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east coast states
national weather service
hurricane irene
american airlines
rain fall
storm damage
State Of Emergency Called In Several East Coast States As Hurricane Irene Heads Their Way
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There are currently multiple warnings and watches issued over much of the eastern portion of the United States as Hurricane Irene travels its way in that direction. Even if the storm does not make ground in any of the projected areas, it is likely to bring torrential rains, heavy winds and other issues up and down the coast. Hurricane warnings have been issued for the coastal areas of North Carolina and there have been a number of mandatory evacuations from those areas as well. South Carolina is not issuing any similar evacuations at this time but did issue warnings to boaters and/or swimmers that the waters are very dangerous at this time.

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Irene is traveling North, Northwest at around fourteen miles per hour and is expected to start making the turn from the Bahamas by late Thursday into early Friday morning. The northern areas of the Bahamas took some direct hits early in the day with many areas seeing some severe flooding and storm damage. So far, however, there have been no reports of any deaths or injuries from the storm.

Amtrak and many of the major US airlines have started canceling departures with other flights being placed on the watch list for potential cancellation if the storm intensifies or changes course. American Airlines alone has cancelled over 120 flights.

Forecasters are expecting Irene to hit the coast of North Carolina on Saturday unless it dramatically changes direction. It is expected to bring with it the threat of damaging winds that can exceed 74 mph and rain fall that may be as much as 6-10 inches with some areas having the potential of even more rain. It is possible that the storm will raise the current water levels as much as ten feet above ground level and may also bring with it the threat of damaging waves.

Experts agree that even if Irene does not actually make it to the inland areas, it may still trigger some major flooding in a number of states with some predictions of near catastrophic flooding as a possibility. The military has been moving a number of ships and submarines out of the way of the storm as a precaution.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Maryland Governor Martin o’ Malley have all declared a state of emergency for their states so that they can have the access to funding that can be used to protect the citizen and prevent as much damage as possible.

The National Weather Service issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance when winds reach a sustained level of 74 mph or higher. It issues a watch 48 hours in advance under the same conditions. It is still possible that the storm can be downgraded back to a tropical storm, but that has so far been deemed unlikely.


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