Hurricane Irene lost some steam just before sending six to nine-foot waves to batter North Carolina's Outer Banks on Friday morning. The storm is set to crawl up the coast for the rest of the weekend, slinging 100 mile-per-hour winds and curtains of rain at every major city on the Eastern seaboard; her slow progress and wide base has many worried about widespread flooding as waves slam the coast and inland areas brace for up to ten inches of rain. Though Irene has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm, mandatory evacuations are underway from Nags Head to Atlantic City to Lower Manhattan. (New York City residents: check out this map to see if you're in the evacuation zone.) Irene will follow a similar path as Hurricane Gloria in 1985, and with 65 million people in her path, she's expected to do billions of dollars worth of damage. And ruin everyone's weekend.
Do you live along Irene's war path? Email us photos, videos and ground reports of preparation efforts and/or evacuation mayhem near you!
- The airlines are canceling a crapload of flights this weekend. Christian Science Monitor estimates it could be over 10,000 in total, and they've got a helpful what-to-do-if-it-happens-to-you post.
- Remember all that talk about this being a storm of historic proportions? Here's a brief history, visual of tropical storms and hurricanes on the East Coast from Owen James Burke at The Atlantic.
- A couple of odd but worthwhile items at Gizmodo: "How to Listen to First Responders During the Hurricane" and a companion piece "Irene Emergency Tracker Site Set to Ambient Music Is Helpful, Creepy."
- How can say no to this collection of hurricane-themed cartoons from The New Yorker's cartoon editor Robert Mankoff?