Hurricane Irene hit the coast of North Carolina around 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday, claiming the lives of at least four and leaving more than 1 million people without power in North Carolina and Virginia as it continues to make its way up the East Coast.
For the next 48 hours, hurricane warnings have been issued for Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Delaware; New York; Pennsylvania; New Jersey; Connecticut; Rhode Island and Massachusetts. With the storm system releasing 85mph winds and expected to hit New York City late Saturday or early Sunday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered an evacuation of over 300,000 people living in low-lying areas along with the public transit system shut down for the first time in history as an added precaution. The greatest danger is a potential tidal surge, the mayor said, and residents should prepare for power outages and flooding.