Potential for major flooding from Category 2 Hurricane with very low pressure. Winds of sustained tropical storm force were about to come ashore along the coast of North Carolina at the noon hour of August 26th. The Jersey Shore area is expected to take the brunt of the hit, with weather forecasters saying that many people will have never seen a storm surge or winds and rain of this magnitude of this kind in their lifetime. It’s going to be a grand old-time on the East Coast of the United States the final weekend of the Summer in what some are saying is a side effect of environmental pollution and climate change as Mother Nature seeks to purge herself.
Once the storm hits, the surge potential will affect the coastline but heavy rains and winds will undoubtedly flood roads in a huge geographical area. It may take weeks or even months to clean up from the storm.
The Red Cross has already sent hundreds of MREs to those coastal residents already being affected by the storm (military ration meals) and over 200 rescue vehicles have been deployed. 60,000 more meals are ready to be delivered throughout the extended storm and as part of rescue efforts while Americans deal with the after effects.
Preparing for power outages across the Mid-Atlantic region and in the Northern East Coast of the United States has taken its toll emotionally while simultaneously boosting the economy as local Lowes, Home Depot, and grocery stores quickly sold out of provisions.
For those who have been asked to evacuate, the hope is families have been compliant. The storm surge (the rising tide that will push in far higher than a normal high tide) is expected to re-shape the coastline of North Carolina.
While it has not yet been determined where the eye of the storm will hit, everyone from North Carolina to New York and up into Maine will presumably be affected.
Out of harms way are American states Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. The Southeastern United States will find some difficulty with rip tides and possible coastal erosion, but small craft advisories will primarily affect boaters (not residents).
As the massive hurricane barrels down against the coast, Americans are wondering if the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Washington, DC this week followed by such a storm is proof positive that climate change is in action.
With presidential candidate Rick Perry denying that pollution harms the environment or that climate change exists, it will be interesting to see the leading GOP candidate’s reaction to the storm.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he will decide by Saturday morning whether or not he will be evacuating low-lying areas of New York City.
The greatest concerns are with how the huge storm (which is being compared to Hurricane Ike) is not the high winds but the wide scope. Eighteen hours of rain and heavy winds are expected to devastate the Outer Banks of North Carolina — a place which normally is a mecca for surfers but whose tides have today turned deadly. President Barack Obama has already declared the area a national disaster. The 6:13 AM high tide tomorrow is expected to bring them the worst of the storm if the eye passes in conjunction with the more serious water.
The worst conditions for Atlantic City are expected late Saturday and into Sunday if you are tracking the path of the storm. With top winds sustained around 110 mph or higher, 65 million people are expected to be affected, making this the largest Hurricane to effect the United States. Plan for over a foot of rain to fall in all areas impacted by the storm.
Hurricane Irene Path (video) shared below.