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Filed under: Preparation & Readiness, Safety on the Road, Traveling Tips

Hurricane Irene: “Get the Hell off the Beach”

August 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 


Hurricane Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout, North Carolina, just before 8 a.m. EDT with Category 1-force winds of 85 mph.

This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. (Credit:

The center of Irene is located about 5 miles north-northeast of Cape Lookout, North Carolina, or about 60 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and is moving to the north-northeast near 14 miles per hour.

The center of Irene is forecast to cross through the North Carolina Sounds, through the Outer Banks, and back into the Atlantic today, then riding up the coast with an eventual landfall anticipated on Sunday along Long Island then on the other side of Long Island Sound in Southern New England as a minimal hurricane.

Tropical-storm-force winds will continue to spread up the coast and inland across parts of North Carolina and Virginia, with hurricane-force winds moving onto the North Carolina Coast near the Sounds and along the Outer Banks.

Hurricane warnings for the next 48 hours have been issued for North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

So far, eastern North Carolina has already seen three tornadoes in the past few days, and the majority of the state and areas of Maryland and Virginia are under tornado watches through Sunday.

Hurricane Irene's outer bands reach Kill Devil Hills, N.C., early Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. Hurricane Irene has weakened to a Category 1 storm as it nears the North Carolina coast but forecasters say it remains extremely dangerous. (Credit: ABC News)

Nearly 200,000 homes in North Carolina are without power. Hardest hit were Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, where Progress Energy reports 190,000 customers without power. Most of those customers are residences.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie didn’t sugarcoat his warnings yesterday (August 26) for residents of his state still on the coast as Hurricane Irene lumbered northeastward: Get the hell off the beach. You’ve maximized your tan.”

“Don’t wait. Don’t delay,” said U.S. President Barack Obama. “I cannot stress this highly enough: If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now.”

This is especially sage advice for all RVers along the Eastern Seaboard. “Get the hell out of Dodge!”

Evacuation orders for the country’s eastern seaboard covered at least 2.3 million people, including 1 million in New Jersey, 315,000 in Maryland, 300,000 in North Carolina, 200,000 in Virginia, and 100,000 in Delaware.

“This is probably the largest number of people that have been threatened by a single hurricane in the United States,” said Jay Baker, a geography professor at Florida State University.

The last hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Ike, which pounded Texas in 2008.

After several extremely active years, Florida has not been struck by a hurricane since Wilma raked across the state’s south in October 2005. That storm was responsible for at least five deaths in the state and came two months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

Abandoned beach front houses are surrounded by rising water in Nags Head, North Carolina. (Credit: Gerry Broome/AP)

It has been said to everything there is a season. Hurricane season is considered between June 1 and mid- to late- November and should be of some concern to RVers.

Here are some bits of information that may help RVers in understanding hurricanes and in planning survival preparations:

  • Hurricanes don’t appear without warning as tornadoes often do.
  • Hurricanes slowly develop from tropical depressions into tropical storms before becoming named hurricanes. The process takes days, sometimes weeks. By the time they are named they are being followed closely by weather media.
  • As they develop they grow in size. Average is 200 to 400 miles across. The big ones grow to 550 or more miles wide.
  • Hurricanes move forward slowly along their way which is not a straight line. They have been known to twist and turn and double back or go in a loop.
  • Some Hurricanes carry huge quantities of rain while others transport very little water.
  • A danger of hurricanes comes from flying debris picked up by the winds and thrown or dropped with great force.
  • Tornadoes are frequently spawned by hurricanes.

Worth Pondering…
Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out. You’re done. It’s 4:30. You’ve maximized your tan. Get off the beach. Get in your cars and get out of those areas.

—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

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