New Hurricane Irene Film Released! "Hurricane Irene - Journey To Hope Town". Now available on both DVD and Blu-Ray!
Update 8/26/11 7:00pm ET: I just posted a new blog post that you can find here, of intense Hurricane Irene video footage from Hope Town yesterday. Jim says everyone on the island is doing great, and has started the clean up process. He plans to return to Florida tomorrow if he can get a flight out.
Update 8/26/11 − 9:30am ET: The morning after Hurricane Irene tracked through the central and northern Bahamas, we're just getting some pictures and video in now showing how strong Irene really was yesterday. Storm photographer Jim Edds, who was riding Irene out in Hope Town, Bahamas, was able to get a few pictures out to me this morning after finding some working internet on the small island. Jim said it blew really hard, and now that he’s had the time to walk around more this morning, he can see more significant damage to structures, boats, power poles and trees. I expect to hear more from him in the next hour or two with possibly more video and pictures of the aftermath in Abaco / Hope Town.
Update 8/25/11 − 7:45pm ET: Just heard from Jim! He was able to get a quick call out before the call dropped. He said Irene was very strong, especially the backside of the eye. He said Andrew and the Coffee House did well, but with a little damage. Says there is damage (not sure how bad) all around that he can see, but they planned to tour around more before sunset to see how bad it is, and the surge damage in the low-lying area’s down the road. He also said that he recored a pressure reading of 154mb in the eye, and was able to see some sunlight with the eye passage. I’m still standing by to see if he gets another call out tonight.
Update 8/25/11 − 6:00pm ET: It has now been a little over 12 hours since I last spoke to Jim in Hope Town. Great Abaco took a direct hit from Hurricane Irene earlier this afternoon, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) marked it at the 2pm advisory saying, “EYE OF IRENE OVER ABACO ISLAND," and it was also visible with weather satellite imagery as seen below. I suspect there will be little to no communication tonight from Jim, as the winds I’m sure are still gusting pretty high, and nightfall is very soon. I will post as soon as I hear any news. Thank you to everyone for the great comments below.
Update 8/25/11 − 1:25pm ET: Hurricane Chaser Jim Edds is now likely in the eye of major Hurricane Irene. He remains in Hope Town, and on the visible satellite image below, you can see that Great Abaco is now within the eye of Irene. Still standing by for any word from Jim for the remainder of the day. Check back!
Update 8/25/11 − 10:30am ET: The last time I spoke to Jim was earlier this morning around 5:30am ET. He said that weather conditions were deteriorating rapidly in Hope Town, Bahamas. He said they had wind driven rains coming into one of the windows, and they were working to get that fixed. I gave him an update on Hurricane Irene’s position and strength, as he has no more incoming data, and forecast points for the next six hours from the National Hurricane Center. I’ll let you all know if I get any more calls from him, but with Irene’s eyewall nearing him now, it’s likely cell coverage will be down from this point on.
Major Hurricane Irene 2011 Chase Update
Exclusive: Hurricane chaser videographer Jim Edds is currently located on Great Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas. He is planning to ride out major Hurricane Irene in the small community of Hope Town, which is a smaller island located just to the east of the main island of Great Abaco. Hurricane Irene’s dangerous eyewall looks to track over or very close to his location midday tomorrow as a possible strong category 3 or weak category 4 hurricane. Definitely an intense situation setting up for Jim over the next 24 hours.
Earlier this evening, Jim sent in a video report from the island showing ongoing preparations with the locals, and the deteriorating ocean conditions throughout the afternoon. He’s riding Hurricane Irene out with a local Coffee House owner in Hope Town named Andrew Prosa. Jim spent the day helping Andrew out getting things ready around his property for the storm, and touring around the local area shooting video and still photography before Irene.
More Hurricane Irene Video and Pictures Possible Tomorrow
I will remain in contact with Jim as long as I can either through email or cell phone. He said they have backup power, but expects to lose internet and cell coverage overnight or into the morning hours as the winds pick up. I will try and update as much as I can on Jim’s status here, and you can also follow my Twitter feed @weatherzine. Jim can also be found on Twitter @extremestorms.
All the best from Florida to our island friends to the east in the Bahamas overnight and on Thursday. Be Safe!