As Hurricane Jose creeps up the Atlantic Ocean, New Yorkers can't help but have flashbacks to Superstorm Sandy, which ripped through the region five years ago next month. Unlike Sandy, Jose is widely projected to turn out to sea this week instead of making a cold front–induced “left hook” that would put the city in its path. Still, New York will see some effects from the storm, which could pose real risks to residents here if they are not properly prepared.
Here's everything you need to know about Hurricane Jose in NYC:
So the hurricane isn’t going to hit NYC?
No, it's not. The National Weather Service is projecting that Jose's closest approach to the city will be 280 miles to the southeast, and the closest it will come to the state will be 150 miles southeast of Montauk.
Why should New Yorkers be concerned?
New York isn't expected to see the catastrophic rains and winds that accompany a hurricane, but Jose's storm surge is expected to cause flooding in the area's coastal regions. What makes the city particularly vulnerable is that Jose arrives during a period of high tide, which will likely cause higher levels of flooding than this sort of storm would normally bring. Combine this with a forecast of strong winds and steady rainfall, and we've got a bit of a pickle on our hands.
A Coastal Flood Warning has been issued for the south shore bays of New York City and the southern shores of Nassau County, as well as all of the shores of Suffolk County (for the exception of its northwestern area adjacent to the Long Island Sound). The warning is in effect for the shores of Brooklyn and southern Queens from 6pm Tuesday through noon Wednesday, and a Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for Staten Island during that same period.
It's worth noting that there is an unlikely chance that Jose turns west, which would bring even greater impacts to the city.
Also, even though New York may not get directly hit, this and other recent hurricanes have devastated many other cities that can still use your help.
What should I do if I live on the coast?
First off, stay away from the ocean if possible. Jose is expected to bring dangerous rip currents and surf to the New York City area. The New York City Emergency Management Department put out a statement on Monday urging residents who live in coastal neighborhoods to be prepared for an emergency. “If you live in vulnerable coastal neighborhoods, take steps to protect your property,” said the department's commissioner Joseph. “Prepare your Go Bags, charge your cell phone batteries and don’t forget to check on relatives, friends and neighbors.”
Do not preemptively evacuate unless emergency officials direct you to do so, and under no circumstances should you freak out like it's the end of the world. After all, New Yorkers have been through much, much worse.