Hurricane Sandy: Apple closes up to 50 stores, Google cancels Nexus media event, crisis maps

By , Oct 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy is piling up the water as it’s on track for a historic hit on the East Coast of the United States. President Obama has declared state of emergency in New York, suspending subway and bus service, closing schools on Monday and scheduling the Holland and Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to also close at 2pm today.

When it became clear that Sandy would make landfall on the East Coast, Google cancelled its previously scheduled October 29 press conference, postponing the launch of promising new Nexus smartphones and tablets. Dozens of Apple Stores along the East Coast will likely be affected, with many outlets taking precautionary measures in order to protect the products, store space itself and staffers. Several Apple Stores have also been spotted using sandbags as a precaution to protect their storefront from damage…

For our readers overseas who may not be aware of the destructive potential of this imminent storm, Sandy is now officially classed as a category-1 hurricane. It’s expected to bring life-threatening flooding to the US mid-Atlantic coast and hurricane-force winds from Virginia to Massachusetts, Monday evening and into Tuesday.

According to ifoAppleStore, a minimum of 35 Apple retail stores are located within the landfall prediction zone, as defined by the National Weather Service. Jake Smith of 9to5Mac points us to images on Twitter showing Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue Store in New York on lockdown as the hurricane approaches.

The storefront is being blocked off with sandbags. Inside the store, employees use plastic bags to protect MacBooks, iPads, iPhones and iPads from water damage.


Image via CNN producer Jonathan Wald

The Fifth Avenue store features a subterranean retail space, complicating the situation for staffers. No wonder Apple is thinking about temporarily closing this store.

According to the author:

We learned Apple Stores on the East Coast are warning its employees that stores may be closed Monday and Tuesday – depending how the weather pans out.

Here are the sanbags protecting the storefront of Apple’s retail store in Philadelphia.


Image via Vince Lattanzio

Google also cancelled its Android event due to Hurricane Sandy, providing this statement to The Verge:

We are canceling our Monday morning event in New York due to Hurricane Sandy. We will let you know our plans as soon as we know more.

Here’s live reporting on Hurricane Sandy as it impacts the East Coast, from The Weather Channel.

You can also visit the Google Crisis Map for latest on the Sandy, including  a river flood outlook, storm surge probabilities and the locations of evacuation routes and emergency shelters. Check out Google’s blog post for more info and useful links.

Also handy: an interactive map of Hurricane Sandy and Apple Stores, seen below.

To view this map on your own computer, download a Google Earth .kml file to your Mac or PC and double-click the file to display the map in the Google Earth app, which can be downloaded free of charge from Google here.

This map is basically a three-day prediction zone of the Hurricane Sandy and Apple store locations.

Seattle PI has a state-by-state look at this superstorm. You may also be interested in a new website called Instacane which follows Hurricane Sandy through the eyes of Instagram. Last but not the least, Cult of Mac has a nice list of seven apps that can help you survive Hurricane Sandy.

Everybody stay safe.

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  • jose castro

    you know there really not a lot of sandbags if this storm goes crazy.. im sure there will be a lot more water.

  • RarestName

    I was so disappointed when I found out that the event was cancelled.

    • Metroview

      Even though the spelling isn’t right, your first name suits you really well. I’m sure you have better things to do rather than refresh iDB every 5 minutes waiting for an article to pop up just to troll.

      Grow up.

      • RarestName

        1. I feel offended. That’s my birth name and you are one of the cyberbullies who make fun of it. Yeah, real mature. And guess what? That’s not my first name. The two words together are my first name and translated from a language that you will never ever understand because you think that the world only revolves around English and English names. I’ve changed my name to something simpler so that your brain can understand how to read it because it is in English.

        2. How is this trolling? I AM disappointed of that event being cancelled. I am extremely excited for the release of the next Nexus phone and because of that, I am a troll?

        3. Why don’t YOU grow up and stop assuming that every single comment that talks about something other than Apple is a troll. Read the title. It clearly has the topic that my comment was about.

        4. I don’t refresh iDB every 5 minutes, it’s just that the articles popped up when I loaded to the page.

        5. Grow up? You should pretty much do that, because your Disqus activity is full of sarcastic comments bashing other people and calling them Fandroids, trolls and idiots for NO reasonable explanation at all.

        6. Have a nice day.

      • ic0dex

        @Rarestname Boo Yaaaa… Nicely said.

      • ic0dex

        @Metroview You mad bro? Slap yourself so you can feel a bit better about yourself, chump!

  • http://www.facebook.com/karl.kurtz.7 Karl Kurtz

    I just barricaded my house with sandbags. The eye of the storm is going to pass directly over me :/

    • jose castro

      well man good luck with everything.. and anyone else who is on here…. i will pray for you guys..

    • http://twitter.com/Pitchy Pitchy

      As one who grew up in Georgia and Florida… I know that feeling man. Good luck! When I was in the Navy and in Virginia Beach, I made a lot of sand bags during hurricanes. Be safe!

      • jose castro

        i amen to that.. i grew up in Puerto Rico and my childhood was in fort laderdale Florida and Atlanta Georgia… i remember when el nino took my satellite dish.. bastarrrdddssss

    • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

      good luck Karl I hope you stay safe, I am around 100 miles away from the eye and things are already getting really bad, so it must be horrible were you live.

      • http://www.facebook.com/karl.kurtz.7 Karl Kurtz

        Thanks everyone! It’s starting to get pretty intense now. And the storm isn’t even here yet. Stay safe guys and girls!

    • photons

      yeah, I pray for you guys. good luck. stay safe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kiefferbp Brian Kieffer

    I’m gonna get you Dirty Dan!

    • Reneiver

      Nuh uh, imma get you first pinhead Larry!

  • Guest

    crisis map by google .. the link shows 404

  • http://twitter.com/_djabrown _djabrown

    How ironic that the 5th Avenue store would be a relatively safe place (save for all the glass, of course), since it’s essentially a basement…

  • Anirudh

    For those who are getting 404 for the Google Crisis Map – the url was 2012-sandy, not sandy-2012:

    http://google.org/crisismap/2012-sandy

    • http://www.iDownloadBlog.com Sebastien

      Fixed. Thank you

  • http://www.facebook.com/dana.goldeneye Dana Mohammed

    god help all the people in the storm and we as the islamic nation are watching and realy worried about our brothers in this crisis and we are praying for all the people of usa

  • ic0dex

    I hope everyone is safe on the east cost and please listen to the local authorities. If they ask you to evacuate please leave and don’t stay behind. Good luck to everyone!

  • Roman

    …Zibreg, you owe me lot of money!! I don’t care if you use drugs or what, I just want my money back! I’m tired of chasing you, pick up the phone and send me my money back!! R.

  • Cesar D

    But Sandy is not considered an hurricane now, Sandy has lost their tropical characteristics

    Apple please Return those Apple Stores.

    And google, GTFO

    • pawfyd

      Cesar, GTFO. Noone needs haters here.