If Hurricane Irene hits New York City dead on, as expected, NYCMTA plans to close the city’s transit system (bus and rail) at least 12 hours before the storm hits landfall and once sustained winds reach 39 mph.
The evacuation period is intended to allow New Yorkers living in the danger zones enough time move out before the storm hits.
“…Federal scientists say a Category 2 hurricane could drive a 20-foot storm surge into Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. If that is what appears to be looming, the MTA hurricane plan calls for bus service to begin to be curtailed at least 12 hours before landfall.
At least eight hours before landfall, the subways would start shutting down. At ‘zero hour’ – approximately six hours before landfall, when winds reach 39 mph – all rail and bus service would be suspended, the MTA plan says.
Each station will be searched to make sure no one is left behind in an elevator or bathroom, and then gates or barricade tape will go up to block stairways to the street level…”