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NYC Weather Update: Irene Causes Long Grocery Store Lines; Nonperishables Running Low in Some Areas
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26 Aug 2011 11:45 AM EST

-by Staff Writers

8:51 PM EST: Supermarket lines are beginning to back up across the area, and stock is running low in nonperishable items.

Staff writer Molly C. Braswell reports from the Upper East Side that the line at her local D'Agostino grocery store is currently a half hour long.

Meanwhile, staff writer Alex Mangini checked in from the south shore of Long Island earlier, reporting that canned foods were running low.

In Brooklyn, the commotion was beginning at around 5 p.m. as shoppers began to stock up on bottled water and nonperishable items. will continue to update on local happenings throughout the weekend.

2:25 PM EST: For the first time in history, NYC plans on shutting down the entire transit system tomorrow at noon in preparation for Hurricane Irene.

Governor Cuomo's office issued a statement, saying the Metropolitan Transit Authority will institute a system-wide shutdown when subways and buses begin their final runs starting at approximately noon. The shutdown will include the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Access-A-Ride.

MTA chariman Jay Walder told the Daily News that he believes this is the first time transit officials have planned to shut down the entire system due to weather.

NYC cabs my be taken off the road as well. Officials are working to keep cabs on the road for as long as possible considering mass transportation will not be available.

Mayor Bloomberg issued warnings today for residents of Zone "A" in areas of Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn to head for higher ground. Hospitals and nursing homes will be evacuated starting tomorrow.  Zone "A" areas are coastal neighborhoods and are expected to start evacuations today.

Hurricane Irene is expected to hit New York Harbor Sunday around 2 p.m. - Vania Andre

12:00 PM EST: President Obama, who is vacation with his family in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., addressed the nation at 11:30 a.m. in regards to Hurricane Irene, urging those in the storm's path to prepare. The announcement came after Obama declared a federal emergency for North Carolina on Thursday. - Drew Kolar

11:45 AM EST: As Hurricane Irene barrlels towards New York along the east coast, The New York Times FiveThirtyEight blog has released a report evaluating the potential financial toll that the forthcoming Hurricane Irene might take on the city. The findings are less than encouraging, to say the least.

While there's the obvious possibility of a large death toll with New York's dense population, the blog explains that economic damage alone could be well in the range of tens of billions of dollars. Irene has the potential to become one of the costliest storms of all time and could even negatively impact country's gross domestic product.

The Times' Nate Silver has constructed a table of measured economic destruction based on the 20 storms since 1900 that have made contact with land north of the Mason-Dixon line. Additionally, the same report estimates the financial damage of a tropical storm striking present day Manhattan, a diagram that will most likely not sit very well with New Yorkers. - Alex Mangini

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