Hamptons Might Be Hit Hardest By Hurricane Irene

And you thought that pathetic excuse for an earthquake was bad? On Sunday, Hurricane Irene will barrel into the east coast -- possibly over the New York City area. As Jen explained yesterday, it's time to batten down the hatches. Especially if you're a fancypants type who lives in/was planning to go to the Hamptons, because it looks like the eastern end of Long Island might be hardest hit by Irene.

Or it might not be -- we won't be certain of where exactly will be hardest hit by the hurricane for a few days. However, "Meteorologists say the risk appears most acute for areas like the Hamptons, an eastern Long Island playground for New York's rich," according to Reuters. Or, as Wonkette puts it (with a healthy dose of schadenfreude), "God Now Aiming Hurricane Irene Directly At Billionaires' Mansions In the Hamptons."

Also, don't panic, but:

Florida State University has created an online map that shows the track of 14 different models, two of which show the Irene plowing straight through New Jersey and putting New York City, Newark and other areas on the wrong side of the storm.

Given how compact Manhattan is, even tropical storm-force conditions could do serious damage.

"The water's got to go somewhere and the wind is going to hit something," said Lou Gritzo, research manager at insurer FM Global. "New York City becomes a wind tunnel when the wind whips between the buildings, so that's going to be a force that intensifies how projectiles are moving."

Like we said, don't panic. As for the rest of the week, today you can expect oppressive humidity followed by heavy storms.


[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.

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