Residents, emergency responders prepare for Hurricane Irene

Local emergency crews made preparations today after attending a briefing by the National Weather Service in Pomona yesterday.

Tropical storm or hurricane-force winds could cause torrential rain and widespread flooding to the Hudson Valley.

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Officials are warning that Hurricane Irene could pack a punch as serious as Hurricane Floyd which devastated the area and caused millions of dollars worth of damage in 1999.

Preparations are already under way at Westchester County's emergency command center. County officials met today to strategize and brace for worst-case scenarios.

Many residents are taking the threats seriously and are buying anything that could help prevent flooding and protect homes.

Hardware stores are reporting brisk sales of pumps, hoses, generators, sandbags and gravel.

Forecasters say Irene's strength could pick up as it moves toward the states, which is why the Federal Emergency Management Agency is watching closely.

Irene could hit North Carolina's Outer Banks on Saturdayafternoon with winds around 115 mph, then chug it's way up theEast Coast toward the Hudson Valley.

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