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Neo
28th August 2011, 01:47 PM
HURRICANE Irene has hit the US east coast with winds of 85mph after more than two million people were ordered to leave their homes ahead of the category one storm.

The hurricane reached New York this morning as the mayor said it's now too late for people to leave.

Wall Steet is threatened with flooding and the city's transport system has been closed down.

http://photos.peacefmonline.com/photos/news/201108/830372128_862416.jpg

The storm has claimed ten lives. The first victim was a man hit by a branch of a tree brought down in Nashville.

In New York alone, 250,000 were told to evacuate. Those living in low-lying areas like Manhattan and Brooklyn had to be out by 5pm yesterday (10pm BST).

It was the first mandatory evacuation in New York's history.

Five New York-area airports Newark-Liberty, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, Teterboro and Stewart have been closed to all arriving flights.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: "We hope for the best but we prepare for the worst."

More than 90 emergency shelters have been opened in New York in preparation for the hurricane, which will be the biggest to hit the city in decades. Irene has already destroyed hundreds of homes in the Bahamas and is set to sweep up the eastern seaboard putting 65million people at risk.

In New Jersey, 750,000 people have been told to evacuate. Florida has been swamped by giant surf.

The US Navy has moved more than 60 ships including a guided missile destroyer out of the way of the storm. A state of emergency was declared in New York, North Carolina and Virginia.

On Friday US airlines began cancelling weekend flights to avoid any lengthy delays ahead of the storm.

JetBlue Airways was the first carrier to cancel a significant number of flights from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport for Saturday and today. Thousands of holidaymakers enjoying a summer break on the east coast were told to leave.

Officials in Ocean City, Maryland, ordered residents and tourists to abandon the beach community. In North Carolina, three coastal counties issued evacuation orders covering more than 200,000 people, including tourists and full-time residents.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said: "I urge New Yorkers to personally prepare for hurricane conditions and to cooperate with emergency officials if needed.

"By working together, we will all be able to face this storm in a calm and organised manner." President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for North Carolina, allowing for federal help. And he has warned Irene could be a "historic hurricane".

He told those in its path: "Don't wait, don't delay. We all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst. All of us have to take this storm seriously."

Irene is the first hurricane to hit the US mainland since 2008 when Hurricane Ike killed more than 50 people and caused 18billion of damage.

Its projected path has it bringing misery to Washington, New York and Boston. A large wave caused by Hurricane Irene washed eight people off a jetty at Boynton Inlet, Florida, on Friday. All were saved.

And at Carlin Park in nearby Jupiter Beach, a man feared drowned in heavy waves was later found alive more than a mile from where he went into the ocean. Director of the US National Hurricane Centre Bill Read said: "The eastern seaboard is well within the path of this storm. We can see impacts well inland."

Top forecaster Kristina Pydynowski said: "Irene could be a once-in-50-year hurricane for the north east."

Ms Pydynowski also predicted "widespread tree damage, power outages and structural damage" and said "glass windows could shatter along the sides of New York City skyscrapers".

Mayor Bloomberg predicted "tropical storm-like conditions such as heavy rains and winds of 60 miles per hour or more" in the city.

The mayor, who was blasted by New York residents for his slow response to paralysing blizzards over Christmas, said: "We hope for the best but we prepare for the worst."



Source: thesun.co.uk

CuTiEbABy
29th August 2011, 03:29 AM
Hmmm sister Irene and the damage she has caused. Having to drive through it yesterday is something I will never ever forget