The center of Hurricane Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout in Carteret County early Saturday morning.
As of 7 p.m. the center of Irene was located near 36.5°N, 75.8°W, or about 35 miles south-southeast of Norfolk, VA. The storm was moving back over water and was expected to track up the Atlantic coast into southern New England. Maximum sustained winds were 80 mph and the storm was moving north-northeast at 16 mph. Minimum central pressure was 950 mb. The hurricane warning has been discontinued south of Surf City. A hurricane warning remains in effect from Surf City northward to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts, including the Pamlico, Albemarle and Currituck Sounds, Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay south of Drum Point, New York City, Long Island, Long Island Sound, coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Chesapeake Bay from Drum Point northward and the tidal Potomac; north of Sagamore Beach to Eastport, Maine; the United States / Canada border northeastward to Fort Lawrence, including Grand Manan; and the south coast of Nova Scotia from Fort Lawrence to Porters Lake.
The storm is forecast to move near or over the mid-Atlantic coast tonight and over southern New England on Sunday. Irene is forecast to remain a Hurricane as it moves into the mid-Atlantic and approaches New England.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 85 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 290 miles. Gusts in excess of 100 mph were measured along the North Carolina coast.
Irene is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of six to ten inches, with isolated amounts of 15 inches, from eastern North Carolina northward through the mid-Atlantic states into eastern New York and western New England. These rains could cause widespread flooding and life-threatening flash floods.
Damage and other reports include:
- The end of Bogue Inlet Pier at Emerald Isle collapsed and part of the pier behind the Sheraton Hotel in Atlantic Beach has collapsed. (Source News 14 Carolina)
- Water from the Bogue and Pamlico sounds is flooding homes in Craven and Carteret Counties. (Source: News 14 Carolina)
- Highway 12 through the southern Outer Banks and U.S. 64 east of Columbia, N.C. to near Nags Head were shut down Saturday morning. (Source: News 14 Carolina)
- The Northeast Cape Fear River is expected to flood near Burgaw some time Sunday. (Source: The Wilmington Star-News)
- Morning reports from Brunswick County revealed no major damage from Irene. Bald Head Island plans to shut off its water because there is no power on the island, which officials say poses a risk for sewage backup. Caswell Beach will consider keeping its evacuation in place because of the amount of flooding on the island and the concern with standing water. (Source: The Wilmington Star-News)
- Holden Beach has “very little damage” caused by Irene. The beach strand suffered, but the dune system overall is in good shape. Some roof shingles and some vinyl siding have been blown off of home. (Source: Email distribution by the Town of Holden Beach)
- Surf City Baptist Church’s “The Gathering” building lost its front door to wind gusts Saturday night. (Source: The Wilmington Star-News)
- Flooding was reported in Surf City (Source: The Wilmington Star-News)
- Witnesses say a tornado spawned by Irene blew the roof off of a warehouse at a car dealership in Belhaven (Source: WECT).
This will likely be Cape Fear Business News’ last post related to Hurricane Irene.