Hurricane Irene: Latest on Transportation, Closures and Evacuations

UPDATED: 10:30 P.M. The latest on transit, traffic and evacuation plans in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


• Forecasters predict Irene to make landfall Sunday as a Category 1 storm between New Jersey and Cape Cod.

• Hurricane warning issued for New York City, coastal Connecticut and Martha's Vineyard

• President Obama declared an emergency for New York State, which is intended to alleviate the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Nassau and Suffolk.

• The governor declared a state of emergency and the state's Office of Emergency Management has increased staffing in its underground bunker.

• Last hurricane to hit was Hurricane Gloria in 1985 on Long Island as a Category 2 storm with winds gusts of up to 100 mph. Since then, numerous remnants of hurricanes that have struck the state.


• Bloomberg ordered mandatory evacuations for residents in low-lying areas of the city.


• MTA: The governor says New York City's public transit will halt around noon Saturday because of the hurricane. The Authority will institute a system-wide shutdown when trains and buses begin their final runs starting at approximately noon. It will include a shutdown of services from the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Access-A-Ride.

The MTA is waiving fares on buses and subways in evacuation zones to facilitate the exodus starting at 8 p.m. tonight.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission has also ordered all available taxis, livery cabs and commuter vans to assist residents trying to leave low-laying areas. Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, taxis will operate under a zoned system and be be permitted to pick group fares. Livery cabs and commuter vans will also be allowed to pick up street hails to compensate for the shutdown of subway and buses. The fare will be $10 per person to enter the cab, and $5 for each additional zone traveled. Manhattan is divided into two zones at 60th Street. Each outer borough is one zone.

Bridges and Tunnels: Governor Andrew Cuomo's office said major bridges in the city and lower Hudson Valley and the state Thruway will close if sustained wind speeds top 60 mph. Cuomo suspended tolls at the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge and Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.

Airports: All five regional airports - JFK, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty, Stewart International and Teterboro airports will close to all arriving flights effective Saturday at 12 p.m. Many weeeknd departing flights have been canceled and travelers are urged to contact their airline prior to leaving for the airport.


New York: Bloomberg revoked all permits for city street events on Sunday and events in low-lying areas on Saturday to leave roads open for emergency vehicles and buses, in case people have to evacuate.

All national park sites in Manhattan as well as united of Gateway National Recreation Area and Governors Island will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. They will re-open, weather permitting, on Monday, August 29. 

See a working list of culture-related closures.



• Cape May County is under a mandatory evacuation order. Gamblers and residents were leaving Atlantic City on Friday after the order took effect at 6 a.m. The National Hurricane Center is predicting the storm surge will raise water levels by as much as there to six feet above ground level along the Jersey Shore. Coastal Atlantic County and Long Beach Island have also been issued mandatory evacuations.


Tolls were suspended on the Garden Parkway south of the Raritan River and the Atlantic City Expressway — two major evacuation routes — beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday.

Closures: The southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkways from Exit 98 in Wall Township to the southern end of the state was closed in order to facilitate northbound traffic. No traffic will be allowed into Atlantic City after 6 p.m. Friday. Casinos and hotels will close at noon Saturday.

NJ Transit: All NJ rail service will shut down beginning at 12 p.m. on Saturday. Station waiting rooms controlled by NJ Transit will remain open throughout the weekend. Bus, Light Rail and Access Link service will be suspended at 6 p.m. Saturday.


• Forecasters predict Irene to make landfall on Sunday somewhere between New Jersey and Cape Cod.

• Hurricane warning issued for New York City, coastal Connecticut and Martha's Vineyard

• Mandatory evacuations have not been ordered.  The governor urged people living in flood-prone areas to seek shelter elsewhere.

• The governor  declared a state of emergency and authorized the National Guard to mobilize resources needed to respond to the storm.

• Last hurricane to hit was Bob in 1991.


• As a result of the MTA shutdown, Metro-North Railroad will suspend service around noon Saturday.


• Residents of Brookhaven Town on Long Island are being told to leave after officials called for a mandatory evacuation.

• Suffolk County officials have ordered mandatory evacuations of beach communities on western Fire Island. Starting at 3 p.m. Friday, only Fire Island homeowners going to secure their properties will be allowed on the ferries.

• Nassau County County Executive Ed Mangano issued a mandatory evacuation for all residents living south of sunrise highway from the Queens line to Rockville Center and south of Merrick Road from Rockville Center to the Nassau - Suffolk border.  The order also covers all residents of the north shore who reside in low lying and storm surge areas. Click here for a list of shelters.


• As a result of the MTA shutdown, the Long Island Rail Railroad will suspend service around noon Saturday.

With the Associated Press