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New York adds 600,000 residents to storm evacuation zones

June 18, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • A view of the Manhattan Bridge, left, and Brooklyn Bridge over the East River as seen from the 105th floor of One World Trade Center in New York. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which swamped the city and killed 40 residents, storm evacuation zones are being expanded.
A view of the Manhattan Bridge, left, and Brooklyn Bridge over the East River… (Mark Lennihan / Associated…)

In the wake of deadly Superstorm Sandy, New York officials have added 600,000 residents to the city's storm evacuation zones, according to maps released Tuesday.

The new designation divides the most endangered areas into six zones with 2.9 million people.

“Over the past six months, we have made remarkable strides in the city’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy, and as part of our review of the administration’s efforts before and after the storm, we have updated and expanded the hurricane evacuation zones that are part of the city’s comprehensive Coastal Storm Plan,” Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said in a prepared statement.

“The new zones incorporate the best-available data and will help the City to more effectively communicate to those most at risk depending on the characteristics of a particular storm. New Yorkers should go to www.nyc.gov or call 311 to find out if their homes or businesses fall within the boundaries of a new city hurricane evacuation zone,” he said.

Sandy killed more than 40 people in New York City as it tore through the region in October 2012. The metropolitan area and New Jersey were especially hard hit by the storm, the deadliest of the 2012 season. More than 285 people died in seven countries that the storm touched. Sandy’s impact was felt in 24 states.

Before Sandy, a mandatory evacuation order was declared in the city for Hurricane Irene in 2011.

The new zones are larger to reflect the dangers that the storm and water surge illustrated during Sandy.

Taken together, the new zones extend farther inland in some places, including Lower Manhattan, parts of Brooklyn and the southeastern Bronx.

According to the city, the new zones include the residences of 37% of New Yorkers. Twenty-six New York City Housing Authority developments were added, bringing the total to 175. Four hospitals and nine nursing homes were added to evacuation areas as well, city officials said.

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