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Hurricane Irene
5 years ago
| Surprise Me

Hurricane Irene is now on a path that could take it dangerously close to, if not over, the mid-Atlantic coastline and New York City on Sunday, posing a serious danger to millions of people.


Irene could be "once-in-50-year" hurricane for the Northeast.

The Hurricane Center is confident that Irene will strike the Outer Banks of North Carolina Saturday evening as a strong Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane.


Beyond that point, latest indications put Irene on a path extremely close to or over the mid-Atlantic coast and New York City before plowing into western New England. This could mean the worst effects from a hurricane in the region in 50 years.


Irene is expected to track near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva coast Saturday night, then could pass within 30 miles of New York City Sunday evening as a weakening Category 2 hurricane.


Such a path would lead to severe impacts that could prompt officials to force evacuations. All residents and visitors in the path of Irene should heed these orders if issued and prepare homes and businesses for Irene's onslaught in the meantime.


On its current forecast path, Irene would spread destructive hurricane-force winds (gusts between 80 to 100 mph) across the Delmarva coast, eastern New Jersey, New York City, western Long Island and southwestern New England.

A track directly over Atlantic City, N.J., and New York City would bring these intense winds westward to Philadelphia.

The strongest and most sustained hurricane-force winds will be measured in the immediate vicinity of Irene's center.

Widespread tree damage, major power outages and structural damage to buildings and homes would ensue. Glass windows could shatter along the sides of New York City skyscrapers.


Damaging tropical storm-force winds (winds between 40 and 70 mph) will extend 150 miles westward and nearly 250 miles eastward from Irene's center.

These winds will likely reach Richmond, Va., Baltimore, Md., Philadelphia, Pa., Albany, N.Y., and nearly all of New England, threatening to cause significant tree damage and power outages.

The winds will have no trouble downing trees where recent flooding and record rainfall has saturated the ground in areas such as Philadelphia and New York City.


Irene will also cause extremely rough surf to pound the entire mid-Atlantic and New England coastline with severe beach erosion and significant coastal flooding an almost certain guarantee.

A flooding storm surge will further inundate the coastline.

Yachts and boats docked along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts should be moved to higher ground if possible.

The worst case scenario in terms of flooding storm surge for New York City and the mid-Atlantic coast would be Irene tracking directly overhead or slightly to the west.


Places along and west of the center will be subject to Irene's heaviest rain.

The current path of Irene puts places from eastern North Carolina to eastern Pennsylvania, eastern New York and western New England at risk to receive 4 to 8 inches of rainfall with locally higher totals.

That rain alone will trigger widespread flooding issues, but is extremely concerned for serious flood problems where recent heavy rain has already saturated the ground.

The drainage systems in Philadelphia and New York City are sure to get overwhelmed.


"Since a small jog to the west or east would lead to a huge difference in impacts, [ meteorologists] suggest monitoring this situation closely," cautioned Hurricane and Tropical Weather Expert Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski to all residents and visitors in the mid-Atlantic and New England.


If Irene tracks more to the west than currently expected, more of the mid-Atlantic and New York State will be subject to its severe impacts.

It is not totally out of the question that Irene tracks farther eastward than currently forecast. Such a track would shift the zone of flooding rain farther eastward and cause eastern New England to endure the brunt of Irene's destructive winds and coastal flooding.


5 years ago

Hey all, just hunkering down here for the big event.   Some towns in South Jersey as well as North Jersey and lower lying areas of New York (Zone 8) have mandatory evacuations going on.  Atlantic City is closing the casino's (you know it must be big).  Tolls have been suspended on the Garden State Parkway which is an evacuation route (again, you know it must be big, for those roads to be free )


One of the big problems is, we have had so much rain recently that the grounds are saturated, tree root systems compromised.  I worry about the trees coming down.


Anyway, I am preparing as best as one can, and will let you know how it flows along.


Be well all.......



5 years ago

Be safe Suzanne,and keep us posted!

5 years ago

Suzanne, what David said.  Stay safe



5 years ago

Make sure you have lots of supplies!& Stay safe!

5 years ago

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) - Hurricane Irene opened its assault on the Eastern Seaboard on Saturday by lashing the North Carolina coast with wind topping 90 mph and pounding shoreline homes with waves. Farther north, authorities readied a massive shutdown of trains and airports, with 2 million people ordered out of the way.

The center of the storm passed over North Carolina's Outer Banks for its official landfall just after 6:30 a.m. CDT. The hurricane's vast reach traced the East Coast from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to just below Cape Cod.

Irene weakened slightly, with sustained winds down to 85 mph from about 100 a day earlier, making it a Category 1, the least threatening on the scale. Parts of North Carolina recorded gusts as high as 94, however.

Hurricane-force winds arrived near Jacksonville, N.C., at first light, and wind-whipped rain lashed the resort town of Nags Head. Tall waves covered the beach, and the surf pushed as high as the backs of some of the houses and hotels fronting the strand.

At least two piers on the Outer Banks were wiped out, the roof of a car dealership was ripped away, and a hospital in Morehead City that was running on generators. In all, about 240,000 people were without power on the East Coast.

"I'm not taking any chances," said Susan Kinchen, who showed up at a shelter at a North Carolina high school with her daughter and 5-month-old granddaughter. She said they felt unsafe in their trailer. Kinchen, from Louisiana, said she was reminded of how Hurricane Katrina peeled the roof of her trailer there almost exactly six years ago, on Aug. 29, 2005.

In the Northeast, unaccustomed to tropical weather of any strength, authorities made plans to bring the basic structures of travel grinding to a halt. The New York City subway, the largest in the United States, was making its last runs at noon, and all five area airports were accepting only a few final hours' worth of flights.

The New York transit system carries 5 million people on weekdays, fewer on weekends, and has never been shut for weather. Transit systems in New Jersey and Philadelphia also announced plans to shut down. Washington declared a state of emergency, days after it had evacuated for an earthquake.

New York City ordered 300,000 people to leave low-lying areas, including the Battery Park City neighborhood at the southern tip of Manhattan, the beachfront Rockaways in Queens and Coney Island in Brooklyn. But it was not clear how many people would get out, or how they would do it.

"How can I get out of Coney Island?" said Abe Feinstein, 82, who has lived for half a century on the eighth floor of a building overlooking the boardwalk. "What am I going to do? Run with this walker?"

Authorities in New York said they would not arrest people who chose to stay, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned on Friday: "If you don't follow this, people may die."

In all, evacuation orders covered about 2.3 million people, including 1 million in New Jersey, 315,000 in Maryland, 300,000 in North Carolina, 200,000 in Virginia and 100,000 in Delaware. Authorities and experts said it was probably the most people ever threatened by a single storm in the United States.

Forecasters said the core of Irene would roll up the mid-Atlantic coast Saturday night and over southern New England on Sunday.

North of the Outer Banks, the storm pounded the Hampton Roads region of southeast Virginia, a jagged network of inlets and rivers that floods easily. Emergency officials there were less worried about the wind and more about storm surge, the high waves that accompany a hurricane. Gas stations there were low on fuel, and grocery stores scrambled to keep water and bread on the shelves.

In Delaware, Gov. Jack Markell ordered an evacuation of coastal areas on the peninsula that the state shares with Maryland and Virginia. In Atlantic City, N.J., all 11 casinos announced they would shut down for only the third time since gambling became legal there 33 years ago.

In Baltimore's Fells Point, one of the city's oldest waterfront neighborhoods, people filled sandbags and placed them at building entrances. A few miles away at the Port of Baltimore, vehicles and cranes continued to unload huge cargo ships that were rushing to offload and get away from the storm.

A steady rain fell on the boardwalk at Ocean City, Md., where a small amusement park was shut down and darkened - including a ride called the Hurricane. Businesses were boarded up, many painted with messages like "Irene don't be mean!"

Charlie Koetzle, 55, who has lived in Ocean City for a decade, came to the boardwalk in swim trunks and flip-flops to look at the sea. While his neighbors and most everyone else had evacuated, Koetzle said he told authorities he wasn't leaving. To ride out the storm, he had stocked up with soda, roast beef, peanut butter, tuna, nine packs of cigarettes and a detective novel.

Of the storm, he said: "I always wanted to see one."

"How can I get out of Coney Island?" said Abe Feinstein, 82, who has lived for half a century on the eighth floor of a building overlooking the boardwalk. "What am I going to do? Run with this walker?"


So they're not providing transportation for those who want to leave but lack the means to do so?

5 years ago

Well, we got out of North Carolina (visit to grandma's) just in time to get back here to New Jersey and clear out the yard in prep for the hurricane.


My husband was in nyc this morning and literally missed the last train out (before the transit shut down) by two minutes. Luckily, he was able to get car service back home just in time to watch me move the last of the kid's toys, patio furniture and potted veggie/flower plants to the basement and garage!!

5 years ago

Hey Rebecca (my lil' sis) been thinking of you.  First, may I wish you a very happy belated birthday.  Hope you enjoyed it.


Stay safe, looks like Irene is in the house.  My street and yard are already flooding.  Bad, bad news.....

5 years ago

Stay safe, Suzanne!!!!!

5 years ago

Rebecca!  And Suzanne-  Hope things went OK for both of you.  

5 years ago

Thanks, Suzanne and Nancy!

Suzanne, I hope your flooding is not too bad by you!!


We did really well through the hurricane. No flooding, our basement is dry, no power outages. The tree in our front yard lost a branch, but that's all. We were very lucky. Other parts of town and surrounding towns got hit bad, epecially over by the Raritan River.


This hurricane was a walk in the park for us compared to the time we were trapped in Jamaica during hurrican Ivan. That was scary! But that was a much more powerful hurricane.


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