The first effects of Hurricane Irene are being felt across the Northeast on Sunday morning. The center of Irene will pass right over New York City by mid-late morning, driving storm surge into the south shore of Long Island, parts of New York Harbor, and the west end of Long Island Sound.
Strongest winds, occasionally gusting over 60 mph, will persist over Long Island first out of a southerly direction this morning. However, winds will shift to a west or northwesterly direction this afternoon, with gusts at times over 50 mph. This will result in additional power outages and downed trees.
Heavy rain will continue to spread north and east into New England. Additional rainfall of 3″+ looks likely from the Hudson Valley into northern New England. Numerous rivers will go into at least minor flooding. Some rivers may go into moderate or even major flooding.
New York City: Low-lying areas of the city have been called to evacuate because of the forecast coastal flooding which will take place due to a combination of Irene’s surge and astronomical high tides. The city is also preparing for Irene with shutdowns of mass transit beginning on Saturday. Mayor Bloomberg warned residents of the possiblity that power will be turned off to areas of downtown in an effort to protect the lines from salt water.
States of emergency have been declared in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. More than 3 million people are without power in the aftermath of the storm.
The worst of Irene’s impacts will subside by Sunday afternoon or evening.
- High Tide expected at 7:59 a.m.
- Storm surge of 4-8 feet expected to hit New York City just before the eye crosses land
- Outages: At least 70,000 without power in New York City
- State of Emergency: President Barack Obama has declared an emergency for New York state in anticipation of Hurricane Irene, which means that the Homeland Security Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency can coordinate disaster relief efforts declared for the state ahead of the storm
- Evacuation Time Passed: Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the time to evacuate has passed and all who didn’t must remain in their houses at this time
- Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano: Ordered a mandatory evacuation for approximately 300,000 people living for miles along a swath of the southern shore of Long Island by mid-afternoon Friday
- Port Authority and MTA: Will impose traffic restrictions on the city’s bridges when winds hit 40 mph and full shutdowns if/when winds hit 60 mph. Conditions could arise where they would close earlier even without those wind speeds. The MTA, which encompasses the city’s light rail, buses and subways have shut down.
- Port Authority: Closed its five airports — John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, Stewart International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports — to all arriving passenger international and domestic flights. The five airports will remain open for departing flights pending further updates. The Port Authority is taking this measure to avoid stranding passengers at its airports when the region’s mass transit systems suspend service tomorrow due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene.
- Airports Remain Closed: There are no plans to re-open New York City airports until winds calm to allow for flights to take off and transit re-opens so employees can get to the airports
- New York City Mayor’s Office: All City beaches remain closed
- Hospital Patient Transfers: Health care facilities located in what is identified as Hurricane Evacuation Zone A are being required to transfer their patients to facilities located outside this zone. Beth Israel Petrie, Roosevelt and St. Luke’s are all beginning to receive transfer patients from NYU Friday afternoon.
- Bridges: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said that a half dozen bridges — including the George Washington Bridge, the Robert F. Kennedy Triboro Bridge, the Throgs Neck Bridge and the Whitestone Bridge — would be closed if winds reached 60 mph for more than a short time
- Underground Bunker: The state’s Office of Emergency Management has increased staffing in its underground bunker
See what they’re saying about Irene in New York City on TWC Social
- State of Emergency: Declared by President Obama as Irene approaches
- Landfall: Irene made landfall at 5:35 a.m. Sunday near Little Egg Inlet. It was a Category 1 with winds at 75 mph at the time. It was the first hurricane landfall in the state since 1903.
- Worst Time: Worst of Irene will hit during morning hours
- Monmouth and Ocean Counties: Trees down, power outages
- Evacuations: Low-lying areas evacuated, including apartment complexes in Long Branch
- Shelter: In Holmdel, a flood and power outage reported at the emergency shelter set up at Holmdel High School
- Outages: 100,000+ people without power
- Impacts: Dangerous flooding, severe beach erosion expected
- Casinos Close: Atlantic City casinos have closed and authorities said there is no reason to be in the area
- New Jersey Transit: All rail service has been suspended.
See what they’re saying about Irene in Atlantic City on TWC Social
- No Tractor Trailers: All tractor trailers have been ordered off the roads until further notice
- Fatality: One person is dead in a fire caused by downed wires
- Presidential Request: The governor has asked President Obama to declare a pre-landfall emergency in Connecticut
- Phone Service: Cellular telephone towers are designed to sustain winds of 150 mph or more. Staging crews are ready in Meriden, Wallingford and Hartford.
- Roads: Maintenance forces are patrolling their roads and clearing catch basins and waterways where needed. All major roadways are open at this time.
- Airport Closed: Brainard Airport has suspended operation for the duration of the storm
- State Level Emergency Responders: Preparation for an emergency is necessary for all residents in the event of a worst-case scenario