Hurricane Irene Prompts NYC Evacuations, Twitter Outbursts

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As she grows in size, Hurricane Irene gets closer and closer to the United States' eastern seaboard. While Florida looks like it will escape much of Irene's fury, other states may not be so lucky, and when you take a closer look at the lead image, courtesy of NASA, it looks like anyone who occupies an eastern coastal state isn't going to escape her fury.

In fact, Irene has grown to such a large size, she's bigger than the entire east coast of the United States. To quote Winston Zeddemore, "that's a big Twinkie." As a preemptive move against the potential catastrophe Irene represents, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered some evacuations. According to CBS, these include hospitals and other care facilities:

Staten Island University Hospital and Coney Island Hospital have begun evacuating patients to vacant beds at medical centers on higher ground. NYU Hospitals Center and Veterans Administration Medical Center are the other hospitals in the evacuation zone, according to the New York City Office of Emergency Management.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered some of those hospitals, nursing homes and senior centers in the most flood-prone areas of the city to be evacuated by 8 p.m. ET Friday.

CBS' article also indicates services like the New York City subway will be shutdown, and over at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) website, there's also an announcement indicating subway services will be suspended on an incremental basis:

The MTA will begin an incremental suspension of its subway, bus, and Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad service beginning approximately eight hours prior to sustained 39 mph winds reaching the area. Subway and bus lines will begin shutting down after 12 noon tomorrow.

Tomorrow being Saturday, August 27th.

Needless to say, when word got out about the New York City evacuations, the urbanites ran to Twitter to share their dismay/grief/pleasure, under the trend title, "Mayor Bloomberg ." There's as much, if not more, reaction with a search for "Hurricane Irene," but for some reason, that's not part of the current lineup of Twitter trends.

Does this mean Twitter manually manipulates what shows up in the Twitter Trends column? Another question for another day, I suppose. For now, it's all Hurricane Irene, all of the time. As indicated, Mayor Bloomberg has ordered evacuations for certain areas of NYC, although, CBS missed out on this particular nugget:

Mayor Bloomberg just ordered a/b 250,000 New Yorkers to leave their homes. Ignoring it is a misdemeanor. Hard to get my head around this. 51 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

What if the person who will be charged for not evacuating doesn't have access to mobility? Are they still a criminal in the eyes of NYC's mayor? Or is this a blanket edict?

Moving on, as for the reaction, aside from repeating the evacuation orders, there are some other gems as well. Take this one, for instance:

Would have been great if Mayor Bloomberg had Kurt Russell on hand for his Escape from New York presser. 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

Now that's something I'd vote for. Something else is truth in advertising:

Why do they give hurricanes the nicest sounding names like irene..I think hurricane death would be more suitable 52 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

It's clear Irene is affecting the lives of New Yorkers, even though she hasn't even arrived yet:

Mayor Bloomberg just said #Mets game is cancelled tomorrow. 1 hour ago via Twitter for Android · powered by @socialditto

But not all of it:


So there's that. Inevitably, survival tactics come into play as people prepare for Irene's impending doom arrival:

people want to buy water because of the #hurricane Irene? You do have a sink people. Get empty jugs & fill them up. Retarded ppl. 2 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

She has a point, you know? Lest we forget, New York City is not the only populated area in Irene's path:

RT @WAVY_News: Portsmouth issues a state of emergency and mandatory evacuation for certain communities: #portswx 5 minutes ago via Echofon · powered by @socialditto

Here is a very comprehensive list of information provided by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce...including shelter... 5 minutes ago via Facebook · powered by @socialditto

Some public service announcements are more useful than others:

RT @irene: Btw, tweeting @irene doesn't deliver any messages to the hurricane. Sorry. 7 minutes ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

But then again, maybe it does deliver the message:

Dear Mayor Bloomberg, I do not appreciate all the mean things you're saying about me!! 7 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

And that, folks, is how Twitter is rolling with the Hurricane Irene hubbub. Currently, the storm is in at the Category 2 level, and while that does sound better than Category 4, according to the NOAA, Irene has sustained wind gusts of over 100 mph. So don't let the lower hurricane category rating fool you into a false sense of security.