Log In

Reset Password
BERMUDA | RSS PODCAST

‘A big, bad storm’

WILMINGTON, North Carolina (Reuters) - Hurricane Irene bore down on North Carolina on Friday, tens of thousands of people evacuated and East Coast cities including New York braced for a weekend hit from the powerful storm.

Fifty-five million people are potentially in Irene’s path from the Carolinas to Cape Cod. Tens of thousands of coastal residents were leaving their homes for safety, starting in east North Carolina that juts into the Atlantic ocean and where Irene is due to make its first US landfall on Saturday.

“This is a big, bad storm,” North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue said. “We are prepared for the worst, praying for the best ... we are ready,” she told CNN.

Irene weakened slightly early on Friday - to a Category 2 hurricane from a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale - but still was packing winds of up to 110 miles per hour.

At 9am Bermuda time its centre was about 375 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, moving north.

Coastal communities from the Carolinas to New England, stocked up on food and water and tried to secure homes, vehicles and boats. States, cities, ports, hospitals, oil refineries and nuclear plants activated emergency plans.

Forecasters expect that after hitting North Carolina's eastern coast as a powerful, broad hurricane on Saturday, Irene will then rake up the densely-populated US eastern seaboard to New York, America’s most populous city of more than eight million inhabitants, and beyond.

"Flooding, flash flooding and power outages will impact a lot of folks," Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate told CNN.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm (Updated August 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm)

‘A big, bad storm’

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon