hurricane irene update: manhattan island floods in advance of the real power of the storm

Sorry Mother Nature, not this time.
Sorry Mother Nature, not this time.

As of 9:30am Eastern Standard Time, with Hurricane Irene showing the very beginnings of its power, New York City is already inundated, and Manhattan island is slowly succumbing to the volume of water spilling over the East and Hudson rivers. We expect to feel the full-on effects of the hurricane in little less than an hour, with the most powerful storm surges to hit at noon EST.

Thus far, approximately 40,000 people have lost power, mostly in Queens and Staten Island. A tornado warning is in effect through 11 a.m. in Brooklyn and Queens. The west side of Manhattan is already seeing the Hudson spill over its banks, closing the West Side Highway, and flooding first floor apartments with three to four feet of water thus far. Water levels are expected to rise as much as 8 feet.

Parts of the Holland Tunnel are flooded, as all forms of public transport remain closed along with all area airports. New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has urged all residents to stay in doors.

The silver lining is this hurricane cloud is that Irene has weakened in power from the most dire strength predictions, hitting New York City as more of a tropical storm rather than a full force hurricane. So, the “Day After Tomorrow” predictions will not come to fruition, saddening all of the apocalypse-scenario-lovers. Nonetheless, the city has yet to feel the full fury of Irene.

The flyingnorthblog will continue to post updates from the center of the action in New York City.