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Contact: Michael Gregorio
Public Information Office
The U.S. Census Bureau today released updated demographic information on the coastal communities potentially impacted by Hurricane Earl.
Based on the current projected path of Hurricane Earl, currently a Category 3 storm, the Census Bureau calculates about 26 million people in 68 counties, stretching from North Carolina to Maine, could face hurricane and tropical storm conditions within the next 48 hours. This figure comes from the Census Bureau's 2009 population estimates.
According to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory today (2 p.m. EDT), Hurricane Earl, centered about 245 miles south of Cape Hatteras, N.C. and 720 miles south-southwest of Nantucket, Mass., with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour, is projected to brush the North Carolina and Virginia coasts tonight, staying offshore and moving past New England early on Saturday. The National Hurricane Center indicates that area residents may experience heavy rains, high winds and coastal flooding.
The Census Bureau produces timely local data that are critical to emergency planning, preparedness and recovery efforts. According to the most recent storm track data available, once the hurricane moves past Dare County, N.C., the likeliest county with a sizeable population to be directly impacted is Barnstable County, Mass.
The median housing value for Barnstable County, Mass., where Cape Cod is located, was $408,100. Additionally, about 83 percent of housing units were built before 1990. The median household income was $60,452, and about 6 percent of the population lived in poverty. Nearly 5 percent of householders did not have access to a vehicle. These data come from the 2006-2008 American Community Survey 3-year estimates.
Furthermore, 24.5 percent of the residents of Barnstable County, Mass., were 65 and older, according to 2009 population estimates.
There were 8,549 employer business establishments in Barnstable County, which employed 73,970 workers. The total annual payroll for these businesses was $2.8 billion. In addition, there were 23,955 nonemployer businesses in Barnstable County, Mass. The health care and social assistance, retail trade, and accommodation and food services sectors employed about 57 percent of all workers in Barnstable County. These statistics come from the 2008 County Business Patterns and the 2008 Nonemployer Statistics data sets.
As the 2010 hurricane season progresses, the Census Bureau will continue to post information about the affected areas on its Census Bureau Data and Emergency Preparedness website at <www.census.gov/newsroom/emergencies/>.
Please visit our "OnTheMap for Emergency Management: Hurricanes" application at <lehdmap4.did.census.gov/themap4/em/index.html> to view the relationship between where people work and where they live and the characteristics of the local workforce.
For current forecast and status of Hurricane Earl, please visit the National Hurricane Center website at <www.nhc.noaa.gov>.
Editor’s note: News releases, reports and data tables are available on the Census Bureau’s home page. Go to <http://www.census.gov> and click on “Releases.”