In what will almost certainly not be the final precaution taken by local officials ahead of the approaching Hurricane Irene, Lower Merion Township announced the docks at will be removed by Friday.
The storm could further swell a river filled with above-average amounts of rain this month. When the storm passes and the river level stabilizes, the docks should be restored, according to the announcement via the township website.
Irene is no longer expected to make landfall in Florida, but the Philadelphia area could still feel its effects starting this weekend.
The storm is picking up speed and strength as it turns toward the East Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Irene lumbered into the Bahamas as a Category 1 hurricane Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning had ballooned into a Category 3 storm. Forecasters warn that Irene could become a Category 4 hurricane by the end of the day as it turns north.
The storm's projected path has been adjusted steadily to the east throughout the past 48 hours. Forecasters no longer expect the center of the storm to make landfall in Florida.
The National Weather Service says the interaction between Irene’s projected track and a stalled frontal system could mean heavy rain Saturday and Sunday, with the possibility of a period of strong winds Sunday.
The local seven-day forecast from the National Weather Service is calling for showers and thunderstorms Thursday afternoon and early evening. There’s a slight chance of rain on Friday.