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Good Morning, Hurricane Irene (Please Go Away)

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Okay so here’s the good news: it’s going to be mostly sunny with a high of 85 today.  We all know the bad news: her name is Irene, she’s a dangerous Category 2 storm (having weakened slightly overnight) and she could very well be coming our way by the end of the weekend.

The Weather Channel predicts: Irene could “hug the coastline potentially making a landfall in southern New Jersey Sunday afternoon with the center coming very close to or over New York City Sunday evening.”  Even if there’s no direct hit, officials have major concerns about flooding and high winds in the city.

Mayor Bloomberg could make a decision tonight whether to order an evacuation ahead of the storm (but a final call will not come until tomorrow at 8 a.m.).  In Lower Manhattan, Battery Park City is most susceptible to flooding, but sections of the Lower East Side are in evacuation zones. If you want to know, whether you live in an evacuation area, check out this online tool from the Office of Emergency Management. This map from WNYC provides a general “lay of the land.”

Other notes: city transit officials will likely begin to shut down subways and bus routes tomorrow afternoon (they might not be back up in time for Monday morning’s rush hour).  Also,  residents are being urged to familiarize themselves with these hurricane preparedness tips. Finally, various weekend activities have already been canceled. We’ll have a full rundown of what’s happening and not happening throughout the day.

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