YONKERS, N.Y. – Dozens of Yonkers residents fled their waterfront homes Monday evening in anticipation of rising flood waters and power outages as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Scrimshaw House resident David Washington said he was going to stay with relatives in Mount Vernon for the night because he couldn’t find any hotels in the area with vacant rooms.
“I’m a newbie at this,” Washington said as he loaded up his car. “Next time I’m going to reserve a hotel room a lot earlier.”
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano issued a voluntary evacuation of the waterfront just before 5 p.m., recommending residents of some 1,300 units in four high-rise buildings find shelter. Forecasters predict a storm surge that is expected to reach five feet in some places and Spano warned the first floor of the buildings may experience flooding and power outages.
By 6 p.m., the Hudson River had already flooded the Yonkers Amphitheater and was rising close to the boardwalk. Yonkers Police closed down the Yonkers Pier and turned cars away on Main Street near the railroad tracks.
For the residents who were trying to evacuate the waterfront, Yonkers firefighters and police cars were on hand to assist while warning curious spectators of the potential dangers of the storm.
Outside his home at 1 Pier Pointe, Mark Sternfeld reluctantly waited for a ride as he left the area.
“I didn’t really want to leave,” Sternfeld, who lives on the fifth floor of the building, said. “But the firefighters suggested we do. So off I go.”
Still, some hardy residents said they planned to bunker down and ride out the storm inside their homes. Paul Mitchell, who lives on the seventh floor of the Scrimshaw House, said he had stocked up on canned goods and was ready for whatever Sandy might bring.
“I’m not worried,” he said. “We’ll be alright.”