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What Hurricane Irene holds in store for New York City [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2011-8-26 04:53:46 |Display all floors
25 August 2011.

This weekend, Hurricane Irene could bring massive storm surge, fierce winds, torrential rains and flash floods to New York City and other portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

The scary weather could grind transportation to a halt and force coastal evacuations.

New York's dense, developed coastline makes the city among the most vulnerable to hurricane-related damage, according to the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

"Due to regional geography, hurricanes in New York City — though infrequent — can do more damage than hurricanes of similar strength in the southern United States," the OEM said in a statement.

Dirty side, clean side

The storm is expected to hit the New York City region by Sunday, though exactly what path it may take remains uncertain.

The latest forecasts from the National Hurricane Center put the most likely path as hitting slightly to the west of the city, though it's possible the storm's course could change before then.

Forecasters say it's too early to tell if Irene will be a repeat of the infamous Long Island Express hurricane of 1938, the benchmark by which all New York City hurricane fears are compared.

Forecasters will have a better idea once Irene passes North Carolina.

As the storm moves north, the Atlantic's cold water could weaken the storm because cold water is poor fuel for hurricanes.

Irene could still be a Category 1 storm when it reaches the New York region, however.

The storm's "dirty side," the right side where the winds are strongest, and blow toward the north, could pack a punch on Long Island.

"It's actually kind of the worst-case scenario for the people of Long Island," said Jeff Weber, an atmospheric scientist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colo.

If the current forecast holds, New York City should be on the storm's left, or "clean side," which is where the winds are weaker.

The likelihood of window-shattering winds is not very high right now, Sobel said.

Too much rain

A Category 1 storm hitting Long Island would mean tropical storm conditions, or worse, for New York City.

"There could be an awful lot of rain, and possibly storm surge," Sobel said.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain for New York City over the next five days.

"I think we're going to have a serious flooding concern," Weber said, because the wet spring saturated the soil across the region, meaning they won't be able to absorb the influx from Irene.

That water would instead build up on the ground, creating prime conditions for flash floods.

Irene's forecasted path, as of 2:00 p.m. EDT, Aug. 25.


Storm surge

As if water from above wasn't bad enough, water could spill forth from the sea.

Storm surge, an abnormal rise in water, occurs when strong winds push water forward, ahead of a moving storm.

Huge waves form on top of the surge, cresting and pounding the coast.

This could be a problem for Long Island, if those north-blowing winds, and the surge they push in front of them, hit it head-on.

A major hurricane (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength) could push more than 30 feet (9 meters) of storm surge into low-lying parts of the city.

That's a worst-case scenario; current computer models forecast a small chance of astorm surge of 2 feet (0.6 meters) in the region.

The U.S. Navy has predicted wave heights of around 30 feet (9 m) for the New York region.

"It's sort of a big storm and sort of moving slowly so the wind will be pushing on the water for a longer amount of time," Sobel told OurAmazingPlanet.

Irene's early strengthening could make the surge particularly bad, even after the hurricane weakens.

Because Irene has already strengthened to a Category 3, its strong winds have developed a swell of water that it could carry northward.

The swell may wane, but it will be higher than if Irene had stayed as a Category 1 throughout its course.

"When they ramp up to a 3 or 4, they kind of keep those swells with them as they move up the coast," Weber said.

This was the case with Hurricane Katrina, which got up to Category 5 strength before hitting the Gulf Coast as a Category 3.

Its previous ferocious strength (along with its enormous size) meant it brought a whopping surge with it.

Storm surge was about 24 to 28 feet (7 to 8.5 meters) along the Mississippi coast across a swath about 20 miles (32 kilometers) wide, and penetrated several miles inland, tearing up Interstate 10, according to the NHC.

The OEM has set up evacuation zones throughout the city to shelter people who live within 10 blocks of the coast.

People who live in high-rise buildings should be ready to move to the 10th floor or below if winds become strong enough, the OEM says.

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Post time 2011-8-26 06:21:07 |Display all floors
wint storm great in ny city

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Post time 2011-8-26 06:21:48 |Display all floors
i love hurrri........

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Post time 2011-8-26 06:43:38 |Display all floors

Nuclear Power Plants

I wonder how many nuclear power plants will have to switch to diesel pumps/generators.

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Post time 2011-8-26 07:22:56 |Display all floors

New Yorkers prepare to flee Hurricane Irene

25 August 2011.

The US Navy on Thursday ordered all its ships away from its huge port at Hampton Roads, Virginia, as the eastern US seaboard braced for the destructive-strength Hurricane Irene.

"Ships will make final preparations overnight in anticipation of getting underway early August 25 (Friday)," a Navy statement said.

Vice Admiral Daniel Holloway, commander of the US 2nd Fleet, said that the decision to send the ships from Hampton Roads is based on Hurricane Irene's current track that indicates the storm will produce at least 50 knots of wind and a large storm surge.

Irene is a category three hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale, and is forecast to strengthen to a category four storm with winds of 135 miles (217 kilometres) per hour by the time it reaches the US coast over the weekend.

Along the coastline of North Carolina, directly in Irene's path as it is forecast to skirt north, officials ordered mandatory evacuations for tourists.

"The forecasted destructive winds and tidal surge is too great to keep the ships in port. There is a much greater potential of not only the ships being damaged, but also the pier infrastructure," said Holloway, adding that the ships would fare better the storms of such magnitude out at sea.

"Having the ships underway also makes them ready and available to respond to any national tasking, including any needed disaster response efforts in the local area after the storm has passed," he said.

The National Weather Service puts the hurricane either making landfall on the Outer Banks or skirting just east of the barrier islands.

Sparsely populated in the winter, many of the islands are a popular tourist destination in the summer.

Affie Meekins, 55, works for the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center on the Outer Banks, and said despite being directly in the path of the hurricane, like a number of other residents, she refused to leave.

"We're picking up what needs to be picked up and battening down the hatches," Meekins told AFP. "I don't evacuate. I'm a tough one," she added.

Some sought to take advantage of the waves ahead of the big storm.

At the Sweetwater Surf Shop in Wrightsville Beach, Alex Winslow said he was out surfing and saw more than 40 other surfers out before 8am on Thursday.

"The surf is still really clean and really fun," said Winslow, a student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

For many counties along the coast, today was to have been the first day of school.

The three eastern-most counties in the path of the storm cancelled classes for the first day of school and instead will open on Monday.

Hurricane Irene pounded the Bahamas on Thursday before its approach to the populous US east coast, punishing the nation of small islands with heavy rain and powerful winds.

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Glod Medal

Post time 2011-8-26 12:54:43 |Display all floors

I live at the Beach in New York.....we had an Earthquake this week

this is really early for a Hurricane.....I think it will miss us.....
Never Let Anyone Outside The Family Know What You're Thinking.

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Post time 2011-8-27 04:54:37 |Display all floors

NYC orders mandatory evacuation for low-lying areas

26 August 2011.

Authorities in New York City ordered mandatory evacuation of all low-lying areas before Hurricane Irene hits, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday.

Bloomberg told a press conference that the evacuation -- estimated at more than 250,000 people -- could begin when shelters open at 4 p.m..

"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," Bloomberg said.

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