Hurricane Irene Prompts New York Times to Drop Pay Wall

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The publication opened up all of the website's storm stories to the public for the weekend.

As Hurricane Irene moves steadily north on the East Coast, residents may be eager to get as much information as possible on its current status. The New York Times has decided to make all storm stories available to anyone, taking them out from behind the paywall that usually guards material on the website.

"As a public service, @nytimes will allow free access to storm-related coverage on and its mobile apps," the NY Times tweeted.

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Indeed, the hurricane stories are available on the site on Saturday, including an animated map showing the storm’s current location.

This is the first instance that the paywall has been dropped since the publication added it in March 2011. When the paywall was first established, the publication had said that certain vital information would be made available to the general public.

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NYT also promised to post continuous updates on Hurricane Irene, which touched down on land in North Carolina on Saturday morning, on their Twitter account, NYT Live.

Cities along the East Coast have been bracing for Hurricane Irene, with evacuations in low-lying areas. New York City shut down the subway system, and Broadway shows, concert venues and cinemas shut down for the weekend.