Atlantic Hurricane Season Predicted to be 'Near Normal'
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - The Atlantic coast should expect a "near normal" hurricane season this year, according to forecasters.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting up to 15 named storms, up to eight of which could become hurricanes and between one and three of those becoming major hurricanes.
The season began Friday, June 1.
"Irene was just one storm last year and look what it could've done to our area," said Joe Thomas, director of the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center in Georgetown.
Hurricane Irene prompted evacuations along the Delmarva coast last summer.
Thomas said the emergency operations center is constantly planning and practicing for severe weather. He encouraged people living along the shore to prepare disaster kits with extra food, water, batteries and toiletries.
"It's important to have those supplies on hand because you just don't know what the situation will unfold as it occurs," Thomas said.
Based on data from 1981 to 2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes, NOAA said.
"There's always the chance is going to happen," said Gale Smith, manager of a clothing store in downtown Rehoboth Beach. "You just have to roll with the flow and do what they tell you to do."
Dozens of businesses along the boardwalk and throughout downtown boarded up before Irene arrived.
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