Flooding, wind damage expected up through New England
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Hurricane Irene hit the North Carolina coast as a Category 1 storm Saturday morning, with sustained winds of 85 mph damaging houses and piers along the shore. Heavy rains and a storm surge of several feet will continue to cause flooding in coastal areas and inland rivers.
The storm weakened just before it made landfall as dry air swirled into the core, but the size of the storm still left about 2 million people under evacuation orders up and down the Eastern Seaboard, where transportation will likely come to a standstill during the weekend, with major airports and transit systems shut down in many cities and towns. Although the winds have weakened, the storm continues to show a well-defined center and low atmospheric pressure of around 961 millibars Saturday morning.
Irene is forecast to maintain sustained winds of up to 70 mph for the next 36 hours as it moves up the coast toward New York City and New England, with widespread hurricane warnings now in effect. The National Hurricane Center warns that Irene is still expected to have significant impacts across New England, whether it’s classified as a weak hurricane or strong tropical storm, with damaging winds, a dangerous storm surge and flooding rains.
As of Saturday morning, hurricane warnings were in effect from North Carolina through Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay, New York City, Long Island Sound, coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Details on watches and warnings are updated online at the National Hurricane Center website.
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