As Irene lashes coast, social media keeps tens of millions informed

Weather Channel’s public relations chief tells PR Daily that the network saw record or near-record days during its hurricane coverage.

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Dozens of pages were dedicated to the hurricane on Facebook, and Twitter included a steady stream of updates about prep, riding the storm out, and the beginning of cleanup.

Twitter hashtags #irene and #hurricane kept everyone on the Eastern Seaboard informed over the weekend on the storm’s movement and the damage it left in its wake. Throughout Sunday, when the storm marched through New York and New Jersey, #Irene tweets came in nearly every second.

On Sunday, seven of Twitter’s top 10 trending topics were hurricane-related posts.

News stations used #irene to pour out news updates and hurricane coverage scheduling. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tweeted Sunday to stay indoors, also offering links to news conferences.

As the storm hit New York City, Mayor Mayor Micheal Bloomberg offered some edicts, and words of encouragement, via Twitter:

Sunday, 4 a.m.: RT @NYCMayorsOffice: We are in the midst of the most dangerous period of the storm, so for your safety, continue to remain indoors. #Irene

Saturday, 11 p.m.: Please stay where you are until the storm is over. Look out for one another. We will update you tomorrow morning. #Irene

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