8:00 AM | Irene closes in on the New York City region


Irene continues to punish the New York City region with heavy rain and strong winds as it's center heads towards the New York City region. Hurricane Irene made a second landfall early this morning as a category 1 storm about 10 miles ESE of Atlantic City, NJ near Little Egg Harbor Inlet. This is the first hurricane to make landfall in the US since 2008 and, in the case of Irene, it actually made landfall twice, once in North Carolina and now in Southern New Jersey. Winds are currently sustained at 75 mph with gusts of up to 90 mph and Irene should reach the New York City region by early afternoon and weaken to tropical storm status. Widespread power outages and flooding problems have occurred throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and there are 3 million homes without power from North Carolina northward. In the NYC region, gusts will likely reach hurricane-force levels of up to 80 mph during the day and rainfall totals will approach a foot in many spots before the rain winds down during the mid-to-late afternoon hours. Winds should then die down quite quickly later this evening and the next several days look rather nice; however, many of the power outages and flooding problems will linger.