NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Michael Bloomberg cancelled public schools for Monday morning as the city braced for the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.
The announcement came as Bloomberg ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas of the city as the category 1 storm threatened to batter New York with heavy rains and wind. The MTA will be shutting down the subway and bus system starting Sunday night at 7 p.m.
"Due to anticipated inclement weather conditions from Hurricane Sandy, all New York City public schools will be closed to students tomorrow, October 29," Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a statement following a briefing with the mayor at the city's Office of Emergency Management headquarters.
All afterschool activities and school athletic league events have also been cancelled, so that schools can be used as emergency shelters for the tens of thousands of residents who are being forced to evacuate their homes.
Bloomberg said a decision about whether school would be in session on Tuesday would be made on Monday. The city released a list of 76 emergency shelters for evacuees on Sunday, the majority of which were in elementary, middle and high schools across the city.
In addition to public schools, Columbia University and New York University have cancelled all classes and activities on Monday, and Columbia is warning members of the school community to "exercise caution if travel is necessary, and to remain indoors if possible in light of predicted high winds and heavy rains."
City University of New York has also cancelled all daytime and evening classes Monday, which includes Baruch College, Brooklyn College, City University, College of Staten Island, Hunter College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, Hostos, and Queens College. The university said it would make a decision on Monday regarding whether classes would reopen on Tuesday.
Fordham University closed on Monday and Tuesday, with classes scheduled to restart on Wednesday. Pace University also closed on Monday, and said a determination would be made then about Tuesday classes.
News of the closures had some students cheering and planning how they’d spend their soggy day off.
“NYC SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED TOMORROW MY PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED IM CRYIN I CAN NAP ALL DAY,” tweeted a very excited @1DNYC
“NO SCHOOL TOMORROW IM SQUEALING,” agreed @Softpizza.
Many private schools are also expected to cancel classes Monday. Please check with your child’s school for the latest updates.
Sunday’s Specialized High Schools Admissions Test have also been rescheduled for Sunday, November 18.