Hurricane Irene prompts evacuations in North Carolina

August 25, 2011

The Associated Press


BEAUFORT, N.C. — Government leaders along another part of North Carolina's coast are telling visitors and some island residents to leave before Hurricane Irene gets too close.

Carteret County officials ordered a mandatory evacuation for all visitors and non-residents starting at 1 p.m. Thursday. Residents of the Bogue Banks — a barrier island that includes Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle and other beach communities — are supposed to leave starting Friday at 6 a.m. County leaders also suggest people living in low-lying areas and living in mobile homes to leave, too.

Four shelters are being set up at county schools, which will be closed Friday.

Carteret County is south of Dare County, where most of the Outer Banks are located.

The governors of North Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey have made emergency declarations to free up resources, while the Navy began moving dozens of ships in Irene's path out to sea.

Forecasters expect the storm will come ashore in North Carolina on Saturday, then move up the East Coast.

Airlines begin canceling flights as Irene nears

Airlines are beginning to cancel flights and get planes out of the way as Hurricane Irene barrels toward the U.S. East Coast.

The storm is likely to force hundreds of flights to be canceled through this weekend and create delays that could ripple across the country.

On Thursday, airlines offered passengers the option of free rebooking for trips to many East Coast cities.