Skip to main content

State-by-state developments related to Hurricane Irene

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- As Hurricane Irene began moving up the Atlantic Seaboard after making landfall on the North Carolina coast Saturday morning, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned that "the window of preparation is quickly closing."

She urged people in the path of the storm to make sure they have enough supplies for a few days. President Barack Obama declared states of emergency for North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire to provide federal aid for recovery efforts after the storm passes.

Irene made landfall Saturday morning five miles northeast of Cape Lookout, North Carolina. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour and was moving at 13 miles per hour.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend up to 260 miles.

Here are reports from the states most affected by Hurricane Irene:


-- Extensive sound-side flooding was reported throughout Dare County, emergency management officials said in a news release Saturday night. The towns of Duck and Nags Head were among those affected.

-- The town of Kill Devil Hills has established a curfew for the public for all of its incorporated area until further notice, the emergency officials also said.

-- Gov. Bev Perdue said Saturday that Hurricane Irene has "pounded the state all night." But, she added, the force wasn't as great as originally forecast.

-- Sustained wind of 59 miles per hour, with a gust of 84 miles per hour, was measured at Cape Hatteras shortly after the storm made landfall.

-- A child died in Goldsboro after the car he and his family members were riding in collided with another vehicle, both of which had went through a stoplight that had been knocked out by the storm, Capt. Anthony Carmon of the Goldsboro Police Department said.

-- One adult in a car that was carrying a total of three family members died after a tree hit their vehicle as it was travelling down a highway near Clinton, said North Carolina emergency management spokesman Ernie Seneca.

-- A motorist died after losing control of his vehicle Saturday morning and striking a tree in Pitt County, Seneca said Saturday.

-- A tree limb struck and killed a man feeding livestock in Nash County, he added.

-- And a man in Onslow County died of a heart attack as he put plywood over his windows Friday in preparation for the storm.

-- More than 500,000 customers were without electricity, said Brad Nieman of the state Division of Emergency Management.

-- There were reports of significant flooding in the Swann Quarter of Hyde County, and the town of Wanchese was reported under water, Nieman said.

-- About 5,000 people were in 60 shelters throughout the state, Nieman said.

-- High winds, heavy rain and a flooding storm surge cut off thousands of residents in Beaufort, Carteret and Pamlico counties, the state's emergency management division reported.

-- The storm ripped off roofs and caused other damage to homes and businesses in Hyde and Jones counties, according to the agency. A tornado spawned by Irene destroyed five homes and seriously damaged a business in Tyrrell County, Sheriff Darryl Liverman told CNN affiliate WITN.

-- Every road in Jones County was blocked by downed trees, the state emergency management agency reported. Road crews across the state were trying to clear roads, but trees kept falling around them, the state transportation department said.

-- At least 10 major roads have closed and airports have shut down, Perdue said. The state's eastern counties will see up to 9 inches of rain. She noted there are high winds and flooding problems.

-- "Please stay inside," Perdue said to the people in the storm-affected region of the state.

-- More than 7,000 residents had been evacuated in storm-affected areas by Saturday evening, officials said.

-- Storm surges of up to 9 feet occurred in coastal areas.

-- Mark Van Sciver of the North Carolina Joint Information Center said most of the reports of wind damage and flooding were in the coastal areas east of Interstate 95. He said 7,381 people were staying in 81 shelters.

-- Perdue told CNN Saturday that tourists and many residents had left the hurricane-slammed region of her state, but she said "some hangers-on who want to see the storm" remained. They included 200 residents riding out the storm on Ocracoke Island, at the southern end of the Outer Banks.


-- More than 142,000 customers of the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative were without power as of 9:20 p.m. Saturday.

-- More than 837,000 customers of Dominion Electric were without power as of 9:15 p.m. Saturday.

-- Tornado warnings were issued in the state as the storm neared Saturday.

-- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told CNN on Saturday evening that a higher than expected 5- to 7-foot storm surge could hit the Hampton Roads area in the coming hours. "That would be a record (and) that would put water in a lot of places," he said.

-- McDonnell said areas around Norfolk could see waters rise 8 to 9 feet above the norm, adding that rivers and creeks likely will crest for several days.

-- A boy was killed Saturday after high winds knocked a tree onto a Newport News, Virginia, apartment complex, said Officer Holly McPherson of the city police department.

-- A man was killed in Brunswick County after a tree fell on his car, said Eileen Guertler, a spokeswoman for the state's emergency operations center.

-- A man in Chesterfield County died Saturday after a tree fell on his home, emergency officials said.

-- Dominion, one of the main utilities in the state, reported that more than 612,000 people in Virginia were without power as of 5:41 p.m. Saturday.

-- The state Department of Emergency Management said Saturday 180,000 electricity customers were already without power, adding that conditions were changing rapidly.

-- Sentara Norfolk General Hospital was set to go on "lockdown" status at 5 p.m. Saturday due to Hurricane Irene, the hospital said on its Facebook page. From that time to noon Sunday, access will be restricted to patients and staff, meaning visitors will not be allowed in the hospital -- a 525-bed tertiary facility that is home to the area's only Level 1 trauma center and burn trauma unit -- during that time.

-- Three hundred Virginia National Guard troops were deployed to position resources at key locations in advance of the storm.

-- Storm surges of 4 to 8 feet are possible in the Virginia Tidewater region, the National Hurricane Center said.

-- Some 38 U.S. Navy ships -- including 27 that were based out of Norfolk -- are out at sea to minimize the impact from Hurricane Irene. This represents 13% of the U.S. Navy's deployable battle force ships.

-- Most Virginia Beach residents were without power on Saturday evening, officials said.


-- Mayor Vincent Gray told CNN on Saturday afternoon that the city is "expecting anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of rain" from the storm.

-- At about 9:30 p.m., 256,418 Pepco customers were without electricity in the District, according to the utility's website.

-- The city's Metro subway system remained open Saturday. Unless conditions change drastically, the mayor said, "Right now, we plan to keep it open."

-- Gray urged residents to stay indoors, saying Saturday, "As long as we have gale-force winds, they cannot go out and do anything."

-- On his Twitter feed, Gray alerted residents about emergency routes out of the city as well as Washington's hurricane preparations guide. He also informed people about the availability of sandbags for those wishing to stem flooding.

-- There were no plans to monitor the Washington Monument during the storm. It will be evaluated after. The National Park Service worked to protect it from further damage, just days after it was cracked by a magnitude-5.8 earthquake, agency spokeswoman Carol Johnson said Friday. Engineers, some of them suspended on ropes, worked inside the monument to "plug holes and catch anything that they can't plug," she added.

-- Sunday's planned dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington was postponed, said Harry Johnson Sr., head of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation. The last of the weekend's events was to a national prayer service on Saturday. A gala ball was also canceled.


-- More than 500,000 Pepco customers were without electricity as of 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

-- More than 15,600 customers of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company were without power as of 8:45 p.m. Saturday.

-- Irene was expected to hit Maryland hard by the afternoon and evening.

-- The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (U.S. 50/301) was closed Saturday until winds ease, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

-- The authority also put the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (U.S. 301), Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), Millard Tydings Bridge (I-95) and Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (U.S. 40) under wind warnings Saturday evening.

-- The Nice, Key, Tydings and Hatem bridges were under wind warnings as well.

-- Waters in and around Chesapeake Beach rose several feet between Saturday morning and evening, before the hub of the storm had passed, CNN's Chris Lawrence reported.

-- Ocean City, Maryland, Mayor Rick Meehan said early Saturday evening that he is pulling police off the streets because of deteriorating conditions. Emergency calls will be handled case by case, he told CNN.

-- There is some flooding in downtown Ocean City and more is expected Saturday. Forecasters have told the mayor that waves could soar as high as 15 feet, especially when the worst of the storm hits the city between midnight and 3 a.m. Sunday.

-- Gov. Martin O'Malley told CNN on Saturday evening that there's already been "a whole lot of beach damage" from the storm.

-- At least 40,000 customers had lost power in Maryland as of Saturday evening, O'Malley said, adding that many more outages were expected as the storm unfolds. Pepco reported that about 5,700 were without power in Prince George's County as of about 5 p.m. Saturday. Baltimore Gas and Electric said that just over 13,000 people did not have power.

-- The Maryland Transit Administration halted all subway and bus services at 9 p.m. Saturday, with light-rail transport ending three hours earlier, the agency announced on its website.

-- The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel has been closed until further notice, the state's Emergency Management Agency reported.

-- The governor said Friday that "anybody that thinks that this is a normal hurricane and that they can just stick it out is being both selfish, stupid and also diverting essential public safety assets away from the task at hand, which is safeguarding lives and getting people out of the way."

-- Also Friday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declared a state of emergency for her city.

-- Baltimore is urging citizens in low-lying areas to move vehicles to higher ground.

-- "Do not venture outside," said Ocean City's Meehan. "This is not a hurricane party. This is a very serious storm."

-- Ocean City's wastewater treatment plant was taken offline Saturday. The system is expected to go back online late Sunday.

-- A state of emergency has been declared in the state capital, Annapolis, where additional police officers will be deployed to assist the public during and after the storm, Mayor Joshua Cohen said Friday. The city will ration remaining sandbags, and residents can park for free in four city garages.

-- Maryland Emergency Management Agency officials asked people who want to volunteer not to travel to a disaster scene "before the needs of survivors are determined." They also said public donations without specific requests can be a "severe burden" for management officials working out the logistics of collection and distribution. It said cash is the best form of donation and lists appropriate organizations on its website.


-- Hurricane Irene is expected to pound the Delaware Peninsula overnight Saturday.

-- Delaware's transportation department said it plans to close bridges when sustained winds reach 45 miles per hour.

-- Gov. Jack Markell ordered a "mandatory evacuation of visitors" in coastal areas, adding it is "highly likely" that there eventually will be mandatory evacuations for residents of some areas.

-- The Delaware Emergency Management Agency urged those who had planned to visit the state this weekend to "postpone plans immediately."

-- The governor said more than a foot of rain could fall in some locations along with the coast, with 9 to 10 inches possible in inland parts of Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties.

-- Thirteen Air Force and Army aircraft were evacuated from Delaware to avoid damage, according to the National Guard. But there were no plans to evacuate people from military bases.

-- Army Maj. Gen. Francis Vavala, adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard, said 200 Guard members could respond within hours if requested by the governor and 500 more could be ready within 48 hours.


-- Philadelphia International Airport will close at 10:30 p.m. Saturday and not reopen until at least 4 p.m. Sunday, spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said in a statement Saturday night. The shutdown was to affect about 1,135 flights.

-- The storm should strike southeastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, in force early Sunday morning, according to forecasters.

-- Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on Saturday declared a state of emergency for the city, the first such declaration for the city since 1986.

-- Rain has been falling in Philadelphia since noon Saturday, CNN's Sarah Hoye reported. Two rivers around the city -- the Schuylkill and Delaware -- could crest due to the storm, leading to severe flooding.

-- Rainfall from Irene -- expected to be as much as 7 inches in the Philadelphia area -- could cause the Schuylkill River and other bodies of water to flood. Tidal flooding along the Delaware River is also possible.

-- The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will halt service from about midnight Saturday to until after Irene has passed, which is expected to happen about mid-day Sunday. Service will resume "on a route by route basis," the transportation agency said.

-- Philadelphia's Emergency Operations Center opened Saturday to monitor the storm and coordinate the city's response and recovery activities.

-- While the city isn't issuing an evacuation order, it is urging people to proceed to a shelter or a safe location if there is danger. Mayor Michael Nutter's office said "it is strongly recommended that Philadelphians living in flood-prone areas make alternative arrangements to stay with family or friends whose homes are not prone to flooding for the course of this event and until the flooding threat subsides."

-- Liam O'Keefe, deputy managing director for emergency management, said Saturday that the city is urging residents to check up on loved ones and neighbors, particularly the elderly and people with special needs.

-- No evacuation order is being issued for the city, though Nutter urged residents to use common sense and leave if necessary.

-- Three shelters -- with a capacity of 1,500 and capable of expanding to 6,000 -- opened in Philadelphia.


-- Newark Mayor Cory Booker went door-to-door Saturday, telling residents to exhibit safe behavior at home and on the road. "I benefited a lot from the surprise factor" when people opened the door, he told CNN. "I think they got the point."

-- The mayor of East Brunswick in Middlesex County declared a state of emergency. Mayor David Stahl also issued a travel ban (meaning no vehicles except for emergency vehicles) for all roads in town effective at 10 p.m. Saturday, according to Austin Kosik, emergency management coordinator.

-- The New Jersey shore is likely to begin bearing the worst of Hurricane Irene on Sunday morning, forecasters say. Driving rain and high winds began in the Garden State on Saturday.

-- The state could be deluged with 6 to 12 inches of rain, coupled with heavy winds and possible storm surges. Earlier, Gov. Chris Christie had said that "from a flooding perspective, this could be a 100-year event."

-- Christie said he conducted "a series of conference calls" Saturday morning with mayors and local officials around the state, during which he learned of reports on the ground and about the municipalities' needs and wants ahead of the storm.

-- More than 1 million people left the New Jersey shore over 24 hours, Christie said Saturday afternoon, adding that the evacuations occurred "with very little traffic disturbance."

-- This includes more than 90% of residents who had been ordered to evacuate in the most-impacted counties, the governor said, with higher rates in some locales. Roughly 5,300 people were in shelters, he said.

-- Some people, most of them senior citizens, in a high-rise in Atlantic City have refused to abide by orders to evacuate, according to Christie. By 9 p.m. Saturday, about 90 people remained in the building.

-- About 1,200 people from Atlantic County spent the night Friday and early Saturday at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, as part of a "transitional" evacuation process before they were moved to more permanent shelters, Christie said.

-- Some 1,500 National Guard soldiers and airmen have been deployed around New Jersey to respond to the storm, he said.

-- Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer issued a mandatory evacuation order for all ground-floor units in the city. A shelter has been opened for residents who are unable to leave the city. Buses will pick people up to take them to the shelter.

-- Driving of personal vehicles, including taxis, will be prohibited after 8 p.m. All PATH and New Jersey Transit rail service was stopped Saturday.

-- The governor ordered the opening of the Ramapo River floodgates, in hopes of lessening the potential flooding from the storm.

-- Atlantic City and the surrounding barrier islands have a mandatory evacuation in place, according to Linda Gilmore, Atlantic County's public information officer. The evacuation extends from Seaville to as far north as Galloway Township, and include only areas east of Route 9.

-- Mandatory evacuations are in effect for all residents of Bay Head and Mantoloking and many residents in Point Pleasant Beach, according to the latter borough's website. Shelters are set up at Toms River North High School and Wall Township High School, with the Point Pleasant Beach High School serving as a staging area to shuttle people to safer locales between 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday.

-- New Jersey State Police Lt. Nicholas Massa warned Saturday that it would be hard for people to drive, once tropical force winds hit the area. "If you didn't leave (in time), you're going to have to hunker down. The power goes out, you're not going to be able to call for help, you're going to have to stay there until we get there."

-- About PSEG 800 customers reported power outages in the southern part of New Jersey, mostly in Deptford in Gloucester County, according to company spokeswoman Karen Johnson. About 60 other customers were without power throughout the state. PSEG serves 2.2 million customers across New Jersey.


-- The National Weather Service on Saturday night issued a tornado watch for the New York City area. A tornado watch indicates that conditions are favorable for a tornado to form. No tornado had developed or been reported yet.

-- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Saturday night closed the lower level of the George Washington Bridge in both directions, though the upper level of the bridge remained open.

-- As of 7:45 p.m. Saturday, 45 customers had lost electric service in all of New York and Westchester. More outages were expected as the storm nears, said Con Edison spokeswoman Elizabeth Mathews. Con Edison serves approximately 3.3 million customers in the area, she said.

-- A decision to cut electric service will be made between 2 and 10 a.m. Sunday, if needed, said Con Edison Senior Vice President John Miksad. The two networks that will most likely be cut span from the Brooklyn Bridge to Battery (the tip of Manhattan) along the East River and extend to west to Broadway. These are called the Fulton and Bowling Green networks. Nearly 18,000 people would be affected if those networks are cut, said Con Edison spokesman Sara Banda.

-- Ten miles of steam line downtown is being turned off, affecting 50 customers, mostly downtown, and one in Lincoln Center, Miksad said Saturday. (A "customer" can be an entire building) No steam means no heating or cooling for some customers.

-- More than 400 Con Edison crews from Colorado, Mississippi, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin are on their way to help 1,700 local "storm riders" maintain and restore services, he said Saturday.

-- A total of 370,000 people had evacuated New York City by Saturday evening, emergency management commissioner Joseph Bruno said. All necessary hospital patients had been evacuated in a large undertaking, he added.

-- Officials hope to begin cleaning up the city about 5 p.m. Sunday if Irene eases as expected, he said.

-- Subway officials hope to start bringing back the system on Monday, after inspecting for damage, Bruno said. No specific timeframe had been set.

-- Some New York City buildings had stopped running their elevators, to avoid having anyone trapped if conditions deteriorated.

-- New York City and Long Island will likely experience strong, hurricane-force winds and heavy rains from Irene starting on Sunday.

-- A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for some low-lying areas of all five boroughs of New York City. The mandatory order includes Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Far Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens; South Beach, Midland Beach and other low-lying areas on Staten Island; and Battery Park City in Manhattan.

-- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the deployment Saturday afternoon of an additional 1,000 National Guard troops in response to Hurricane Irene, according to an announcement from his office. The deployment means that 1,900 National Guard members have been dispatched so far because of the storm.

-- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged people Saturday afternoon to evacuate if so ordered, and otherwise take precautions and stay inside. "This is a storm where, if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, (it) could be fatal," he said.

-- The mayor said that the latest forecast suggests the storm's epicenter will pass east of the city Sunday.

-- He noted that some stores and workplaces remained open Saturday afternoon, while adding he expected them to "close in the near future."

-- There will be no incoming or outgoing flights Sunday out of the five New York-area airports -- John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty, Teterboro and Stewart -- operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, agency spokesman Steve Coleman said Saturday afternoon. This means there are "thousands of flights canceled, with 150 to 200 people a flight," said Coleman, speculating that "probably tens of thousands of people" are affected.

-- The city's extensive subway system shut down at noon Saturday. Bloomberg told reporters that it will not be fully operational until "late in the day Monday," because MTA workers may need to pump and then clean out tunnels and reposition equipment after the storm passes.

-- To speed the evacuation process, Cuomo announced that tolls do not need to be paid at numerous bridges, including the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge and Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.

-- Officials continued Saturday afternoon to urge thousands of people who have been told to evacuate to head to higher ground. About 1,400 people showed up in 91 shelters around the city, according to Bloomberg, who speculated that many more have found refuge with relatives and friends. He urged people to evacuate immediately, "even if they have to walk."

-- The Staten Island ferry was still running Saturday afternoon, albeit on a limited schedule due to minimal demand, said Bloomberg. It was expected to stop operating later, in the face of high winds and rocky seas.

-- If winds exceed 60 mph, the George Washington Bridge, Tappan Zee Bridge, Triborough Bridge, Queensborough Bridge and possibly others will be ordered closed. The same goes for bridges over the Hudson River: the Bear Mountain Bridge, Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, Mid-Hudson Bridge in Poughkeepsie, Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge and Rip Van Winkle Bridge in the Catskills.

-- Beaches and cultural institutions are closed for the weekend. And in addition, construction has been stopped in the city.

-- It's "conceivable" that downtown Manhattan will have no electricity after the hurricane blows through, he said.

-- New York police will head to low-lying areas on Saturday afternoon and evening to tell residents to evacuate. A sizable tidal surge could accompany the storm, likely causing "an awful lot" of flooding.

-- Irene's current track could make it the most destructive hurricane to strike New York City since 1938.

-- Suffolk County has ordered mandatory evacuations of barrier beach communities, particularly those on the western end of Fire Island, county spokesman Mark Smith said. Further evacuations in low-lying, beachside communities -- including parts of the Hamptons and Montauk -- could be mandated Saturday morning, he added.

-- New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission was dispatching more cabs than normal into low-lying areas where evacuations have been ordered. The drivers and riders will have a special "zone fare" system and other new rules, including mandating that pets be allowed on board and encouraging people to ride in groups.

--, the city's website, crashed intermittently Friday due to excessive web traffic that Bloomberg said was roughly three times as much as normal.

-- Five city hospitals located in low-lying areas were evacuated Friday afternoon, said Susan Craig, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They include Coney Island Hospital, the New York University Hospitals Center, the Veterans Administration hospital in Manhattan, and the Staten Island University and the Staten Island University North facilities.

-- In addition, eight nursing homes in Brooklyn and Queens, eight adult care facilities in those two boroughs as well as Staten Island, and the South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island were evacuated, according to Craig.

-- All Broadway performances scheduled for Saturday and Sunday are being canceled because of the suspension of public transportation in New York as Hurricane Irene approaches, officials said.


-- Residents of coastal areas in the Nutmeg State are bracing for Hurricane Irene to begin hitting in force on Sunday.

-- In a news conference, Gov. Dannel Malloy urged "all Connecticut citizens and all public officials to take this event as seriously as any event that we have ever prepared for."

-- The state's emergency operations center has been fully activated, and there have been regular meetings involving state and local officials.

-- Nearly 33,000 sandbags had been distributed to state residents as of 11 a.m. Friday, the governor and emergency management and homeland security department said in a joint "situation report."

-- The town of Old Saybrook has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm, according to the state.

-- The New Haven Open, the final WTA tune-up before next week's U.S. Open, moved its championship match at Yale to 1 p.m. from 5 p.m. Saturday to avoid the storm.


-- Coastal Rhode Island, including Block Island, is under a hurricane warning, which was issued late Friday afternoon.

-- The state's residents are expecting powerful rains and drenching rains on Sunday.

-- On Saturday afternoon, the scene in Newport was largely calm, with clear skies and the streets basically empty ahead of the storm, according to CNN's Gary Tuchman.

-- Gov. Lincoln Chaffee said Saturday evening that the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier in Providence, which he visited, "is going to be working" when the storm strikes.

-- The governor said he's been "very, very impressed with the preparation of our citizens" ahead of the storm.

-- Residents in low-lying areas of Newport are subject to a mandatory evacuation order, issued Saturday by the Newport Emergency Management Team. People have been told to head to higher ground by midnight Saturday.

-- Red Cross shelters have been set up at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown and Portsmouth Middle School in Portsmouth.

-- Michelle Katafisz, a Bristol resident, told CNN on Saturday afternoon that she's "never seen the stores and businesses board up like they've done." She said that people are taking steps and "preparing for the worst."

-- Some residents of Bristol have been ordered to evacuate to higher ground by 10 a.m. Sunday, Katafisz said. This is one of six communities where mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

-- Gov. Lincoln Chaffee said he's been in close contact with mayors and town managers, and added that "individual preparation is essential."

-- Emergency Management Agency officials urged residents to put together emergency kits to tide them over for up to three days. There were no immediate plans for evacuations. Lt. Col. Denis Riel, spokesman for the Rhode Island National Guard, said personal preparedness is important. "It's not a matter of if it hits us, it's when," he said.


-- Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has suspended all its transit services for Sunday.

-- A hurricane warning was issued later Friday for the South Coast part of the state east to Sagamore Beach, on Cape Cod, as well as Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

-- The commonwealth should be hit by the hurricane on Sunday, according to forecasters.

-- Six emergency shelters opened at 6 p.m. Saturday at six Cape Cod high schools, four sites on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard and four sites elsewhere in Massachusetts, the state's emergency management agency announced.

-- The MBTA, which runs Boston's subway service known as the "T" and other public transportation, said Friday that it was not planning on suspending service, as is being done in New York City and Philadelphia. The agency plans to have "extra personnel and equipment" on hand throughout the system in an "effort to prevent any disruptions in service," the MBTA announced on its website. "Work crews are ready to respond to any storm-related issues that may emerge."

-- The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency website features numerous articles on hurricane preparation and safety, including how to keep pets safe.

-- It gives instructions for following evacuation orders should that become necessary.

-- There is also a Cape Cod emergency traffic plan.


-- Governor John Lynch said New Hampshire was in a state of emergency and urged residents to heed emergency officials' warnings to stay away off roads, beaches and waterways on Sunday.

-- "Residents who feel their homes may not sustain high winds, or who are located in a low-lying area subject to flooding, should seek alternate shelter before the storm hits. We also ask that everyone restrict non-emergency travel on Sunday," Lynch said in a news release.

-- "The National Weather Service is forecasting the storm to pass directly over New Hampshire on Sunday, bringing significant rainfall and high winds that will likely result in flash flooding, fallen trees and downed power lines," the release said.

-- Residents were urged to call 2-1-1 for information on emergency shelters, which had started to open.


-- The Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory was closed at noon Friday, the Maine Department of Transportation announced. The observatory is expected to reopen at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Storm covers are being installed in hopes of preventing water from getting in during the storm.

-- Lobstermen can now haul and move lobster traps anytime, after the state's Marine Resources department lifted existing restrictions on nights and weekends.

-- The Maine Marine Patrol urged all people in boats to secure their vessels ahead of the coming storm.

-- Acting Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa has asked Maine residents to review their homeowner and renter insurance policies to determine if they will be covered in the event of massive flooding.

-- "Be prepared, and 'stay tuned,' " Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Rob McAleer said on the agency website.


The Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory was closed at noon Friday, the Maine Department of Transportation announced. The observatory is expected to reopen at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Storm covers are being installed in hopes of preventing water from getting in during the storm.

Lobstermen can now haul and move lobster traps anytime, after the state's Marine Resources department lifted existing restrictions on nights and weekends.

The Maine Marine Patrol urged all people in boats to secure their vessels ahead of the coming storm.

The state's emergency management agency offered information on its website informing people of what they can do to minimize damage and maximize safety as the hurricane approaches.

Acting Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa has asked Maine residents to review their homeowner and renter insurance policies to determine if they will be covered in the event of massive flooding.

"Be prepared, and 'stay tuned,'" Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Rob McAleer said on the agency website.

"Irene could bring heavy rains, high winds, storm surge or any combination of those things. Pay close attention to weather forecasts, and start now to think about your personal emergency plans. You want to give yourself enough time to take care of your home, business or boat before the storm arrives."

CNN's Alexander Hunter, Phil Gast, Greg Botelho, Stephanie Gallman, Kristina Sgueglia, Chris Boyette and Rich Phillips contributed to this report.