Even though they were told to evacuate by 5 p.m. tonight, Metro talked
to some Red Hook residents who said no matter what, they’re staying put.
“Ride or die!,” said Ronaldo Dailey, as he took a break from taping windows above his t-shirt printing company on Van Brunt Street, Fulla T-Shirts. “My cousin in Texas – he’s been through hurricanes – told me to get out. He knows how fast the water can rise. But this is my business. I just started it in March and I’m worried about looters.”
Dailey said he’s spent $350 on groceries, stocked up on flashlights and batteries and has a dozen movies to watch. He, his wife, and teenage daughter will wait out the storm above the store.
But yes, he’s worried.
“I just keep saying I hope the water will go somewhere else,” he said. “But just the size of it and how much rain we’re going to get – it’s a big issue.”
In the nearby Columbia Street Waterfront District, which is not technically in Zone A, but is only a few blocks away, others agreed they aren’t leaving their homes.
“We were going to leave, and go stay with family in Brooklyn Heights,” said Jimmy Crupi, who lives on President Street. “But they’re on the twelfth floor and we don’t want to go high in case of wind.”
Instead, said Crupi, he and his wife are staying put.
“He can’t force you,” said Crupi with a shrug of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pleas to evacuate. “My wife’s worried, but I’m not. You’re on your own.”
Bloomberg said only 1,400 people have checked into the city’s 91 evacuation shelters, even though they can accommodate up to 70,000 – but the mayor said that’s because many people are simply choosing to stay with family and friends rather than sleep on a cot in a gymnasium.
“I know later we can’t change our minds if the water comes, but I want to be here to help out,” said Red Hook resident Ian Curran McGovern, 26, who lives on Columbia Street. His parents are leaving but he’s staying. “I’m looking for who has a canoe – seriously.”
The sea level is supposed to rise four to eight feet in the storm, according to meteorology reports.
Still, some Red Hook residents did indeed heed the mayor’s advice.
Mickey Rivera and her family hurriedly packed their SUV earlier this afternoon and prepared to evacuate to a cousin’s in Staten Island.
“Some police officers came by and told us we can’t stay,” said Rivera, with her two children and parents. “My husband wanted to stay in our home but I told him your family is more important than your stuff.”
“It is weird,” she said. “I never thought I’d have to evacuate from a hurricane in New York City. But I also never thought I could feel an earthquake in New York, either.”