Hurricane Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout, North Carolina at 7:30 am EDT this morning as a category 1 hurricane with 85mph maximum sustained winds. Estimated rainfall so far from this system has exceeded 6 inches in eastern North Carolina, with isolated values of 10-12 inches of rain where the center made landfall. More rain is expected through the day today in eastern North Carolina as Irene continues to move to the north northeast. Here is the current update as of 11am EDT from the National Hurricane Center.
Irene was located about 50 miles west of Cape Hatteras North Carolina, or 120 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia. Current maximum sustained winds are at 85mph and Irene is moving north northeast at 15mph.
Irene is expected to remain a category one hurricane as it exits eastern North Carolina this evening and continue to move north northeastward towards New York. The second landfall near New York City is expected to happen during the day Sunday as a minimal category one hurricane. The main effects from this hurricane are wind, heavy rainfall, storm surge, and isolated tornadoes. At this time, there is a tornado watch for southeastern Virginia as these bands continue to move onshore. Winds will be strong when it makes landfall at 85mph and anything not secure will be tossed in the wind. Also in metropolitan areas, channeling of the wind will occur down city streets as the wind gets pushed down a narrow path. Heavy rain is also a major concern as 6-12 inches of rain is expected up and down the eastern seaboard. Twelve inches of rain has already fallen over parts of eastern North Carolina yet this system is only halfway through at this time. Flooding of low-lying areas is a major concern and numerous Flood Warnings are already issued as well as Flood Watches through New England. Storm surge of 4-7 feet is also expected with this system, with isolated higher swells making coastal flooding a major concern as well. Many cities have issued evacuation orders ahead of this system and those in the northeast should be taking action no later than this afternoon. Irene is a large and dangerous system. Please take all precautions when it comes to this system and listen to orders made by public officials and emergency management personnel. Here is a current list of watches and warnings issued with Irene.
HURRICANE WARNING: Little River Inlet, North Carolina north to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts including Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay south of Drum Point, New York City, Long Island, Long Island Sound, coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island, Marthas Vineyard, Nantucket. An inland Hurricane Warning is also issued for eastern North Carolina, the southern peninsula of Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia, southern and eastern New Jersey, southeastern New York including Long Island and New Your City, coastal Connecticut, coastal Rhode Island, and extreme southeastern Massachusetts.
TROPICAL STORM WARNING: Chesapeake Bay north of Drum Point and the tidal Potomac. Sagamore Beach northward to Eastpoint Maine. An inland tropical storm warning is issued for northeastern Virginia, eastern Maryland including Washington D.C. and Baltimore, eastern Pennsylvania, northwestern New Jersey, east central New York, northern Connecticut, northern Rhode Island, Massachusetts, southern Vermont, and southern New Hampshire.
Inland Tropical Storm Watch is also issued for central and northern New Hampshire and Maine.
Stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service, and your local cable provider for the latest on Irene as well as any watches and warnings that may be issued for your area.
CWE (10:34am CDT)