Nightly News | August 26, 2011
>>> and good evening. from the river in led point, pleasant beach, new jersey, one of the many areas along the eastern seaboard that really just has hours to go before it becomes uninhabitable and in this case impossible to navy gait. the beaches here have already been cleared, emptied out. the exodus to get out of here is already underway because this hurricane, irene, is so big and all the traffic is heading just one way, away from the storm and away from the coast. there have been hurricanes a lot stronger than irene, it's a category 2 , but few storms have been any bigger than this one. one forecaster said today it's roughly the size of europe. for example, the weather has already gone south along the coast of north carolina , but they don't really get this storm until first light tomorrow. it's the water this storm carries that are scaring forecasters who say it's capable of catastrophic damage, all the way up the i-95 corridor, and tonight new york city is under a hurricane warning and they are carrying out mandatory evacuations for the first time in the city's history. by one estimate, 46 million people are going to experience winds of more than 50 miles an hour, from this storm before it's all over. tonight here our coverage is going to go from south to north, just like the path of the storm . we want to begin with the very latest and with the expert on these storms, veteran meteorologist brian norcross of the weather channel . brian , when you and i spoke last night, i asked you if there was anything out there to give us hope, any crosscurrents and you said there was nothing to prevent this from being a hurricane of our lifetimes on the east coast . has anything changed since then?
>> it's right on track, brian , it looks like it's going to go right up the evening, the little tiny glimmer in that the center of the storm weakened, but you said it just right, it is carrying so much water and it's pushing so much water that that's the huge threat. you can see it. it's a monster storm , that's even bigger than hurricane ike was three years ago that hit texas and also hit louisiana and it's heading, the worst of it, heading right for cape hatteras , and then the famous spaghetti models. look how unified the computer projections are, we rarely see them this uniformly together as it goes all the way north to canada, so that leaves us with a track that heads into north carolina tomorrow and the worst of it looks like it will be in the late morning, somewhere near upper category 1 hurricane . then it heads north and we're talking about norfolk and delmarva and the jersey shore and long island and on up into new england where hurricane warnings are all the way up. and here's new york city , here's jersey, here's long island and it's that circulation like this that's going to push water into that corner that is so dangerous in the new york city metropolitan area and that's why the evacuations are ordered there and of course it's pushing water all the way up along the coastline and that's why we have evacuations from top to bottom. now the other threat is the inland threat, caused by this very large hurricane and dumping rain on saturated ground with winds up in the 40, 50-mile-per-hour range for perhaps eight, maybe 12 hours and many, many trees will not be able to with stand that, trees will come down, power will be out for an extended period of time, so for a lot of people, that may end up being the legacy of this hurricane. brian ?
>> all right, brian norcross starting us off tonight with the very best information available, though i wish you had better news for us here on the coastline. brian , thanks, we'll