New York City announced the closings of its mass transit and school systems, both the nation's largest, and ordered residents to leave some low-lying areas Sunday ahead of the massive storm approaching the eastern third of the U.S.
"You don't want to be overly panicked and overly prepared, but you want to be prudent; you want to do what's necessary," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday in announcing the suspension of the city's subways, buses and commuter trains.
Rainfall is expected to start late Sunday or early Monday in New York. Hurricane Sandy was headed north from the Caribbean to meet both a snowstorm and a cold front, and experts said the rare hybrid storm that results will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. And one expert expressed concern about when the worst of the storm surge would hit: at high tide or at low.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he ordered an evacuation of the low-lying areas along the edges of the city including parts of lower Manhattan, sections of Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the Rockaways in Queens.
But, he said, those who didn't leave wouldn't be arrested.