This message came in this afternoon from a friend in Annapolis. It pertains mostly to people who live on or near the Bay, have boats in the water or at a dock, though most boat owners today are pulling their craft from the water.
"I just finished a briefing from the Coast Guard in which they emphasized the atmospheric instability that has made predicting the movements of Hurricane Irene difficult.
"At this point (2 p.m. Thursday) their forecast has Irene centered over the Delmarva Peninsula at 8 a.m. Sunday as a Category 2 hurricane. Category 2 means sustained winds of 96 - 110 MPH close to the eye. It would take only a minor further westward shift in the projected track to place those winds directly over Annapolis.
"The Coast Guard urges that, while we all hope it will not be that strong, we prepare for it to be. Category 2 winds are strong enough to turn almost anything that is not tied down into a dangerous projectile, shred furled sails, and wreck exposed canvas structures such as biminis and dodgers.
"We urge you to take this storm seriously. Check your boats and homes with particular attention to projectile risks; follow the available guidance on how to protect people and property from both wind and surge effects; and prepare to hunker down in a safe place as the height of the storm approaches."