News about Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene is expected to go ashore near the border of Nassau County and Queens at about 9 a.m., threatening some 80.000 homes worth more than 35 billion dollars with storm surge – forecasters and analysts said. Irene may still be a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of at least 74 miles – 119 kilometers – per hour, when its center makes landfall on its way toward Canada, said Tim Morrin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, New York. The storm (packing as much as 20 inches of rain) will hit near the time when tides are high across much of the region, according to published tide tables.
“With the storm surge and the amount of water it brings, the most important aspect is to just evacuate” – said Scott Little, vice president and general manager of CoreLogic Inc. Spatial Solutions in Austin, Texas. “I don’t see a lot of change between now and the time it hits. Obviously, the lower the storm surge, the lower the damage.”
Hurricane Irene made its first landfall early yesterday on North Carolina’s outer banks, flooding roads and knocking out power to more than a million homes and businesses – according to local utilities. Five storm-related deaths have been reported.
Irene weakened as it crossed land, although it remains a Category 1 storm with winds of 80 mph. The storm was about 195 miles south-southwest of New York City, and was causing water levels to rise from Maryland to New York, according to a center advisory at 2 a.m. New York time.

News about Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene.

For once, this was a city that slept.
Hurricane Irene bore down on a dark and quiet New York early Sunday, bringing winds and rapidly rising seawater that threatened parts of the city. The rumble and squeal of the subway system was silenced for the first time in years, the city all but shut down for the strongest tropical lashing since the 1980′s.
Irene weakened after landfall over the North Carolina coast Saturday, but it was still a massive storm with sustained winds of up to 80 mph as it approached Manhattan. Even worse, Irene’s fury could coincide with a tide that’s higher than normal. Water levels were expected to rise as much as 8 feet.
Forecasters said there was a chance a storm surge on the fringes of Lower Manhattan could send seawater streaming into the maze of underground vaults that hold the city’s cables and pipes. Knocking out power to thousands and crippling the nation’s financial capital. Officials’ worst fear was water lapping at Wall Street, ground zero and the luxury high-rise apartments of Battery Park City. A tornado warning was briefly issued for the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens early Sunday.
In Times Square, shops boarded up windows and sandbags were stacked outside of stores. Construction at the World Trade Center site came to a standstill.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered more than 370,000 people out of low-lying areas (mostly in lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens). Only 8,700 people checked-in to shelters and an untold number defied the order.

4:10 AM.
Hurricane Irene is now being blamed for at least 8 deaths across the east coast. Forecasters say – Irene is expected to stay a hurricane as it draws its next bead on land, even though the storm will be over cooler water.
The next landfall is expected near Long Island, N.Y., about midday today.
The National Hurricane Center says water levels are rising from Irene’s storm surge. New York City is waiting for the storm without its usual hustle and bustle. The city is all but shut down with empty streets and subways making for an eerie quiet.
2 million homes and businesses have no electricity.
Irene is also almost certain to be a travelers’ nightmare as airlines will need time to bring operations back to normal – after canceling thousands of weekend flights and some on Monday. Train and bus service has also been curtailed.
Hurricane warnings extend to Nantucket, Mass.

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