Here is a quick roundup of stories related to Hurricane Irene.

AccuWeather reports Irene Cuts Power to a Million Plus; Eyeing the Northeast

Aug 27, 2011; 7:50 PM ET

“As of Saturday evening, over a million customers were without power in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Delaware.”

Hurricane Irene made landfall on Cape Lookout in eastern North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane and will continue track to the north with conditions deteriorating for millions across the mid-Atlantic through tonight.

8:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 27: The eye of Hurricane Irene has emerged back over water about 35 miles east of Norfolk, Va. Wind gusts to hurricane force (74 mph or greater) will continue to be experienced near and to the north of the center, along with a damaging storm surge. Doppler radar estimates over 17.50 inches of rain has fallen in parts of North Carolina and extreme southeastern Virginia with confirmed reports between 10.00 and 14.00 inches.

Suffolk, Va., has received nearly 10.50 inches of rain thus far and was indicating widespread flooding in the city. Rainfall was increasing rapidly in Delaware and southern New Jersey with multiple locations now over 3.00 inches.

Power outages have had an impact on data collection in North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. Over 3/4 of the Dominion Power customers in the Richmond Metro area are without power at the present time.

Irene threatens to bring the worst effects from a hurricane in 50 years in a large part of the I-95 Northeast in terms of flooding and power outages.

There are lots of videos in that Weather Channel Link.

U.S. Airlines Scrub 9,500 Flights

Bloomberg reports U.S. Airlines Scrub 9,500 Flights as Irene Threatens N.Y.

U.S. carriers including United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) and Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) scrubbed more than 9,500 flights as Hurricane Irene churned up the East Coast and shuttered airports in New York, the nation’s busiest travel market.

American Airlines halted New York City-area flights as of 10 a.m. local time, while United and Delta earlier scrubbed their full schedules. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports and three smaller facilities to arriving flights as of noon local time as the city awaited heavy rain and wind.

“We need to make sure that we give our customers and our employees ample time to get home” before mass transit systems are closed, said Andrea Huguely, an American spokeswoman.

Philadelphia’s airport remains open, although airlines have reduced arrivals and departures throughout the day and none are scheduled for tomorrow, said Victoria Lupica, an airport spokeswoman. The airport terminals will remain open for passengers who may be stuck at the facility.

The six biggest U.S. airlines canceled at least 9,570 flights today through Aug. 29 because of the storm. Another 334 were scrubbed earlier in the week as the hurricane approached. New York officials suspended train, bus and subway service at noon today, making it harder for workers and passengers to reach airports. More than 370,000 people were ordered to evacuate low- lying areas.

World Trade Center Construction at Risk

AccuWeather reports World Trade Center Construction at Risk from Irene’s Winds

Construction at the site of the World Trade Center memorial, Reflecting Absence, has been halted due to Hurricane Irene.

The Mayor Michael Bloomberg suspended construction on Friday and crews disassembled the cranes that were on site, according to Latimes.com. This was done to prevent the cranes from coming apart in high winds, crashing to the ground and causing major damage to anything or anyone below.

Despite dismantling the cranes and securing building supplies, there is still a risk of damage to the building itself. Winds are expected to be sustained at 50-60 mph with gusts to 65-75 mph as Irene impacts New York Sunday morning, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

Wind can be funneled between tall buildings increasing wind speed.

Glass windows have already been placed toward the center of the building. The wind could dislodge the windows. The windows become dangerous as they fall and break or could even be blown into other buildings and cause more damage.

This is an issue not only for the construction site of the World Trade Center, but for any construction sites along the path of the storm.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock


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