Good Night Irene!

Connecticut, Rhode Island join Hurricane Irene evacuation list
Though Hurricane Irene was still hundreds of miles south, residents of low-lying areas of Connecticut and Rhode Island were evacuated Saturday as officials warned of widespread flooding from the powerful storm that is expected to strike at high tide.

In an afternoon briefing, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said the storm would make landfall between Stamford and Bridgeport early Sunday morning, bringing seven to 12 inches of rain.

“I want to remind people that much of what you’ve watched on TV so far has occurred in states that were experiencing low tide,” Malloy said during a late afternoon briefing. “We expect to experience all of the brunt of this storm tomorrow morning at high tide, and that could be a very serious difference. So please do not draw conclusions about what you’re watching on [television], beaches at low tide that are getting battered.”

Gov.: Hurricane Winds May Blow After Irene Leaves
FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Hurricane Irene will hit Fairfield County at about 11 a.m. Sunday with heavy winds and up to 10 inches of rain, Gov. Dannel Malloy said during a news conference Saturday night as heavy downpours began hitting the region.

Though the storm was weakening Saturday night, an increase in the prediction for the amount of rain could mean rivers and streams are more likely to flood, Malloy said. He also said a change in weather conditions could mean hurricane force winds will continue after the storm starts to move out of Connecticut on Sunday afternoon.

New York shuts down ahead of Hurricane Irene
(Reuters) – Times Square emptied out and evacuation shelters filled up as New York City shut down on Saturday ahead of Hurricane Irene, which charged up the East Coast on a direct path toward the world financial capital.

New Yorkers deserted the streets and took cover from a rare hurricane headed their way — only five have tracked within 75 miles of the city since records have been kept. The full impact of heavy rain, powerful winds and a surging sea was expected through Sunday morning.

Rain was reported throughout the city around 8 p.m, and the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch in addition to the hurricane warning.

After Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the unprecedented evacuation of 370,000 people living in neighborhoods near the water’s edge, more than 3,700 took refuge in the city’s shelters, thousands more fled to the homes of friends or relatives, and others defiantly stayed behind.

Hurricane Irene 2011: Climate Change To Blame?
It’s been one of the most hotly debated questions this week: Is climate change driving Hurricane Irene?

“No one is going to point to Irene and say this is climate change,” Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Huffington Post. “But we can say that we are seeing the fingerprint of climate change this year.”

Knowlton was of course referring to the growing list of extreme weather events that have ravaged the U.S. in 2011 — from tornadoes and flooding, to droughts and heat waves. And now millions of Americans, many of whom have never seen a real tropical storm in their lifetime, are facing a major hurricane.


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