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Anxiety Rises as Hurricane Irene Inches Closer

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Ocean City residents evacuated in advance of Hurricane Irene.
Bryan Russo
Ocean City residents evacuated in advance of Hurricane Irene.

Anxiety levels are high on the Delmarva Peninsula as Hurricane Irene is just a few hours from unleashing her might against the coastal region.

Ocean City Emergency Services Director Joe Theobald and hundreds of other town officials and emergency responders have set up the city's hurricane headquarters at the midtown police station, and they won’t be leaving this building until after Irene passes.

He says the long hours and lack of sleep are starting to catch up with him.

"I've gotten about a solid two hours each night," says Theobald. "And I'm starting to fade a little bit, but it's the way it is. I’ll sleep next week."

Insomnia may continue to plague thousands of others in the region who have hunkered down in their inland homes, while hotels all over the eastern shore are reportedly full all over the Eastern Shore as Irene is expected to hit at 6 p.m. and be at her worst between 1 and 3 a.m.

Local officials say widespread power outages, substantial flooding, and flying debris should be expected until sometime late Sunday morning.

And as the waters rise, and the winds pick up, the region is collectively moving to the edge of its seat with darkness and Hurricane Irene are right around the corner.

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