With an anticipated storm surge of 3 to 5 feet, officials are taking taking no chances, canceling numerous flights, evacuating 600 nursing home residents from the Rockaways, closing parks, temporarily halting construction projects, and warning everyone to stay off the roads after 5 p.m. tonight. High wind warnings are also in effect for the city from 2pm today through 4am Thursday.
This may seem like gun-shy overkill — the storm, which is widely predicted to be weaker than initially expected, will come nowhere near the destruction of Sandy — but the consensus is largely that it's warranted gun-shy overkill, and at this point it's hard to argue.
Mayor Bloomberg explained, "Even though it's not anywhere near as strong as Sandy — nor strong enough, in normal times, for us to evacuate anybody — out of precaution and because of the changing physical circumstances, we are going to go to some small areas and ask those people to go to higher ground."
Meanwhile, The Weather Channel and the National Weather Service are arguing over whether or not to officially christen the storm "Athena" (Weather Channel says 'yes,' National Weather Service says 'stop being dramatic'), which is helpfully to approximately no one.
The point is, you're lucky enough to live in an area with no serious concerns, just go ahead and hole up tonight with some soup and whiskey or something. We insist upon it.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.