Tropical Storm Isaias is gaining speed and strength as it heads up the East Coast toward New York City, officials warned Monday afternoon.
“This storm has changed in its intensity,” said Deanne Criswell, the city’s emergency management commissioner, at a Lower Manhattan press briefing.
“It has sped up a little bit,” she said, adding that it’s expected to hit the city by late Tuesday morning.
New Yorkers should prepare for up to 6 inches of rain and wind gusts as high as 70 mph between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday. Average rainfall will be 2 to 4 inches with sustained winds of 35 to 50 mph, officials said.
“That’s an increase from what I briefed this morning,” Criswell noted.
Earlier Monday the commissioner had predicted gusts of up to 60 mph.
“Take this storm seriously,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said from the press conference in Lower Manhattan, which may see 1 to 2 feet of flooding when the wild weather hits.
High tide is Tuesday evening, lessening the impact of the storm surge.
City workers are deploying large water-filled, interlocking tubes called Tiger Dams to help reduce the expected deluge in the area.
“You will have a full sealing, a full barrier, from Catherine Slip, up by the Brooklyn Bridge, all the way down to Wall Street,” de Blasio said.
Workers have also been clearing catchment areas to prevent flooding at problem spots across the city. Only Lower Manhattan is expected to see a storm surge, de Blasio said.
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