Get firsthand accounts from our reporters on the East Coast (we’ll be updating all day as more stories come in).
Forecast tracks are the latest from the National Hurricane Center. Pan, zoom, and click on points along the storm’s projected track for intensity forecasts.
Click on an area on the map for watch, warning and advisory info.
Weather forecast: A weakening but large Hurricane Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout, N.C., around 7:30 a.m. as a category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds near 85 mph. Get the full forecast from the Capital Weather Gang.
Transportation: Here’s the latest roundup. Tunnels have been closed in areas near water. Metro is working to prevent flooding along route lines. Amtrak has canceled trains south of D.C., VRE is bracing for the storm, MARC braces for the storm, at least 6,100 U.S. flights will be canceled, JetBlue has canceled 880 Saturday flights and plenty of airlines are following suit.Dr. Gridlock keeps you up to date on trains, planes and road issues.
Evacuations: Ocean City residents were ordered to leave the area by midnight. Some areas of Virginia Beach forced to evacuate. Residents are being urged by President Obama to take the storm seriously and evacuate if necessary.
Closings and cancellations: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says the Bay Bridge likely to close early Saturday evening. Prince William County officials have said all historic sites will be closed this weekend due to Hurricane Irene. All programs, tours and events are also cancelled. Check out this roundup of arts and entertainment closures and cancelations in the D.C. area.
Schools: The D.C. public schools are sandbagging and getting wet vacuums. Saturday football games — McKinley vs. St. John’s, Hart vs. Deal, Kelly Miller vs. Stuart-Hobson, and Kramer vs. Jefferson — have been canceled. Anne Arundel public schools have canceled Saturday activities. Colleges have changed move-in plans this weekend. Find our cancellations list here.
Emergency numbers: We have them all here.
Government preparations: The federal preparations. Maryland preparations (Ocean City is ordered to evacuate) . Virginia preparations District of Columbia preparations (D.C. is giving away free sandbags to any resident who needs them). Mayor Vincent C. Gray declares a state of emergency. Virginia Gov. McDonnel’s press conference (1p.m.). Here’s a state-by-state look at hurricane preparations and facts.
Tips on preparing for the storm: Here’s how. Don’t forget to remove anything that can become a missile in high winds, such as outdoor furniture, grill utensils, lightweight flower pots and the like. Protect your electronics. Pepco is making robocalls warning of likely power outages for extended periods. We have a Q&A with a meteorologist from the Capital Weather Gang for further tips.
Stay informed: Get alerts from PostLocal, even if the power goes out. Text LOCAL to 98999. You can also get weather alerts by texting WEATHER to 98999. Get updates from Capital Weather Gang on your mobile devices by going to http://wpo.st/29s3 .