YAPHANK, N.Y., Sept. 3, 2010 – Governor David A. Paterson thanked American Red Cross volunteers Friday afternoon for their efforts to prepare Long Island for Hurricane Earl’s approach. At a press conference in the agency’s operations center, Paterson praised them,
“Not just for their response to this disaster but for all the months of work and training and preparedness that make it easy.”
The response on Long Island is being led by Robert Imbornoni, the chief response officer for the Metropolitan New York Chapters. Imbornoni credited the success of the effort to years of hard work and coordination between the local chapters. The disaster relief operation headquarters was established adjacent to the Suffolk County Chapter’s offices. Volunteers from throughout the region—Suffolk, Nassau County, and Greater New York—are leading the response with some volunteers coming from as far as Chicago.
And though most of Long Island seems to have dodged a bullet thanks to Earl shifting east, the Red Cross remains on the job. A shelter is open in Montauk, a small village located on the easternmost point of the island that is being pounded by heavy surf and rain. Coastal flooding remains a concern across the island as the storm passes.
“We will be here as long as we are needed,” stated Imbornoni.
At 5:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Danielle was located approximately 545 miles southeast of Bermuda (735 miles northnortheast of Puerto Rico). Danielle is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph. A gradual turn toward the north-northwest is expected by tonight followed by a turn toward the north on Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Danielle is expected to pass well east of Bermuda Saturday night. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 135 mph, with higher gusts. Danielle is a Category Four Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Some additional strengthening is possible in the next 24 hours. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.
At 5:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Frank was located about 330 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Frank is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph. A turn toward the northwest and a gradual decrease in forward speed are expected today followed by a turn to the north this weekend. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph, with higher gusts. Frank is a Category One Hurricane on the Saffir- Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Weakening is expected during the next couple of days as Frank moves over cooler waters. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 80 miles.
Tropical Storm Earl
At 5:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Tropical Storm Earl was located approximately 1,430 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands (1,640 miles east of Puerto Rico). Earl is moving toward the west near 17 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds remain near 45 mph, with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is expected over the next 48 hours and Earl is forecast to become a hurricane by Saturday night. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 85 miles from the center.
While Tropical Storm Danielle strengthened rather quickly overnight, a new tropical wave has rolled off the coast of Africa. For now, forecasters give the disturbance a 10 percent chance of developing over the next two days.
Danielle, meanwhile, could become a hurricane as early as Monday night. The forecast track continues to keep the storm well to the east of the U.S. coastline and possibly Bermuda as well.
As of 8 a.m., Danielle was in the Atlantic 850 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, moving northwest at 14 mph with sustained winds of 60 mph.
Here’s the latest update from our own Court Ogilvie in the Disaster Operations Center in Washington, DC.
Be prepared for flooding before, during, and after the storm: