Earlier today, a man pulled his luggage up Wall Street — one of the low-lying areas — in Manhattan.
Hoping to convince anyone who is ignoring the mandatory evacuation orders for those living in New York City's low-lying areas, Mayor Michael Bloomberg just warned that if anyone hasn't already moved to higher ground, "you have to start right now."
The Obama administration is considering several new ideas to help shore up the struggling housing market. As first reported by The New York Times this week, one proposal would allow homeowners with government-backed mortgages to refinance them at the current, lower interest rates. Host Scott Simon talks with Columbia University's Christopher Mayer, who helped introduce the mortgage refinancing proposal in 2008.
SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Hurricane Irene has arrived. The storm has already struck parts of North Carolina. Some 200,000 people there are without power. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urged caution as Irene moves up the East Coast.
Secretary JANET NAPOLITANO (HOMELAND SECURITY): Irene remains a large and dangerous storm. People need to take it seriously, people need to be prepared.
SCOTT SIMON, host: New York City officials have ordered the mandatory evacuation of roughly 370,000 people who live in low-lying areas of the city. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that everybody living there should be gone by 5 pm today.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Now, we've never done a mandatory evacuation before and we wouldn't be doing it now if we didn't think this storm had the potential to be very serious.