Hurricane Irene ripped through the Bahamas today inflicting major damage. Currently packing winds of 115MPH, moving NNW at 14MPH and listed as a category 3 storm, Irene is expected to skirt the east coast before slamming ashore in North Carolina. Water temperatures are about 80F and will only intensify the storm as she marches up the coast Land fall will come in the form of a direct hit on the town of Wilmington NC and on through Cape Hatteras on Friday. Irene is an extremely large storm and is the largest to threaten the US since Katrina six years ago. The Navy has ordered its ships, elements of the 2ND Fleet, out to sea leaving the port of Norfolk VA. The Governor of NJ, Chris Christie, has declared a state of emergency and mandatory evacuations of the Jersey shore. Mayor Bloomberg of NYC urged residents to prepare now. If Irene hits NYC it will be the first direct hit since 1893, and the worse since 1938 when this reporters mom remembers holding onto lamppost at the corner of Oliver and Madison Streets so as not be blown away. She was 10 years old and on her way home from school in lower Manhattan.
Irene is so large that while she punished the Bahamas her outer rain bans were lashing the Florida coast. Getting back to preparations, Michael Nutter, the Mayor of Philadelphia is telling residents to call 311 for information and instructions later today. The time line, just to clarify is that Irene hits NC as a Cat3 on Friday and continues up the coast hitting Atlantic City,NJ and Philadelphia,PA on Saturday. Then on Saturday afternoon and into Sunday she whips into NYC and New England as a potential Cat1. The Governor of Maryland has ordered a state of emergency. To reiterate, the following states are under declarations of a state of emergency: NJ,VA, NC and Maryland
This is a major hurricane and is potentially deadly. It should not be taken lightly. Extremely damaging winds, chances of tornadoes being spawned and torrential rains are a certainty. Up to 12 inches of rain are expected and flooding will occur. Power outages will occur and may last days. Communications will be down. Stay tuned to your local weather service and information from the National Hurricane Center. Pay attention to warnings issued by state governments.
It almost seems the earthquake that rocked the east coast was a warning to be prepared, a wake up call if you will.