At this time Hurricane Irene is still a Category 2 with winds topping out at one hundred ten miles an hour but they are figuring she will start to pick up strength later today. At 5 a.m. Hurricane Irene was approximately nine hundred fifty five miles south of North Carolina. The tiny island off Hatteras, North Carolina is beginning evacuations. The problem they are running into with Ocracoke Island is that is only accessible by boat and there are many people they need to get off the island before Hurricane Irene makes her appearance.
Ocracoke Island is a barrier island that is sixteen miles long and home to approximately eight hundred residents that live there year round plus the tourist population. The first ferry left the island at 5:30 a.m. this morning.
The Federal officials are sending out warnings that Hurricane Irene could cause power outages, flooding, or even worse all along the East Coast, maybe even as far away as Maine even if the hurricane does stay offshore. They have now targeted North Carolina as where Hurricane Irene will make landfall sometime over the weekend if it does make landfall. They are urging residents of North Carolina to make sure that they have at least three days of water, supplies, and food in stock.