Hurricane Irene, however weak or strong it ends up being, is so large that it could affect much of the East Coast this weekend. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered New York City's first mandatory evacuations, the city's mass transit will shut down at noon, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has bluntly warned people to seek higher ground. Check back frequently for the latest from Slate.
Come for the Refuge, Stay for the Eats: Shelter hopping in North Carolina during the height of Irene
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.— Like many trailer parks around here, the King's Way in Little Easonburg sits in a serious flood zone. For this reason, neighbors Mae Powell, Marcella Smith, and Reathella Richardson find themselves gathered around a book of word-search puzzles at Englewood Baptist Church, waxing rhapsodic about the food. "I ate more here than I ever ate at home," Mae says. "These people feed you so much."
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Water, Water, Everywhere, but Not a Drop of Bourbon Yesterday a friend told me she heard that our local Brooklyn supermarket—about a block from Zone C, which could experience flooding from a Category 3 or 4 storm —was out of bottled water. (Irene is a Category 1 storm but a really nasty one.) I went there today to verify this third-hand information, and it turned out to be false: The shelves were teeming with all manner of Poland Spring, SmartWater, and Evian. Read the rest of the story.
Come On Irene: Awaiting the Hurricane
See how people are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, from New York to North Carolina.
Flying Air-Conditioners: A Minor Study in Risk Assessment I've never appreciated advice from strangers, and I'm getting plenty of it. Email chain letters, mostly, forwarded from a guy in New Orleans or a girl from Galveston, someone who's lived through a few of these tropical storms in his or her day, and now deigns to provide a few hurricane tips for me and you and all the other friends-of-a-friend-of-a-friend on the Internet. Read the rest of the story.
Hurricane Irene Bears Down on Northeast
Update, 1 p.m., Aug. 27: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, speaking at FEMA headquarters in Washington, said that there were no outstanding requests for federal aid from state governments, according to The New York Times. Saying coastal areas had moved from the preparation phase to riding out the impact and assesing dammage, Secretary Napolitano also said that the storm's slightly weakened status should not encourage anyone to relax about the impact.
Stay up to date on all the latest Irene developments with The Slatest.
Irene Nearly Twice the Size of Typical Hurricane
Hurricane Irene is not the fastest nor the strongest storm in recent memory. Instead, it is her size that has helped to turn her into such a star over the past 20 hours. "You only have to look at the weather maps to understand how big this storm is and how unique it is," New York Mayor Bloomberg said at a news conference Friday, "and it's heading basically for us."
Read the rest—and see more dramatic photos— here.
Disasters Can Be Good for You
They don't want to talk about it, so I will: Natural disasters can be good for politicians. For every New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who melts down under the pressure of dealing with Hurricane Katrina, there is a Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who stays frosty and works his White House connections to get more and more federal aid. There's an Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, who goes from being locked in a primary with Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore to basking in credit and sympathy and making his opponent totally irrelevent.
Read the rest of the post at David Weigel's blog.
Hurricane Irene Bears Down on East Coast; Conjures Memories of Katrina on Twitter
The East Coast is on high alert as Hurricane Irene churns up the Atlantic Coast. The large Category 2 hurricane, which threatens to do damage from North Carolina to New England, is triggering memories of Katrina on Twitter. Six years ago this week, Katrina formed over the Bahamas and ultimately reached Category 5, slamming New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, killing over 1,800 people and causing over $80 billion in property damage.
Watch the video at our Trending News Channel blog.