In Chelsea, Determining Plans to Evacuate

Phyllis Gonzalez, 64, the president of the tenants association at the Elliott-Chelsea Houses, a public housing facility of 13 buildings between Ninth and 10th Avenues and 25th and 27th Streets, had been talking to residents all day, making sure they had supplies and knew what to do if the storm got worse.

The building at 436 West 27th Street was reserved for senior housing. Any resident above the 10th floor, Ms. Gonzalez said, should find refuge with tenants on lower floors. While the city had just informed her that residents needed to remove their window air-conditioners, she said there was not enough building staff to help do that.

She herself was worried since she can only get around in an electric wheelchair that she may not be able to use in the storm.

Melanie La Rocca, the chief of staff for the district office of Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, went door-to-door in one of the high-rise buildings asking people if they had flashlights or needed water. She explained that although the houses were outside the mandatory evacuation zone, they could still go to one of three nearby shelters opened by the city.

Diana Medina, 74, appreciated the visit. She was waiting her son to come from White Plains to stay with her on Friday night. “At my age, this is going to be my first time going through one,” she said of the hurricane. There have been more than a few in her life, “but not like this one, this is a stronger one,” she said.

People were not the only ones in danger. At Manhattan Motorcars on 11th Avenue, Porsches and convertible Bentleys still sparkled in the glass windows right in the evacuation zone. Shahram Zarnighian, the manager of used vehicles, said his staff would need several hours to move all the most vulnerable cars in that area — including the $300,000 convertible Rolls Royces — to the second-, third- and fourth-floor garages above the showroom. Then he planned to tape the windows.

Uriel Ortiz, 35, was moving the cars and, as he looked out at the sun, said he could not wait to finish. “As soon as I leave here,” he said, “I’m going surfing.”

At Ohm, the 34-story glass rental building on 30th Street and 11th Avenue, workers were taping the windows of the grocery store, and the concierge was telling residents to evacuate by 5 p.m. Saturday. But not everybody felt they needed to go. Dozens of bags of water and groceries were being delivered.

And one man, Zander Bleck, 26, a singer, said he felt the hype might exceed the actual storm. “I think it’s just going to be really rainy and windy,” he said.

He planned to stay in his 30th-floor apartment instead. He is supposed to shoot a music video on Tuesday and crews were supposed to be arriving over the weekend.

He shrugged and smiled. “I’m mentally going to push the hurricane away,” he said.

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