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

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

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

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