With tropical storm Irene past New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg lifted his evacuation order. But with public transit still shut down, there's likely to be a tough commute on Monday.
With the worst of tropical storm Irene having passed New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is lifting the mandatory evacuation order for low-lying parts of the city, which had affected about 370,000 people.
The end to the evacuation was to occur at 3 p.m. Sunday, although New Yorkers already had started to return home and some had never left.
“The good news is the worst is over and we will soon move to restore-and-return mode," Bloomberg said at a press conference Sunday. “All in all, we are in pretty good shape because of the exhaustive steps we took to prepare for whatever came our way.” The fact that Irene – downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm – packed less punch than it might have probably helped too.
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But things won’t be back to normal until power is returned for the thousands who lost electrical service and until the city’s subway and bus system is fully operating – which is unlikely to be by Monday when most New Yorkers head back to work.
Watch this Monitor video of Irene's impact on New Jersey:
"I think it's fair to say you're going to have a tough commute in the morning," Bloomberg acknowledged. "But, you know, we have tough commutes all the time."