Editor's Note: A list of emergency management agencies along the East Coast is below. For our latest update on Irene, visit the Severe Tropical Weather category on the blog.
We’re continuing to closely monitor Hurricane Irene through our regional offices in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Atlanta. As the storm continues through the Caribbean, current forecasts from the National Hurricane Center project Irene may continue to strengthen and could make landfall anywhere along the East Coast.
We continue to be in constant contact and coordination with all of our state and territorial partners in the Caribbean and along the East Coast that have already or could possibly experience impacts from this storm. Yesterday, President Obama signed an emergency declaration for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, making available federal support to protect lives and property for all 78 municipalities there.
While the future path of Irene is uncertain, it’s important that those along the East Coast take steps to get prepared and stay informed as Irene approaches. Ready.gov/hurricanes has tips for getting prepared, and hurricanes.gov is the place for the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
In an Associated Press story this morning, local officials along the east coast shared their concern as they make preparations for Irene. Here are some of their quotes from the full story:
"In terms of where it's going to go, there is still a pretty high level of uncertainty," said Wallace Hogsett, a National Hurricane Center meteorologist. "It's a very difficult forecast in terms of when [hurricane Irene] is going to turn northward."
"We want to make sure Floridians are paying attention," said Bryan Koon, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, who met Monday with the governor. "We are at the height of the hurricane season right now. If it's not Hurricane Irene, it could be the follow-up storm that impacts us."
"This is potentially a very serious hurricane," longtime Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said. He led Charleston's recovery from the massive destruction of Hurricane Hugo's 135 mph winds and waves back in 1989.
"We must prepare for the worst and hope for the best," said Joe Martinez, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission.
Here’s a list of resources for state emergency management websites and social media accounts along the east coast:
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- New York
State Office of Emergency Management