Irene could reach Brooklyn as a category 2

August 25, 2011 Editorial Staff
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On the heels of an earthquake, Brooklyn residents may be facing a hurricane this weekend.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference to discuss thecity’s most vulenrable areas and the possible threat from theimpending natural disaster.

Just before the mayor spoke to a small crowd of reporters aboutprecautions the city was taking to prepare for the coming storm,crews from the Environmental Protection Agency cleared one of thecity’s 143,000 catch basins outside St. Luke Baptist Church.Bloomberg looked on as a crane scooped up bits of dirt, broken rockand tree branches from the basin.

The mayor said Hurricane Irene could reach New York as strong asa Category 2 storm. Storms of this magnitude can snap and uprootshallowly rooted trees, destroy fences and pose a substantial riskof injury due to high winds along with flying and fallingdebris.

Bloomberg warned that evacuations may be necessary. To find outif you live in a hurricane evacuation zone click here.

The Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) command center hasbeen activated and the city is in constant contact with theNational Weather Service (NWS) and state agencies, Bloombergannounced.

The city’s OEM is monitoring Irene – the first hurricane of the2011 season. Though the forecast remains uncertain city residentsmay experience hurricane or tropical storm conditions this weekend.The NWS forecasts heavy rain and thunderstorms throughout theweekend with possible tropical storm conditions Sunday. Winds areforecasted to reach near 70 mph Sunday afternoon with gusts over 80mph.

The cleanup is just one of the steps the city is taking toprepare for the storm. The city activated its command center at theOEM yesterday and the mayor said that the NYPD, FDNY,transportation, health and buildings departments were taking extrasteps to handle whatever emergencies the storm might cause.

We hope for the best and prepare for the worst, Bloombergsaid.

The Department of Buildings has warned residents to secureoutdoor objects that can become dangerous projectiles in the heavywinds. Loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, pottedplants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys should be broughtinside. Gas grills and propane tanks should be anchored. Windowsshould be secured.

The hurricane is currently in the northwestern Bahamas. Irene isa Category 3 hurricane with winds nearing 120 mph. The NWSforecasts the strength of the storm increasing throughout theday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also ordered the state’s OEM to preparefor the potential hurricane. The state has been in contact theFederal Emergency Management Agency and the NWS to determine stormplanning efforts.

The governor urged residents to pay close attention to the trackof the hurricane and, if necessary, to follow the instructions ofemergency officials.

The actual strength of the hurricane will depend on its courseup the east coast. Long Island and New York City are consideredmost at risk.

Local public officals such as Councilmember Vincent Gentile andAssemblymember Nicole Malliotakis said their offices will be openon Sunday in anticipation of the stormy weatherfrom HurricaneIrene.

They are urging residents to feel free to contacttheiroffices,Gentile- (718) 748-5200; Malliotakis- (718) 987-0197,if they arein need of assistance.

Take this one seriously, Brooklynite Christine Turner toldThe Home Reporter. I never thought that I wouldexperience an earthquake in Brooklyn, but [I] did the other day.Who’s to say that[we] can’t get hurricanes?

Stay with The Home Reporter for up dates as they becomeavailable, and to find out moreinformation about Irene visithttp://www.nhc.noaa.gov/


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