Nation readies for Hurricane Irene

    New York City is rushing to ready itself for Hurricane Irene, which has also shuttered Sunday’s dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for all public transportation in New York City to be shut down before the hurricane impacts the city. According to CBS News, the Metropolitan Transit Authority will stop running subways and buses throughout the city at noon on Saturday.

    This order also affects service on the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Access-A-Ride.

    The governor’s office stated that if wind speeds of at least 60 miles per hour persist, major bridges in NYC and the lower Hudson Valley will also be closed. New York’s Thruway would also be shut down in this instance.

    As an added precaution, New York has even started evacuating hospitals, and several facilities are in the process of removing patients to safer areas.

    Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is calling on everyone in the hurricane’s path to do everything they can to prepare. And he declared that the time for action is now.

    "I cannot stress this highly enough: If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now," the president said during an address earlier today. "Don’t wait. Don’t delay. We all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst. All of us have to take this storm seriously."

    President Obama, who is currently vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, also advised that people look to their state’s government to see what precautions are being suggested. "You need to listen to your state and local officials, and if you are given an evacuation order, please follow it," he said.

    There’s no word on whether the Obamas will be making their way back to D.C. before the hurricane descends on the Northeast. The president has made moves, however, to protect American vessels from Hurricane Irene.

    "Just to underscore this point: We ordered an aircraft carrier group out to sea to avoid this storm yesterday," he said before once again urging citizens to get ready. "So if you’re in the way of this hurricane, you should be preparing now."

    Sunday’s planned dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, D.C., has also been postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Irene. Saturday’s National Prayer Service at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate is now the final event of Dedication Week.

    Organizers are planning to reschedule the dedication for either September or October, but no official date has been set. Officials have said that memorial will be open to the public from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday, depending on the weather.

    To see how you should prepare for Hurricane Irene, visit



    —Sonya Eskridge




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