Hurricane Irene: Locals prepare for approaching hurricane

People pull their boats out of the water before Hurricane Irene hits. (Photo: Kris Van Cleave)

(AP, ABC7) Whether buying generators and supplies or canceling weekend plans, people in the Metro area are getting ready for Hurricane Irene.

In Alexandria, crews raced to clean out the sewers ahead of the storm. And in D.C., Pepco is bringing in hundreds of extra crews from out of state as well as these contractors working in Northeast.

The D.C. Department of Public Works announced Thursday that District residents can pick up sandbags (up to five per household) at its New Jersey Avenue and K Street, SE site.

Distribution begins Friday, Aug. 26, at noon and runs through midnight as well as Saturday, Aug. 27, from 8 am through midnight.

The sandbags weigh between 40 lbs. and 50 lbs.

Virginia Beach officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation for a section of the city in preparation for Hurricane Irene.

The evacuation for Sandbridge is effective at noon Friday. Virginia Beach officials ordered the evacuation late Thursday.

Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency Thursday, but did not order an evacuation. He said he would leave that up to local officials.

Emergency officials are warning residents to prepare for massive power outages, flooding and damage from Hurricane Irene, a Category 3 storm that is expected to hit Virginia late Saturday or early Sunday.

The College of William and Mary is canceling classes and closing residence halls effective Friday through Monday. Only offices open are administrative offices.

Amtrak canceled trains traveling south of Washington for tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.

Maryland Transit Administration says-light rail and local buses will run as weather permits.

Evacuation ordered for part of Virginia Beach

Most carriers say it will waive change fees and fare increases for customers whose travel plans are affected by the hurricane. This includes: United, Continental, Delta US Airways, American and Jet Blue.

On Kent Island, boat owners are taking no chances. One multi-million dollar 70-footer was pulled out right before Dick Roberts had his boat lifted from the water.

Sally Murray lost power for 12 days during Hurricane Isabel. Murray, a mother of four, is making sure that doesn't happen with Hurricane Irene.

She made sure she had the essentials - a generator, water, flashlights, paper plates, pop tarts.