East Coast Braces For Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene's projected path

This post has been updated to reflect ongoing developments.
Irene heading to North Carolina first
Dale Eck, Director of the Global Forecast Center, The Weather Channel
Aug 26,  2011 7:31 am ET
– Hurricane Irene poses an extraordinary threat and is one that no one has yet experienced from North Carolina to the mid_Atlantic to the Northeast to New England.- Hurricane Irene is a high end category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale; however, Irene is expected to re-strengthen into a category 3 storm.- As of 5 a.m. Eastern Time Friday, the center of Hurricane Irene is located about 420 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, has winds near 110 miles per hour, and was moving to the north at 14 miles per hour.- Some of the outer rain bands from Irene will brush FL, GA, and SC coasts Friday into Friday night.

– Rain and wind will increase steadily from northeast SC and the coast of NC Friday afternoon with hurricane conditions likely along the eastern NC coast later Friday night.

– The center of Irene is expected to make landfall as a borderline category 2 or 3 hurricane Saturday morning in eastern North Carolina, most likely between Morehead City and Hatteras, but tropical storm conditions are possible as far inland as I-95 in North Carolina, with hurricane conditions possible as far as 40 miles from the coast.

– Hurricane conditions are expected for much of Saturday along the Outer Banks, with parts of Highway 12 likely to be washed out from storm surge and waves on top of that surge.

– Rain and wind will begin to pick up in eastern Virginia late tonight and on Saturday and then up to MD, DE, and souther NJ Saturday.  Hurricane conditions possible along the coast, with tropical storm conditions possible as far inland as I-95.

– Hurricane conditions are likely on Saturday night for the Delmarva Peninsula, NJ and even extreme southeast PA Saturday night.  Inland sections from Baltimore and DC to eastern PA can expect tropical storm conditions and heavy rain.

– The New York metropolitan area will experience the worst conditions later Saturday night and Sunday with hurricane conditions possible along with destructive wind, heavy flooding rain, and storm surge with coastal flooding.  Tropical storm conditions expected western NJ and the upstate of NY up the Hudson River Valley.

– Irene will race through New England Sunday and Sunday night, and could still bring some hurricane conditions.

– Conditions in the Mid-Atlantic, up through southeast NY, NJ, and New England are expected to be unlike what many have experienced in these areas with extreme gusty winds, flooding rains, and coastal flooding.

– Flooding and wind-related damage (including downed trees, limbs, power lines, power outages, roof, window, and siding damage) can be expected from North Carolina to New England by the time Irene moves away on Monday.

– Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, and from Little River Inlet (near the North Carolina/South Carolina border) northward to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, including the Albemarle, Pamlico, and Currituck Sounds, Delaware Bay, and Chesapeake Bay south of Smith Point.

– Hurricane watches are in effect from north of Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to the mouth of the Merrimack River (near the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border), including Long Island, Long Island Sound, Block Island, Martha?s Vineyard, and Nantucket.

– Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the South Carolina Coast from Edisto Beach north to Little River Inlet (near the North Carolina border), and Chesapeake Bay north of Smith Point and the Tidal Potomac.

– Additional watches and warnings are expected up the coast into New England at some point today.

– Stay tuned to The Weather Channel and log onto weather.com for the latest information.

“Residents of Florida and the southeastern U.S. should be keeping their eyes on this storm and have their hurricane supplies ready now,” hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen says. “No one wants to be standing in line at the hardware store when a storm hits.”

Be Prepared!
During a hurricane, and possibly for days or even weeks afterward, electricity and other utilities might not be available. Debris and/or water might block the roads, preventing vehicles from getting in our out of your neighborhood. Help might not reach you for days after the hurricane, so you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient during that period.

Here are some of the most critical supplies to have on hand, well before a hurricane threatens:

  • At least a 3-day and preferably a 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Non-perishable food
  • Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies
  • Manual can opener
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Toiletries
  • Cell phones and battery-powered cell phone chargers
  • Battery-powered radios and flashlights
  • Plenty of batteries
  • Extra cash
  • Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if evacuating)

Expect power outages, no running water, and boil water alerts!  I recommend filling your bathtub(s) up with water and adding a 5% chlorine bleach that you would find in the laundry room. Preferably you have a fresh, unopened bottle you have been saving for the occasion. You can add 8 drops (1/8 of a teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water, or 2 drops per liter of water, cap it, shake it and let it sit an hour. It won’t kill some parasites, but it will kill most everything else in the water.

If you have an unopened bottle of iodine tablets, you can use them to clean contaminated water as well. The directions on the bottle will tell you what to do. Iodine tablets spoil in a few months after the bottle is opened.

Do this before the storm hits. If you have a swimming pool, water can be used and filtered through a carbon block filter, Multi-Pure water filters DO NOT NEED ELECTRICITY! Dont be stuck without clean water.  I’m serious here folks. What if all the bottled water is sold out in the stores? Be Prepared!  Hurry, while there is still time!

More Hurricane Preparedness Articles:
Prepare for a Tropical Storm or Hurricane
Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings
When a Hurricane Threatens
WeatherReady – Protect Your Home from Hurricanes