Irene hits North Carolina as Category 1 hurricane

posted at 11:43 am on August 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Hurricane Irene hit the coast of North Carolina this morning at 7:30 ET, weaker than expected but hardly a weakling.  Irene had sustained winds of 85 MPH, and has already had one death attributed to it:

Somewhat weakened but still ferocious, Hurricane Irene slammed into the North Carolina coast Saturday morning, drenching the coastline and starting an ominous northward march almost certain to bring misery to millions.

The massive Category 1 hurricane made landfall near Cape Lookout around 7:30 a.m. with top sustained winds of 85 miles per hour, thrashing sand and water in every direction. …

At least one death was reported. A man in Onslow County was boarding up his windows with plywood when he suffered a heart attack Friday, said Ernie Seneca, spokesman for North Carolina Emergency Management.

Irene pummelled Outer Banks towns unfortunate enough to lie in its path. Wind and water damaged buildings, snapped trees and turned objects like park benches into whirling dervishes. Next up for Irene’s punch: southeastern Virginia.

Ten of thousands of people in North Carolina were without power as reports of damage started filtering in.

Allahpundit noted last night that Irene’s impact seemed to have been overstated, and at least so far that appears to be true.  That doesn’t make it not dangerous, to which anyone who has been in 85-MPH winds can attest.  As it runs up the coast, though, the storm should weaken further and dissipate.  By the time it gets into New Jersey, it might be downgraded to a tropical storm — with any luck.

Consider this an open thread, and we’ll update as events require.  For now, here’s a CNN report on the scene where a reporter is having trouble keeping his feet in the microbursts.

Update: In response to the notion that global warming caused this hurricane, Poor Richard’s News did a little investigating. It turns out that this is the first hurricane-strength storm to hit the continental US in almost three years, and that the rate of higher-strength hurricanes hasn’t changed much in … 150 years.

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I think they’re ordering evacuations in my area. We are surrounded by water on three sides and only connected to mainland by a small causeway 150 feet wide

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Yea. Ambulance driving around ordering evac

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 2:50 PM

wait wait nvm he did another pass, its voluntary

PHEW, :P

ah well, so we get cut off from civilization for a little while. might be a good thing. plenty of deer to eat.

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I’m in Fayetteville, NC and it’s been pretty non-eventful. I’ve seen thunderstorm much worse. I even went to the store this morning.

Ortzinator on August 27, 2011 at 2:54 PM

This is sad, an eleven year old boy was killed in Newport News, VA when a tree fell on his house.

Cindy Munford on August 27, 2011 at 2:55 PM

However, I think of the TWO t-storms my area in KS had last week that not only didn’t get moment by moment national news coverage but didn’t even get MENTIONED on the national news. Our winds were around 70-90 miles an hour, along with buckets of rain and lightening.
katablog.com on August 27, 2011 at 1:04 PM

It’s true–The news is biased in weather coverage. I hate strong winds. I’ll take a blizzard every time over this stuff.

@blatant blue—
If that’s where you live, what the heck are you still doing there??!

conservative pilgrim on August 27, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Or maybe our intel and military guys are doing a good job. Has that crossed your husbands mind?

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 2:39 PM

As a military brat, with a father & mother who both served in harms way, I assure you he has the utmost respect for our military. He was merely pointing out the coincidence of it. And you are correct that our men and women are doing a good job.

Sometimes it’s just difficult not to be highly suspicious and wonder if in fact this Al Qaida guy was not picked up weeks ago by our very competent Men and Women and then Obama waited until the opportune time to release the information. Come on, the man doesn’t do anything without considering the political implications first.

Susanboo on August 27, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Come on, the man doesn’t do anything without considering the political implications first.

Susanboo on August 27, 2011 at 2:57 PM

If anything, the last thing the president wants to do is sit on a terrorist. He’s got all the trouble in the world, and he’ll take the help NOW!

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM

I’ll give Obama credit on one small area. Assassinating terrorists, and drone strikes. Other than that, he’s awful. Just terrible.

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 3:03 PM

one death attributed to it:

Cheer up. There are more. Shemp Smythe gleefully reports on FOX that a second, and perhaps a third fatality has occurred.

Geeze, these guys are so desperate to scare people for ratings. A hat floating down a gutter and a broken car window are featured to illustrate the ‘devastation’.

LegendHasIt on August 27, 2011 at 3:03 PM

LegendHasIt on August 27, 2011 at 3:03 PM

It’s all a result of the Twenty Four Hour News Cycle

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I think 0 took on the Libyan KMA merely to “teach Bush how to fight wars”. Now he will enjoy the MSM comparing how much smoother his FEMA took care of this HUGE hurricane to how Bush did with Katrina.

Oleta on August 27, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Irene has officially been downgraded to Heck Storm 2011.

BDavis on August 27, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Come on, the man doesn’t do anything without considering the political implications first.

Susanboo on August 27, 2011 at 2:57 PM

If anything, the last thing the president wants to do is sit on a terrorist. He’s got all the trouble in the world, and he’ll take the help NOW!

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Not going to argue with you. The man has ulterior motives, I don’t trust him, and he uses our military as pawns. For that matter, he uses anyone and everyone to get whatever he wants. Unfortunately for our military, he’s their commander in chief, and they have to follow his orders. Unfortunately for us, he’s our president and we have to put up w him until Jan 2013.

Susanboo on August 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Good luck with your ‘riding it out’. (I would too, even if it hadn’t weakened a lot) and would hate for them to be able to say “I told you to evacuate.”

LegendHasIt on August 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM

This is going to sound snarky, so I pre-emptively apologize. But for those of us on the Gulf who have seen and endured our share of hurricane devastation in our lifetimes, part of me wants to tell these 24/7 cable guys to get back with me when it’s at least a Cat 3.

Where were the cameras when Nashville flooded? Oh that’s right. TN isn’t a politically protected state. They actually helped each other out.

TxAnn56 on August 27, 2011 at 3:15 PM

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 2:53 PM

as long as you have your adult beverages, you should be good to go :)

cmsinaz on August 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I’m here at the Jersey Shore about 1.5 miles from the ocean (near Asbury Park). Hatches battened down, windows taped up, porch furniture and hanging ferns in my living room. My 1929 Shore Colonial has seen it’s share of Nor’easters, hurricanes and blizzards. Even had a tornado touch down two blocks away on Labor Day weekend about 15 years ago.

I’ve got a turkey in the oven, drinking a Manhattan and watching Braveheart. Raining pretty hard now. Hubby just got back from the ocean, says it’s pretty wild. He says there were no surfers, so I guess it must be a real storm. We’re going to 5:00 Mass if it doesn’t get too crazy by then.

Naturally Curly on August 27, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Naturally Curly on August 27, 2011 at 3:27 PM

hang in there NC

cmsinaz on August 27, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I am visiting NC and Irene had pretty much come and gone. I am not too impressed with the monster storm as advertised.

bayview on August 27, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Naturally Curly on August 27, 2011 at 3:27 PM

I like your style…stay safe!

d1carter on August 27, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I have no idea where they are getting the information in this article. There is a weather station at Cape Lookout and it shows Max GUSTS of 80 mph (67 kts) how this becomes sustained at 85 mph is beyond me:

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=CLKN7

PhillyUnion on August 27, 2011 at 3:40 PM

The most economic damage from this will be from shutting down New York City for what will be a tropical depression by the time it gets there. This is what they call a man-made disaster.

Ronnie on August 27, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Obama is at FEMA headquarters. Photos available, of course.

Ronnie on August 27, 2011 at 3:47 PM

cmsinaz on August 27, 2011 at 3:32 PM

d1carter on August 27, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Thank you both! Mainly worried about a tree coming down (we have a few BIG old ones), and/or losing power. If my sump pump goes out it won’t be good. I’ll keep you posted!

Naturally Curly on August 27, 2011 at 3:49 PM

as long as you have your adult beverages, you should be good to go :)

cmsinaz on August 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

blueberry port
cab franc
blue point toasted lager

long islands finest alcohol

saw on the weather channel earlier the eye is taking a slightly rightward track now

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Obama is at FEMA headquarters. Photos available, of course.

Ronnie on August 27, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Is he wearing the snoopy helmet last worn by Dukakis? He needs proper gears while he is battling the killer rabbit storm.

bayview on August 27, 2011 at 3:55 PM

The folks in the media seem to be skipping over the massive amounts of rain forcast for cities and inland. There could be bad street and creek flooding and then river flooding later. They are hung up on the hurricane reporting of wind/storm surge, but the flooding from rain will probably do the most damage.

forest on August 27, 2011 at 4:20 PM

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 3:53 PM

excellent

cmsinaz on August 27, 2011 at 4:24 PM

forest on August 27, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Yes.

hillbillyjim on August 27, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Where were the cameras when Nashville flooded? Oh that’s right. TN isn’t a politically protected state. They actually helped each other out.

TxAnn56 on August 27, 2011 at 3:15 PM

That’s exactly what I’ve said since yesterday. The New York media ran screaming because of a failed bomb attack in Time Square while people died in Nashville. After they hyped their failed bomb attack to death they started covering the BP oil well which they had been ignoring. Nashville never got as much as a nod.

Big Orange on August 27, 2011 at 4:30 PM

I wish Obama would use some of his god-like powers to redistribute some of that rain down here to Texas. Sigh. Sad to be jealous of a hurricane, huh?

aero on August 27, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Still, I think the Governor’s threat of prosecution to those who ignore evacuation orders is over the top — just tell them that they stay at their own peril and others’ lives will not be endangered to rescue them.

hillbillyjim on August 27, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I agree. We were under mandatory evacuation, and we were already out of town, so we had our dog sitter bring the dogs to us. Had we been there, I still think we would have left because we stayed during Isabel and the flooding was at the door–and this was before we had dogs and had to consider the practical matters involving them. But had I chosen to stay–say, to protect my property from the looters who might come around knowing there was a mandatory evacuation–I would have considered whatever I had to face my own problem. That should be enough for the Governor.

DrMagnolias on August 27, 2011 at 4:38 PM

This whole thing is a sham.

Click here for realtime weather feeds. Just hover over a city, when the icon turns into the pointy finger, click.

Here a5 4:42 PM, the winds in Suffolk, Va were at 23 MPH. I can fart faster than that.

Wag the Dog. “Obama saved the East Coast from devastating hurricane with his superior intellect and planning.”

More like he benefited from a non-storm and lots of over-inflated reporting.

Right on schedule.

BobMbx on August 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Nuts. Here’s the link.

BobMbx on August 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM

I’ll give Obama credit on one small area. Assassinating terrorists, and drone strikes. Other than that, he’s awful. Just terrible.

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Stoners love video games.

darwin-t on August 27, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Bunch of drama queen northerners whining about a cat 1 hurricane.

lorien1973 on August 27, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Stoners love video games.

darwin-t on August 27, 2011 at 4:50 PM

…What?

It’s a good thing he expanded drone strikes deeper into Pakistan and into Yemen. Do you not agree?

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

It’s a good thing he expanded drone strikes deeper into Pakistan and into Yemen. Do you not agree?

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

It may take years to answer that question.

hillbillyjim on August 27, 2011 at 5:20 PM

The folks in the media seem to be skipping over the massive amounts of rain forcast for cities and inland. There could be bad street and creek flooding and then river flooding later. They are hung up on the hurricane reporting of wind/storm surge, but the flooding from rain will probably do the most damage.

forest on August 27, 2011 at 4:20 PM

The latest 5 PM update shows that the storm surge is going to create huge problems for NYC.

Del Dolemonte on August 27, 2011 at 5:21 PM

King Wimp found shelter.

That’s all that matters, till 2012.

Key West Reader on August 27, 2011 at 5:29 PM

The latest 5 PM update shows that the storm surge is going to create huge problems for NYC.

Del Dolemonte on August 27, 2011 at 5:21 PM

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT4+shtml/260900.shtml?

Winds will be strongest in two places:
East of the center (i.e. Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island), and higher up at the skyscraper level.

NHC expects winds to be at hurricane level by the time it reaches NYC/Long Island, with winds at skyscraper level being 20 percent higher than lower level areas.

They have revised their rain forecasts from 5-10 inches to 20 inches.

blatantblue on August 27, 2011 at 6:10 PM

This whole thing is a sham.

Click here for realtime weather feeds. Just hover over a city, when the icon turns into the pointy finger, click.

Here a5 4:42 PM, the winds in Suffolk, Va were at 23 MPH. I can fart faster than that.

Wag the Dog. “Obama saved the East Coast from devastating hurricane with his superior intellect and planning.”

More like he benefited from a non-storm and lots of over-inflated reporting.

Right on schedule.

BobMbx on August 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Yes, but President Downgrade could only pull that off if he had most of the press behind him……………………….

Chip on August 27, 2011 at 6:18 PM

HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO SEE THAT STUPID PIER?

John the Libertarian on August 27, 2011 at 6:27 PM

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-takes-charge-hurricane-command-center-172139005.html

Good News! Obama at the helm. No word on if the seas levels are receding or if the planet is healing yet.

ted c on August 27, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Bloomberg ordered 370,000 New Yorkers to evacuate and only 1400 complied. Don’t blame them. Why substitute a safe apartment where you have less than 1 chance in 10,000 of anything untoward happening to face the tender mercies of a shelter where your neighbor may well be an armed-to-the-teeth serial killer. The quote of the day:”BLOOMBERG COULDN’T MOTIVATE ME TO EVACUATE IF I WERE ON THE TITANIC”

MaiDee on August 27, 2011 at 8:29 PM

I live in NC into the edge of the mapped wind graph. It’s been rainy and windy here today, but no more than it was at Christmastime when the wreathes blew off the windows, twice. Breaking out the Pepto Bismol now after seeing the photo op of O “taking charge.”

winfield on August 27, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Crying wolf once again.

For ratings.

For not wasting a crisis.

Fox reported news of a moored yacht being battered but it was actually holding its own.

Smiles on the reporters faces.

Meteorologists disappointed in a weakening over-hyped storm.

All of this so perverse.

Obama playing golf during the earthquake then fleeing MV because of Irene.

Meanwhile da Obamas waste the taxpayers money by taking separate flights to DC.

Note Irene is chasing him but Michelle is running away.

I hope Irene becomes a mini personal hurricane making a hornet line for Obummer!

He’d be running his ass off meanwhile getting no more no good work done.

Works for me!

Sherman1864 on August 27, 2011 at 8:53 PM

I thought O promised to lower the sea level?

BTW, SE NJ is now under a tornado warning and 2 of the major roads into Atlantic City are now flooded.

Beaglemom on August 27, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Bbbbwwwwahahahahahah –

The Weather Channel Streaker hits!

http://youtu.be/qnuDFTMZHKQ

poppieseeds on August 27, 2011 at 9:19 PM

ok…where EXACTLY is the “hurricane”?

I went to the current weather readings for every major city supposedly currently “IN” the “hurricane”, and the HIGHEST WIND SPEED I found was 45 mph.

Is there anybody actually experiencing high wind?

Justrand on August 27, 2011 at 9:46 PM

HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO SEE THAT STUPID PIER?

John the Libertarian on August 27, 2011 at 6:27 PM

I see it every day. I have a picture of it at sunrise hanging on my office wall. My wife won a photography contest with that photo. Just below it is a picture of me and my family with 750lbs of fresh caught tuna, and almost of 200lbs of dolphin (fish not the mammal) and one great big Wahoo. All caught on a fishing trip out of Oregon Inlet off the Outer Banks.

Oldnuke on August 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM

http://www.army.mil/article/64419/Standing_guard_in_the_face_of_Hurricane_Irene/

Takes more than a bit of wind to faze a Tomb Guard :)

theflyonthewall on August 28, 2011 at 12:06 AM

Winds at 25mph here in N. suburbs of Phila. But the rain is relentless, and flooding underway. I pumped 8 inches of water out of pool and already 4″ have come back in – and the heavy stuff is expected later in the morning. Gonna be a fun Sunday cleaning up. Keep safe.

NumberTwo on August 28, 2011 at 12:19 AM

massive Category 1

Is that like jumbo shrimp?

Ronnie on August 28, 2011 at 12:40 AM

Obama is at FEMA HQ for several reasons:

1. The “press” can interview him there “taking charge” of the situation.
2. He knows the hurricane won’t be as bad as it’s hyped up to be so the recovery will be swift.
3. Comparisons will be made between Bush’s handling of Katrina and Obama’s handling of Irene, favorably of course.
4. He knows NYC is one of the best prepared cities so he has less to worry about.

Problem is, it could backfire in his face. Salt water and electric trains don’t mix well. We’ll know more on Monday night.

gordo on August 28, 2011 at 9:47 AM

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