NOAA 5pm update and report from the evacuees

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center has Irene packing winds of 80mph and forecast to move up the coast slightly faster.

We've moved our HQ to a spacious room at the Middletown Howard Johnsons, at 170 feet above sea level. Ran into one of our Island Park neighbors while we were checking in, who summed up the situation perfectly: "I don't want to be the person on my roof on the six o'clock news."

I'll be back and forth checking on the situation around town, but it's reassuring to know that Karen and Jack have a safe place to sleep. Hope you all have the same.