Hurricane Irene More Bad News

Residents of New York and New Jersey are anxiously waiting for the arrival of Hurricane Irene.

Just like normal people, sometimes celebrities have to forego the luxuries of limousines, valet service and private jets and just brave the elements.

Travelers and airlines are casting a wary eye on the projected path of Hurricane Irene, getting ready to change plans if necessary as the storm gets closer to the United States.

The storm battered the Bahamas on Thursday and is forecast to pound much of the U.S. East Coast starting on Saturday.

American Airlines cancelled 126 flights Thursday, mostly out of Miami and the Bahamas, spokesman said.

The powerful storm has prompted the ministry to recommend "strongly" that people with plans to travel to the Bahamas in the next few days postpone their trips.

Most carriers are allowing travelers in the Caribbean to change their itineraries without a fee, and those policies have been extended to parts of the United States.

Airlines have posted travel waiver policies for the Caribbean and the East Coast on their websites.

Major airlines, including US Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Air Tran -- have dropped ticket change fees for passengers scheduled to fly to or from many cities along the East Coast this weekend.

More bad news, Amtrak has canceled most train service operating south of Washington for Friday, Saturday and Sunday in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. Service in the Northeast corridor is not affected at this point, but more cancellations may be necessary in the coming days, Amtrak warned.

The two states are under state of emergencies. A hurricane warning is in effect in the area until tomorrow night.



Out of stocks. A shopper passes empty shelves while looking for bottled water at a supermarket in Long Beach on Long Island.

The outer band of Hurricane Irene reached New York about an hour and a half ago and weather conditions in the area started to deteriorate rapidly

A tornado watch is also in effect in the area until 5 am tomorrow

While Irene is now downgraded to category 1, state and national officials still warn of flooding in low lying areas such as in lower Manhattan in New York and Hoboken in New Jersey.

Thousands of residents have evacuated earlier today but many residents chose to ride out the hurricane because they have no other place to go or they feel safer in their own homes.

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