At a press conference held just within the last hour, Mayor Bloomberg announced that evacuating Zone A just became mandatory (to check what zone you're in, look at this map). All Zone A residents must be out by 5:00 p.m. Saturday, August 27.
The Mayor: "If you can leave today, that would be helpful...At the moment the strongest winds are expected to arrive in the early evening tomorrow. It is expected to be a category 1 storm. The full brunt of the storm—if you are in its way—is a lot more powerful than any of us."
Wondering if this mandatory evac could lead to arrests? The Mayor addressed this, saying, "Nobody is going to get fined and nobody is going to go to jail, but if they don't evacuate they could die."