NU Online News Service, Aug. 26, 4:15 p.m.EDT

Citing an increased risk of winds and high waters from HurricaneIrene, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued thecity's first-ever mandatory evacuation order for large partsof the city.

“Hurricane Irene is now bearing down on us at a faster speedthan it was yesterday,” said Bloomberg during a press conferencethis afternoon. “We are today issuing a mandatory – I repeat theword mandatory – evacuation order for all New Yorkers who live inthe low-lying Zone A coastal areas in all five boroughs that are atgreatest risk of damage relating to Irene, and we're adding to thatthe rest of the Rockaways, some of which are not Zone A, but areZone B.”

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