POSTED: Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 12:20pm
UPDATED: Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 12:28pm
(NBC) — Once Irene passes North Carolina, even if it never makes landfall, the hurricane will lash more than half a dozen states with high winds and heavy rain. New York City officials have ordered mandatory evacuations for the first time ever.
Vacationers evacuating east coast resorts will be safer, but many will not escape the hurricane's effects. Irene's winds will rake the Chesapeake Bay inland up to Washington, DC.
Sunday's dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial has been postponed. Across the bay, on the Delmarva Peninsula, they're pulling out boats and boarding up buildings.
If Irene stays on course, Delaware is in trouble. "The damage will be unlike anything seen in the state for more than 50 years," warned Governor Jack Markell. "Today is the day to act."
Many have no choice. Evacuations were ordered from Delaware and Maryland beaches. New York City is ordering it's first-ever mandatory evacuation from the many buildings along the Hudson and East rivers . They're asking everyone to be out by Saturday evening. Flooding from Irene will be the greatest danger.