Thursday, September 18, 2014

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With Sandy Approaching, Residents Head To City Shelters

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TWC News: With Sandy Approaching, Residents Head To City Shelters
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As Sandy approaches, dozens of shelters are now open across the city, housing those who live within the evacuation zones. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

More than 300 people came to the shelter at Seward Park High School Sunday. The city has a capacity for 71,000 people in shelters throughout the five boroughs, shuffling cots to locations where demand is the highest.

"We were told to get out, so we had no choice," said one.

"I'm not really worried about it," said another. "I'm 50 years old. I've seen a lot of storms."

The New York City Office of Emergency Management said that approximately 1,335 residents were staying in shelters as of 3 a.m. Monday.

Police officers spent the day notifying residents of Zone A about the mandatory evacuation. Elected officials said police won't force residents out but the city's finest has their marching orders.

Zone A includes low-lying areas in Coney Island, Red Hook, the Rockaways, City Island, Hamilton Beach, coastal Lower Manhattan and just about all of coastal Staten Island.

"We will not add any additional zones," said Joseph Bruno, commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management. "We only evacuate during times when the weather is not dangerous."

Sandy also forced the New York City Department of Homeless Services to relocate nine homeless shelters and one intake center, transporting more than 1,000 people out of the evacuation zone.

The city also bused many from public housing to shelters. More than 45,000 New York City Housing Authority residents live in Zone A.

While 60 percent of the 375,000 people who live in Zone A evacuated last year for Hurricane Irene, the hope now is that if the numbers stay the same, the 40 percent who stay don't get into trouble.

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