NEW YORK, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- New York's first responders, hospitals and emergency planners are taking precaution measures on Wednesday for the coming Hurricane Earl as heavy winds and rains are predicted this Thursday night.
The Office of Emergency Management in New York City is checking its supplies and evacuation center provisions for the first time since last year's hurricane season. The agency has held conference calls with hospitals and agencies that visit the elderly and homebound to make sure they're ready if Earl heads here.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicts Earl, now designated a Category 3 hurricane after dropping from Category 4 status on Wednesday, will head north along the East Coast around Thursday before curving back out to sea.
The center said a "dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as three to five feet above ground level within the hurricane warning area. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves."
New York is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes because a storm could push water into New York harbor, inundating low-lying areas in all five boroughs.
An 1893 storm sent water lapping above elevated subway tracks in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and a December 1992 storm that fell short of hurricane strength still inundated the subways and put a LaGuardia Airport runway under water.