Hurricane Irene Heading To New York? Mayor Says Prepare

Hurricane Irene is rapidly gaining strength in the Bahamas and is set to make her way up the East Coast, possibly reaching New York as early as Sunday evening. Communities in Miami and North Carolina have already started evacuations, as homes and business brace themselves for the worst.

Mayor Bloomberg spoke at a briefing of Tuesday's tickle of an earthquake and urged New Yorkers to focus on the potential damage Hurricane Irene could have on the city.

"Things happen in the city," the Mayor said. "Quite honestly, I am more concerned about our preparations for a hurricane that's approaching Florida...Everyone should keep an eye on the storm and pay attention to the office emergency management when they put out some advisories on what we should prepare for as we get closer to the potential storm. If this one doesn't hit us, the likelihood of others is very great. We're likely to get some storms for sure here."

Hurricane Bill was the last hurricane to strike the tri-state area back in 2009 and reported damages were minor. However, New Yorkers have seen their fair share of flash flood warnings and record setting rain this summer which caused sewer overflows, outages, and traffic nightmares.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano warned residents to be prepared.

“This is a good time to get prepared again in your homes. There’s items that you should stock up on, those that need to move or possibly be evacuated, perhaps seniors should think about having their medications refilled and having enough on hand.”