Riding through the city as the storm rages, city officials talk safety

Ferocious winds knocked against the black Chevy Tahoe and rain trickled down the windows.

“Being ready is important,” said the city’s managing director Rich Negrin staring out of the passenger side window as he rode through the city. In comparison to Hurricane Irene, Negrin said of Hurricane Sandy, “This looks like it’s going to be much worse.”

Negrin received updates about downed trees and phoned in a report of a traffic signal pole that was tilting on 15th and Arch streets.

“It was leaning over really hard,” he told Rina Cutler, deputy mayor of Transportation and Utilities over the phone. “It looks like it’s about to fall.”

From there Negrin made his way toward Eastwick to join Mayor Nutter, state Sen. Anthony Williams and other city officials to speak with residents in the flood prone area.

“I need you to rethink getting out of here,” Nutter told a group of longtime residents on Saturn Place near 78th street just feet away from Darby Creek. Those residents had decided to ride out the storm. “Don’t wait too long.”

Negrin hopped back into the passenger side of his truck, the rain still pouring down, wind slapping against it and said, “My only hope is he’s not calling us later saying please come get me.  Where we were just standing was the highest point of Eastwick. The water literally just flows into those neighborhoods.”