Hurricane Irene, one of the strongest storms to threaten the East Coast in decades, is barreling toward North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Millions of residents are stocking up on bottled water, canned goods, batteries, flashlights and other emergency supplies. Governors in each of the affected states have declared states of emergency. Residents along the coast are boarding up their homes and duct-taping their windows, and mandatory evacuations displacing millions of people are under way.
Need to Know will be providing updates on the storm throughout the weekend along with our partners at The Climate Desk, including Mother Jones, which has some especially useful — and fascinating — background on the storm here. Meteorologists and public officials are predicting that it could be the most devastating storm to barrage the East Coast in history. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued a warning for the entire East Coast, and President Obama has cut short his vacation to return to Washington, D.C., declaring, “If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. Don’t wait, don’t delay.”