By Ron Allen, NBC News Correspondent
FALMOUTH, MA. – The bridges will soon close and the ferries will stop running. Then Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket will be pretty much on their own with Hurricane Irene when she arrives.
The folks here are used to this. They know the drill. The vacationers to this sliver of paradise in eastern Massachusetts are leaving in droves. The day trippers have turned back.
Steven Senne / AP
Passengers waiting to depart the Island of Martha's Vineyard, right, stand in line to board a ferry in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on Friday. The Steamship Authority, which operates ferries between the island and the mainland, added additional vessels to the schedule in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Irene.
We watched an Island Queen ferry just leave for the Vineyard with only a handful of passengers and crew, probably locals commuting to homes on the island. They, like a lot of the hearty souls who make this place home, are staying put.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said it’s going to be a rough night, with tropical storm force winds hitting around 3 a.m. And then hanging around all day.
The concern here is that this entire state will get hit. It’s shaped like a rectangle and is perpendicular to the storm’s path. Expect heavy rain in the west, and strong winds in the east.
It’s been a beautiful day here in Falmouth so far, a great place to sit and watch our colleagues get battered south of here. But Irene's coming. And she won't be a very nice lady tonight.