New York Braces For Hurricane Irene (PHOTOS)

New Yorkers are battening the hatches as Hurricane Irene bounds up the East Coast.

Mayor Bloomberg Friday ordered a mandatory evacuation for all residents of low-lying Zone A areas, and Far Rockaways, and the transit authority shut down all operations at noon Saturday. In advance of the storm, stores boarded up, lobbies gathered sand bags, volunteers organized evacuation centers, and residents stocked up on water, food (and plenty of alcohol).

The storm is expected to hit the city in earnest late Saturday or early Sunday, and New Yorkers were advised to keep off the roads and streets and stay indoors. Some eerie images have come out of this oncoming storm, as massive commuter sections like Grand Central are left completely desolate, and cabs roll down empty, wet streets.

LOOK to see how New Yorkers ready themselves for such an unprecedented storm:

Hurricane Irene - New York