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8/26/2011
East Coast braces for Hurricane Irene’s arrival
By Land Line staff

On Friday, Aug. 26, more than 65 million people along the East Coast were bracing for Hurricane Irene’s wrath, expected to hit early Saturday, Aug. 27.

OOIDA Member Milton Frost of Elizabeth City, NC, was planning to ride the storm out as the Category 2 hurricane headed his way.

Frost, a local grain commodities hauler, told Land Line Now on Friday, Aug. 26, he was helping farmers in his community “get their corn out of their fields” before the hurricane hits.

“There isn’t much I can do. I’ve walked around my house and secured everything that I can,” he said.

Frost said he has already moved his truck to higher ground where it will be safe and plans to go stay with his daughter and grandkids who live about two miles away.

“I’ve done all I can do. … I just hope this isn’t as bad as (Hurricane) Isabelle,” he said.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in North Carolina. Already, Federal Emergency Management Agency trucks with emergency supplies – including generators, bottled water and tarps – were on their way to Fort Bragg, NC. 

Kevin Matthews, logistics analyst for Estes Express Line in Ellenwood, GA, told Land Line on Friday the company has trucks en route with FEMA supplies to the affected areas.

On Friday, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue said that railroads across the eastern part of the state will be shut down on Saturday because of Hurricane Irene, and that the state’s ports have already been closed.

At a press conference, Perdue said that 10 counties have now been evacuated and that trucks and heavy equipment have been stationed along the coast to help with Hurricane Irene cleanup. She encouraged residents along the coast to make an “immediate exit.”

“This hurricane is real,” Perdue said. “It is headed our way. We are ready.”

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie said the Delaware River is unlikely to be affected much by the storm, which is good news as 20 bridges over the river connect New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for Virginia Beach, VA, according to Friday’s FEMA situation report. Navy ships based in Norfolk, VA, have been sent out to sea to weather the hurricane. FEMA also stated that evacuation orders have been issued for Ocean City, MD, and has issued the same orders for visitors in coastal regions of Delaware in preparation for Hurricane Irene.
In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has directed Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials to begin “immediately implementing a hurricane plan designed to protect the safety of New Yorkers before, during and after the expected impacts of Hurricane Irene.”

According to the MTA website, it will begin “incremental suspension of its subway, bus and Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad service approximately eight hours prior to sustained 39 mph winds reaching the area.” Subway and bus lines will begin shutting down at 12 noon on Saturday.

The National Weather Service and FEMA have been regularly updating information about Hurricane Irene.

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