Irene is closing in
NYC OEM is working with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center and report the following for planning purposes only:
- Storm track. The storm track is changing and moving west, putting the metropolitan area into the track of Hurricane Irene. They now predict a strong Category I or a weak Category II hurricane, with the eye of the storm achieving landfall along the Queens/Nassau County border (this can change again). Winds of 75-94 mph (with higher gusts) are likely. Forecasters expect a Hurricane Watch to be issued in the next 12-24 hours. If the predictions are correct, there will be 6-12″ of rain (on already saturated ground) and a storm surge of 6-12 feet — this will be the strongest storm to strike NYC since 1893.
- Evacuation. New York City has not yet decided whether to order a general evacuation, but the possibility is on the table. If NYC orders an evacuation it will be for evacuation zones A & B. Find your evacuation zone by following these links: NYC, Nassau (including evacuation routes), Suffolk and Westchester.
- Zero Hour. Forecasters predict that winds will exceed 39 mph between midnight and 3 AM Sunday morning. When they do, public transportation and emergency services will cease operations (the exact time and protocols are currently being discussed). Trying to evacuate after Zero Hour will be dangerous.
- Messaging. The media is getting the word out already. We advise that you use your networks to publicize the information on our blog here and to prepare to “hunker down” with plenty of food, water and supplies or to evacuate, if ordered.