NYC shuts parts of lower Manhattan, other areas due to hurricane

The NYSE closed voluntarily for the first time since 9/11

Parts of New York City received mandatory evacuation notices from the governor's office as Hurricane Sandy came ashore Monday. Along with other businesses in the city's financial district, the New York Stock Exchange voluntarily shut down.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas of the city, including the Lower East Side and East Village in Manhattan and areas along the East River in Brooklyn, areas of Queens, almost all of the Staten the coastline, parts of the South Bronx, Battery Park City and stretches of the West Side waterfront.

The New York City subway and bus network, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and Staten Island Railway were suspended until further notice.

The New York Stock Exchange on Friday said it planned to remain open throughout the hurricane, but issued a statement that it was voluntarily closing today and probably Tuesday. It is the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center that the NYSE has closed.

"We support the consensus of the markets and the regulatory community that the dangerous conditions developing as a result of Hurricane Sandy will make it extremely difficult to ensure the safety of our people and communities, and safety must be our first priority," the NYSE said in a statement. "We will work with the industry to determine the next steps in restoring trading as soon as the situation permits."

As Hurricane Sandy came ashore on the Eastern seaboard today, nine states declared a state of emergency. Delaware, New Jersey, and Connecticut ordered mandatory coastal evacuations. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered the shut down of Atlantic City's casinos.

One exception to closures in lower Manhattan is the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., which is located on Water Street. The DTCC, which provides settlement services to the securities markets throughout the country, confirmed that it will maintain operations today despite the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast.

"DTCC has in place a robust business continuity plan and preparations have been completed to provide seamless processing and settlement on Monday and throughout the coming week, leveraging our multiple out-of-region sites and other company-established emergency response procedures," DTCC CEO Michael Bodson said in a statement.

While Bodson said he is confident the DTCC will be able to operate smoothly throughout the hurricane, the DTCC suspended its securities certificate processing services "given the disruption to New York City's public transportation system and the fact that lower Manhattan may be significantly impacted by the hurricane."

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for New York City and southern New York state, predicting average speeds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 80 mph. Higher gusts of up to 85 mph are possible along south facing shorelines.

"Dangerous conditions will occur today and tonight. Everyone should be moving to a place of safety," the National Weather Service stated.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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