East Coast Grinds to a Halt as Superstorm Sandy Nears
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned: "If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you. This is a serious and dangerous storm." (Click Here to See the NYC Hurricane Evacuation Areas.)
New Jersey's famously blunt Gov. Chris Christie was less polite: "Don't be stupid. Get out."
New York called off school Monday for the city's 1.1 million students and announced it would suspend all train, bus and subway service Sunday night. More than 5 million riders a day depend on the transit system.
All U.S. stock markets will be closed on Monday and possibly Tuesday, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext, said late on Sunday, reversing an earlier plan that would have kept electronic trading going on Monday. This marks the first weather-related closure for the markets in 27 years.
Officials also postponed Monday's reopening of the Statue of Liberty, which had been closed for a year for $30 million in renovations.
President Obama also pleaded for neighborliness: "In times like this, one of the things that Americans do is we pull together and we help out one another And so, there may be elderly populations in your area. Check on your neighbor, check on your friend. Make sure that they are prepared. If we do, then we're going to get through this storm just fine."
The storm forced the president and Republican candidate Mitt Romney to rearrange their campaign schedules in the crucial closing days of the presidential race. And early voting on Monday in Maryland and the District of Columbia was canceled.
Despite the dire warnings, some souls were refusing to budge.