All eyes on Irene

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Aug 24, 2011 - 05:44 PM

Photo: Hurricane Irene as of 2 p.m. Friday.

Hurricane Irene as of 2 p.m. Friday.

 

As Hurricane Irene barrels through the Atlantic Ocean toward the East Coast—and possibly Virginia—many local and state agencies are busy preparing for the storm.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, the storm was located just north of the eastern tip of Cuba traveling in a northwesterly direction at 12 miles per hour, according to information from the National Hurricane Center. The storm is projected to make landfall sometime Saturday along the Carolina coast.

Photo: Teresa Fletcher of Middlesex, center, combined a regular shopping trip with a chance to pick up some emergency supplies Tuesday afternoon at the Walmart Supercenter in Gloucester. She is shown with her daughters Rikki, left, and Lindsey. Photo by Bill Nachman.

Teresa Fletcher of Middlesex, center, combined a regular shopping trip with a chance to pick up some emergency supplies Tuesday afternoon at the Walmart Supercenter in Gloucester. She is shown with her daughters Rikki, left, and Lindsey. Photo by Bill Nachman.

Local emergency management officials said they are closely monitoring the storm and will take appropriate actions when they become necessary. "We prepare for the worst and hope for the best," Garrey Curry, Gloucester’s interim emergency management coordinator, said Tuesday. "We’re closely monitoring the storm," he said, and Gloucester will participate in all state Department of Emergency Management telephone conferences to keep abreast of the approaching storm.

"Our emergency operations center is in good shape," Dave Burns, Mathews emergency services coordinator, reported to the Mathews Board of Supervisors Tuesday night. If needed, Mathews will use its "CodeRed" telephone warning system to alert residents to evacuate, Burns said.

"Please leave Mathews and leave early if the hurricane approaches on its current path," Burns said. "Tell your relatives and friends inland to expect house guests on Friday."