[UPDATE: The DOT has announced that the Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Ed Koch Queensboro Bridges will all be closed at 7 PM] Governor Cuomo has directed the Port Authority and the MTA to close seven bridges across New York City at 7 p.m. due to Hurricane Sandy. “With weather conditions becoming more dangerous for drivers, I have directed bridges in the New York City area to be closed,” Cuomo said in a statement, citing forecasts of 85 mph gusts of wind. The governor's announcement follows news that the DOT is shutting down the FDR Drive in both directions, from the Battery to 155th Street at 6 p.m.
The bridges the governor closed are the Throgs Neck Bridge, Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Henry Hudson Bridge, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, and The George Washington Bridge. According to the release, all the Staten Island crossings are scheduled to stay open "as long as possible consistent with safety," and emergency personnel will be allowed to cross the closed bridges "to the degree practical."
Governor Cuomo also just closed New York State's canal system "effective immediately," and also blasted the number of power outages in New York State from his Twitter account:
POWER OUTAGES: Central Hudson 19,178; Con Edison 65,539; LIPA 186,896; Nat. Grid 2,179; NYSEG 27,069; Orange & Rockland 10,082; RG&E 1,482
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 29, 2012
If you absolutely have to drive (and if you have to think about it, the answer is likely "no." Eat a sandwich instead.) you can call 511 or visit 511NY.org for information on current road conditions. The state also has a Sandy Helpline you can call at 1-888-769-7243 or 1-518-485-1159. Mayor Bloomberg is also scheduled to speak at a press conference at 5:30 p.m. We'll keep you posted.