Irene: Landfall at 7:47 AM. Durham area power outrages. Man far inland killed by falling tree limb.
Unless Duke and Dukies are specifically involved, this post concludes our Hurricane Irene Watch.
Updated at 11:40 AM
Landfall was at 7:47 AM near Cape Lookout. Winds were sustained at 90 miles an hour, with one gust of 115 recorded at the Cedar Island ferry terminal. Next stop: Morehead City.
There are numerous reports of tornadoes.
There are hundreds of thousands of people without electric service in the eastern portion of the state. In addition, Duke Energy had 1,063 customers in Durham County and 1,618 customers in Orange County without service.
By 11 AM some portions of eastern NC already had measured 9 inches of rain.
There are conflicting reports whether the storm ate away a portion of the Outer Banks and created a new channel at Hatteras Island. Some locals say it's merely a surge of the ocean that will subside. The surges are expected to be as much as 10 feet in some areas.
It's a bad day to be a pier sticking out into the ocean. Waves sheared off about 90 feet of the Sheraton pier in Atlantic Beach. The Bogue Inlet pier stands no more.
One man was killed when he went out to feed his animals and was hit by a falling tree limb. This was far inland in the town of Nashville. A man is missing in the Cape Fear River; he may have jumped in, unclear if this was to swim or commit suicide. A rescue boat had to call off a search after only a few minutes because of conditions.
At 11 AM the National Hurricane Center, which issues new readings every three hours, said sustained winds were 85 miles an hour, a Category 1 hurricane, with a forward movement of 15 miles an hour.
For the Durham area, the forecast is for winds maxing out at a sustained 30 miles an hour, gusts to 45, more or less what was predicted. However, rain will be less than any of the predictions. While there is no total yet of what has fallen already, Accuweather (again, this is at 11 AM Saturday) says there's less than an inch on its way. Some forecasts on Friday indicated three to five inches.
The Duke University website has posted no new advisories since yesterday (Friday). We'd give you the URL but it is useless; every time administrators post something new, they change the URL.
We have no confirmation that the men's basketball team arrived. It advanced its return from Dubai by about 12 hours to beat the storm and was due in around 6:30 AM.
The Raleigh Durham airport website is a mess. The lead paragraph on a press release says the hurricane will not impact operations on Saturday. The next sentence says American and American Eagle have cancelled all their flights until Sunday at 10 AM.
The www.GoDuke.com website -- official Duke athletics site -- has not been updated.
This site does have some neat pictures of the team -- which won four meaningless games against ad hoc opponents in China and Dubai -- on the 124th floor observation desk of the Burj Khalifa, at the moment the world's tallest building. The building actually rises to 160 stories and 2,717 feet.
In NYC, the subway is shut down for the first time in its history. 350,000 people are under mandatory evacuation order. This morning Mayor Bloomberg warned the entire Wall Street area that it may be deliberately blacked out. Salt water from New York harbor may wash in, and the cables would be damaged less if there were no power in them.