Hurricaine Irene

August 23, 2011 by USA Post 

Hurricaine IreneHurricaine Irene, Hurricane Irene could avoid the central coast of Florida and bring tropical winds and rains to the region on Friday.

Forecasters said Irene would most likely become a Category 3 hurricane, capable of damaging winds up to 130 kilometers per hour.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Irene is now a Category 2 storm and was moving on the north coast of the Dominican Republic early Tuesday. It is expected that moves on the Turks and Caicos today.

The five-day forecast, experts warn that it is subject to major changes since the storm about 100 miles east of Cape Canaveral on Friday morning. While staying at sea, Central Florida did not escape the powerful tropical cyclone of storm-force winds, forecasters said.

“Worst of Hurricane felt along the [Volusia and Brevard] beaches, but also worsen conditions inland through Orange, Osceola and Seminole,” said meteorologist John Pendergrast of the National Weather Service in Melbourne.

Irene Cone monitoring extends throughout the region, including Interstate 4 corridor, where forecasters predict heavy rains, flooding and wind damage possible tropical storm force winds that can reach up to 73 mph.

Pendergrast warned that if the high pressure area pushing north to south, could be directed to the west, and Irene Road near Central Florida.

Irene intensified in the first hurricane of the season on Monday of Puerto Rico. Toppled power lines and trees, leaving nearly 800,000 residents without electricity.

Monday afternoon, the storm was heading off the island and to the Bahamas. The government has issued a hurricane warning for the central Bahamas and a hurricane warning for the northwestern Bahamas.

In Central Florida, emergency management, the authorities said they were monitoring the storm if it changes further inland.

“We are doing advance planning at the moment with our key response agencies and county information managers late Tuesday,” said Dave Freeman, director of the Orange County Office of Emergency Management. “We are watching to see if it intensifies.”

St. Cloud Emergency Manager and Fire Chief Bill Johnston said the hotline will be activated and distributed sandbags if the storm is a danger to residents. He said that Central Florida must focus on personal emergency preparedness.

“With the exact route remains uncertain, the most important thing residents can do now is to monitor weather conditions and prepare their emergency supply kits, their homes and their families, if not already done so,” said Johnston.

Central Florida public schools, officials say they are watching the progress of the storm, but it is too early to say if the school was suspended on Thursday or Friday.

Residents are being told to monitor the storm and consult their school district websites. To keep the public informed, the school district in Orange County will update its hotline at 407-317-3800 if there is anything to report.

At the University of Central Florida, which began classes on Monday, officials are recommending that students check for updates on the website of the university in

Hal Klopfer, regional manager for Winn-Dixie inventory control, said people do not usually buy storm-related products Monday.

Patrick Sutton, table-service supervisor at the Home Depot on Lee Road, also said there has been a rush to buy supplies for the storm, but managers plan extinction of batteries and water.

Others were more cautious.

“They are starting to come in and get the little things,” said Ron Kelly, assistant store manager of Lowe’s Altamonte Springs. Essential items include batteries, water, weather radios and flashlights.

People, particularly those who remember the 2004 hurricane, have already purchased expensive items such as generators long ago, Kelly said.

Colleen Glass, 77, of Altamonte Springs made his second day trip to a Publix on State Road 434 to buy a pack of 24 water.

Previously, he had bought the ingredients for the vegetable soup.

“I have to made by the time the power goes out,” said Glass.

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