Well, well! Maybe the earth tremor has made people in New York nervous.
By the time Irene gets there, I would be highly surprised if it was more than severe gale 9 or gale 8. (Windy, but not earth shattering).
These sort of tropical storms are fueled by warm tropical waters. Unless the gulf stream is a lot warmer than normal, there is more likelihood of damage in the British Isles than in New York from the remnants of this hurricane! (Especially if it hits land in North Carolina as anticipated, because as soon as it starts going over land it loses energy quickly).