Impacts are already being felt on the South and North Carolina coasts this morning from Irene. Even with a slightly weaker storm the wind field and especially the water are already built up and moving and will not let up much before hitting the Carolinas. Water is always our first concern from hurricanes and so I attached several maximum water height maps based on the current track this morning.(5am) Also there are 2 model loops of the potential wind filed based on our RPM model at WCNC.
The good rule of thumb is if you are near the water, get inland, which is the “run from the water part” of the saying. Then, “ hide from the wind”, means hunker down in a sturdy building much like you would for a severe thunderstorm or tornado.