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Chances Increase that Hurricane Irene Will Make Landfall

john disqueBy John Disque

The next 2 days will tell most of the story. Currently not much has changed with the storm itself. The last official numbers of the actual hurricane were 115 mph wind speed and traveling at 14 mph. However, the pressure of the storm dropped around 8 p.m. EST. The result of this pressure drop will be an increase in wind speed and travel time.

Miami is currently getting a small part of storm and there was a weather advisory earlier today but it has been lifted. Right now they're experiencing thunderstorms with winds up to 45 mph.

It is now moving out of the Bahamas and how much momentum it will pick up over the Atlantic Ocean will determine how strong and damaging the storm will be.

That said, a lot has changed as far as preparation and evacuations. In the last 24 hours most of the northeast states have stepped it up a notch.

North Carolina has both voluntary and mandatory evacuations. From the start it was NC taking the storm the most serious of all the states. North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue took the leadership role days ago and decided not to gamble with the safety of her people.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley urges families outside Maryland to offer shelter and is ordering mandatory evacuations on the coastal areas, particularly Ocean City. O'Malley states, "In the areas not being evacuated, it's imperative for residents to prepare for at least 72 hours with no power."

Mayor Bloomberg (New York City) has called for an evacuation of some nursing homes and hospitals in low-lying areas. Other than that New York's big fear is Manhattan which has been deemed very vulnerable to major flooding.

Amtrak has closed down operations for any trains south of D.C.

The US National Guard is getting set up 
right outside of the expected path and will be able to move in quickly.

Most schools in the northeast will be closed tomorrow.

The U.S. Navy based in Norfolk, Virginia has moved it's fleet 100 miles out to sea
 to avoid the path of the hurricane.

Published August 25, 2011, 8:27 p.m.

Related Stories:
Hurricane Irene Could Hit East Coast
Hurricane Irene Intensifies
Coastal States Preparing for Hurricane

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