State officials have decided to shut down mass transit in New York City and on Long Island starting tomorrow afternoon, when the first major effects of the hurricane are expected to be felt.
Here's a link.
Also, Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey announced the closing of southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway below the northernmost seashore exit, 98, even as northbound lanes were clogged with traffic evacuating the Shore. All of Cape May County and coastal Atlantic County is under evacuation orders. Atlantic City casinos are closing at noon tomorrow.
Christie repeated his call for all of the state's shore residents to leave now and not to wait until tomorow. Christie, as usual, was eminently quotable:
"I've heard some dopes on the television saying a Category 2 isn't anything more than a bad thunderstorm," the governor said, according to the Newark Star-Ledger newspaper. "You stay there at the risk of your own lives."
As "dopes on the television" evidently do not realize, the biggest problem is not going to be the wind, it's going to be the water.
As to air travel, most airlines have not yet pulled the trigger on anticipated mass flight cancellations at the three New York airports, which account for almost 20 percent of all passenger traffic in the U.S. JetBlue so far is the only carrier announcing a large number of preemptive cancellations.
But rest assured, the others will soon follow.
If you're planning on traveling by air on the East Coast this weekend, one word of advice: Don't.
Airline ticket-refund policies, already in effect for those who opt out of previously booked trips, allow for rebooking without the usual penalty fee -- if the rebooking is done within seven days of the originally scheduled departure. Rebooked tickets are subject to possible higher fares, as well.
And don't expect hotel or meal vouchers if you're flying and suddenly stuck at an airport during this mess. Ain't gonna happen.