The Lookout

Empty New York: City becomes ghost town ahead of Hurricane Sandy

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Grand Central Terminal is virtually empty on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. (MTA)

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the city's transit system to be shut down late Sunday and the evacuation of several low-lying sections, including part of lower Manhattan, as forecasters said Hurricane Sandy could bring a 6- to 11-foot storm surge to New York Harbor on Monday night.

"If you don't evacuate, you're not just putting your own life at risk," Bloomberg said at a news conference Sunday. "You're endangering first responders who may have to rescue you."

The move left many of the city's normally bustling streets, subways and transportation hubs eerily empty.

[Related: New York City empties ahead of Hurricane Sandy]

Grand Central Terminal, which sees more than 1 million commuters and tourists come through its corridors every week, was shut down at 7 p.m. Sunday—rendering its iconic main concourse virtually empty Sunday night.

The same emptiness was seen across New York's subway grid. The Times Square station, one of the city's busiest, was virtually empty, too.

In lower Manhattan, many restaurants were packed Sunday night, but the streets were not.

A boy sits in a subway train as it enters Coney Island, October 28, 2012. (Keith Bedford/Reuters)

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