Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York on Friday declared a state of emergency in all New York counties because of Hurricane Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy is a huge weather system that forecasters expect to hit Long Island and the New York metropolitan area next week.
According to local media reports monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Cuomo in a new conference advised residents to take “common-sense steps” such as clearing yard debris and stocking up on food.
“There’s no reason to panic,” Cuomo said, adding that it was early in storm preparations and “better to err on the side of caution.”
According to him, the declaration will free officials to make emergency decisions, help make equipment and personnel available from the National Guard and clear the way for a federal disaster declaration, if needed.
Residents of flood-prone areas south of Sunrise Highway or north of Route 25A were advised to be prepared to evacuate their homes as early as 3 p.m. Saturday.
They were also advised that objects should be removed or tied down in backyards, and that they should have battery-operated radios for the latest updates on the storm.
The reports disclosed that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) also warned that the impending storm could force the second system wide MTA shutdown in history due to sustained winds of 39 mph and above.
The first shutdown occurred in August 2011, in advance of Tropical Storm Irene.
Sandy remained a Category 1 hurricane on Friday after leaving 43 dead across the Caribbean, and had been projected to make landfall on Tuesday morning over Maryland.
“It’s going to be a very large and powerful storm,’’ the media reports quoted a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, David Stark, as saying.
As at 8 p.m. Friday, National Hurricane Centre forecasters said the storm was about 400 miles south-southeast of Charleston, S.C., with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.