New York, Connecticut join N.C., Va., Md. and N.J. In Declaring State Of Emergency, Irene Evacuations
State Of Emergencies Issued Across The 6 North East States As Strong Irene Cyclone Expected To Strengthen Over Next 24 Hours Heads Directly Toward The North Carolina Coastline
- Intense Cyclone Heading Directly Toward North Carolina Expected To Strengthen Over Next 24 Hours As Central Pressure Gradually Drops
- 8 injured by rough ocean in Fla.
- Millions told to evacuate in N.C., Md., N.J., Va. areas.
- 65 Million People Threatened Along Eastern Seaboard
- 150,000 evacuated from North Carolina’s Outer Banks
- 1 Million Residents Told To Evacuate Cape May County in NJ
- NYC orders hospitals, nursing homes in low-lying areas to evacuate; further evacuations possible.
- New York, Connecticut join N.C., Va., Md. and N.J. in declaring state of emergency.
- Hurricane warning issued along all N.C. coast ahead of projected 10 foot Storm Surge
- Hundreds of homes destroyed in Bahamas
- Navy clears ships ahead of storms
- FEMA prepares to deal with carnage
- Worst Case Scenario Playing Out As Irene Eyewall follows up I-95 corridor
Pictures: NOAA handout satellite image of Hurricane Irene
During high tourist season, 150,000 visitors and 30,000 residents have been ordered off the North Carolina Outer Banks, as Hurricane Irene is projected to hit North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. NBC’s Mark Potter reports from Nags Head, N.C.
Hurricane Irene took an ominous turn westward Thursday, putting cities along the East Coast in its cross-hairs as it grew to Category 3 force. The shift puts Atlantic City, New York and Long Island in the powerful storm’s path as it barrels toward the U.S. First landfall is expected Saturday in North Carolina and projections show the storm cutting through New England on Sunday. As many as 150,000 tourists were evacuated Thursday from North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
Evacuation orders later spread to parts of New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and New York, as governors of each state joined North Carolina in declaring states of emergency to marshal federal resources ahead of the storm’s landfall. Officials postponed Sunday’s planed dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in D.C indefinitely. In South Florida, eight people on a jetty were injured by a wave churned up by Irene.
Evacuation orders widened Thursday to include parts of Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and more North Carolina counties after the forecast for Irene took a turn for the worse. In Florida, eight people were reported injured by rough waves stirred up by the menacing hurricane.
The massive storm was now expected to track farther inland, threatening 65 million people along a shore-hugging path along the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina to New England.
In South Florida, eight people were out on a jetty off Boynton Beach Inlet when a wave churned up by the outer bands of Irene knocked them over, Palm Beach County officials said. One person was taken to a hospital; seven others were treated at the scene.
Up the coast in Jupiter, a man swimming in the ocean and couldn’t be found right away. However, officials say he later was able to get ashore.
Latest Hurricane Irene National Hurricane Center – NOAA Forecast Discussion:
Hurricane IRENE Forecast Discussion
TWO HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT…ONE AIR FORCE AND ONE NOAA…ARE AGAIN TONIGHT SUPPLYING VERY VALUABLE METEOROLOGICAL DATA TO THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER. BOTH PLANES INDICATE THAT THE CENTRAL PRESSURE IS GRADUALLY FALLING AND IS NOW NEAR 942 MB…BUT THE WINDS HAVE NOT INCREASED YET. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS KEPT AT 100 KNOTS AT THIS TIME. IRENE HAS MOVED AWAY FROM THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS AND IS NOW OVER OPEN WATERS. THE EYE HAS BECOME A LITTLE BETTER DEFINED ON SATELLITE AND MICROWAVE IMAGERY AND IT APPEARS THAT THE EYEWALL IS CONTRACTING. GIVEN THE CURRENT STRUCTURE AND THE WARM WATERS ALONG THE TRACK OF THE HURRICANE…SOME STRENGTHENING IS INDICATED DURING THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS. A SLOW WEAKENING SHOULD BEGIN THEREAFTER…BUT IRENE IS EXPECTED TO APPROACH THE COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA A POWERFUL HURRICANE. IN FACT…THE HIGH RESOLUTION ECMWF SHOWS A VERY INTENSE CYCLONE APPROACHING THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST.
SATELLITE AND RECONNAISSANCE FIXES INDICATE THAT IRENE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH OR 350 DEGREES AT 12 KNOTS. THE HURRICANE IS ALREADY ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE AND IS READY TO INTERACT WITH SOUTH-SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW AHEAD OF THE THE APPROACHING MID-LATITUDE TROUGH. IRENE HAS NOWHERE TO GO BUT NORTHWARD WITH A GRADUAL TURN TO THE NORTH-NORTHEAST AFTER THE CENTER CROSSES OR PASSES NEAR THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST. THE TRACK GUIDANCE HAS BEEN VERY CONSISTENT AND CONTINUES TO BE TIGHTLY CLUSTERED…GIVING NO REASON TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE TO THE OFFICIAL FORECAST. GIVEN THE CURRENT FORECAST…IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO ADJUST THE U.S. WATCHES AND WARNINGS AT THIS TIME.
State Of Emergency Issued In Delaware:
Delaware Governor Jack Markell has issued a State of Emergency for Delaware. Visitors should plan to evacuate beginning at 6 this evening. As for residents, that will be determined later.
Governor Markell says shelters will open tomorrow morning and 1500 Delaware National Guard troops are being activated.
The bridges over the C & D Canal will be closed on both Rts 1 & 13 if winds top 40mph there. Also the Indian River Inlet Bridge will be closed at some time.
Governor Orders Visitors to Leave Delaware and Urges Residents to Evacuate
Hurricane Irene “Serious Threat” to Delaware
As of 6:00 p.m. a State of Emergency is issued for the state of Delaware and Governor Jack Markell has ordered a mandatory evacuation of visitors (non-residents) along Delaware’s coastal areas and is strongly urging residents with the ability to leave beach communities to depart as soon as practically possible and take shelter with friends or family inland. Given the track and intensity of Hurricane Irene, mandatory evacuations of coastal area residents are highly likely. The Emergency Order is pasted below.
Shelters in the state will open tomorrow morning and a list of shelters will be issued this evening.
During a 4:45 p.m. news conference with reporters, the Governor made the remarks available here.
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR THE STATE OF DELAWARE AND MANDATORY EVACUATION OF COASTAL AREAS
WHEREAS, over the last 24 hours, forecasts from the National Hurricane Center have moved the projected track of Hurricane Irene closer and closer to the Delaware shoreline, with the most recent forecasts projecting that the center of the hurricane will pass along Delaware’s coast; and
WHEREAS, Hurricane Irene is expected to cause heavy rain, severe winds, high tides and flooding, and has the potential to inflict significant damage and create unusually dangerous conditions in the State of Delaware; and
WHEREAS, the effects of this storm system threaten public safety; and
WHEREAS, it is necessary to pre-stage and potentially deploy resources and assets of the Delaware National Guard in anticipation of responding to any such threat to public safety; and
WHEREAS, based upon evidence presented to me by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (“DEMA”), I have found that there is an imminent threat of an emergency in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare a State of Emergency for New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware effective Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 6:00 PM EDT and lasting until further notice. The nature of the emergency is the imminent threat of flooding and other potentially dangerous effects caused by Hurricane Irene. Along with such other actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, I hereby order that:
1. All non-residents located in the following areas (“Evacuation Areas”) shall evacuate, effective immediately:
Prime Hook Beach
All other locations within three-quarters of a mile of a major waterway in eastern Sussex County, including Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay, Little Assawoman Bay, and Pepper Creek.
Woodland Beach Area
South Bowers Beach
All other locations within three-quarters of a mile of a major waterway in eastern Kent County.
2. All residents of the Evacuation Areas who have the ability to evacuate are urged to do so as soon as possible. All persons are advised that they should not enter the Evacuation Areas unless necessary to support the evacuation.
3. I hereby reserve the right to add areas to the Evacuation Areas and otherwise modify the scope of the evacuation without further written order. The list of designated evacuation areas and shelters shall be maintained by DEMA and posted to the DEMA website.
4. All Departments and Agencies of the State of Delaware shall assist in such response, recovery and sheltering activities as may be required in the areas of New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties affected by the storm system. Such efforts shall be directed by and in coordination with DEMA.
5. All Departments and Agencies of the State of Delaware shall work with county and municipal governments to designate evacuation areas and location of shelters.
6. Upon request by local authorities in impacted areas of New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County, the Delaware National Guard shall take such precautionary or responsive actions as shall be directed by the Director of DEMA, in consultation with the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security.
7. Effective immediately, state and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in the State of Delaware at the expense of the vehicle owner. Driving is not restricted at this time; however, residents are advised that driving restrictions may be put into place as conditions warrant.
8. The Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware State Police, in consultation with DEMA and the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, are hereby authorized to order such bridge and road closures as necessary to protect the health and safety of the public.
9. DEMA shall activate the State Emergency Operations Plan and cooperate with federal authorities, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency in making application, if necessary for relief and assistance for those towns and communities adversely affected by this emergency, pursuant to the Delaware Emergency Operations Plan and any potentially applicable federal disaster or emergency relief laws, including but not limited to the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
10. Government entities subject to bidding requirements are exempted from those bidding requirements for the purpose of purchasing materials necessary for responding to this emergency.
11. I hereby reserve the right to take, or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.
Approved this 25th day of August, 2011, at 6:00 PM EDT
Governor Jack Markell