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March 3, 2021
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News + Views

Hurricane Weakens.

By Alexandra Glorioso
The eye of Irene is projected to hit NYC at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Image courtesy of Weather Underground.

Yesterday, the city of New York gave evacuation orders to 370,000 people because they were in harms way of Hurricane Irene. Irene has slowed to a Category 1 but because it is so large, its weakening is not to be taken lightly. According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Irene will bring sustained tropical force winds that will begin late this evening and remain until late Sunday. Maximum winds are forecast to be in the 55 to 75 mph range with gusts up to 85 mph. According to Weather Underground, the eye of Hurricane Irene will hit New York City at around 8 a.m. on Sunday morning. According to NYC Area Weather, Hurricane Irene is predicted to make landfall on Long Island just east of Manhattan.

Predicted wave heights along the U.S. coast from NOAA’s Wavewatch III model for 8am EDT Sunday, August 28, 2011. This is the time of high tide, and this model is suggesting that the coast of New Jersey will be subject to battering waves 15 – 20 feet high at the time of high tide.

The National Weather Service is predicting storm surge waves of three to six feet. However, Meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters is predicting surge waves up to eight feet, which will easily tackle Manhattan’s five foot floodwalls and Red Hook’s shores.

Debris will be whipping through the air, and can be dangerous. A man in North Carolina has been killed after he opened his door and was hit by a flying tree limb.

In case the power goes out, residents are encouraged to charge phones and make sure flash lights are working. Fill your tub with water to use to flush the toilet. If you can get a battery pack to charge your cell phone, it’s a good idea.

New York City is vulnerable to flooding and damage from the storm surges. Dr. Jeff Masters assures us the Statue of Liberty will survive Irene.

“The statue is rated to survive a wind load of 58 psf,which is roughly equivalent to 120 mph winds (Category 3 hurricane). However, a mid-strength Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds will be able to generate 120 mph winds at a height of 300 feet, and would theoretically be capable of toppling the Statue of Liberty. Winds from Irene should stay below 80 mph at 300 feet, and not pose a threat to the Statue of Liberty,” he wrote in his latest update on Hurricane Irene.

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