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      Hurricane Irene: Live Blogging Hurricane Irene

      A man struggles against the wind while trying to walk over the dunes as the effects of Hurricane Irene are felt in Nags Head, N.C., Saturday. (Photo: AP)

      Sunday, Aug. 28

      12:24 p.m.: Members of Fairfax County's Urban Search and Rescue Team, Virginia Task Force 1 is heading home. The team had been deployed toward NJ but is now returning to Fairfax County.

      11:46 a.m.: Ocean City, having escaped major damage, throws open its doors at noon.

      11:18 a.m.: The bridge leading to N.C.'s OBX remains closed.{}

      {}11:07 a.m.: In New York, 404,481 Long Island Power Authority customers without power. Con Edison, which serves much of NYC and Westchester County, has 102,783 customers out; National Grid has 71,870 customers out; Central Hudson Gas and Electric has 66,613; and the Orange and Rockland power company has 31,218.

      10:42 a.m.: Traffic lights are out throughout much of the region; officials say treat intersections as a four-way stop sign.

      10:01 a.m.: D.C. Mayor Gray says more than 40 trees down but applauds emergency response overall.

      9:56 a.m.: NYT:{}The hurricane made landfall in New Jersey and was battering New York City, causing some flooding, but, so far, not as much as had been feared.

      8:58 a.m.: Irene loses hurricane strength, makes landfall over NY's Coney Island with 65 mph winds.

      8:27 a.m.: Isolated looting of damaged homes in Virginia Beach leads to a handful of arrests.

      8:24 a.m.: Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission says drinking water is not affected by power outages.

      7:55 a.m.: See the latest power outages reported for DMV here.

      7:25 a.m.: Maryland Transit Administration says bus, subway and the Inter County Connector Bus service has resumed.

      6 a.m.: D.C. Metro expects bus, rail and MetroAccess service to run on a regular schedule today.

      5:45 a.m.: A woman in Queen Anne County was reportedly killed when a tree fell on a chimney which in turn struck her, according to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

      5:35 a.m.: The National Hurricane Center said the center of the huge storm made landfall near Little Egg Inlet in New Jersey.

      5:32 a.m.: President Obama signed an emergency declaration for D.C., authorizing FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

      5:06 a.m.: A tree fell through a house in the 6600 block of Greig Street in Capitol Heights, Md., displacing 11 adults and six children, according to Prince George's County Fire officials.

      3:45 a.m.: The Western Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant at 6600 Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro lost power, according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

      Good morning everyone! We hope you survived Irene relatively unscathed. We're back with you this morning to tell you what happened while you were sleeping.

      12:10 a.m.: Hurricane Irene has knocked out power to more than 865,000.

      12:09 a.m.: All lanes are now open on I-64 at mile marker 245. The downed power lines have been removed.12:09 a.m.: All lanes are now open on I-64 at mile marker 245. The downed power lines have been removed.

      After the jump, more blog posts from Saturday, Aug. 27.

      Saturday, Aug. 27

      11:35 p.m.: Good state-by-state appraisal of things so far. http://bit.ly/mZ2fGt

      11:10 p.m.: 9:20 p.m.: Local power outage numbers: District of Columbia: 5,005; Montgomery County: 742; Prince George's County: 46,139; Northern Va.: 32,985; Anne Arundel: 64,605

      10:43 p.m.: In Va., I-64 W at mile marker 245, all lanes are blocked by downed power lines. This is in James City County before the Busch Gardens exit.

      10:25 p.m.: New York Mayor Bloomberg: "The time for evacuation is over. . .stay in your home."

      10:30 p.m.: Constitution Avenue is reportedly closed between 2nd Street NE and 1st Street NW because of a downed tree.

      10:15 p.m.: Most of the Outer Banks in Carolina now under curfew until further notice, per officials.

      9:47 p.m.: National Weather Service reports a tornado has touched down in Lewes, DE, damaging 15 structures.

      9:12 p.m.: Per W. Post, More than 30,000 Pepco customers have lost power as of 9 p.m., including about 7,000 in the District and 21,500 in Prince George's County. The rest are in Montgomery County. More outages expected later.

      8:58 p.m.: MD 450 bridge over the Severn River (Naval Academy Bridge) is closed until further notice due to high winds.

      8:48 p.m.: NYC officials warn if Irene stays on track, it could bring gusts of 85 mph overnight that could shatter skyscraper windows.

      7:56 p.m.: Richmond is turning off street lights and pulling work crews off the streets because of severe weather.

      7:36 p.m.: Causeway between Nags Head and Manteo is flooded, the Roanoke Sound is coming over the banks. Only heavy military vehicles can get there.

      7:21 p.m.: W. Post reports National Airport is reporting wind gusts of 45 mph. Andrews Airforce Base reporting gusts as high as 43 - 45 mph.

      7:09 p.m.: Bob Ryan: Highest winds yet to come around Bay as winds turn into the north after midnight. Local model shows gusts may reach 80mph on and near the Bay.

      6:56 p.m.: Storm surge estimates are rising, which means worse flooding for parts of Norfolk and Portsmouth, according to Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell.

      6:51 p.m.: Add Suffolk to the overnight curfew list.

      6:33 p.m.: Annapolis mayor urging everyone to be off the roads by 9 tonight, and adds transit will shut down at 9.

      6:27 p.m.: Child dies in car wreck at Goldsboro, N.C. intersection after Irene knocks out traffic lights.

      6:16 p.m.: Pretty much every area in Greater D.C. now under a flash flood watch.

      6:02 p.m.: Mayor Gray says NO overnight curfews for D.C., citing bogus reports.

      5:56 p.m.: Curfews just issued for Portsmouth and Hampton until 8 a.m.

      5:30 p.m.: Flash flood warning just issued for Sterling.

      4:46 p.m.: Maryland Transportation Authority is barring empty trailers and recreational vehicles from crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge as Irene approaches and winds pick up.

      4:07 p.m.: The Navy says more than 30 of its ships have moved out of Hurricane Irene's path and are ready to help after the storm passes.

      4 p.m.: Irene is being blamed for two deaths in Southern Virginia.

      3:30 p.m.: VDOT is reporting all southbound lanes of Interstate 85 south near Petersburg are closed because of toppled trees. Trees also are partially blocking U.S. 58 in Chesapeake and U.S. 17 in York County.

      3:23 p.m.: Airlines are scrapping more than 9,000 flights this weekend from North Carolina to Boston.

      2:55 p.m.: Prince George's County declares state of emergency.

      2:46 p.m.: The head of the National Hurricane Center said the upper Chesapeake Bay could escape the kind of storm surge that caused flooding during Hurricane Isabel in 2003, but the coast wasn't expected to be as fortunate.

      2:34 p.m.: The Islands of the Bahamas are back to business following the hurricane and activities in the major tourism areas have resumed as normal, including a wedding which took place this afternoon.

      1:47 p.m.: Va. residents in low-lying areas are being advised to seek shelter in one of five sites located in the city of 434,000. They can hold approximately 5,000.

      1:33 p.m.: More than 237,000 customers in Virginia are without electricity as Hurricane Irene nears.

      1:21 p.m.: A tornado has destroyed five homes and damaged several others in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach.

      1:21 p.m.: The South Carolina National Guard sent 20 soldiers are being sent from McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover to Richmond, Va., to help with storm recovery efforts.

      1:11 p.m.: Montgomery County will open a shelter at Richard Montgomery High School at 250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville at 4 p.m. A pet shelter will also open at 4 p.m. at Bauer Drive Community Center at 14625 Bauer Drive.

      1:07 p.m.: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta issued a prepare-to-deploy order for 6,500 troops from all branches of the military if support relief efforts are required.

      12:51 p.m.: The Mary Chapin Carpenter performance at the Filene Center has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled this summer.

      12:40 p.m.: Winds will continue to increase from northeast and east up to 40-50 mph by evening. Rain increases in the D.C. area of at least 3-5 inches are likely by late Saturday.

      11:17 a.m.: Calvert County Commissioners have ordered a mandatory evacuation of all homes within 100 feet of the cliffs along the Chesapeake Bay.

      11:01 a.m.: Irene has prompted a tornado watch for southeast and central Virginia and the Eastern Shore until 8 p.m. tonight.

      10:38 a.m.: The Dept. of Public Works began distributing sandbags to D.C. residents at 9 a.m., three hours ahead of schedule, because 200 vehicles were already in line at RFK Stadium. Five sandbags per household.

      10:17 a.m.: The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will suspend services tonight. Light Rail will stop at 6 p.m. Local Bus and Metro Subway will stop at 9 p.m. Inter County Connector Bus service will stop at 9 p.m.

      9:38 a.m.: The Va. National Coast Guard says about 325 troops are staged at Guard facilities in Bowling Green, Emporia and Sandston. They have also joined Virginia State Police near Onancock on the Eastern Shore.

      8:18 a.m.: The Virginia Dept. of Transportation is monitoring weather conditions at the Midtown Tunnel and the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and preparing crews for possible closures this morning. With current forecasted weather conditions, it is anticipated closure of the Midtown Tunnel and HRBT will be warranted this morning by 11 a.m.

      7:48 a.m.: The Redskins have changed their practice schedule for Saturday on account of the increased likelihood of bad weather. Practice will now be held from 11:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.

      6 a.m.: An emergency shelter opened at Milton Somers Middle School, located at 300 Willow Lane, La Plata. Any citizens and their pets (cats and dogs only) may report to the shelter during the weather event. Call (301) 609-3435.

      4 a.m.: The National Hurricane Center said that the enormous storm was moving north-northeastward at 14 mph and was about 50 miles south of Cape Lookout, N.C.

      12:28 a.m.: Concern late Friday and Saturday night is where tropical spiral bands set up and cause flash flooding. Could be more threat to Blue Ridge now.

      The weekend is here! Irene is taking aim at the East Coast and ABC7 is keeping you updated on the storm's strength and track.

      After the jump, more blog posts from Friday, Aug. 26.

      Friday, Aug. 26

      11:40 p.m.: That's it from us for tonight. We'll pick up here again tomorrow. The worst of the storm is projected to reach the area between Saturday afternoon and early Sunday - we'll keep you updated with the latest development.

      11:10 p.m.: With so many different paths, how do you know where #Irene is going to go? ABC7's Bob Ryan explains wj.la/pqoih5

      11:05 p.m.: Official update: Irene is packing sustained winds of 100 mph, moving at 13 mph, and is 140 miles off Cape Lookout, N.C. http://1.usa.gov/rfnXrh

      10 p.m.: Not surprisingly, Six Flags America will be closed this weekend. Prince George's County schools also have cancelled all planned Saturday afternoon activities.

      9:02 p.m.: If you need to seek shelter in Stafford County tomorrow, Brooke Point High School at 1700 Courthouse Rd will serve as an emergency shelter and will open at 12 pm.

      8:22 p.m.: Bus company Megabus has cancelled routes to and from New York on Saturday and Sunday, as well as multiple routes stopping in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. All passengers can receive a refund by emailing inquiries@megabus.com or rebook their tickets by calling 1-877-462-6342. Find a complete list of canceled routes at megabus.com.

      7:41 p.m.: ABC7's Bob Ryan says Hurricane Irene's track is very likely just east of Ocean City late tomorrow. He's very confident there won't be as much damage here in D.C. as from Hurricane Isabel.

      6:45 p.m.: Mayor Vincent Gray declares state of emergency for the District.

      6:15 p.m.: Outermost bands of wind and rain begin to lash the Outer Banks of North Carolina

      5:30 p.m.: Thousands of flights canceled due to Hurricane Irene.

      5 p.m.: New York City orders evacuations.

      4:40 p.m.: Baltimore mayor declares state of emergency as Hurricane Irene approaches Maryland

      3:45 p.m.: A declaration of local emergency for Arlington County has been issued.

      3:30 p.m.: City of Alexandria declares local emergency because of Hurricane Irene.

      3:04 p.m.: Weather Channel's Brian Norcross (just now): "This has all the makings of the hurricane of our lifetime." Um. . .

      2:40 p.m.: Hurricane Irene could push water throughout the Chesapeake Bay 8 to 9 feet over its mean level.2:07 p.m.: Tropical storm-force winds have begun arriving on the coast of the Carolinas as Irene approaches.

      2 p.m.: 11 Virginia localities have ordered residents and visitors to leave as Hurricane Irene approaches. Mandatory evacuations are in effect for Accomack County and the city of Poquoson.

      1:24 p.m.: NYC subway system will shut down tomorrow at noon.

      1:09 p.m.: The City of Poquoson on Hampton Roads' Peninsula has declared a mandatory evacuation.12:50 p.m.: A mandatory evacuation has been ordered in Queen Anne's County from the 50/301 split to the Bay Bridge, not including Queenstown. You must be out by noon tomorrow. Two shelters at Church Hill Elementary School and Centreville Middle School open tomorrow at noon.WATCH: ABC7's Brad Bell reports live from the Outer Banks in North Carolina.12:13 p.m.: Biggest worries now appear to be storm surge, flooding and power outages. Winds have decreased but the scope remains massive.

      11:51 a.m.: Virginia Beach has issued a voluntary evacuation of camp grounds and mobile homes starting at noon due to high winds.

      11:41 a.m.: D.C. United has announced that they're postponing Saturday's game against the Portland Timbers. A make-up date will be announced.

      Click here for a look at the latest Doppler Radar.

      11:33 a.m.: For the first time, D.C. is NOT within the 68 percent probability cone of the track of Irene. The latest guidance indicates a slight trend back to the east. Ocean City and the Atlantic coast is still in direct line of fire -Bob Ryan

      11:14 a.m.: Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell orders state offices to close at 3 p.m.

      VIDEO: Locals prepare for Hurricane Irene

      11:03 a.m.: This thing may not be as bad as predicted. New National Weather Service report says Irene not likely to get above Category 2; more likely will drop to Cat 1. Massive power outages still likely.10:41 a.m.: D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray will hold a press conference about Irene today a 1.

      10:31 a.m.: The American Red Cross is urging residents in its Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region to give blood before Hurricane Irene hits the East Coast.

      10:16 a.m.: Presser in a nutshell: Irene may be weakening a bit, but it's still going to pack a major, major wallop.

      WATCH: Webcams from around the Chesapeake Bay and the path of Hurricane Irene

      10:01 a.m.: FEMA chief to hold press conference any minute. MSNBC will air it live.

      9:41 a.m.: The Coast Guard has closed the Port of Hampton Roads to inbound commercial traffic because of expected gale force winds.

      9:20 a.m.: Obama to speak at 11:30 about Irene.

      9:16 a.m.: Workers already placing sandbags at the corner of King and Union Streets in Old Town Alexandria. http://img.ly/7Jdl

      8:58 a.m.: Fairfax County's Virginia Task Force One, Urban Search and Rescue Team has been activated for Hurricane Irene according to FFX Fire. They are not flying out, did not disclose location of where they are heading to. They are gathering now at the usual deployment site 4600 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA.

      8:33 a.m.: Virginia Beach City Manager James K. Spore issued a declaration of local emergency.

      MAPS: Tracking Irene and it's projected path

      8:09 a.m.: At the Virginia Beach oceanfront, the East Coast Surfing Championships continue -- with just surfing. All other ECSC festivities (bands, etc) are cancelled. http://bit.ly/qqHvfJ

      7:32 a.m.: The latest projections of Irene's path and the probability that tropical storm-force winds will affect the area have been released by NOAA. You can see the newest maps in our Tracking Irene photo gallery.

      6:33 a.m.: Irene could be the strongest storm to hit the East Coast in seven years, and we're covering the storm from all angles. Watch the latest ABC7 reports on the Irene's progress here.

      5:33 a.m.: A hurricane warning has been extended to New Jersey, which means hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.5:25 a.m.: A tropical storm warning has been issued for locations along and east of I-95, including parts of the D.C. region.

      5:20 a.m.: The Full Democracy and Freedom rally for D.C. statehood planned for Saturday has been postponed.

      5 a.m.: Hurricane Irene has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm as maximum sustained winds dropped from 115 to 110, but the path hasn't changed much, ABC7 Meteorologist Adam Caskey says.

      4:32 a.m.: Fairfax County will host an online chat about hurricanes and earthquakes today from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Residents may also submit questions in advance.4:15 a.m.: The University of Delaware has postponed its opening weekend and the first day of classes until further notice.

      4:06 a.m.: Pepco is warning customers that the storm could result in "extended power outages," but crews are preparing to work longer hours when the storm heads up the East Coast.

      3:29 a.m.: The National Weather Service says heightened waves and swells have starting hitting North Carolina's coast as Hurricane Irene approaches. Waves as high as six to nine-foot were seen early Friday.

      Happy Friday morning! Irene is taking aim at the East Coast, and ABC7 is keeping you updated on the storm's strength and track.

      After the jump, more blog posts from Thursday, Aug. 26.

      Thursday, Aug. 25

      11:06 p.m.: The Associated Press has a helpful overview of the impacts and evacuation orders in all states affected by Irene. Check it out here.

      And with that, we're signing off for the night. Check back early Friday morning, we'll keep you updated on Hurricane Irene throughout.

      11:00 p.m.: George Washington University will open residence halls one day early, on Friday, Aug. 26. Freshman Convocation, originally scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 28, has been rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. All outdoor activities scheduled for Sunday have been canceled, the university said. Classes are still scheduled to begin on Monday

      10:40 p.m.: Mayor Vincent Gray is reminding residents to be cautious. The D.C. metro area has been placed on hurricane watch and Irene can bring heavy rain, flash floods and high winds.

      "While we cannot predict with certainty the path of the hurricane, residents must be ready," said Mayor Vincent Gray. "That means residents need to have a plan that they can activate. If they do not have a plan, they can go to hsema.dc.gov to learn what is needed. These storms can cause power outages that may last through several days. Residents should have an adequate supply of medications, infant formula, water, fresh batteries and other essentials."

      The Department of Public Works will distribute sandbags, up to five per household, starting at noon Friday at New Jersey Avenue and K Street, SE. Bring your D.C. ID.

      10:26 p.m.: Norfolk has issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents of low-lying areas. "All residents in these low-lying areas need to be evacuated by 8am Saturday, August 27," the order reads.

      10:15 p.m.: ABC7 Meteorologist Bob Ryan is keeping a close look at the projected path of the storm.

      9:58 p.m.: Prince George's County recommends residents keep basic supplies on hand such as flashlights and batteries, first aid kit, medicine, water, non-perishable foods, can opener, utility knife and a battery-powered radio. Have enough food and water for three days, the county advises, and copy important document such as medical records, deeds, insurance and banking records and birth certificates.

      Track Hurricane Irene's path at this link: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#IRENE

      9:25 p.m.: More than 200 Navy aircraft are preparing to leave Virginia Beach and Norfolk for safer airfields, including helicopters and F-18 Hornets.

      8:48 p.m.: President Barack Obama has declared an emergency for North Carolina that is expected to be hit by Hurricane Irene over the weekend.Obama on Thursday night ordered federal aid to supplement state and local responses to the storm.

      The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can coordinate all disaster relief efforts. It also means the state is eligible for federal funds to help in cleanup and other needs.

      8:30 p.m.: Virginia Beach officials have ordered an evacuation for the Sandbridge part of the city effective at noon Friday.

      7:50 p.m.: Residents of two Laurel apartment complexes are receiving false robo calls ordering their evacuation, Laurel police say. The calls started around 6:30 p.m. and are not from the Laurel Police. The police spokesperson says 500 to 600 people live in the buildings, including the Emerson at Cherry Lane located at 14720 Fourth Street and another building at Baltimore Avenue and Contee Road. Laurel Police say residents are not being forced to evacuate. Laurel Police officers have been dispatched to the building to inform residents. Authorities are working to track the source of the false robo calls.

      7:45 p.m.: The dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial has been postponed indefinitely due to Hurricane Irene. http://wj.la/r8DKkE

      7:20 p.m.: Eight people were injured from the rough ocean caused by Hurricane Irene in Florida, the AP reports.

      6:29 p.m.: Watch a report on the hurricane from ABC7's Scott Thuman and Brad Bell.

      6 p.m.: East Coast refineries likely to shut. http://apne.ws/puWXEh

      5:30 p.m.: Amtrak has canceled most train service operating south of Washington for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Additional announcements will be made in the coming days as the major storm moves north. Most trains on the Northeast Corridor are not yet affected. In addition, other Amtrak services in North Carolina and in Virginia are currently operating as scheduled.

      5:23 p.m.: Pepco is contacting individual customers who need power for critical medical equipment, urging them to review their emergency plans and prepare for the possibility that they could be subject to extended power outages as a result of Hurricane Irene.

      5:09 p.m.: Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have issued the first warnings for the entire North Carolina coast to the Virginia border.

      5:02 p.m.: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency.

      4:33 p.m.: Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell has authorized localities to issue mandatory evacuation orders as they see fit.

      4:21 p.m.: Alexandria-area Home Depot says business for sandbags is brisk and supplies may not last.

      4 p.m.: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: "From a flooding perspective, this could be a hundred-year event."

      3:48 p.m.: Red Cross is mobilizing emergency shelters all along Eastern Seaboard. Here's a link to its interactive locator map. http://bit.ly/aiVTx8

      3:33 p.m.: Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell and Emergency Management officials will hold a press conference at 4:15 p.m.

      3:23 p.m.: Ocean City, Md. initiates phase 3 of emergency plan - mandatory evacuations beginning at midnight tonight.

      3:19 p.m.: American Airlines and its American Eagle affiliate canceled 126 flights on Thursday. Delta Air Lines reported four cancellations, and United one.

      3:10 p.m.: Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," says the storm is so powerful because it's just off shore and thus able to pick up speed and power.

      3:02 p.m.: Weather Channel anchor says this has the possibility to become "the hurricane of our lifetime."

      2:52 p.m.: Officials in Accomack County (N.C.) and Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach have issued voluntary evacuation orders.

      2:30 p.m.: Metro chief spokesperson Dan Stessel said the important thing now is for people to know that WMATA is ramping up in anticipation of the storms. The transit authority has just finished dispatching more than 2,000 sandbags to Metro stations with a history of flooding issues. http://tbd.ly/qveNx1

      Contributing: The Associated Press. Find earlier updates on the next page.

      2:24 p.m.: On MSNBC, Discovery Channel's Atom Edwards warns people in projected path to NOT try to ride it out.

      2:13 p.m.: Storm now hitting the Bahamas with a fury.

      1:37 p.m.: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has declared a state of emergency in the state of Maryland.

      1:07 p.m.: New Jersey governor Chris Christie is declaring a state of emergency because of Hurricane Irene.

      12:07 p.m.: White House aides say President Obama spoke Thursday with officials to get updates on the hurricane's progress and ensure that states and local governments have what they need.

      11:30 a.m.: The U.S. Navy ordered ships in its biggest East Coast center to head out to safer waters on Thursday to protect them from approaching Hurricane Irene.

      11 a.m.: Amtrak announces train cancellations south of Washington D.C.

      10:58 a.m.: Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell declares a state of emergency in Virginia.