Over a million people in North Carolina and Virginia are currently without power after Hurricane Irene came ashore on Saturday, and other states further north are bracing for impact on Sunday.

North Carolina’s state emergency management agency reports blocked roads from downed trees, heavy rains and flooding, and roofs ripped off homes, businesses, and even an evacuation shelter, while a storm-spawned tornado in Tyrrell County demolished five houses.

Irene has already claimed at least three lives in North Carolina and one — a child — in Newport News, Virginia.

Meanwhile, airlines have canceled thousands of flights and airports in Philadelphia, Washington, New York and Boston plan some sort of shutdowns over the weekend, and the mass-transit systems in New York City ceased operations as of noon on Saturday.

Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered unprecedented evacuations in their states, where Irene is expected to make landfall on Sunday.

“We have never done a mandatory evacuation before, and we wouldn’t be doing this now if we didn’t think the storm had the potential to be very serious,” Bloomberg said.

Track the storm’s movement in real-time on this live map.



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