Philadelphia city officials are closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Irene as she barrels towards the East Coast and threatens to become the worst storm to hit the city in a half-century.
As of Thursday afternoon, the forecast was for tropical storm conditions Saturday night, with up to seven inches of rain over the weekend. Officials will present another update Friday, at which time they could discuss possible evacuations in certain parts of the city.
“This storm is coming, the only question is the severity,” Mayor Michael Nutter said Thursday. Nutter urged residents in flood-prone areas, such as Manayunk and East Falls, to begin making preparations in case of evacuations.
“Evacuate, don’t wait. Evacuate, don’t wait,” Nutter said.
The city’s 311 line will be staffed 24 hours a day starting Friday. Streets department workers are also doing their best to clear drains, thought Nutter made it clear that the flooding could still be severe.
This is like a massive snow event in the middle of the summer,” he said.
Three ways to better weather Irene
Because Hurricane Irene deserves more than a ‘Real Housewives’ marathon …
1. SugarHouse Casino
It’s open 24 hours, won’t run out of liquor, and is accustomed to having patrons show up in pajamas: As long as SugarHouse doesn’t actually end up in the river, there’s no better place for a sleepover party this weekend.
2. Continental’s roof-deck
Continental Midtown has survived far longer than most ultra-themed martini bars — its insanely sweet rooftop lounge.
3. Metro’s offices
Before the economy collapsed and your grandmother started a Tumblr, ever-optimistic Metro scored a superposh office overlooking City Hall. We’re telling you, a quick summer shower looks like a scene out of “Ghostbusters” up here — bring a bottle, and if it’s really good stuff …