Atlantic Beach, NC (NBC) — Throughout the morning Hurricane Irene lashed out along the North Carolina coast line, whipping winds and water ashore. Hundreds of thousands are without power, but early indications are the first state in Irene's path is weathering the storm. "North Carolina, in the reports we've gotten all night and this morning, is standing strong," said Governor Bev Perdue.
Still, many roads along the coast are covered with water. Eleven states from North Carolina all the way through Maine have declared states of emergency, and many have also ordered evacuations
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued a stern warning for those at the shore, telling them to "get the hell out of the way". For the very first time New York City has ordered evacuations of low lying areas. "It's better to take precautions and get out of the way of the storm. Mother Nature is much stronger than any of us," warned Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Sandbagging has been in high gear. There is concern over the city's tunnels flooding and the mass transit system will be shut down at noon today. In anticipation, the elderly and special needs patients were moved to higher ground. Tens of millions are now waiting for the storm to pass, hoping Irene isn't as bad as they feared.