Hurricane Irene has lost some of her strength and is now a Category 1 with winds up to ninety miles per hour but is still causing trouble. She was thought to be a Category 2 or 3 by the time she hit landfall on Saturday in North Carolina but has been downgraded. Hurricane Irene is still slated to make a catastrophic run up the Eastern Seaboard toward New England and New York where more than two million people were told to move to safer places. In New York, the subway system has been shut down. This is a first because of a pending natural disaster.
They are saying that the hazards of the hurricane are still there not just because of how strong the winds are but on the size and duration of the hurricane. At the outer bands of the hurricane the rain and winds hit the North Carolina coast and knocked out power in various places. In the northeast officials are urging people to get out of harm’s way because these people are not used to tropical weather and this hurricane could wreak devastation.
On North Carolina’s outer bank, about thirty fives miles from Cape Lookout, was the hurricane’s center early this morning, August 27, 2011. It is heading north-northeast at approximately fourteen miles per hour. At Cape Lookout, they were clocking the winds between sixty four and seventy four miles per hour. These are the tropical storm force winds that blow ashore ahead of a hurricane.
It should make landfall within the next couple of hours and be over southern New England by Sunday. The number of people threatened by Hurricane Irene is the largest number in the United States that are threatened by a single hurricane.