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LIVE BLOG: Irene Careens Into Region

Stay on this page for up to the minute reports on the storm's progress as reported by Patch's team of Montgomery County editors and correspondents.

Use our live chat (above) to share your own observations and photos of the storm.

Check out our LIVE WEATHER FEED here.

Update 11:29 p.m.: Power reported to be out in some parts of Spring City, flickering in some parts of Royersford. No word out of Limerick - things seem to be okay.

Update 10:25 p.m.: The National Weather Service has added Montgomery County to the tornado warning. The warning is now in effect until 10:53 p.m.

Update 10:18 p.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for central Chester and southwestern Delaware Counties until 10:45 p.m. You are advised to seek shelter on the lowest floor of wherever you may be staying and stay away from windows. If you are in a mobile home or vehicle, evacuate immediately and find the nearest .

Update 8:07 p.m.: Abington Fire Marshal Ken Clark said no residents have reported flooding — but added that the worst weather will happen between 6 and 7 a.m. Sunday.

Clark said a tree downed some wires on Washington Lane; a tree fell on a house — which had a “for sale” sign on it — on Rockledge Avenue near Shady Lane; and a tree branch fell on a transformer on Paper Mill Road near Meadowbrook Road.

Every fire company in the township is manned, Clark said.

Update 7:35pm: Lansdale area residents may want to visit editor Tony DiDomizio's extra-local coverage of Irene as it effects the Lansdale and Montgomery Township area. .

Update 7:11pm: Upper Moreland Township says that Cheltenham High School is the area's evacuation center for anyone who is forced out of their home. It will open at 8:00pm tonight.

Update 6:33pm: Patch field correspondent Keith Heffintrayer reports water pooling in areas of low elevation around many major county roads.

Update 6:30pm: Montgomery County's Public Safety Department has established a hotline for residents to call "with questions about what is happening in their area" during the storm. Dial 610-631-9700.

Update 5:15pm: As of 5:00pm, the National Weather Service reports Irene 50 miles south-southeast of Norfolk, VA with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. If winds fall below 75 mph, it will be downgraded to a tropical storm. The storm is moving north-northeast at 13 mph.

Update 4:50pm: The National Weather Service has called tomorrow's expected major flood stage of the Perkiomen Creek a "100 year flood" according to the tables used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Flood warnings have also been issued for the Schuylkill River at Pottstown and Norristown.

Update 3:43pm: Perkiomen Fire Chief John Moran advises drivers: "Don’t go through the water. (You) have no idea how much force that water has, even at shallow levels."

Update 2:46pm: Giant supermarkets in the area plan to remain open and stay stocked, come what may.

Update 2:37pm: The National Weather Service predicts that the Perkiomen Creek will reach flood stage around 7:00am Sunday, and major flood stage early tomorrow afternoon, cresting at 16.5 feet.

The outer bands of Hurricane Irene have begun to lap against the southern reaches of the Delaware Valley.

As the storm continues north, Patch will keep you updated here on the Irene's local effects in the Montgomery County area. Our local editors and field correspondents are standing by to bring you information on flooding, road closures, and storm damage.

The National Weather Service's last update on the storm, posted at 11:00am, shows Irene as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph, moving north-northeast at about 15 mph.

The hurricane briefly regained Category 2 status late last night after its initial downgrade to a Category 1 storm yesterday evening, but then weakened again overnight.

Joe Koenig August 27, 2011 at 04:32 PM
Watching the news at noon. it seems that the NEWS and Weather have gotten all they can out of Irene and North Carolina. Seems to be much ado about nothing. What would the Fox staff psycologist have to say about his own hysteria about Irene. Now it's time to be inundated about news and weather in our area. Maybe they'll cancel the first day of school in a week. Better to be safe than sorry??? "Let's help the helpless not the clueless." - Dennis Miller
Dr Steven Greene August 27, 2011 at 04:56 PM
better safe than sorry would apply here I would think... does it warrant closing major highways... I guess we'll find out by Monday. We're on much higher ground then the shore areas so flooding may be less of a concern
Kyle Bagenstose August 27, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Agreed that the storm does not appear to be as bad as many media outlets predicted, but it's still early. The big concern for Upper Dublin is flooding--we're saturated as is, so it could get messy. Check back, as we'll be making calls and finding out what's going on as the storm rolls through the area.
Joe Koenig August 27, 2011 at 05:32 PM
I agree that evacuation of the shore, concerns about flooding are all warranted, but is there any other news?? Watching this for 60 minutes an hour for 5 days is too much!! I'm sure there will be power outtages, fallen trees, and other damage from this storm, and I hope no one is hurt, but how long do we have to listen to news outlets looking for news. People who don't evacuate, well that's on them. We know areas of Upper Dublin flood. Why drive, if it's not an emergency, because people are people and do stupid things. We can't stop that no matter how much we warn them.
Dr Steven Greene August 27, 2011 at 06:22 PM
the media does tend to focus on events like this ad naseum.. they tell everyone to evacuate and yet there is some "intelligent" weather reporter on the beach in NC standing in 85 mph winds barely able to stand up and screaming into the mic... overall though, better to over prepare than under prepare.
Zana Du August 27, 2011 at 11:28 PM
So, I don't play into all the tv media with this... it gets excruciatingly boring after a while. I check what I can online. I am just hoping that my town of Pottstown allows for me, an "Essential Personnel" worker to travel to work tomorrow morning, and I pray my VW Beetle will prove itself worthy driving in high waters, as it did driving in high snow last winter!
Joe The Nerd Ferraro August 28, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Since New Jersey will be completely washed out, should we look for beachfront properties in Chester, PA?
pat polichetti August 28, 2011 at 01:00 PM
I'd rather hear people complain about it being overhyped. Let that be the news instead of casualty reports from people who DIDN'T listen. And don't EVER let me run into the a$$hat who endangered three firefighters in Upper Moreland by driving somewhere they shouldn't have and being stupid. If you are stupid enough to drive through deep water after being WARNED ad nauseam, you deserve whatever you get. If I've offended anyone, too bad.
Dr Steven Greene August 28, 2011 at 01:03 PM
I agree with Pat about the dumb people who drive into floods and get stuck. it's common sense... (not so common?).

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