NEW YORK — The city on Sunday looked as though a catastrophe had already struck.
Manhattan sidewalks were littered with suitcases, babies were crying, police shouted evacuation orders through the loudspeakers of their vehicles and some stores were sold out of water. The feeling of urgency was particularly noticeable in Battery Park, Manhattan’s southernmost tip, which is part of the evacuation zone ordered by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Battery Park is home to many young families, and parents looked concerned as they filled cars with bags of groceries and suitcases Sunday afternoon. The majority of families preferred not to take any risks. The Sandlers were one such family. “We can’t stay here if there is no electricity,” said the father. “We don’t have the choice. We have three kids and a dog.” …
Sirens from emergency vehicles rang incessantly as area residents said goodbye to one another from across piles of suitcases. “Be safe, buddy!” one neighbor said to another. The highway on the city’s west side was jammed with lines of vehicles waiting to exit the city, looking like a scene from an apocalypse movie.