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Evacuate the Dance Floor: More precisely, evacuate Ocean City, Md. Residents have been requested by the mayor, Rick Meehan, and city council to get out of town by 5 p.m. this Friday, as the threat of Hurricane Irene looms larger. The evacuation is mandatory and is the third phase of Ocean City’s emergency plan, which WUSA9 describes quite dramatically: “All persons other than identified emergency personnel are ordered to evacuate. Visitors are asked to return to their principle residences. Ocean City residents are asked to seek shelter elsewhere.” -3
Zipcar of the People: Today’s LivingSocial deal was a mega-discounted (75 percent!) Zipcar membership, with credits to spare. DCist points out that though Zipcar hasn’t been the most profitable, the company is probably looking to curry favor with its customer base rather than make some quick cash. As car-sharing competition creeps into the District, teaming up with LivingSocial isn’t the worst idea. Not to mention, $29 for a membership is a sweet bargain—and though bikes may have been the way to go following Monday’s earthquake, it might be nice to have a roof over your head if the rain keeps up. +2
The Neverending Earthquake: Speaking of Monday’s earthquake, that rumbling that aroused you from your sleep last night was, indeed, an aftershock! The U.S. Geological Survery recorded last night’s quavering as having a magnitude of 4.5 when it occurred at 1:07 a.m. It’s unclear whether more aftershocks will be coming in the next few days—that is, just in time to complement Irene’s arrival. -3
For, You Know, Zombies: The Post‘s Capital Weather Gang has assembled a thorough checklist to prepare for the all the doom, disaster, and falling apart that’s sure to occur over the weekend. But developing a family plan and creating a disaster supply kit just isn’t good enough for WMATA. The agency is readying to face Irene with the following steps: “crews have placed more than 2,000 sandbags around the escalators at Metrorail stations that have a history of flooding issues,” “plant maintenance staff is clearing drainage areas near stations and yards,” and—most importantly—”chainsaws are being deployed in Metro vehicles for use in the event of downed trees.” +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 62 Today’s score: -3 Today’s Needle rating: 59