors for this information.

Photo: Teri Tynes

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