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Hastings Prepares for Hurricane Irene

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — First an earthquake shook the ground in Hastings, now a hurricane threatens to bring heavy rain, wind, coastal flooding and possible damages to the area by Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Hurricane Irene was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday, calling for a storm surge of nine to 12 feet and sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph. Damage in a Category 3 storm may be extensive on small buildings with low roofs, large trees and branches, and it may also cause power and water outages.

Hastings village clerk Susan Maggiotto said the village has been meeting internally with its emergency operations team to come up with a plan for potential issues. The village will send out an email on Friday with more information, but there are some plans in place already.

Maggiotto said the Andrus nursing home in Hastings is "prepared to handle 25 people for emergency housing." The local A&P store will also try to stay open during the heart of the storm if power is limited. Cars parked on the waterfront will be moved into the unoccupied Building 52.

"Unfortunately though the community center does not have its own generator so if people lose power there's really no point in them going anywhere else," Maggiotto said.

Only five hurricanes have passed within 75 miles of New York City since 1851 — Hurricane Gloria was the most recent 26 years ago, according to Weather.com.

Residents are encouraged to stay in their homes during the storm as the department of public works is preparing for it.

"(The department is) clearing basements and troublesome drainage areas now, sandbags are being filled, chainsaws sharpened and barricades will be ready," Maggiotto said.

Trees taking out power lines are always a concern, but Maggiotto said she isn't too worried about excessive flooding in the streets of the village.

"The water certainly could flood that waterfront which is really not very many feet above the surface of the Hudson," she said. "Beyond that, we're up on a cliff here, so I don't think that the river would ever flood into here."

How are you preparing for the impending storm? Comment below or email town reporter Redmond Zmudzien at rzmudzien@TheDailyHastings.com. Share your experiences and your pictures of the storm with us on Facebook and Twitter .

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