Cuomo Tackles Flooding with Bloomberg-esque Tough Love

New York's governor is urging residents to abide by evacuation orders

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After taking an aerial tour of the massive flooding in upstate New York this morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had a message for residents in evacuation areas: Get out. "Don't look out the door and say, 'it's not that high'--it's going to get much worse,"  he said, according to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. "By the time it gets that bad, you won't be able to leave." Cuomo is now asking for President Obama to declare another major disaster for Broome, Chenango, Chemung, and Tioga counties in the state's Southern Tier region along the Pennsylvanian border. Meanwhile, Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan tells the AP the city is experiencing its worst flooding since protective flood walls were built in the 1930s and 1940s to control the Susquehanna River.

Cuomo's stern message to residents who haven't yet evacuated is reminiscent of the words New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used in the lead-up to Hurricane Irene. "Time is running out. It's going to get dark in a little while," Bloomberg warned residents. "If you haven't left you should leave now. Not later this evening, not this afternoon, immediately." Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey was even blunter at the time. "Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park. You're done. Do not waste any more time working on your tan." In assessing the Irene response, The Wall Street Journal noted that government officials had worked hard to stay out in front of events, motivated "not only by the need to ensure public safety, but by the lessons of Hurricane Katrina six years ago and of lackluster responses to more recent natural disasters."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.