Hurricane Irene Resources:
National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Ready.Gov Hurricane Preparedness: http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/hurricanes.html
Maps and Resources related to Hurricane Irene: http://crisislanding.appspot.com/
CNN Life Blog: Hurricane Irene warning issued for New York, surrounding coastal areas
- Hurricane Irene: What to expect over the next few hours
- CNN on the ground: Real Jersey shore in no hurry to evacuate; residents flee coast
- Hurricane Carol followed same path in '54
Current Hurricane Irene Related Events and News Updates:
[Updated 11:00 p.m.] New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said cats and dogs could be welcome in the emergency shelters set up for folks fleeing the storm.
“If you may have your pet bring them with you. … Nobody needs to be staying in their homes in an endangered location simply because they feel like they cannot bring their pets with them," Christie stated.
Mark Lavorgna, a mayoral spokesman, confirmed that pets are allowed inside the 91 emergency evacuation shelters set up in preparation for Hurricane Irene. But “we strongly, strongly argue against it,” he said. “We urge people today to bring their pets to buddies or familiy’s houses or shelters outside Zone A, but if people have to bring them they're able to,” stated Lavorgna. “They ought to come leashed and muzzled.”
[Updated 10:36 p.m.] North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the state was prepared but cautious. "We urge men and women to just be truly conscious. It does not sound like a huge storm right now - 50 mile-an-hour winds - but we think it's going to stay over our state 10 or 12 hours and that's where the dilemma becomes," she said.
Perdue then referenced reports of a bowl-shaped portion with the low-lying coastline which is in particular vulnerable to high waters.
"That bowl which you were talking about earlier full of water, it's going to dump somewhere, and when it dumps there's going to be a surge of water and who knows what'll happen," Perdue said.
Irene targets heavily populated, least ready urban areas
[Updated 10:23 p.m.] The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island might be closed Saturday via Monday mainly because of Hurricane Irene, based on Jane Ahern, public affairs chief with the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island.
All units with the Gateway National Recreation Location, Governor’s Island and all National Park web sites in Manhattan might be closed to visitors Saturday and Sunday, with a chance of opening Monday depending on storm harm and a safety assessment.
“The safety of our visitors and staff is our top priority at this time,” mentioned National Parks of New York Harbor Commissioner Maria Burkes. “Our park employees are currently working diligently to shield park resources per our Emergency Response Plans.”
[Updated 10:05 p.m.] Russell Honoré, the general renowned for his management with the federal government's military response to Hurricane Katrina, told CNN's Piers Morgan Friday night that local authorities had been suitable in calling for mass evacuations in low-lying locations along the Eastern Seaboard.
“I feel we have had a cultural shift in government mainly because, working with hurricanes for concerning the last 10 to 12 years while I was in uniform, local governments and governors had been reluctant to create that decision to evacuate mainly because of the impact [of what would happen] if they evacuated people as well as the storm didn’t come," he stated. "But the possibilities of not evacuating people, with the warnings that we have now as well as the accuracy of prediction, (it) wants to be accomplished,” Honoré stated.
[Updated 9:53 p.m.] Maryland's Martin O'Malley was 1 of many East Coast governors to declare a state of emergency in advance of the storm. Residents of low-lying locations inside the state were told to evacuate ahead of what the governor referred to as "a quite dangerous and potentially deadly hurricane."
The governor stated Friday that "anybody that thinks that this really is a typical hurricane and that they're able to just stick it out is becoming each selfish, stupid and also diverting vital public safety assets away from the task at hand, which is safeguarding lives and obtaining people today out with the way."
[Updated 9:40 p.m.] The Port Authority has announced the closing of 5 airports - JFK International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Teterboro and Stewart International - to all arriving passenger flights, international and domestic, beginning at noon Saturday.
[Updated 9:15 p.m.] Ed Rappaport, deputy director with the National Hurricane Center, spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper Friday night, stressing the strength and size of the storm heading toward the Northeast.
“For some folks this will be by far the most significant event maybe in 20 years from a tropical method,” Rappaport said.
He mentioned as opposed to typical storms that follow a similar trajectory and curve move toward the sea, Irene"s forecast track comes incredibly close towards the shore.
"That means all of the weather that's normally, in this case, worst to the east will probably be much closer to the metropolitan locations this time about," Rappaport said, "and actually will certainly hit the southern New England location and since you will find strong winds, high surge proper near the center of the storm, we'll see some of that along the East Coast as well."
[Updated 8:53 p.m.] “The core of the hurricane” was barreling toward the North Carolina coast Friday night, the National Weather Service stated in a bulletin. “The hurricane is forecast to move near or more than the Mid-Atlantic Coast Saturday night and move more than southern New England on Sunday.”
The weather service said maximum sustained winds would stay near 100 mph - a category two hurricane - and wouldn’t weaken until some time Sunday.
“Interests in southeastern Canada need to monitor the progress of Irene,” the weather service said.
[Updated 8:38 p.m.] The Giants-Jets game, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed until Monday, the NFL mentioned in a press release.
"Along with the NFL workplace as well as the Jets, we have closely monitored the hurricane plus the forecast and its prospective impact on our location for the past a number of days," stated Giants President and CEO John Mara. "After conferring with (New Jersey) Governor (Chris) Christie, (Jets owner) Woody Johnson and (NFL) Commissioner (Roger) Goodell, we have determined the very best course of action for the safety and properly getting of all is to move the game to Monday night."
[Updated 6:33 p.m.] With public transportation halted as a result of the incoming storm, all Broadway performances on Saturday and Sunday have already been canceled, in accordance with Paul Libin, chairman of the Broadway League.
“The safety and security of theatregoers and workers is everyone's main concern,” Libin stated. “As a result with the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation of Hurricane Irene, all performances is going to be cancelled on Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th.”
CNN on the ground: 'Good Night, Irene' and 'Go Away, Irene'
[Updated 6:08 p.m.] The mayor of Annapolis, Maryland, declared an emergency and announced that far more police officers will probably be on patrol in the city.
Police Chief Michael Pristoop warned residents to take police orders seriously. “Everyone needs to be ready for the worst," he said. "I encourage every person to evacuate the low-lying locations of Annapolis just before Saturday afternoon. Ensure that you secure your houses and belongings. When we start to really feel the impacts of the hurricane, everyone need to remain off the streets as wires and trees may well come down. Do not put your self in harm's way and don't put our emergency personnel in a position that could have been avoided."
[Updated 5:47 p.m.] President Barack Obama has declared an emergency in New York as the state and surrounding region brace for Hurricane Irene’s impact.
Obama’s order mobilizes the Department of Homeland Security and also the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and means federal aid will probably be used to buoy state and nearby relief efforts in preparation for the storm.
[Updated at five:00 p.m.] A hurricane warning has been issued from north of Sandy Hook to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts, including New York, Long Island, Long Island Sound, coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island, Block Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
President Obama: Irene most likely to be 'historic'
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ordered a mandatory evacuation — something he said the city had never done before — of coastal areas in all five boroughs, including all of the Rockaways; Battery Park City and the financial district in Lower Manhattan; and Governor’s Island. The evacuation covered 250,000 people in and around what the city calls Zone A low-lying areas who, the mayor said, should get out before the storm swept in.
Hurricane Irene will parallel the Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts Friday as it approaches a Saturday landfall in North Carolina.
Officials in counties and cities along much of the East Coast ordered evacuations.
Here are the latest developments:
[Updated at 4:34 p.m.] Greyhound said it has delayed or canceled several East Coast routes in preparation for the storm.
Some routes originating in New York; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Richmond, Virginia; Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, North Carolina, have been either pushed back or canceled, the company said on its website.
[Updated at 4:15 p.m.] The Red Cross plans to open shelters and dispatch more than 200 mobile feeding vehicles to the East Coast to aid people in the storm's path, the organization said on its website.
"The Red Cross is moving volunteers, vehicles and supplies, getting ready for a response effort that spans nearly the entire East Coast," Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, said in a statement on the site. "We want everyone in the storm's path to get ready as well by getting a disaster kit, making a family emergency plan, and listening to local officials regarding evacuations."
[Updated at 2:31 p.m.] Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said his city, which is under hurricane warning, will not order evacuations but urged residents, especially those in flood-prone areas, to use common sense and evacuate if necessary.
Significant localized flooding is expected, he said, as are power outages that could last for several hours or even days. He said the city will open three shelters Saturday evening with a maximum capacity to accommodate 6,000 people.
[Updated at 2:26 p.m.] The first family will accompany President Barack Obama when he departs Martha's Vineyard to return to Washington on Friday evening, a White House spokesman said.
[Updated at 2:21 p.m.] American Airlines has tentatively canceled all flights in the Washington area from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, said spokesman Ed Martelle. The airline has also canceled all flights at Raleigh-Durham International Airport scheduled for Saturday.
JetBlue has canceled almost 900 flights in the Northeast ahead of the storm. Most of those are Sunday and Monday flights out of the New York metro area and Boston, said spokesman Mateo Lleras.
[Updated at 2:10 p.m.] Hurricane Irene's winds have dropped to 100 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
As of 2 p.m., the service reported, the hurricane was about 300 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, moving north at 14 mph.
“You only have to look at the weather maps to understand how big this storm is and how unique it is,” the mayor said at a news conference, “and it’s heading basically for us.”
Underscoring what he and other officials said was the seriousness of the situation, President Obama granted a request from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York to declare the state a federal emergency even before the hurricane arrived, according to an official informed of the decision. This official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House had not made the announcement.
And the mayor’s announcement prompted a cacscade of cancellations for Saturday and Sunday: Broadway shows; the Mets’ games against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field; performances by the Dave Matthews Band on Governor’s Island, among many others. Officials said the subway shutdown was prompted mainly by wind estimates that suggested the hurricane could rock subway cars where they run above ground. The commuter rail lines that serve Long Island, Westchester County and Connecticut will also be shut down, as will commuter rail lines — but not buses — in New Jersey.