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Ear to the Ground

Hurricane Irene Hits the Coast (Updated)

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Posted on Aug 27, 2011
Flickr / NASA

Update: Downgraded from hurricane status, tropical storm Irene traipsed through New York City on Sunday morning, causing significantly less damage than had been anticipated. Still, high winds downed trees, heavy rain caused sporadic flooding and more than a million people in the region lost electrical power.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm made landfall in New Jersey near Little Egg Inlet, north of Atlantic City, just after 5:30 a.m., and reached New York City by about 9 a.m. Water breached sea walls in many areas, and flooding was most serious in low-lying neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, with most of the blackouts occurring in those boroughs. The storm was expected to move on into southern New England later Sunday. —ARK

Earlier: A slow-moving Hurricane Irene began pummeling the coast of North Carolina early Saturday morning, flooding roads, knocking out power and causing at least five deaths.

The hurricane reached Cape Lookout, N.C., at 7:30 a.m. and was classified as a Category 1 storm, the mildest on a scale of five hurricane levels, but still packing winds of between 74 and 95 miles per hour and pushing a storm surge of 4 to 5 feet. —BF

The Los Angeles Times:

At least five people have died—in a car accident, by heart attack and by falling trees—as a result of Hurricane Irene, the slow-moving but powerful swirl of wind and rain that barreled ashore in North Carolina.

As the storm moved steadily north on Saturday, heavily populated areas of Washington, D.C., and New York City braced for impact. Irene is expected to continue its northward path through New England, before weakening early Sunday morning.

Storm-related disruptions of daily life were immense: More than 2 million people were ordered evacuated from low-lying areas that were expected to be inundated by surging flood waters accompanying the nearly 450-mile wide hurricane’s northward 14 mph trek. The country’s largest subway system ground to a halt as New York City officials took precautions against flooding.

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kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, August 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Ouch.  My power just came back on, and I missed my weekend in DC for the Tar Sands.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, August 28, 2011 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Of course Irene was important but the media’s 24/7
incessant coverage to the exclusion of all other world
news, such as a typhoon in the Philippines, or what is
going on in Libya! or elsewhere, like the eastern US was
the only place in the universe!  MSNBC and CNN are a
detestable waste and only al Jazeera was up to date with
the world news.

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By christian96, August 28, 2011 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

Thankfully, the hurricane didn’t live up to the
hype forecast by the media, especially the Weather
Channel.  However, it may influence the “crying
wolf” cognitions of many people.  The next time
a hurricane is approaching those people will say
to themselves “The media was wrong before and
they are wrong now.”  That attitude could be
disasterous.

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By TDoff, August 28, 2011 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

This Sunday morning, let’s all gather and give a prayer of thanks to God for giving US Pat Robertson. Without good old Pat we’d have no idea of the meanings of the east coast earthquake, the cracks in the Washington monument, and hurricane Irene. Thanks to Pat we know Jesus is coming again, real soon. And our civilization is shattering. And God doesn’t listen to Pat’s prayers.

Thank you, God.

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