Aug 26, 2011
The eye of hurricane Irene remains near the Bahamas, but already President Barack Obama has signed an emergency disaster declaration for North Carolina.
The North Carolina’s Outer Banks are expected to take the brunt of the storm at its strongest point on Saturday — with latest predictions placing the center of the storm passing over New York City as a Category 1 hurricane late Sunday.
The declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in evacuation and response as it deems necessary.
“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.”
The New York City transit system is expected to shut down bus, train and subway service once winds reach 39 miles per hour — which may occur as soon as Saturday. Additionally, bridges across the tri-state New York area may be closed if high winds make them too dangerous to pass.
If the storm continues on its present track, Obama will likely issue similar preemptive declarations in the next day or two.