Latest sign of Irene’s power: Evacuation orders in Wilmington

    In preparation for Irene, parts of Wilmington have now been ordered to evacuate. Traffic is streaming westward from the Shore.

    Are you preparing? Send us your photos.

    With Irene closing in, SEPTA and N.J. Parts of Wilmington have now been ordered to evacuate. Traffic is streaming westward from the Shore.

    According to the latest forecast models from, wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour are expected to hit the Jersey Shore Sunday.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Along I-95, says to expect between 5-10 inches of rain, with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour.

    In Philadelphia, rain could exceed seven inches, with strong wind gusts as well, possibly as high as 40 miles per hour, according to the latest forecasts.

    On Thursday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency, calling the storm a “serious and significant” event, with the threat of flooding across the state.

    “The barrier islands that are concentrated in Atlantic County and Cape May County are going to be subject to some very high winds,” he said. “They’re going to be subject to a storm surge which may run as much as seven to 12 feet.”

    Update, 7:20 p.m. So, you’ve got the perfect Shore wedding planned for this weekend and the biggest storm in who-knows-how-long comes thundering up the coast. You can loose a lot of money, and even more memories. More »

    Update, 7:05 p.m. If you’re not in an evacuation zone, here is a list of precautions tri-state residents should take to prepare themselves and their homes for this weekend’s storm. More »

    Update, 6:10 p.m. Wilmington Mayor James Baker has declared a State of Emergency in Wilmington, due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene.

    The Mayor signed an Executive Order that includes the mandatory evacuation of the southeast section of Wilmington, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday. More »

    Update, 4:45 p.m. As of 4 p.m. Ortley Beach, Ocean Beach, Chadwick Beach, Normandy Beach and Pelican Island are under a mandatory evacuation order. Residents and tourists need to leave by 4 p.m. Saturday.

    Update, 3 p.m. Officials with New Jersey Transit have announced all rail service will be suspended beginning at noon Saturday. Waiting rooms at stations controlled by New Jersey Transit will remain open throughout the weekend.  Information regarding New Jersey Transit bus schedules will be forthcoming.

    Update, 2 p.m. Philadelphia has set up emergency shelters, identified potential flood zones and announced the suspension of SEPTA service for Sunday. High schools in West, Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia will be used as shelters over the weekend, and those staying at home are encouraged to prepare shelter-in-place kits that include things like flashlights, nonperishable foods and a first aid kit. This PDF has the city’s complete guide.

    Update, 1:20 p.m. Gov. Tom Corbett has declared a state of emergency in Pennsylvania in an effort to help the state, county and local governments coordinate and communicate their diaster plans with federal agencies. Residents are urged to stay on top of the news and be prepared for an emergency.

    Update: 12:40 p.m. The Schuylkill River is expected to exceed the Philadelphia flood stage at 2 p.m. Saturday, 2 a.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Sunday. These times could change

    Update, 12:30 p.m. Governor Jack Markell of Delaware is ordering an evacuation of coastal communities in all 3 counties.  Anyone living within 3/4 of a mile will be affected.  The state is working on maps and will make them available shortly. Tolls are now suspended on the Route 1 bridge through the storm.  Businesses in the affected area are ordered to close.

    Update, 10:30 a.m.: Evacuation orders are likely to extend to Delaware beach, according to Governor Jack Markell. During an interview from WHYY’s Willimington studios this morning, Governor Markell said “it’s quite likely in the next few hours that we’re going to extend the mandatory evacuation to [residents] as well.”

    Update, 10 a.m.: reports Hurricane Irene is heading north, with the eye of the storm slightly shifting to the east.  The storm is set to hit several east coast locations within the next 48-60 hours, bringing with it heavy rain and strong gusts of wind.  There is a strong potential for flooding to bayfront and oceanfront property.

    Update, 9:30 a.m.: Philaelphia is now under a hurricane warning.  According to the National Weather Service, the chance for hurricane conditions is less than or equal to 14 percent, but the chance for tropical storm conditions is up to 82 percent.

    How are you preparing for the hurricane? What specifically are you doing to stay safe? Have you evacuated or do you plan to evacuate? Share your thoughts in the comments section below the story.


    Emergency management officials recommend residents in Philadlephia and throughout parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware prepare for the storm.


    The National Hurricane Center has a checklist of things you should consider before a hurricane.

    Develop a family plan
    Create a disaster supply kit
    Have a place to go
    Secure your home
    Have a pet plan

    Below, we’ve attached the latest forecast from will be tracking the hurricane throughout the weekend – check back regularly for updates.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal