Hurricane Irene continues to rumble toward the Eastern Seaboard, but the storm isn't expected to have a major impact on the region, the National Weather Service in State College said Thursday.
"There will be more of an impact east of the Susquehanna River, and the main thing would be the amount of rain and the wind," meteorological technician Tony Mach said. "There won't be very much impact in Altoona."
At 8 p.m. Thursday, the center of Hurricane Irene was about 530 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, N.C., moving north-northwest at 14 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
The motion is expected to take a turn toward the north early today.
On the current forecast track, Irene is expected to approach the North Carolina coast on Saturday, the hurricane center said.
Hurricane warnings were posted for the North Carolina coast from Little River Inlet northward to the Virginia border, including Pamilco, Albemarle and Currituck sounds.
Hurricane watches were issued for the Virgina
/North Carolina seaboard northward to Sandy Hook, N.J., including Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay, south of Smith Point.
Although the hurricane isn't expected to affect the area, residents should take precautions that not only will help them in the event it does but also in case of other emergencies.
"Keep informed through the electronic media: radio, TV, social media, websites such as the Altoona Mirror's," Bedford County Emergency Management Director Dave Cubbison said.
Preparing a "go kit" with flashlight, batteries, water and food is also important - particularly if the electricity goes out, he said.
If flooding occurs, don't drive through water, Cubbison said.
"You just don't know how deep that water may be," he said.
Other steps include testing sump pumps, cleaning out gutters and securing outside furniture, Cubbison said.
The area's current weekend forecast calls for partly sunny skies with a chance of showers and thunderstorms on Saturday and a 40 percent chance of rain on Sunday, the weather service said. Mostly sunny skies are then expected Monday and Tuesday.
Mirror Staff Writer Mark Leberfinger is at 946-7450.