Saturday, 27 August 2011

Hurricane Irene update

2.5 million people ordered out as Irene nears

550,000 in NYC, Long Island; mass transit to be disrupted across Northeast

Top developments:
2.5 million under evacuation orders; 550,000 are in NYC, Long Island
NYC, N.J., Philadelphia to suspend mass transit service during part of weekend
Hard rain falls on North Carolina's Outer Banks; max winds weaken to 100 mph
Obama to leave vacation island a day early due to Irene

NEW YORK -- With more coastal cities ordering evacuations ahead of Hurricane Irene, residents and tourists alike from North Carolina to New York City were moving toward higher ground.

Traffic jams as long as 20 miles were reported and some service stations in New Jersey and other areas had run out of gasoline, according to the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks supplies and prices. Gasoline demand jumped 20 percent to 40 percent in Mid-Atlantic states, the service said.

Mass transit was disrupted across the Northeast and Amtrak said it was suspending service along much of the East Coast. Airlines were canceling thousands of flights.

Evacuation orders covered 1 million people in New Jersey, 550,000 in New York, 315,000 in Maryland, 300,000 in North Carolina, 200,000 in Virginia and 100,000 in Delaware.

"This is probably the largest number of people that have been threatened by a single hurricane in the United States," said Jay Baker, a geography professor at Florida State University.

New York, the nation's largest city, was among those announcing evacuations Friday.

"We've never done a mandatory evacuation before and we wouldn't be doing it now if we didn't think this storm had the potential to be very serious,'' Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in warning some 300,000 people living in low-lying areas.

Some 250,000 people in nearby Long Island were also told to clear out by Saturday afternoon.

For rest of article, including video GO HERE

Here is a CNN report talking about possible damage

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