Ocean City, MD Along with Parts of Wicomico County Ordered To Evacuate, East Coast Braces For Hurricane Irene

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all those on the East Coast who will be affected by Hurricane Irene. Please stay safe. 

    From Delmarva Now: OCEAN CITY -- An insistent evacuation of Ocean City began at midnight, and the resort hoped to have all residents and visitors out of town by 5 p.m. today, as a hurricane heads for Delmarva.At midnight, Phase 3 of the resort's evacuation plan went into effect, meaning everyone other than emergency workers had to make their way across the bridges and out of town.

    The decision was made late Thursday after overnight forecasts nudged the projected path of Hurricane Irene closer to the Delmarva coastline than had been expected Wednesday. Mayor Rick Meehan signed a local state of emergency declaration, which essentially shuts down the entire town. The sale of alcohol is banned, and all businesses were asked to close.

    For Ocean City, Irene's eye "will pass very close by or just offshore later Saturday night into Sunday morning," Accuweather Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said Thursday.It will bring heavy rain -- a predicted 9.5 inches in town -- that is expected to cause substantial coastal flooding, along with sustained hurricane-force winds reaching 90 mph, with gusts near 120 mph.

    My hometown of Salisbury is located about 35 miles from Ocean City. City officials have ordered the evacuation of all those living in low lying areas around the county. The Wicomico Youth & Civic Center will be used as a shelter.  Some of the streets where people are being urged to evacuate are only a few blocks from where I grew up in Salisbury.  

    Here is one tracking model of the storm

    I'm not sure whether Hurricane Irene is going to hit Maryland as a category 2 or a category 1 storm.  Hopefully the storm weakens.  
    Stay safe folks. 

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