Hurricane Irene killed last night at least ten people, including two children, as the storm hit North Carolina and Virginia. More than 2 million people from South Carolina to Maryland were without power as the giant 580-mile-wide storm brought widespread flooding and high winds that knocked down power lines.
Meanwhile Irene’s power was downgraded to category 1, but as it approached New York, forecasts warned it would hit the city at or near hurricane strength.
According to the National Weather Service, conditions were ripe for tornadoes in the city, Long Island and southern Connecticut, as twisters were reported touching down in Delaware and Maryland.
In Maryland, officials warned of a potential dam failure late on Saturday, they warned “may cause significant flooding that could threaten people, homes and roads downstream from the St. Mary’s Lake Dam”.
Hurricane Irene path along East Coast
St Mary’s County Government urged residents in the immediate downstream area to move family and pets upstairs or to a high place with a means of escape.
Deaths due to hurricane Irene included two children, an 11-year-old boy in Virginia, killed when a tree crashed through his roof and another child from North Carolina, who died in a crash at an intersection where traffic lights were out.
Another man in Onslow County, North Carolina, suffered a heart attack and died while boarding up his windows, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Hurricane Irene killed last night at least ten people, including two children, as the storm hit North Carolina and Virginia, and more than 2 million people from South Carolina to Maryland were without power
A man in Nash County was killed outside his house after he was struck by a tree limb picked up by the strong winds.
An identified man, who went to feed his animals outside his Nashville, North Carolina home, was killed by a tree or branch which fell on him.
In Florida, a surfer was killed when he was knocked off his board at New Smyrna Beach, where surfers had flocked to take advantage of 10-foot waves.
Other two people died in car accidents in North Carolina on Saturday night as a result of the hurricane.
Another man died in Chesterfield County, Virginia, after a tree fell on his home.
In Queenstown, Maryland, a woman died after a tree knocked a chimney through the roof of her home, crushing her.
Sandbags laid down in Manhattan which will be used to control possible floods
Tornadoes were reported touching down in Delaware and Maryland.
In Lewes, Delaware, Governor Jack Markell said at least 17 homes had been damaged by a twister. In total, up to 40 houses were damaged in the town because of the storm.
The National Weather Service reported a tornado touching down in Nassau Station, Delaware, and Maryland State Police said there was an apparent tornado on the lower Eastern Shore of the state.
Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor raised the number of National Guard soldiers deployed to New York City to 1,900.
The soldiers, who have been mobilized from across the state, will assist with traffic control on bridges and tunnels, sandbagging operations at the World Trade Center site, evacuation shelter operations in New York, the construction of barriers for railway yards and train tunnels, and other hurricane emergency efforts.
Hurricane Irene came ashore near North Carolina’s Cape Lookout around 7:30am EDT, and then chugged up the coast on a north-northeast track.
Irene stirred up 7 feet waves, and forecasts warned of storm-surge danger on the coasts of Virginia and Delaware, along the Jersey Shore and in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound.
Hurricane Irene hit Atlantic beach of North Carolina and one man was killed outside his home this morning.
The man was hit by a tree limb that blew down while he was walking around his house this morning in a rural area of Nash County, where winds were roaring at more than 60 mph, county Emergency Management Director Brian Brantley told the Associated Press.
Hurricane Irene hit Atlantic Beach, Cape Fear and the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Category 1 winds and rain and made landfall in Nags Head, North Carolina.
Hurricane Irene hit Atlantic Beach, Cape Fear and the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Category 1 winds and rain and made landfall in Nags Head
The center of hurricane hit the coast of North Carolina near Cape Lookout with Category 1-force winds of 85 mph.
Hurricane warnings for the next 48 hours have been issued for North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Until now, eastern North Carolina has already seen three tornadoes in the past few days, and the majority of the state and areas of Maryland and Virginia are under tornado watches through Sunday.
Stacy town, on the coast of North Carolina, is seeing 93 mph wind gusts this morning.
The far end of the fishing pier in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina collapsed overnight.
The 100-foot long pier is still standing, but its end has disappeared into the ocean.
About 200,000 homes in North Carolina are experiencing power outages, according to Power Energy.
Winds up to 85 mph have ripped power lines from their poles, causing many of the shortages.
“Our crews are restoring service as quickly as possible, where it is safe to do so,” Power Energy tweeted.
The hardest hit areas were Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
[googlead tip=”patrat_mare”]At least 7 states – North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Connecticut – declared emergencies as Hurricane Irene massively advances toward US Eastern Seaboard.
North Carolina is likely to take the first blow, according to officials.
Hurricane Irene advances toward the Eastern Seaboard with 115-mph winds and officials issued a hurricane warning for the entire North Carolina coast to the Virginia border.
New York officials ordered low-lying hospitals and nursing homes to evacuate.
If Hurricane Irene follows its current projected path, it will make landfall along North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Saturday.
Hurricane Irene passed Bahamas (AP photo).
“The Category 3 storm withdrew from the Bahamas late Thursday, traveling north at 14 mph,” the National Hurricane Center said.
[googlead tip=”vertical_mare” aliniat=”dreapta”] Although North Carolina will take the first hit, “the rest of the Eastern Seaboard is well within the path of this storm,” National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said.
Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor said: “This could be a 100-year event.”
New York City officials said they might have to suspend all mass transit beginning Saturday. In addition to ordering nursing homes and hospitals in low-lying coastal areas to evacuate ahead of possible flooding, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg advised residents to stay out of parks.
“Because of the high winds that will accompany the storm, we are also urging all New Yorkers, for their own safety, to stay out of parks, where the high winds will increase the danger of downed trees and limbs,” Bloomberg said.
“And incidentally, it’s a good idea to stay out of your own backyard if you have trees there.”
Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial postponed it indefinitely because of the Hurricane Irene.
[googlead tip=”lista_mare” aliniat=”stanga”]More than 50 million people live in the projected path of the storm.
Irene has an outside chance of growing into a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds topping 130 mph. But current forecasts predict it will diminish to Category 2 after pummeling North Carolina, with sustained winds up to 110 mph as it plows into Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue declared an emergency in all counties east of Interstate 95, about a quarter of the state, and officials set up emergency shelters inland. President Obama declared North Carolina an emergency too, expediting federal help.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency established a depot for food, water, generators, baby formula and other emergency supplies at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as well as at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey and Westover Air Reserve Base in Massachusetts.
Up to 200,000 tourists and residents are affected by evacuation orders in North Carolina alone, with states to the north rushing to prepare their own evacuation plans. Forecasters said Irene was so big and powerful that severe road flooding and widespread electrical outages were likely, especially in the Northeast, where the ground is saturated from recent rains.
“This is a very dangerous storm,” said Dorothy Toolan of the Dare County Emergency Management office in Manteo, North Carolina, across the Roanoke Sound from Nags Head.
“People really need to take this seriously.”
Hurricane Irene would be the first hurricane to hit the US mainland since Ike devastated the Texas coast in 2008.