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New York City suspends plans to evacuate, open shelters after latest Hurricane Joaquin forecasts

New York City will remain on high alert

New York City will remain on high alert for Hurricane Joaquin, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, pictured Sept. 16, 2015. Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

New York City is suspending plans to open emergency shelters and evacuate flood-prone neighborhoods as the latest forecasts predict that Hurricane Joaquin is likely not to make landfall, a spokesman for the city's disaster agency said Friday afternoon.

Those plans could be revived if the forecast changes, but for now the city's 64 shelters are expected to stay closed and officials won't order evacuations, said Omar Bourne, a spokesman for the Office of Emergency Management.

"We were ready to hit that button," Bourne said. "The track is going out, so we don't need to look to mobilize those shelters."

Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier in the day that the city is prepared regardless.

"As Yogi would have said, it ain't over until the fat lady sings," de Blasio told WNYC radio's Brian Lehrer. "So we're going to wait, obviously, for a while to be able to see more information."

Forecasters say that the East Coast would likely avoid a direct hit by Joaquin, a Category 4 storm battering the central Bahamas on Friday.

Atfter putting off his planned trip to Baltimore and Washington, D.C., later Friday and Saturday -- to attend a mayor's conference -- de Blasio has decided to go.

Lehrer pointed out that de Blasio had misquoted Yogi Berra, who died last month; the Yankee's aphorism actually is, "it ain't over till it's over."

Said de Blasio: "I'm sorry I've misquoted Yogi, and I apologize, but I will now take the opportunity to say my favorite Yogi quote, which is, '90 percent of this game is half mental.' "

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