Hurricane Irene: Latest developments

Hurricane Irene is seen at 7:40 a.m. EST, August 27, 2011, as it made landfall along the coast of North Carolina. Irene, now a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 85 miles per hour, is making its way up the eastern coast of the U.S. Complete coverage: Hurricane IrenePictures: Keeping an eye on IreneNational Hurricane Center NASA/NOAA GOES Project via Getty Images

A buoy that sits at the end of the Ocean City, Md. jetty is toppled over due to heavy surf caused by the arrival of Hurricane Irene on August 27, 2011.
Getty Images

3:38 a.m. ET

Constellation Energy Nuclear Group said one of its reactors at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland went off-line automatically late Saturday night after a large piece of aluminum siding dislodged from a building and came into contact with the facility's main transformer. An unusual event has been declared. That's the lowest of four emergency classifications by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A spokesman for the company said that Constellation Energy's second reactor was safe and operating at 100 percent power.

3:07 a.m. ET

AP is reporting that one of two nuclear reactors operated by Constellation Energy Nuclear Group at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland went off-line automatically because of winds from Hurricane Irene. The company says that the facility is safe and stable.

2:14 a.m. ET

Three bridges to New York City's flood-prone Rockaways are closed because of rising winds as Hurricane Irene advances toward the city. The Broad Channel bridge, the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge were closing. It's unclear when they will reopen. Authorities also have closed the lower level of the George Washington Bridge and one of the bridge's approaches in New Jersey. The bridge's upper deck is still open.

2:04 a.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Irene's sustained winds were topping out at 80 mph while the storm was moving north-northeast at a 17 mph clip. It was centered about 195 miles south-southwest of New York City. Although forecasters say Irene will be moving over cooler waters, it is still expected to stay a hurricane until landfall again near Long Island, N.Y., about midday Sunday.

1:14 a.m. ET

The St Mary's Lake Dam near Callaway, Md. could spill over but is not in danger of breaching, according to officials in St. Mary's County. Residents living near the 250-acre lake are being urged to move their families and pets upstairs or to a high place with a means of escape.

Hurricane Irene Times Square
People play in the rain in Times Square in New York City on the eve of Hurricane Irene's arrival on Saturday, August 27, 2011.
Charles Lamont/CBS News

12:31 a.m. ET

Hurricane Irene has caused chest-deep floodwaters in Norfolk, Va. Check out this video of WTKR's Kurt Williams navigating through chest-deep floodwater to report on the powerful storm surge and heavy rainfall.

12:21 a.m. ET

The National Weather Service predicts up to to 8 inches rain are expected in New York City through Sunday afternoon.

12:15 a.m. ET

New York's Port Authority has closed the Palisades Interstate Parkway entrance to the George Washington Bridge because of the storm.

11:55 p.m. ET

New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg said late Saturday that the time to evacuate had passed, and that residents should just stay put and hunkered down for now. The outer bands of Irene have begun soaking the city with heavy rain.

11:20 p.m. ET

A total of 1.8 million homes on the East Coast have lost power as a result of Hurricane Irene, according to the latest figures. The storm is currently centered off the Virginia coast, expected to make landfall again on Long Island around midday Sunday.

11:15 p.m. ET

CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller reports that President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration for Puerto rico. This is the first of the Disaster Declarations for damage wrought by Irene. The other declarations have been Emergency Declarations - authorizing expenditures in advance of Irene. A press release from the White House states: "Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster."

10:05 p.m. ET

North Carolina officials have blamed Irene for five deaths in their state. They are listed as follows: Man died of heart attack while preparing for storm; 1-car collision into tree after hydroplaning, driver dead; Man killed by falling limb while feeding animals on property; 1 killed by falling limb while driving on highway; 15-year old killed in car accident (Goldsboro, NC) at intersection with powerless traffic light.

9:40 p.m. ET

A soldier stands guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, despite the hurricane warnings.
3rd U.S. INF Regiment The Old Guard

According to the 3rd U.S. INF Regiment The Old Guard Facebook page, "A lone Tomb Sentinel, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), walks his tour in humble reverence during Hurricane Irene in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Aug 27. Members of The Old Guard have guarded the Tomb every second, of every day regardless of weather or holidays since April 6, 1948."

9:28 p.m. ET

The National Weather Service radar reports that radar indicates tornado touched down near Lewes, Del. 15 structures have been damaged.

9:07 p.m. ET

In light of the hurricane, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has decided to shut down Boston's public transporation.

8:54 p.m. ET

National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey has issued a tornado warning for southern Delaware, New Jersey and certain areas of Maryland. The tornado watch will be in place until 5:00 a.m. EST Sunday morning. The NOAA's map also shows tornado warnings for much of the eastern seaboard from Maine to North Carolina. 

Amtrak service this Sunday in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England has been suspended. All areas north of Jacksonville, Fla., and east of Toledo and Indianapolis are affected. Passengers who have paid for travel on canceled trains are asked to contact Amtrak to reschedule or get a refund.

7:21 p.m. ET 

According to North Carolina officials, two more people have died in car accidents during the hurricane, bringing the unofficial death toll to eight.

7:09 p.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center reports that at 7 p.m. ET Hurricane Irene was located 35 miles southeast of Norfolk, Virginia, and 315 miles south southwest of New York City. Maximum sustained winds are 80 mph. Hurricane Irene is headed north northeast at 16 mph.

7:06 p.m. ET

Steve Futterman just sent in these pictures of people watching the waves rise in Long Island, New York.

Steve Futterman

Steve Futterman

7:02 p.m. ET

New York City area airports are shut down until Monday. There have been 9,664 flight cancellations so far this weekend, and that number is expected to rise.

A 55-year-old man surfing off the coast of Florida is the latest victim of Hurricane Irene.

5:57 p.m. ET

A 55-year-old man surfing off the coast of Florida is the latest victim of Hurricane Irene.

5:37 p.m. ET

A hurricane warning has been discontinued south of Cape Fear in North Carolina.

5:28 p.m. ET

N.C. governor Beverly Perdue to give a 6 p.m. ET briefing.

5:16 p.m. ET

5:03 p.m. ET

At 5 p.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Irene is located 50 miles south south east of Norfolk, Va., 340 miles south southwest of New York City. Maximum sustained winds are 80 mph. Hurricane Irene is headed North Northeast at a speed of 13 mph.

4:55 p.m. ET

At least 907,058 customers in North Carolina and Virginia are now without power. Progress Energy in N.C. reports 278,002 customers without electricity; 13,821 Duke Energy customers are affected; and in Virginia outages affect 615,235 Dominion Electric customers.

4:48 p.m. ET

Watch live coverage of Irene in D.C. on CBS affiliate WUSA here.

More than 791,840 customers are without power in North Carolina and Virginia. In North Carolina, 269,520 Progress Energy customers and 17,576 Duke Energy customers were without power. In Virginia, Dominion Electric said 504,744 customers had lost power.

3:45 p.m. ET

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warns New Yorkers that public transportation might not be available until late Monday afternoon.

Power may also be cut in lower New York City due to lines being stored underground. The mayor suggested charging cell phones and other devices in case of power outages. He also cautioned that those living on upper floors might not be able to get water during the storm, so as a precaution they should fill their tubs and sinks with water.

Despite reports to the contrary, Bloomberg insists no one has been turned away from a shelter. About 14,000 residents are in emergency shelters right now. Officials are strongly urging citizens to evacuate now. Taxis are mandated to take New Yorkers from flood zones to safer areas.

2:28 p.m. ET

Officials have reported three more deaths that may be attributed to Hurricane Irene.

In Newport News, Va., an 11-year-old boy died after a tree felled by winds from Hurricane Irene crashed through his apartment shortly after noon Saturday. Winds from the storm were around 60 mph at the time.

In North Carolina an Onslow County man died of a heart attack while putting up plywood; and a driver in Pitt County perished when his car struck a tree on the side of a road Saturday morning. State Highway Patrol officials say they were investigating the fatal wreck and were not sure if it was storm-related.

In New Hanover, N.C., authorities said a man was missing after he either jumped or fell into the Cape Fear River.

President Barack Obama
President Obama participates in a video conference with states in the path of Hurricane Irene, at FEMA's heardquarters, Saturday, August 27, 2011. Officials monitored Hurricane Irene as it swept up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.
White House
1:26 p.m. ET

President Barack Obama participated in a daily video conference at FEMA with federal and state agencies involved in preparing for and responding to Hurricane Irene, and offered moral support to federal emergency management workers hunkered down for the storm's weekend march up the East Coast.

6,500 troops were put on standby in case they are needed for post-storm relief work.

Mr. Obama said the government is aiming to be as effective with the response and recovery after Irene as it has been with preparations before the storm became a threat to the U.S.

"It's going to be a long 72 hours and obviously a lot of families are going to be affected," the president said.

12:21 p.m. ET

CBS News' Miles Doran is in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., where he reports shingles are beginning to peel back from homes amid tropical storm force winds. He shot these video highlights.

11:27 a.m. ET

Authorities in North Carolina say Hurricane Irene blew a large tree limb onto a man, killing him.

Nash County Emergency Management Director Brian Brantley said the man was walking outside his home in a rural area of the county around 10:20 a.m. Saturday when the limb hit him. Paramedics were called to the scene, but the man was already dead.

Wind gusts in the area had reached more than 60 mph as Irene's outer bands passed through.

7:40 a.m. ET

Hurricane Irene is seen on the coast of North Carolina at 7:40 a.m. ET Aug. 27, 2011 in the Atlantic Ocean.
NOAA/NASA
Hurricane Irene made landfall in the United States at approximately 7:30 a.m. as a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 85 mph. The center came ashore near Cape Lookout, N.C.

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