Hurricane Irene Prompts Mandatory Emergency Evacuation of New York City

Irene is big and this has been well appreciated by New York city Mayor Micheal Bloomberg. For a first time ever, Mayor Bloomberg has ordered mandatory evacuation of 300,000 residents from the city as soon as possible.

The eye of Hurricane Irene as seen from NASA's Terra weather satellite, taken in the afternoon of 26th August. (Courtesy: NASA/JPL, Caltech/Goddard Space Flight Center)

Hurricane Irene, a former Category 3 storm (wind speeds over 115 mph), now slightly degraded to a Category 2 (wind speed of 100 Р110 mph), is still moving ominously along the east coast. It has still not made landfall at the time of  writing this report (August 27th, 00:05 EST), but is expected to really shake up the twin Carolina states.

Predicted positions for Irene (Courtesy: Associated Press)

Torrential rain is predicted and the initial spells have already begun lashing the Carolina states, Washington and New York City. When Irene does make landfall, it will cause significant structural damage, especially to the outskirts of the major cities.

The threat level is still Extreme’. As already mentioned in a previous post, huge storm surges are predicted. Due to all of this, Mayor Bloomberg announced

This is a mandatory evacuation. By five o’clock tomorrow you have to be out. Waiting for the last minute is not a smart thing to do. This is life threatening.

All rail and subway services will be shutdown in a few hours (on Saturday, 27th August). Mayor Bloomberg further warned

Bridges aren’t going to fall down, but there is a point when the winds get so strong that they close because cars and trucks could be blown off them.

Irene is not the new Katrina! Katrina was much bigger. But Irene is still pretty big and you’d still be wise to follow directives. If you are on Irene’s path, we wish you the best of luck. Stay safe.

(Photo: Irene’s scary eye as seen from space here. The amazing photo is in infrared!)

Updates will be posted here, as soon as we get them.

Latest Update:

Irene Hits New York City, Floods Manhattan. Three Million on East Coast Left Without Power HERE.

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Debjyoti Bardhan

Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.