Forecasters Thursday issued watches and warnings for the U.S. East Coast in advance of Hurricane Irene, a monstrous storm that could bring large amounts of rain and a storm surge to North Carolina and other states as it tracks north, CNN reports. If Irene continues along its current track, “from a flooding perspective, this could be a hundred-year event,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said.
Five governors declared states of emergency as Irene threatened to wreak havoc along the United States’ Eastern Seaboard, including portions of New England.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley declared emergencies for their states, while North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue declared a state of emergency in counties east of Interstate 95. The emergency declarations allow states to free funds and prepare resources that may be needed.
If Irene continues along its current track, “from a flooding perspective, this could be a hundred-year event,” New Jersey Governor Christie said. He encouraged voluntary evacuations to begin immediately. “Anybody who is on a barrier island should go,” he said.
The U.S. Navy is sending 27 ships based in Norfolk, Virginia, out to sea to ride out Irene, a senior Navy official told CNN. An aircraft carrier is among them. Another 28 ships will seek more sheltered areas. Three submarines were heading out to sea as well.
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