Irene's effect on the Triangle: Some storms, power outages

Posted August 26, 2011
Updated August 27, 2011

— Hurricane Irene may batter coastal North Carolina through the weekend, but the impact on the Triangle will likely be more that of a passing thunderstorm.

Rain showers began Friday and were expected to be followed by winds approaching tropical storm strength by mid-day Saturday, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Power outages were widespread early Saturday morning, with nearly 60,000 Progress Energy and about 1,400 Duke Energy customers without power statewide. New Hanover, Carteret, Sampson, Duplin and Lenoir counties were among the most affected.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory that includes Wake, Johnston, Durham and Cumberland counties beginning Saturday at 6 a.m. and extending until Sunday morning.  

Wind Gusts, NC Coast Irene's impact: When, wind, water

Fishel said the Triangle will see sustained winds at about 20 to 30 mph with gusts of up to 50 mph. The rain in the Triangle will be heaviest around late morning and up to 2 inches could accumulate by Sunday. Some spotty power outages or minor wind damage could result if winds toss loose items and weak trees.

irene Hourly Hurricane Irene update

The entire eastern half of the state is under a flash flood watch. Irene is expected to move along the Outer Banks Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane bringing widespread flooding and power outages.

The forecast calls for rain to intensify significantly by dawn Saturday.

"Conditions will deteriorate overnight Friday into Saturday across the eastern half of the state," said Fishel. "We are in for a very long couple of days."

Cumberland County could see up to 2 inches or more fall by Sunday.

Along the Interstate 95 corridor, heavy rain is likely and up to 4 to 6 inches of rain could fall Saturday. The rainfall totals, wind speeds, downed trees and potential for power outages will be greatest east of I-95, Johnson said. Storm kit Storm supplies checklist

Experts advise inland residents to prepare for spotty power outages by gassing up cars and generators, moving lawn furniture and other items indoors and stocking up on bottled water and cash. When power goes out, gas pumps, ATMs and credit card readers won't work.


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  • jblake1932 Aug 26, 2011

    Don't have propane, but can bust up the furniture for a fire and heat up some potted meat!

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 26, 2011

    Lots of propane to cook with on the grill if need be as well. We're set :)
    GOLO member since July 11, 2007
    August 26, 2011 7:20 p.m....... Good prep. I've gotten everything ready also, but I'm still praying it'll only be a rain event here.

  • Nancy Aug 26, 2011

    Generator is ready in case of power outages that last more than a couple hours - will NOT lose the well stocked freezer or fridge items and it will be enough to keep a window air conditioning unit running if we need to cool down. Tubs will be filled with water for flushing toilets and water set aside for drinking/pets.

    Lots of propane to cook with on the grill if need be as well. We're set :)

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 26, 2011

    @heatherrussell: I'm not sure where you live, but if the current forecast is accurate, it should still be reasonably safe to drive in the Raleigh area.....Becareful, most death in previous storms came from those driving during the storm.

  • kylemay Aug 26, 2011

    I've created a project on to track information, stories and related information to hurricane Irene. Please feel free to check it out and also keep it as up to date as possible.
    There are millions of people looking for information so any help you can provide in keeping this project up to date will be extremely appreciated!

  • ossie2 Aug 26, 2011

    But Harnett County has Renee Ellmers now,so nothing any worse can happen to the County

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 26, 2011

    Were you expecting a precision reality?
    August 26, 2011 1:27 p.m.
    Ignore Report abuse
    I was impress. But all those big words kinda of went over my head. I still say, Harnett Co. will get some wind, and yes, even in Wake Co. there is always a possibility of wind gust (I call em shears) of 100 mph+

  • Pklives Aug 26, 2011

    @unaffiliated_voter: thanks for the driving advice, I appreciate it! :)

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 26, 2011

    Yeah, they got Harnett Co. in there now, only problem is if it get damage, Harnett Co. is not in the Gov. disaster zone. Harnett won't get no help..... lol, no crying, no... just never mind...

  • SaltyOldJarhead Aug 26, 2011

    Oh well, I guess that Harnett county, that "other" county that sits right in the middle between Wake and Cumberland, is going to be fine.

    Sheesh, WRAL, the only time you mention Harnett is when somebody gets shot....