Bloomberg updated the city on the storm and just announced mandatory evacuations for flood zones in the city.
Bloomberg said the surge forecast has changed from last night to today (not true - there were forecasts showing a stronger storm surge last night as well.)
Everybody in Zone A flood areas has to leave by 7 PM tonight.
I'm glad he has finally made the call for a mandatory evacuation, but why wasn't the evacuation call made earlier?
Subway shutdown in seven and a half hours.
People in Zone A without cars have a very brief window to get out.
Schools are closed tomorrow, city offices are opened.
Bloomberg says he is confident he has taken all the necessary precautions for the storm and the city is ready for whatever it faces.
UPDATE: Bloomberg gets a question at the presser about why he waited until now to give the mandatory evacuation order.
He says it's not a problem, that cop cars with speakers will get the information out in time to people in Zone A.
SECOND UPDATE: Another question for the mayor - why are city workers asked to come in to work tomorrow?
Bloomberg said city workers have to serve the public, so they have to come into work, even if it's inconvenient.
Third question - Bloomberg asked to compare Irene to Sandy. Bloomberg still says the storm is not as dangerous as Irene . He still says the forecast has not changed for wind, rain or storm track. Only the storm surge forecast has changed.
He is still lowballing the effects of this storm.
He thinks the damage will be minimal in the city and the storm is going to do more damage inland.
He says most people in New York City will go to work tomorrow.
He says it's a shame that he has to close schools tomorrow, but those will be closed.
But "most people will go to work tomorrow."
The subways and buses are shut down.
The tunnels and bridges will most likely be shut down as well.
But somehow Bloomberg is still saying that "most people will go to work tomorrow."
This guy is crazy.
The newscaster on FOX just said this evacuation call has been made too late.
Nick Gregory just said the same thing - plus the surge forecast last night was serious enough for Bloomberg to have made the call last night for mandatory evacuation.
So Bloomberg getting criticism for this late decision from FOX.
And the mayor is still on record as saying "most people will go to work tomorrow."
What information is he getting that the rest of us do not seem to be getting?
Maybe he's right, maybe he's handled this the way he should have.
But I guarantee you that there will be people in the flood zone who won't hear about the mandatory evacuation order until very late in the game.
THIRD UPDATE: Gothamist puts together a montage of criticism from weather experts and meteorologists over Bloomberg's delayed evacuation response to the storm here.