TODAY   |  October 29, 2012

Water breaches promenade at Manhattan’s Battery Park

NBC’s Ann Thompson reports from Battery Park City, one of New York City’s most vulnerable flood zones, where water is already beginning to wash up onto the promenade, and Al Roker stresses that 375,000 people asked to evacuate New York City by Mayor Michael Bloomberg should heed the warnings.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> park city , one of new york city 's most vulnerable flood zones. anne, how is it looking out there?

>> reporter: well, savannah, just take a look behind me. here is the water that matt was talking about. this is where the hudson river meets the new york harbor , and you can see there are swells. there are white caps out here, and the water, we can tell you, from where we are here on the promenade, it's about another foot and a half before it gets to us, but first down the water is actually starting to breach the promenade. this is why mayor bloomberg asked 375,000 people in new york city to leave their homes. they are all in what's called zone "a." these are low-lying areas of new york city . where we are, battery park city is one of those areas. some people decided to stay because they were asked to leave during hurricane irene . they didn't think it was that bad. but the mayor's biggest fear is that those people who stay, that they will get in trouble and then they will call for help and then they will endanger not only their lives but the first responders who come to help them. i can tell you looking around here in battery park city , looking at some of the skyscrapers here, what's really unusual is you see very few lights on, so that means that most of the people, at least in this area, have heeded the mayor's warning. the other unusual thing down here this morning is usually you see commuters coming out of the subway exits and people going into the subway entrances. all mass transit is shut down, and the subway entrance and exits are actually boarded up with sandbags fortifying to make sure nobody can get in there. again, take a look at new york harbor . high tide is supposed to hit here at 8:35. this is the first test for lower manhattan in what is expected to be 48 hours of some very significant weather. matt and savannah, back to you.

>> thinking back to our coverage of tropical storm irene , lower manhattan , aren't there below ground substations as well and don't they worry if sea water comes up and gets down there, that's when the power outages could begin?

>> reporter: absolutely. and you can see, the other thing we saw, matt, when i was driving in this morning, is you can see the -- they have put sandbags around those areas that they are concerned with, and the potential for power outages, i think that's what really scares people here in new york, even more than the flooding, pause so many people live in high rises and then you've got people stuck, so, yes, they are doing everything they can to fortify those substations.

>> all right. anne thompson downtown, lower manhattan , anne, thanks very much.

>> with irene we did see the water come over the promenade and not as serious a storm we expect sandy to be. we'll watch that