Hurricane Irene flooding causes Nuclear Reactors to shut down in New Jersey
Two of the three nuclear reactors in a southern New Jersey county have powered partway down because debris from Hurricane Irene is blocking cooling water intakes.
PSEG Nuclear spokesman Joe Delmar said on Wednesday that the Salem I and Salem II units in Salem County are getting unusual amounts of grass and trash at the screen where water is taken in from the Delaware River.
He says similar issues happen in the spring when the river runs high and weeds and grasses growing nearby are washed downstream.
Engineers from the public works department are slammed by waves and storm surge pounding the boardwalk at Asbury Park, New Jersey
The Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power plant in Maryland was also shut down because of Hurricane Irene
Though the Salem I unit is running at 62 per cent of full power and Salem II is at 90 per cent, the adjacent Hope Creek reactor (pictured) hasn't been affected
He says the Salem I unit is running at 62 per cent of full power and Salem II is at 90 per cent. The adjacent Hope Creek reactor hasn't been affected.
Delmar says it's unclear when the plants will return to full power.
Another nuclear reactor in Maryland has been shut down because of wind damage, while others were either taken offline or operating at reduced capacity as precautionary measures before the arrival of hurricane Irene on Sunday.
Fourteen nuclear plants from North Carolina to New Hampshire were in Irene's path when the hurricane headed up the east coast on Saturday.
Hurricane: Reactors at both the Oyster Creek and Hope Creek plants in New Jersey were down or not running to its maximum capacity because of Irene
Flood: New Jersey was one of the worst hit states during Hurricane Irene as most rivers began to recede and expose a path of destruction that seemed to touch all corners of the state
Path of destruction: Highways and transport systems were all affected by the weekends wind and rain
In addition to the shutdowns in New Jersey and Maryland, some plants powered down as a safety measure – which also contributed to widespread power cuts.
Progress Energy powered down its reactors in Brunswick, North Carolina, and Dominion Resources cut production at one reactor at its Millstone plant in New London, Connecticut, by 70 per cent.
According to Fox news, the company that designed the nuclear reactors now melting down in Japan also designed two reactors in New Jersey - one of which is the Hope Creek reactor.
Hope Creek shares space with the Salem reactor and together they make up the second-largest nuclear power plant in the country.
Though a spokesman PSEG, the owner of the plant, assured that in the face of a natural disaster - such as Hurricane Irene - there would be no problem.
He said at the time: 'The plant has been operational since 1986 and we have had no significant issues with the plant, as well as our Salem plants next door.'
The Hope Creek Reactor is built to withstand one up to category four hurricane.
Submerged: Flood waters from the Passaic River fill the streets covering automobiles including a Chevrolet SUV days after Hurricane Irene in Paterson, New Jersey
Tour: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano planned today to tour regions of New Jersey heavily damaged by flooding
The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station begun the start-up process on Sunday after operators took the generator off line in preparation for Hurricane Irene, spokesperson Suzanne D’Ambrosio said.
'After careful planning and conservative storm preparations, we are ready,' she said. 'In the course of a week, Oyster Creek has experienced an earthquake, it has experienced a hurricane of historical proportions for the Jersey Shore.
'All the while, the plant stayed safe. It stood strong. It’s proof of the plant's integrity.'
'I shiver every time I hear about Irene': Hurricane brings back painful memories for survivors of storm that ravaged America 73 years ago
What Evelyn Katzman remembers most about the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 are the floating store mannequins.
A self-described Army brat, she had recently moved to Providence with her parents from Atlanta. She was 30, newly employed at Cherry and Webb, a specialty store downtown. It was September 21, a Wednesday.
The elevator wasn't working - the power had just cut out - so she went to tell her supervisor. That's when she saw them: two human forms, from the coat shop across the way, floating down Westminster Street.
Land ahoy: This September 1938 photo shows a damaged ferry boat ground by the hurricane in Providence, Rhode Island
Painful memories: Joan O'Connor, 85, survived the New England Hurricane of 1938
The manager of another department store had just called to sound a warning.
'He said, 'Lock the doors, the water's coming in,' said Katzman, now 103 and living in Providence at an assisted living facility not far from the head of the Narragansett Bay.
It's been nearly 73 years since the so-called Great New England Hurricane - one of the most powerful and destructive storms ever to hit southern New England.
The storm now bearing down on the Northeast, Irene, has drawn comparisons to the one from way back then which, according to the National Weather Service, killed nearly 600 people and injured 1,700.
Around 8,900 houses across southern New England were destroyed. More than 15,000 others were damaged.
It brought its wrath first to New York's Long Island, then to Milford, Connecticut. It sped northward at 60mph. Tides were already higher than normal - as they are now with Irene headed this way.
The Great Hurricane produced tides from New London, Connecticut, east to Massachusetts' Cape Cod that were between 18ft and 25ft, the weather service says. Communities along the Narragansett Bay were devastated.
Buffeted: The Strandway in South Boston was struck by 100mph winds
Storm surges of 12ft to 15ft destroyed most of the homes along the coast there. A surge of nearly 20ft left Providence drowning in water. Years later, the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier would be built to try to shield the capital city from repeat devastation.
For those who lived through the Great Hurricane - and many of them have since died - Irene's impending arrival has brought some of the memories back. Three other residents at the Tockwotton Home, a Providence-based assisted living facility and nursing home, shared what they remember yesterday.
Joan O'Connor, 85, vividly recalls the way the wind kept billowing out her sleeveless cotton dress as she walked home from junior high that day, blissfully unaware of what was coming.
Wave of destruction: The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries building on the south side of Main Street in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is hit by crashing waves
Wrecked: New England in 1938 after the hurricane hit
Battered: The remains of a commercial building after it was hit by high winds in Providence, 1938
She normally took the bus. But it was Indian summer, so she and a few friends headed home on foot, stopping to get sodas along the way. Her dress was flying every which way; she kept having to pat it down on her legs.
At home, the shingles on her parents' old house in Providence started flapping around. The lights went out. When they pulled out a kitchen drawer to get some candles, the family cat climbed back there - and was missing for hours. Eventually, they found some kerosene lamps in the basement that worked far better than candles.
'It was kind of exciting,' said O'Connor. 'Except being without power.'
Damage: A car is wrecked after a tree was blown over in the Great New England Hurricane
Flattened: Remains of Pawtuxet village in Rhode Island on September 22, 1938
Ravaged by wind: Homes damaged by the hurricane in Providence
Mary Johnston, 95, who was 22 and living in Pawtucket at the time, remembers seeing water almost to the tops of buses in Providence. There were trees down and debris all over. The power was out. Her husband worked at a bank, where he ended up being stuck for a week, she says.
'A lot of the roofs were blowing off the houses,' she said in her room, where she had set aside two candles and a flashlight. 'I just remember what a mess. ... Everything was almost at a standstill for a week.'
Flooded: Streets in Providence in 1938
Clear-up: Residents pull down trees to make the area safe after the 1938 hurricane
Collapsed: The remains of Park Street Bridge, Providence
Toppled over: Boats in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
For Leah Abrams, 92, the Great Hurricane put life on hold for much longer than that. She, her parents and three brothers were without electricity or gas at their home in Bristol, a city on Narragansett Bay's east side, for six weeks, she said. There was no water either, until the fire department came by and delivered some.
She remembers how the boats from a local manufacturer were just carried up and away, left scattered all over the roadway.
'I shiver every time I hear' about Hurricane Irene, Abrams said. 'Let's hope it bypasses' New England.
As the East Coast braces for the worst of Hurricane Irene’s fury, some are not so quick to grab the flashlights and head to the cellar just yet.
As Hurricane Irene was battered the North Carolina coast this morning, it did so as a Category 1 storm, down from a Category 3 storm when it punished the Bahamas earlier this week.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, which measures a storm’s strength, labels a Category 1 storm as causing damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees.
Monster: Hurricane Irene is almost as large as Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005
They also cause coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.
Hurricanes draw their strength from the ocean, and tend to dissipate as they move over land.
But while deteriorating wind speeds have prompted the storm to be downgraded, that doesn't mean it’s not dangerous.
Scientists said Irene is still a threat regardless of its wind speed.
Cary Mock, an associate geography professor at the University of South Caroline who has studied hurricane history for the last decade, says the storm is about as large as Katrina, which is big.
He said: 'The storm surge is dependent not just on the winds but on the size.'
Although Irene is not the strongest to hit the U.S. in recent years, it is one of the largest, measuring nearly 450 miles wide. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was just under 500 miles wide.
Landfall: Shortly after the Category 1 storm made landfall near Cape Lookout, North Carolina, forecasters said Irene's winds had dropped to 85mph
As the storm barrels up the East Coast toward New York, others claim the city that never sleeps will be saved a devastating impact.
'We could still be unlucky here in the city and get a worse track, but it's just hard to happen,' Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory told OurAmazingPlanet.
Some skeptics have gone so far as to question the validity of the hurricane altogether, claiming NOAA’s figures on wind speed were inflated.
Damage: Despite being a Category 1 storm, Hurricane Irene had enough power to peel the roof off houses in North Carolina
Steven Goddard claimed that the government's weather agency is drastically pumping up the numbers.
Mr Goddard said: 'NOAA claims the winds are 85 MPH, but none of the Weather Underground stations in the area report higher than 33 MPH winds.'
'By definition, this is not a hurricane – and is just barely a tropical storm.'
Hurricanes are formed with a combination of warm ocean water, atmospheric moisture and a strong wind pattern.
Killer storm: Hurricane Katrina was nearly 500 miles wide when it struck the Gulf Coast in 2005
Keeping up with Katia: The experts say they cannot be certain whether Katia will take the same path as Hurricane Irene
As Hurricane Irene battered the East Coast this weekend, it appeared Tropical Storm Jose was next in line for the Atlantic hurricane season, but that storm sputtered almost as fast as it formed. '(Jose) died a quick death,' Mr Feltgen said.
Meanwhile, affected areas from North Carolina to Maine are fighting to survive after Hurricane Irene levelled structures, knocked out power and spawned epic flooding.
The storm may have spared New York City, but it caused the worst flooding in decades in inland areas of New York State, New Jersey and Vermont.
Search and rescue teams have plucked nearly 600 people from homes in recent days with the most intense efforts on Tuesday when the Passaic River measured 13 feet above flood stage, the highest level since 1903, Paterson police Sgt. Alex Popov said.
Firefighters rescued some by boat and the National Guard saved others by truck, taking them to a Red Cross shelter.
‘Some are standing there in the doorway. Some are coming out of their windows,’ Popov said. ‘It's raging,’ he said of the Passaic, which runs through the centre of town.
Authorities expected the river to begin receding later on Tuesday. Swollen rivers were still cresting on Tuesday and flood plains remained under water in north-eastern states that were already soaked by an unusually wet summer.
Global warning: Scientists in U-turn as they claim extreme weather and climate change are linked
Climate change is inextricably linked to the extreme weather that has wreaked destruction all over the world in the last ten years, scientists now claim.
Experts are convinced of a legitimate link between the two after more than 20 years of reluctance to blame greenhouse gas emissions for the heavy storms, floods and droughts which have made global headlines.
The controversial U-turn is a radical departure from the previous standpoint and was made by a new international alliance of climate researchers from around the world.
Thunderous: The massive tornado that tore a six-mile path through south western Missouri, killing at least 89 people in the city of Joplin
Obliterated: A neighbourhood in Joplin is devastated after the tornado, destroying buildings and littering vehicles throughout the city
The Attribution of Climate-Related Events has been formed to investigate exceptional weather events.
The coalition is in the process of drafting a report on the issue which will be published at a meeting at Denver's World Climate Research Programme later this year, reported the Independent.
The move is likely to be controversial as, in the past, scientists have avoided linking single exceptional weather events with climate change, not least because the science of 'climate attribution' is likely to be pounced upon by sceptics who question the link between industrial carbon dioxide emissions and a rise in global temperatures.
However, they now believe it is no longer plausible to say extreme weather is merely 'consistent' with climate change.
Instead, the coalition wants to analyse each event to see whether it is probable that the increase in global temperature in the last century has contributed to or caused it.
MAKING CONNECTIONS: A SNAPSHOT OF EXCEPTIONAL WEATHER EVENTS ACROSS THE GLOBE
Drought: Unseasonably warm weather in April saw reservoirs dry up in parts of the UK
A growing number of scientists are now prepared to adopt a more aggressive stance on the matter, it has been reported.
Peter Stott, a leading climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter, told the Independent: 'We’ve certainly moved beyond the point of saying that we can’t say anything about attributing extreme weather events to climate change.
'It’s very clear we’re in a changed climate now which means there’s more moisture in the atmosphere and the potential for stronger storms and heavier rainfall is clearly there.'
Mother of all storms: Hurricane Katrina left the US city of New Orleans under water, leaving a trail of dead in its wake
Displaced: Thousands were left homeless after Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans and other southern states in the US in 2005
Swamped: Many parts of the historic jazz city of New Orleans were left several feet under water, leaving people stranded on roof tops
Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the U.S. National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, added: 'We have this extra water vapour lurking around waiting for storms to develop and then there is more moisture as well as heat that is available for these storms [to form].
'The models suggest it is going to get drier in the subtropics, wetter in the monsoon trough and wetter at higher latitudes. This is the pattern we're already seeing.'
NCAR has been joined by the Met Office to work alongside other climate organisations to carry out detailed investigations on extreme events.
Deluge: Pakistan suffers its worst floods in the country's history in 2010, killing hundreds and affecting millions
Humanitarian disaster: Flood survivors are evacuated from a flooded area near Muzaffargarh following the 2010 floods
According to Dr Stott, studies are already under way to assess the European heatwave in 2003 - when up to 35,000 people died of heat-related causes - and the UK floods in 2000 following the wettest autumn in England and Wales since records began in 1766.
It will also look at this April's unseasonably warm April in the UK. Many people believed global warming was to blame for the unprecedented tornadoes that ripped through the south eastern states of the US in May.
A report, carried out by insurance company Munich Re, claimed that 2010 was one of the worst years on record for natural disasters, with nine-tenths of those were connected to extreme weather - like the heatwave in Russia and the floods in Australia and Pakistan.
Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis – At first it seemed like a fluke; but now it’s a pattern. The weather is becoming increasingly extreme. Over 120 tornadoes recently struck the U.S. Midwest. Texas is on fire and suffering through an extreme drought. And where there aren’t fires and droughts, there are floods. This is only the beginning…One of the most destructive storms in years extended its deadly path across Southeast Asia, blowing down wooden villages in Cambodia and crushing Vietnamese houses under mudslides after submerging much of the Philippine capital. The death toll climbed to 331 and was still rising. But its powerful winds and pummeling rain left a snaking trail of destruction. It said the storm destroyed or damaged nearly 180,000 homes, inundated 150,000 more, and flattened crops across central Vietnam. More than 350,000 people were evacuated from the typhoon’s path, posing a logistical headache to shelter and feed them. In neighboring Cambodia, at least 11 people were killed and 29 injured Tuesday as the storm toppled dozens of rickety houses and swept away residents in the two provinces north of the capital that were hit. About 100 houses were destroyed and 400 others damaged. In the Philippines, Ketsana triggered the worst flooding in 40 years across a swath of the island nation’s north and submerged riverside districts of the sprawling capital of 12 million people. Officials said 2.3 million people had their homes swamped, and 400,000 were seeking help in relief centers hastily set up in schools and other public buildings – even the presidential palace. The Philippines death toll stood at 246, with 42 people missing.
A massive tornado that tore a 6-mile path across southwestern Missouri killed at least 89 people as it slammed into the city of Joplin, ripping into a hospital, crushing cars like soda cans and leaving a forest of splintered tree trunks behind where entire neighborhoods once stood.
Authorities warned that the death toll could climb as search and rescue workers continued their efforts. Their task was made more miserable as a new thunderstorm with strong winds, heavy rain pelted part of the city with quarter-sized hail.
City manager Mark Rohr announced the number of known dead at a pre-dawn news conference outside the wreckage of a hospital that took a direct hit from Sunday’s storm. Rohr said the twister cut a path nearly 6 miles long and more than a half-mile wide through the center of town. Much of the city’s south side was leveled, with churches, schools, businesses and homes reduced to ruins.
Jasper County emergency management director Keith Stammer said about 2,000 buildings were damaged, while Joplin fire chief Mitch Randles estimated the damage covered a quarter or more of the city of about 50,000 people some 160 miles south of Kansas City. He said his home was among those destroyed. (AP)
Russian wildfires and Pakistan floods were caused by the same weather event even though they are 1,500miles apart, says Nasa
Two of the most extreme natural disasters of 2010 were caused by the same weather event even though they took place more than 1,500miles apart, claims a Nasa study.
The heatwave and lethal wildfires of Russia and the punishing floods in Pakistan were caused by abnormal behaviour in an atmospheric wave in August 2010, says researchers.
But quite what caused this fluctuation to deviate so far from the norm remains unknown.
Fire and water: Date from Nasa has shown that an Omega blocking system caused both the Russian heatwave and Pakistan floods in August 2010
Downed: The Pakistan flood entirely submerged areas such as in Shahdadkot in Sindh province, Pakistan
Russia: Some 300 wildfires burned as the heatwave caused by the Rossby Wave created tinderbox conditions
The Russian event produced the hottest summer in the country's history, causing roughly $15billion in damages and killing an estimated 56,000 people in more than 300 wildfires.
The Pakistan flood submerged one-fifth of the country's total land mass - approximately 307,374 square miles - and had a death toll of around 2,000, though it directly affected 20million people with the destruction of property.
BLOWING IN THE WIND: WHAT IS A ROSSBY WAVE?
The atmosphere, gaseous and transparent, may not seem like a fluid, but that’s precisely how the thin layer of air encasing the planet behaves.
As Earth spins on its axis, huge rivers of air — scientists call them Rossby waves — meander around the globe in a westerly direction.
Currents in the center of these waves form the jet streams, fast-moving columns of air that push weather systems from west to east.
Rossby waves aren’t uniform. They tend to undulate and have troughs and ridges. Areas of low-pressure typically develop in the troughs of the waves, while high-pressure areas form in their ridges.
Parcels of warm air from the tropics and cool air from the poles swirl around the low- and high-pressure parts of the waves creating a complex tapestry of warm and cool fronts that meet and interact constantly.
Collisions between warm and cool fronts produce storms and precipitation.
The atmospheric wave responsible, which is called a Rossby Wave, is caused when the fast-flowing jet stream air currents in the atmosphere wander from their usual course.
When that happens they dislodge masses of cold or warm air that often turn into cyclones.
The latest Nasa research now says that it was an abnormal Rossby Wave which was responsible for both natural disasters.
While the Russian heat wave began before the Pakistan torrent, both weather events peaked at roughly the same time.
The discovery was made by analysing data from Merra - the Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications - Nasa's instrument to measure the surface temperature of land, as well as the intensity of rain and any wildfire activity.
'From Nasa satellite data and wind analysis, we can clearly see the connection between the two events,' said William Lau, a Nasa atmospheric scientist who co-authored the report, which was published in the Journal of Hydrometeorology.
'Think of the atmosphere like a loose membrane. If you push one part up, something else has to come down somewhere else.
'If you produce a high in one region, you produce a corresponding low in another.'
This map shows how rainfall built up over Pakistan from the beginning of July through to the end of August
August 2010: Left, a graphic showing water vapor in the atmosphere, where bright sections are most watery and, right, thermal infrared emissions of the Earth where dark areas are hot
In usual summer conditions the jet stream pushes weather fronts through Eurasia in four or five days.
However, in August 2010, the weather pattern over Russia stagnated in what is known as an Omega blocking event, trapping a ridge of high pressure.
The 'blocking' divided the jet stream, slowing the progress of the weather pattern as it moved from east to west.
The slow high pressure ridge over Russia trapped a mass of hot, dry air which scorched the surface of the land, turning it into a tinderbox.
At the same time, the blocking pattern led to unusual downstream winds which caused a low pressure build up, forcing cold air from Siberia south towards Pakistan.
Hotspot: This map shows areas of relatively high pressure (red) over Russia and the resulting low pressure (blue) over Pakistan in August 2010
Devastation: The Pakistan flood brought a death toll of around 2,000, though it directly affected around 20million people with the destruction of property and livelihood
Burning up: A Russian helicopter drops water on a raging fire and the smoke from hundreds of similar blazes saw Moscow covered smog so thick experts warned that breathing it was dangerous as smoking
The cold air from Siberia smashed into warm over Pakistan and the unusual wind patterns pushed monsoon rainfall north and west, placing it squarely over northern Pakistan.
On the video simulation of the weather event above, the peninsula to the lower left, shaded bright red, is Saudi Arabia, while the pointed land mass to the lower right, shaded green, is India. Pakistan sits roughly between them.
As the weather event moves from July through to August the temperature moves from one extreme of heat (red) to the other (green and blue) within a matter of days.
While the new study shows the connection between two seemingly unrelated weather events, Lau warned that many questions remain, such as why such a powerful blocking event occurred in the first place, and whether a process on the land or in the atmosphere contributed to that?
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New Devastating Pakistan Floods
Japan Earthquake: Six Months Later
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Pakistan Floods, One Year Later
Wildfire in Arizona
Tornado-Damaged Joplin, From Above
Tornado Ravages Joplin, Missouri
Mississippi Floodwaters Roll South
Signs of Hope in Alabama's Tornado Wreckage
Japan Earthquake: Two Months Later
Storms, Tornadoes Devastate the South
Tornadoes Sweep Across the South
Hurricane Irene leaves flooding and destruction it its wake as 11 die and millions without power while storm churns up East Coast
The destructive power of Hurricane Irene was revealed last night as at least 11 people, including two children, were dead as the storm lashed North Carolina and Virginia as it charged up the East Coast toward New York.
More than two million people from South Carolina to Maryland were without power as the giant 580-mile-wide storm brought widespread flooding and high winds that knocked down power lines.
Irene's strength was downgraded to a category 1 hurricane, but as it approached New York, forecasters warned it would hit the city at or near hurricane strength.
The National Weather Service said conditions were ripe for tornadoes in the city, Long Island and southern Connecticut, as twisters were reported touching down in Delaware and Maryland.
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Flooding: Two men use a boat to explore a street flooded by Hurricane Irene in Monteo, North Carolina
Washed away: The Albemarle Sound floods vehicles outside a Dairy Queen shortly after Hurricane Irene barreled through the Outer Banks in Nags Head, North Carolina
Storm: Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center rate Irene a category 1 storm with winds in excess of 85 mph (137 kph)
Jarod Wilton looks at the flood waters rising to his doorstep, in Alliance, North Carolina
Around two million people were without power in Virginia as Irene battered the region, reported state governor Bob McDonnell.
Progress Energy, North and South Carolina's utility service, said about 250,000 customers had lost electricity there.
Widespread flooding was caused by Irene pushing a giant storm surge, a wall of water, out of its way as it marched up the Atlantic Coast.
In many places, forecasters warned, the storm surge could be as destructive as the hurricane itself, flooding low-lying areas before the storm even arrives with its winds and pelting rain.
Daniel Brown, the warning coordination meteorologist for NOAA's National Hurricane Centre, said: 'Storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 4 to 8 feet above ground level within the hurricane warning area from the North Carolina/Virginia border northward to Cape Cod.'
He added: 'Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large, destructive, and life-threatening waves.'
In Maryland, authorities warned of a potential dam failure late on Saturday, they they warned 'may cause significant flooding that could threaten people, homes and roads downstream from the St. Mary's Lake Dam'.
St Mary's County Government urged residents in the immediate downstream area to move family and pets upstairs or to a high place with a means of escape.
Deaths blamed on Irene included two children, an 11-year-old boy in Virginia killed when a tree crashed through his roof and a North Carolina child who died in a crash at an intersection where traffic lights were out.
Destruction: The hurricane force winds of Irene rip the siding off of homes on Nags Head, North Carolina
Destructive path: This chart shows the forecast for the hurricane's charge up the East Coast
Warning: Despite the hurricane being downgraded to a Category 1 storm, it is still expected to have locally extreme impacts
Heeling: One of two people rescued from a sailboat, right, uses a line to make their way onto the beach on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk today
Sprawling: Hurricane Irene opened its assault on the Eastern Seaboard on Saturday by lashing the North Carolina coast with wind as strong as 115 mph and pounding shoreline homes with waves
Tragedy: A young boy was killed after a large tree fell onto his apartment in Newport News, Virginia. He was pronounced dead at the scene
Maze of destruction: A vehicle avoids a downed utility pole on Woodlawn St as Hurricane Irene hits Greenville, North Carolina today
A man in Onslow County, North Carolina suffered a heart attack and died while boarding up his windows, according to the Charlotte Observer. A man in Nash County was killed outside his house after he was struck by a tree limb picked up by the strong winds.
Sheriff Dick Jenkins told WRAL.com that the man, who was not identified, went to feed his animals outside his Nashville, North Carolina home, when a tree or branch fell on him.
In Florida, a surfer was killed when he was knocked off his board at New Smyrna Beach, where surfers had flocked to take advantage of 10-foot waves.
'It appears he went over a wave and might have gone head first into the ground,' Tammy Marris, a spokeswoman for the Volusia County Beach Patrol, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Two additional people died in car accidents in North Carolina on Saturday night as a result of the hurricane. Another man died in Chesterfield County, Virginia, after a tree fell on his home.
In Queenstown, Maryland, a woman died after a tree knocked a chimney through the roof of her home, crushing her.
Tornadoes were reported touching down in Delaware and Maryland. In Lewes, Delaware, governor Jack Markell said at least 17 homes had been damaged by a twister. In total, up to 40 houses were damaged in the town because of the storm.
The National Weather Service reported a tornado touching down in Nassau Station, Delaware, and Maryland State Police said there was an apparent tornado on the lower Eastern Shore of the state.
Full force winds: A row of beachfront houses, some condemned before the arrival of Hurricane Irene, get lashed by wind, rain, and the rising Atlantic Ocean
Danger: Homes that sit on the sand of North Carolina's beaches are in danger of collapse as strong waves from Hurricane Irene strike the coast
Under water: Waves lap at the foundation of a house along Calico Creek today in Morehead City, North Carolina
Rising: High water floods the waterfront of the downtown area as Hurricane Irene comes ashore near Morehead City, North Carolina
Running from the storm: A pedestrian crosses an open area as Hurricane Irene passes through Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina this morning
Destruction: Wayne Lanier, proprietor of the Atlantic Food Mart, carries ice into his store next to a gas canopy that was knocked over from the winds by Hurricane Irene in Surf City, North Carolina today
GLENN BECK: HURRICANE IRENE IS A 'BLESSING FROM GOD'
Controversial talk show host Glenn Beck called Hurricane Irene a 'blessing from God' on Friday, arguing the fatal storm would teach people to be better prepared for natural disasters.
Speaking on his radio programme, he said he has been urging his audience to prepare for a 'global disruption in food'.
Beck said while some have laughed at him, the storm will prove it is vital Americans stockpile supplies in the even of a disaster.
'How many warnings do you think you're going to get and how many warnings do you deserve?' he asked.
'This hurricane that is coming thorough in the East Coast, for anyone who's in the East Coast and has been listening to me say "Food storage!" "Be prepared!" "Be somebody that can help others," you've heard me say this for years.'
'Don't be in a panic situation. If you've waited, this hurricane is a blessing. It is a blessing. It is God reminding you - as was the earthquake last week - it's God reminding you you're not in control. Things can happen. Be prepared and be someone who can help others so when disaster strikes, God forbid, you're not panicking,' he said.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo doubled the number of National Guard soldiers deployed to New York City to 1,900.
The troops, who have been mobilised from across the state, will assist with traffic control on bridges and tunnels, sandbagging operations at the World Trade Center site, evacuation shelter operations in New York, the construction of barriers for railway yards and train tunnels, and other hurricane emergency efforts.
Irene came ashore near North Carolina's Cape Lookout around 7:30am EDT, and then chugged up the coast on a north-northeast track.
The hurricane stirred up seven-foot waves, and forecasters warned of storm-surge danger on the coasts of Virginia and Delaware, along the Jersey Shore and in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound.
Across the Northeast, drenched by rain this summer, the ground is already saturated, raising the risk of flooding as well as the danger of trees falling onto homes and power lines.
Eastern North Carolina got 10 to 14 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. Virginia's Hampton Roads area was drenched with at least nine inches, with 16 reported in some spots.
By late Saturday night, the storm had sustained winds of 80 mph, down from 100 mph on Friday.
That made it a Category 1, the least threatening on a 1-to-5 scale, and barely stronger than a tropical storm.
Nevertheless, it was still considered highly dangerous, capable of causing ruinous flooding across much of the East Coast with a combination of storm surge, high tides and 6 to 12 inches of rain.
Irene was moving north-northeast at 16 mph, slightly faster than it had been earlier in the day, giving it somewhat less opportunity to dump on any particular area. But a typical hurricane would be moving much faster, 25 to 30 mph, said senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart of the National Hurricane Center.
Moving slowly over the relatively colder water could weaken the storm, but Stewart said Irene will still likely be a hurricane when it makes landfall in the New York area around noon on Sunday.
Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett warned that the state will not necessarily be out of danger once the storm has passed: 'The rivers may not crest until Tuesday or Wednesday. This isn't just a 24-hour event.'
As of Saturday evening, Irene was hugging the U.S. coastline on a path that could scrape every state along the Eastern Seaboard. Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center in Florida, said it would be a 'low-end hurricane, high-end tropical storm' by the time it crossed the New York City area late Sunday morning.
The storm is so large that areas far from Irene's center are going to be feeling strong winds and getting large amounts of rain, he said.
It was the first hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States since 2008, and came almost six years to the day after Katrina ravaged New Orleans on August 29 2005.
Briefing: President Barack Obama (2nd R) listens as FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate (R) updates representatives from various U.S. safety agencies, including U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (3rdR) on Hurricane Irene
Urgency: Charlene Tyler picks up sandbags in a cart during a sandbag distribution to Washington, DC residents
Helping hand: Workers load sandbags into vehicles during a sandbag distribution to Washington, DC residents in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Irene near R.F.K. Stadium today
Taking cover: Charles Foster of Long Neck, Delaware, relaxes with a book as he joins over 275 other people who checked into the Red Cross center at Indian River High School to ride out Hurricane Irene in Dagsboro
Barriers: Pedestrians walk past sandbags laid down at downtown Manhattan, which will be used to control possible floods
Full defence: Sandbags are used to surround a basement entrance as New Yorkers brace themselves for Irene.
Experts guessed that no other hurricane in American history had threatened as many people.
North Carolina governor Beverly Perdue said Irene inflicted significant damage along her state's coast, but that some areas were unreachable because of high water or downed power lines.
'Folks are cut off in parts of North Carolina, and obviously we're not going to get anybody to do an assessment until it's safe,' she said.
At least 2.3 million people were under orders to move to somewhere safer, though it was unclear how many obeyed or, in some cases, how they could.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told 6,500 troops from all branches of the military to get ready to pitch in on relief work, and President Barack Obama visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency's command centre in Washington and offered moral support.
'It's going to be a long 72 hours,' he said, 'and obviously a lot of families are going to be affected.'
In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter declared a state of emergency, the first for the city since 1986, when racial tensions were running high.
'We are trying to save lives and don't have time for silliness,' he said.
The storm arrived in Washington just days after an earthquake damaged some of the capital's most famous structures, including the Washington Monument.
Irene could test Washington's ability to protect its national treasures and its poor.
In New Jersey, the Oyster Creek nuclear plant, just a few miles from the coast, shut down as a precaution as Irene closed in. And Boston's transit authority said all bus, subway and commuter rail service would be suspended all day Sunday.
Hurricane Irene in pictures: See how America's East Coast battled through an extraordinary weekend of dramatic storms and flooding
It’s been a weekend of high emotion - from the joy of revellers splashing about in the puddles of New York’s Times Square, to the despair of those whose homes were destroyed in North Carolina.
Hurricane Irene has brought havoc to the U.S. East Coast as four million people lost power, hundreds of thousands were evacuated and more than 15 lives were taken.
MailOnline has documented a remarkable weekend in pictures, with 20 of the best photos to show how some of the 65 million affected Americans coped with freak weather conditions.
Unhinged: The hurricane force winds of Irene rip the siding off of homes on Nags Head, North Carolina
Cut off: Damaged power lines burn in Nags Head on Saturday as Hurricane Irene hits the northern Outer Banks of North Carolina
High tide: A lighthouse-shaped building is battered by storm surge and winds from Hurricane Irene in Montauk, New York, as the U.S. East Coast was battered
Destruction: Route 12 on Hatteras Island, North Carolina, after Irene swept through the area, cutting the roadway in five locations
What's news? A man canoes to try get a newspaper in Soho on West Broadway in Lower Manhattan
From above: A NASA Goddard Space Flight Center handout photo taken aboard the International Space Station shows an image of Hurricane Irene off the U.S. East Coast
By river: Two men use a boat to explore a street flooded by Hurricane Irene on Saturday in Monteo, North Carolina
Rather quiet: A view of a nearly deserted 7th Avenue near Times Square in Manhattan as Hurricane Irene closed in on New York on Sunday
Hey, you: A man walks across 42nd Street in Times Square in New York on Saturday as Hurricane Irene hits the city
Making a splash: A man slides in the puddles from the rain of Hurricane Irene in New York's Times Square
Upended: Residents survey one of five large trees that were knocked down by Hurricane Irene's high winds in front of the East River Cooperative Village in New York City
Wet: Rainwater is seen collected beneath machinery at the World Trade Center site on Sunday in New York City. There was concern that the site could have been flooded
Helping hand: People use buckets to remove water from a flooded Chelsea Apartment in New York on Sunday as Hurricane Irene hit the city and Tri State area
Unusually empty: Two men push a cart through a deserted Grand Central Terminal in New York on Saturday, after Metro North suspended all of its services
Nobody there: The deserted Times Square subway station is seen after the entire city mass transit system was closed on Saturday in New York City
Deserted streets: As rains from Hurricane Irene fall, a single NYC Taxi Cab passes through Times Square in New York City on Sunday morning
Nowhere to go: Jarod Wilton looks at the flood waters rising to his doorstep, in Alliance, North Carolina
Shambles: Denise Robinson and Rich Brown, clear out belongings from her severely storm-damaged beach home in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach
Scary: A tree smashed through a vehicle in West Hempstead, New York, after being blown down by the winds of Hurricane Irene
Pose: A woman stands under her umbrella as a man takes a photo of her in Times Square during heavy rain
Billy Stinson (L) comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed yesterday by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. “We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset,” said Erin afterward.
Hurricane Irene moved along the east coast causing heavy flooding damage as far north as Vermont and shutting down the entire New York mass transit system.
NAGS HEAD, NC - AUGUST 28: Billy Stinson (L) comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed yesterday by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: People crowd a Whole Foods store in Manhattan before the arrival of Hurricane Irene on August 26, 2011 in New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered a mandatory evacuation of low lying areas in the city. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) #
NAGS HEAD, NC - AUGUST 27: A beach-front cottage is pounded by wind and rain from Hurricane Irene August 27, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The eye of the hurricane is expected to hit Dare County, which sits along the Outer Banks and includes the vacation towns of Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, around mid-day. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX *** #
OCEAN CITY, MD - AUGUST 27: Water in a parking lot enters a storm drain as winds and high tides from approaching Hurricane Irene start hit the area, on August 27, 2011 in Ocean City, Maryland. The state of Maryland has declared a state of emergency as heavy winds and surf from Hurricane Irene approaches the coast. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX *** #
KILL DEVIL HILLS, NC - AUGUST 27: People shield themselves from blowing sand and rain as they look over the beach during Hurricane Irene August 27, 2011 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Hurricane Irene hit Dare County, which sits along the Outer Banks and includes the vacation towns of Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, as a category one hurricane around mid-day today. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX *** #
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - AUGUST 27: Two men wear garbage bags to shield themselves from Hurricane Irene's heavy rain on August 27, 2011 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Category 1 storm made landfall in North Carolina early this morning. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 27: A woman and her dog, "Sparkle" wait on a bus, departing from Seward Park High School, a desginated evacuation center for citizens who were required to evacuate their premises due to Hurricane Irene, and headed to Intermediate School 131, which was converted to a seperate evacuation center on August 27, 2011 in New York City. People were moved to Intermediate School 131 after Seward Park High School ran out of space. The city of New York required all citizens living in "Zone A" regions to evacuate their homes due to Hurricane Irene, which is supposed to hit New York sometime in the early hours of August 28. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #
OCEAN CITY, MD - AUGUST 28: Large waves from Hurricane Irene pound the Ocean City pier, on August 28, 2011 in Ocean City, Maryland. During the night Hurricane Irene past by the small resort town causing power outages, with minimal flood and wind damage. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX *** #
HAMPTON BAYS, NY - AUGUST 28: Waves are seen crashing around homes as Hurricane Irene arrives on August 28, 2011 in Hampton Bays, New York. While Hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, it has knocked out power to more than 3 million people and is attributed to 11 deaths as it travels up the Eastern seaboard. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
HAMPTON BAYS, NY - AUGUST 28: Downed power lines are seen after the arrival of Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011 in Hampton Bays, New York. While Hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, it has knocked out power to more than 3 million people and is attributed to 11 deaths as it travels up the Eastern seaboard. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Firefighters make their way to a fire in a sub-basement in a 43-story building near Radio City in New York as Tropical Storm Irene passes through the city, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. The blaze is still under investigation and it is not known whether it was directly related to Irene.(AP Photo/Elise Amendola) #
Hurricane Irene's outer bands reach Kill Devil Hills, N.C., early Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. Hurricane Irene has weakened to a Category 1 storm as it nears the North Carolina coast but forecasters say it remains extremely dangerous. Hurricane warnings were issued from North Carolina to New York, and evacuation orders covered at least 2.3 million people, including 1 million in New Jersey, 315,000 in Maryland, 300,000 in North Carolina, 200,000 in Virginia and 100,000 in Delaware. (AP Photo/Robert Ray) #
Jane Jordan holds her niece, Liles Eanes, while watching waves crash into a dune at Breech Inlet on Sullivan's Island, S.C. as high tide is driven by Hurricane Irene on Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. Hurricane warnings were issued from North Carolina to New York, and evacuation orders covered at least 2.3 million people, including 1 million in New Jersey, 315,000 in Maryland, 300,000 in North Carolina, 200,000 in Virginia and 100,000 in Delaware. (AP Photo/The Post And Courier, Bo Petersen) #
Sophie Waterfield, from left, Skylr Peele, Chloe Waterfield and Tim Waterfield look out at the ocean waves near the Frisco, N.C., pier as the first storm bands from Hurricane Irene arrive, Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley) #
A damaged historic covered bridge spans Cox Brook in Northfield, Vt., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, the day after Tropical Storm Irene dumped heavy rainfall across the region, causing flash floods. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot) #
A barrier of sandbags remains in front of the waiting station at a train station in Hoboken, N.J., Aug. 29, 2011. A day after Tropical Storm Irene swept through New York, the morning commute to the city seemed relatively painless, but fallen trees and downed wires caused problems throughout suburban New York. (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times) #
A windswept Coney Island early Sunday morning as Hurricane Irene passes through the region, in New York, Aug. 28, 2011. Hurricane Irene made landfall on the coast of New Jersey early Sunday morning and continued its relentless push to the New York City area, shutting down mass transit, causing flooding and cutting power to more than a million people. (Robert Stolarik/The New York Times) #
Tim Vetter looks out onto the East River as tropical storm Irene sweeps through the city, in New York, Aug. 28, 2011. Irene plowed through the New York City area on Sunday morning, cutting power to more than a million people, toppling trees and causing sporadic flooding in some parts of the city. (Marcus Yam/The New York Times) #
A small gathering of people watch and record video of the pounding waves and surf caused by Hurricane Irene, in Surf City, N.C., Aug. 26, 2011. The first punch from Hurricane Irene landed here on Friday, foreshadowing with brutal authority what is to come as this vast storm, its most forceful winds stretching outward for 90 miles, churned north toward New York. (Matt Born/Wilmington StarNews)-- NO SALES - INTERNET OUT. #
Workers hired to pump water from a seafood restaurant move tables in Rye Brook, N.Y., on Aug. 28, 2011. Irene swept through the New York City area on Sunday morning lacking anywhere near the force that had been feared, but still cutting power to more than a million people, toppling trees and flooding some parts of the city. (James Estrin/The New York Times) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Women run along a sand-swept beach at Coney Island following heavy rain and winds from Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. While Hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, it has knocked out power to more than 3 million people and is attributed to 15 deaths as it travels up the Eastern seaboard. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #
Waves break in a washed-out parking area in East Hampton, N.Y., Aug. 28, 2011. Irene swept through the New York City area on Sunday morning lacking anywhere near the force that had been feared, but still cutting power to more than a million people, toppling trees and flooding some parts of the city. (Gordon M. Grant/The New York Times) #
From left: Stacey Catapano, Holly Gandron, Ashley Catapano, 7, Patrick Catapano, 11, and Matthew Gandron, 13, sit outside their house while flood waters are pumped out of the basement in Hamilton Beach, a neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York, Aug. 28, 2011. Irene swept through the New York City area on Sunday morning lacking anywhere near the force that had been feared, but still cutting power to more than a million people, toppling trees and flooding some parts of the city. (Andrea Morales/The New York Times) #
The remains of a dock house at Broad Channel, a neighborhood in the Queens borough of New York, Aug. 28, 2011. Irene swept through the New York City area on Sunday morning lacking anywhere near the force that had been feared, but still cutting power to more than a million people, toppling trees and flooding some parts of the city. (Andrea Morales/The New York Times) #
People gather at Hudson River Park at the end of the day in New York, Aug. 28, 2011. Irene swept through the New York City area on Sunday morning lacking anywhere near the force that had been feared, but still cutting power to more than a million people, toppling trees and flooding some parts of the city. (Michael Appleton/The New York Times) #
Antonia Schreiber, left, surveys the damage to her mud soaked shop, The Windham Spa, in Windham, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2011. Tropical Storm Irene swept through the ski resort community of Windham, one of the hardest hit areas in New York, washing out Main Street with a 4-foot-high gush of water that left significant damage to the community. (Nathaniel Brooks/The New York Times) #
A man pumps storm water out of a building in Windham, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2011. Tropical Storm Irene swept through the ski resort community of Windham, one of the hardest hit areas in New York, washing out Main Street with a 4-foot-high gush of water that left significant damage to the community. (Nathaniel Brooks/The New York Times) #
George Driscoll surveys his girlfriend's Volvo station wagon which was washed out and destroyed by storm flood waters, in Windham, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2011. Tropical Storm Irene swept through the ski resort community of Windham, one of the hardest hit areas in New York, washing out Main Street with a 4-foot-high gush of water that left significant damage to the community. (Nathaniel Brooks/The New York Times) #
Residents talk at a storm-damaged home in Windham, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2011. Tropical Storm Irene swept through the ski resort community of Windham, one of the hardest hit areas in New York, washing out Main Street with a 4-foot-high gush of water that left significant damage to the community. (Nathaniel Brooks/The New York Times) #
A resident surveys storm flood damage outside the Catskill Mountain Country Store and Restaurant as a trio of goats walks through the mud and rocks, in Windham, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2011. Tropical Storm Irene swept through the ski resort community of Windham, one of the hardest hit areas in New York, washing out Main Street with a 4-foot-high gush of water that left significant damage to the community. (Nathaniel Brooks/The New York Times) #
A car is sunk into the ground as clean up efforts continue outside the Catskill Mountain Country Store and Restaurant, in Windham, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2011. Tropical Storm Irene swept through the ski resort community of Windham, one of the hardest hit areas in New York, washing out Main Street with a 4-foot-high gush of water that left significant damage to the community. (Nathaniel Brooks/The New York Times) #
LONG BEACH, NY - AUGUST 28: The White Sands Codominium is covered in mud and sand from flood water after Hurricane Irene swept through on August 28, 2011 in Long Beach, New York. While Hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, it has knocked out power to more than 3 million people and is attributed to 15 deaths as it travels up the Eastern seaboard. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX *** #
Homes devastated from Hurricane Irene are shown in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina Sunday, August 28, 2011. (Shawn Rocco/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT) #
Isaac Morris, from left, Brendon Morris and Taylor West look for frogs and interesting debris on Sunday, August 28, 2011 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, after Hurricane Irene passed through the area. (Shawn Rocco/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT) #
Rhonda Woods cleans up a drainage near her house as Hurricane Irene approaches the Hampton, Virginia, area on Saturday, August 27, 2011. (Sangjib Min/Newport News Daily Press/MCT) #
Pat Sterner walks through his flooded home on Nassau Avenue in Freeport, New York Sunday, August 28, 2011 after Hurricane Irene made landfall on Long Island. (Charles Eckert/Newsday/MCT) #
As the tide comes in, flooded out houses along the waterfront in Patchogue, New York are inundated with water from the storm surge of Hurricane Irene Sunday, August 28, 2011. (Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday/MCT) #
Newspaper carriers stand in the flooded West Broadway area of lower Manhattan Sunday morning on August 28, 2011 as Hurricane Irene hit the New York City area. (CS Muncy/Newsday/MCT) #
National Park Service Ranger Jeff Goad views the destruction to N.C. Hwy 12 on the north edge of Rodanthe, North Carolina due to the storm surge from Hurricane Irene. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT) #
Neighbors gather to view the damage in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of New York after a large tree fell across the street during Hurricane Irene Sunday, August 28, 2011. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT) #
The Noa Family, including Nadine Noa, left, Alexis Noa, Herman Noa, and a friend Efia Senior, right, wade through the waters on South Street in Lower Manhattan, New York after Hurricane Irene swept through the area Sunday, August 28, 2011. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT) #
John Karavas photographs the water in New York City, New York, Sunday, August 28, 2011 after Hurricane Irene swept through the area. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Tourists take photographs of the Statue of Liberty while riding on the first Staten Island Ferry to leave Lower Manhattan just hours after Hurricane Irene blew through the region August 28, 2011 in New York City. Irene hit New York as a Category 1 hurricane before being downgraded to a tropical storm. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) #
Nick Krashefski of Milford, Connecticut, looks out at the water after Hurricane Irene destroyed his home Sunday August 28, 2011. 'It's inevitable, It's gonna happen,' Krashefski said about the damage. 'The most important thing is, no one got hurt.' (Bettina Hansen/Hartford Courant/MCT) #
People walk through the mud on Melba Street near Pond Point Beach in Milford, Connecticut late Sunday afternoon on August 28, 2011 after Hurricane Irene swept through the area. (Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant/MCT) #
Chris Connelly walks past homes damaged by Hurricane Irene Sunday, August 28, 2011 in Fairfield Beach, Connecticut. (Mark Mirko/Hartford Courant/MCT) #
A beachfront home was heavily damaged after Hurricane Irene ripped through the area Sunday, August 28, 2011 in Milford, Connecticut. (Bettina Hansen/Hartford Courant/MCT) #
A 50-foot sailboat drifted into the deck and dock of Jim and Lisa Gerrity in the Stony Creek section of Branford, Connecticut during Hurricane Irene Sunday, August 28, 2011. (Bettina Hansen/Hartford Courant/MCT) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: A local resident of Red Hook, Betty Walsh, crosses a flooded street in Red Hook August 28, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. While Hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, it has knocked out power to more than 3 million people and is attributed to 15 deaths as it travels up the Eastern seaboard. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images) #
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - AUGUST 28: Two girls ride their bicycles through a street flooded by rain from Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Category 1 storm, which made landfall in North Carolina early yesterday morning, has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but knocked out power to more than 3 million people and is attributed to 15 deaths as it travels up the Eastern seaboard. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: A view of rough surf and the Statue of Liberty from Valentino Pier in Red Hook Brooklyn as the skies clear in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011 in New York City. The hurricane hit New York as a Category 1 storm before being downgraded to a tropical storm. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images) #
LOWLAND, NC - AUGUST 28: B.J. Cahoon (L), 23, kisses his fiancee Sabra Nethercutt, 20, while they wash down bedrooms in her parent's house the day after they survived Hurricane Irene on Goose Creek Island on August 28, 2011 in Lowland, North Carolina. It is estimated only 10 of 500 residents on Goose Creek Island did not lose everything. Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina creating a storm surge of up to eight feet in some areas of the Pamilco Sound. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Powerful wind buffets tourists near the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan just hours after Hurricane Irene blew through the city August 28, 2011 in New York City. Irene hit New York as a Category 1 hurricane before being downgraded to a tropical storm. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) #
LOWLAND, NC - AUGUST 28: Sabra Nethercutt, 20, carries the final items out of her mother's home on Goose Creek Island on August 28, 2011 in Lowland, North Carolina. It is estimated only 10 of 500 residents on Goose Creek Island did not lose everything. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Nancy Zakhary of Brooklyn wades through flood waters filling the intersection of Main St and Plymouth St in Dumbo Brooklyn as Hurricane Irene reaches the New York City Area on August 28, 2011 in New York City. Hurricane Irene hit New York as a Category 1 storm before being downgraded to a tropical storm. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images) #
MANASQUAN, NJ - AUGUST 28: A tree sticks out of a house it crashed through due to winds caused by Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011 in Manasquan, New Jersey. While Hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, it has knocked out power to more than 4.5 million people and is attributed to 19 deaths as it travels up the Eastern seaboard. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images) #
NAGS HEAD, NC - AUGUST 28: Billy Stinson (R) is comforted by his friend David Alan Harvey as he looks over the remains of his cottage August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed yesterday by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) #
MANASQUAN, NJ - AUGUST 29: A tree brought down by Hurricane Irene leans against a house on August 29, 2011 in Manasquan, New Jersey. Hurricane Irene was the first to make direct contact on New Jersey in 108 years, killing at least three people in the state and leaving over 900,000 residences and businesses without power. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images) #
MANASQUAN, NJ - AUGUST 29: A transformer knocked down by Hurricane Irene hangs suspended from a fallen tree on a neighborhood street on August 29, 2011 in Manasquan, New Jersey. Hurricane Irene was the first to make direct contact on New Jersey in 108 years, killing at least three people in the state and leaving over 900,000 residences and businesses without power. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images) #
TRENTON, NJ - AUGUST 29: Train tracks are empty as trains remain idle at the Trenton Transit Center due to flooding from Hurricane Irene August 29, 2011 in Trenton, New Jersey. Rail service is shut down from Trenton to Boston along the Northeast. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Pedestrians walk by a store which is still boarded up for Hurricane Irene on August 29, 2011 in New York City. While the hurricane was milder than forecasters and politicians had predicted, it did cause extensive flood damage and power outages across the New York metropolitan area. Subways and buses, which had been closed for the first time in New York City history, resumed their schedules with only minor delays Monday morning. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: People walk in the Financial District after Hurricane Irene on August 29, 2011 in New York City. While the hurricane was milder than forecasters and politicians had predicted, it did cause extensive flood damage and power outages across the New York metropolitan area. Subways and buses, which had been closed for the first time in New York City history, resumed their schedules with only minor delays Monday morning. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Pedestrians walk by a drush waiting to be picked-up after Hurricane Irene on August 29, 2011 in New York City. While the hurricane was milder than forecasters and politicians had predicted, it did cause extensive flood damage and power outages across the New York metropolitan area. Subways and buses, which had been closed for the first time in New York City history, resumed their schedules with only minor delays Monday morning. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 29: Elizabeth Nguyen and her husband Christian Chan rest together after their connecting flight was cancelled by Continental airlines after Hurricane Irene at Newark Airport August 29, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. Airlines began resuming flights today, a day after Hurricane Irene hit the New York City area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
A man is buffeted by the winds as he look at the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Irene, August 28, 2011 in Montauk, New York. The National Weather Service issued a hurricane watch for New York City, Long Island and all along the eastern seaboard. AFP PHOTO/STEPHEN CHERNIN (Photo credit should read STEPHEN CHERNIN/AFP/Getty Images) #
TOPSHOTS Manhattan and the Manhattan Bridge are hit by Hurricane Irene, in New York, on August 28, 2011. A weakened Hurricane Irene tore Sunday into New York, hammering Manhattan's skyscrapers with fierce winds and threatening to flood the financial district after killing at least nine people along the US east coast. AFP PHOTO / Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images) #
New York residents return to the beach on Coney Island after Hurricane Irene swept through the city, August 28, 2011. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images) #
TOPSHOTS Mark Wade (R) chases his friend Craig Busick (C) as he surfs a large puddle in front of the Board of Education in Centreville, MD, August 28, 2011, after Hurricane Irene. TOPSHOTS / AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) #
A tree lays fallen across the top of a house and utility lines from the winds of Hurricane Irene on Reno Road in Washington, Sunday, August 28, 2011. US President Barack Obama said Sunday, August 28, 2011, the Hurricane Irene recovery effort could go on for days or weeks, but hailed the disaster response operation as an "exemplary" display of good government. The president, who took pains to show Americans he was in charge of the emergency effort, amid memories of the botched response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, also remembered the 14 people killed in the storm. AFP PHOTO / TOBY JORRIN (Photo credit should read TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images) #
Waves crash along a seawall as Tropical Storm Irene, downgraded from a hurricane, slammed into Fairhaven , Mass. Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. From North Carolina to New Jersey, Hurricane Irene appeared to have fallen short of the doomsday predictions, but more than 4.5 million homes and businesses along the East Coast reportedly lost power, and at least 11 deaths were blamed on the storm. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) #
Empty train tracks are seen in New York City, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, after Tropical Storm Irene, downgraded from a hurricane, slammed the region earlier in the day. Officials said they weren't sure when mass transit would be fully restored and Amtrak said trains from New York to Florida will be canceled Monday, as will the car train between Lorton, Va., and Sanford, Fla. (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof) #
A person searches for anyone who may be occupying the building as raging flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene cross Route 100, closing the main road to traffic in Waitsfield, Vt., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Sandy Macys) #
Residents of Stumpy Point, N.C. make their way into their flooded home following the effects of Hurricane Irene Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. Flood waters rose all across New Jersey on Sunday, closing roads from side streets to major highways as Hurricane Irene weakened and moved on, leaving 600,000 homes and businesses without power. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) #
A Fairfield Beach Road home is submerged in Pine Creek in Fairfield, Conn. as treacherous weather caused by Tropical Storm Irene came through the area on Sunday Aug. 28, 2011. Tropical Storm Irene sent sea water flooding into shoreline communities and destroyed oceanfront homes as it surged across Connecticut on Sunday, toppling trees and cutting power to nearly half the state. (AP Photo/The Connecticut Post, Cathy Zuraw) #
A Beach Patrol Headquarters used by the City of Long Beach lifeguards was lifted and moved to the boardwalk by the strong winds of Tropical Storm Irene as it swept through Long Island on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, in Long Beach, N.Y. Stripped of hurricane rank, Tropical Storm Irene spent the last of its fury Sunday, leaving treacherous flooding and millions without power _ but an unfazed New York and relief that it was nothing like the nightmare authorities feared. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek) #
A flooded road is seen in Hatteras Island, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011after Hurricane Irene swept through the area Saturday cutting the roadway in five locations. Irene caused more than 4.5 million homes and businesses along the East Coast to reportedly lose power over the weekend, and at least 11 deaths were blamed on the storm. (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds) #
A flooded road is seen in Hatteras Island, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011after Hurricane Irene swept through the area Saturday cutting the roadway in five locations. Irene caused more than 4.5 million homes and businesses along the East Coast to reportedly lose power over the weekend, and at least 11 deaths were blamed on the storm. (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds) #
Sixth Avenue near Radio City Music Hall is empty as Tropical Storm Irene hits in New York, on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. Seawater surged into the streets of Manhattan on Sunday as Irene slammed into New York, downgraded from a hurricane but still unleashing furious wind and rain. The flooding threatened Wall Street and the heart of the global financial network. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) #
Jackie Sparnackel has to abandon her van and her belongings near the Frisco Pier after she drove up to see how the storm-battered structure was doing Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 in Frisco, N.C. Friends tried to tow her out but she was caught in an overwash. Hurricane force winds from Irene were battering the island where power has been knocked out. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy) MANDATORY CREDIT #
One of two people rescued from a sailboat, right, uses a line to make their way onto the beach on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk Saturday morning, Aug. 27, 2011 after they and another person were rescued from the boat that foundered in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. A rescuer, left, waits for s second person to exit the boat. (AP Photo/TheVirginian-Pilot, Bill Tiernan) #
Cleanup continues as a surfer passes a dislodged lifeguard shack in Long Beach, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, after it was knocked off its footing on the beach during Tropical Storm Irene. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) #
CORRECTS STATE TO VERMONT INSTEAD OF NEW HAMPSHIRE - Windsor residents watch as water rushes over the Ascutney Mill Dam on Kennedy's Pond in Windsor, Vt., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. A weakened but dangerous Tropical Storm Irene dumped up to half a foot of rain in places, flooded roads, knocked down trees and left more than 165,000 New Hampshire homes and businesses on the dark before blowing out of the state on Sunday. (AP Photo/The Valley News, James M. Patterson) #
CORRECTS TO MACFAWN, NOT MCFAWN; IN PERU, NOT LEWISTON; BYLINE ERIN COX, NOT DARYN SLOVER - A large tree snapped near the MacFawn residence on the Valley Road in Peru, Maine on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. Downgraded to a tropical storm, Irene still packed enough punch to cause nearly 160,000 power outages, cause flash flooding and send dozens of Mainers to shelters as strong wind gusts and rain buffeted parts of the state on Sunday. (AP Photo/The Lewiston Sun-Journal, Erin Cox) #
CORRECTS STATE TO VERMONT INSTEAD OF NEW HAMPSHIRE - Leonard Runnells wades into his yard in Springfield, Vt., to tie down a dumpster in rising floodwaters Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. A weakened but dangerous Tropical Storm Irene dumped up to half a foot of rain in places, flooded roads, knocked down trees and left more than 165,000 New Hampshire homes and businesses on the dark before blowing out of the state on Sunday. (AP Photo/The Valley News, James M. Patterson) #
Louis Davis, the owner of Coinjock Marina, left, and J.W. Slade tighten ropes of boats moored at the dock, as Hurricane Irene passes through the region, in Coinjock, N.C., Aug. 27, 2011. The small crew at Coinjock Marina stayed to work through the storm and watch over the boats moored there. (Jeremy M. Lange/The New York Times) #
Louis Davis, the owner of Coinjock Marina, talks to friends to compare how they are dealing with the Hurricane Irene as it passes through the region, in Coinjock, N.C., Aug. 27, 2011. The small crew at Coinjock Marina stayed to work through the storm and watch over the boats moored there. (Jeremy M. Lange/The New York Times) #
A resident of Gover Road in Millbury, Mass., watches as crews work to clear a tree downed by Tropical Storm Irene on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. The winds downed trees and power lines around the state, knocking out electricity for more than half a million people. (AP Photo/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Paul Kapteyn) #
A propane tank floats in the floodwater that overwhelmed a road off Whaleback Mountain Road in Lebanon, N.H., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. A weakened but dangerous Tropical Storm Irene dumped up to half a foot of rain in places, flooded roads, knocked down trees and left more than 165,000 New Hampshire homes and businesses on the dark before blowing out of the state on Sunday. (AP Photo/The Valley News, Polina Yamshchikov) #
Emergency personnel search for a body that was spotted in the south jetty of the Manasquan Inlet in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., Sunday night, Aug. 28, 2011. Hurricane Irene, just the third hurricane to come ashore in New Jersey in the past 200 years, charged to the north and left behind a mess. (AP Photo/The Asbury Park Press, Thomas P. Costello) NO SALES #
An unidentified male hangs on to a branch in a rain swollen creek as he waits for rescuers in New City, N.Y., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. He and three others went tubing in the creek and had to be rescued by New City and Stony Point fire departments' water rescue teams. With the rains and wind of Tropical Storm Irene heading north, some people went out for recreation in the unusual conditions left in the storm’s wake. ( AP Photo/The Journal News, Peter Carr) NYC OUT; NO SALES #
Boaters brave the waves and wind caused by Hurricane Irene at the Morris Island light house Friday Aug. 26, 2011 in Folly Beach, S.C. (AP Photo/The Post And Courier, Sarah Bates) MAGS OUT #
Search and rescue teams search for two Hockessin men who are missing after Hurrican Irene Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 in Hoskessin, Del. New Castle County Police Cpl. John Weglarz says 25-year-old Christopher Valentine of Hockessin and 25-year-old Jean Baptista of Clark, N.J., were last seen around midnight Saturday during the height of the Category 1 hurricane. (AP Photo/The News Journal, Sucha Pederson) NO SALES #
Water from the Housatonic River is seen at Stevenson Dam in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, in Monroe, Conn., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. The rain dumped by Tropical Storm Irene has pushed three rivers in Connecticut to moderate flood stage and some are not expected to reach their highest level until Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) #
Jim Lang sweeps silt left behind from floodwaters of the Schuylkill River at the Penn Athletic Club on Boathouse Row in in the aftermath of the storm Irene, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in Philadelphia. It was the Schuylkill River that wreaked havoc in the area, cresting to more than 15 feet in Norristown and inundating homes with muddy water and flooding streets in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) #
Aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, in East Haven, Conn., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. Shoreline residents on Monday picked through the rubble of homes destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene, hoping to salvage keepsakes as helicopters buzzed overhead and utility crews began the task of restoring power to more than 700,000 homes and businesses across Connecticut. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) #
Flooding has subsided in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene at Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, Conn., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) #
Water from the Housatonic River is seen flowing toward Stevenson Dam in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, in Monroe, Conn., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. The rain dumped by Tropical Storm Irene has pushed three rivers in Connecticut to moderate flood stage and some are not expected to reach their highest level until Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) #
Aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, in East Haven, Conn., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. Shoreline residents on Monday picked through the rubble of homes destroyed, hoping to salvage keepsakes as helicopters buzzed overhead and utility crews began the task of restoring power to more than 700,000 homes and businesses across Connecticut. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) #
Flooding over a road from the Farmington River is seen in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, in Simsbury, Conn., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) #
This photo released by the Central Vermont Public Service utility shows the washed out Route 4 in Mendon, Vt., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, after the adjacent Mendon Brook overflowed when Tropical Storm Irene passed through Vermont Sunday. (AP photo/Central Vermont Public Service) #
Lauren McTear looks over the remains of the trailer home owned by her boyfriend's parents on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 in Berlin, Vt. The trailer was destroyed by a recreational vehicle which floated down the river into it. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot) #
Workers at the Blue Heron Motel dry out following the effects of Hurricane Irene in Nags Head, N.C., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. With Irene gone, cleanup crews began pumping water out of soggy subway tunnels, fixing traffic lights in the nation's capital and clearing debris from hundreds of roads as the East Coast readied for the workweek. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) #
Nina Brennan, right, and Phyllis Berry clean mud from in front of the Proud Flower store in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011 in Waterbury, Vt. Almost 50,000 Vermont utility customers were without power Monday, hundreds of roads were closed and a number of bridges destroyed by the "epic" flooding caused by by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot) #
Long Beach Lifeguard Patrol members continue cleanup of rescue boards along the boardwalk at Long Beach, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 29 2011, in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) #
North Main Street in Waterbury, Vt., is underwater in the wake of tropical storm Irene on Monday, August 29, 2011. Almost 50,000 Vermont utility customers were without power Monday, hundreds of roads were closed and a number of bridges destroyed by the "epic" flooding caused by by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Burlington Free Press, Glenn Russell) NO SALES, MAGS OUT, TV OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, ONLINE FOR AP NEWSPAPERS ONLY #
The top layer of blacktop on River Road lies peeled off due to flooding on the West Branch of the AuSable River, from the effects of Tropical Storm Irene, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in Lake Placid, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Mike Lynch) #
The Winooski River flows over Winooski Street in Waterbury, Vt., in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. Almost 50,000 Vermont utility customers were without power Monday, hundreds of roads were closed and a number of bridges destroyed by the "epic" flooding caused by by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Burlington Free Press, Glenn Russell) NO SALES, MAGS OUT, TV OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, ONLINE FOR AP NEWSPAPERS ONLY #
Firefighter Mandy Drake clears a storm drain in front of the fire department in Waterbury, Vt., in the wake of tropical storm Irene on Monday, August 29, 2011. The building was evacuated as high water from the Winooski River flooded downtown Sunday.Almost 50,000 Vermont utility customers were without power Monday, hundreds of roads were closed and a number of bridges destroyed by the "epic" flooding caused by by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Burlington Free Press, Glenn Russell) NO SALES, MAGS OUT, TV OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, ONLINE FOR AP NEWSPAPERS ONLY #
Damage from the Winooski River lines Winooski Street in Waterbury, Vt., in the wake of tropical storm Irene on Monday, August 29, 2011. Almost 50,000 Vermont utility customers were without power Monday, hundreds of roads were closed and a number of bridges destroyed by the "epic" flooding caused by by the remnants of Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Burlington Free Press, Glenn Russell) NO SALES, MAGS OUT, TV OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, ONLINE FOR AP NEWSPAPERS ONLY #
Emergency crews keep people at a safe distance from the Quechee Covered Bridge in Lebanon, N.H., as it flooded with water from the Ottauquechee River Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. A weakened but dangerous Tropical Storm Irene dumped up to half a foot of rain in places, flooded roads, knocked down trees and left more than 165,000 New Hampshire homes and businesses on the dark before blowing out of the state on Sunday. (AP Photo/The Valley News, Polina Yamshchikov) #
Michel Gilbert, from left, and his sons Michael and Isaiah try to move a neighbor's vehicle out of high water as flooding caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Irene hit Huntington, Vt., on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Burlington Free Press, Glenn Russell) #
Streets of Asbury Park, N.J. are flooded after Hurricane Irene moved through the area Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. Rivers and creeks surged toward potentially record levels late Sunday as Irene, just the third hurricane to come ashore in New Jersey in the past 200 years, charged to the north and left behind a mess — and a sense that the state got off relatively easy. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz) #
The parking lot at Loockerman Exchange in Dover, Del., is inundated with floodwater after Hurricane Irene, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/The News Journal, Gary, Emeigh) #
Mel Martin joins a crowd watching the raging Whetstone Brook surge over the falls in downtown Brattleboro, Vt. on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. The remnants of Hurricane Irene dumped torrential rains on Vermont on Sunday, flooding rivers and closing roads from Massachusetts to the Canadian border, putting parts of two towns underwater and leaving one young woman swept away and feared drowned in the Deerfield River. (AP Photo/The Brattleboro Reformer, Chris Bertelsen) #
Waves crash over waterfront condominiums in the Fort Trumbull section of Milford, Conn. Sunday Aug. 28, 2011. Tropical Storm Irene sent sea water flooding into shoreline communities and destroyed oceanfront homes as it surged across Connecticut on Sunday, toppling trees and cutting power to nearly half the state. (AP Photo/The Connecticut Post, Brian A. Pounds) #
Joe Sweeney washes silt left behind from floodwaters of the Schuylkill River at the Penn Athletic Club on Boathouse Row in in the aftermath of the storm Irene, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in Philadelphia. It was the Schuylkill River that wreaked havoc in the area, cresting to more than 15 feet in Norristown and inundating homes with muddy water and flooding streets in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) #
A vessel found beached on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, is lined with tape in Suffolk, Va. Two sailboat dwellers and their cat were rescued from the boat early Saturday in Ocean View in advance of Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Amanda Lucier) #
Beachgoers swim near the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, which sustained damage following Hurricane Irene on Saturday, in Virginia Beach, Va., on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Amanda Lucier) #
This aerial photo taken Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011 shows damage to a home in Virginia Beach, Va., after a reported tornado, spurned by Hurricane Irene, ripped through the area Saturday. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Amanda Lucier) #
Houses on Wilson Street are surrounded by floodwaters following Hurricane Irene in Suffolk, Va., on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Amanda Lucier) #
People stop to take photographs and look at the abandoned sailboat on Willoughby Spit in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011 in Norfolk, Va., (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Preston Gannaway) MAGS OUT #
Path of destruction: A once-quiet country road is now littered with the wreckage of homes in the New York town of Prattsville
Bridge to nowhere: Dozens of residents in the town of Prattsville have been stranded after all its bridges were destroyed
George Williams, youth leader at the centre, told CNN: "We're in safe ground so that's why we're a refuge for those," Williams said.
'There are some here that have nothing to go back to, so they don't know how long it's going to be.'
And Prattsville's not alone, as thousands of residents as far north as Vermont were left homeless by Irene's unprecedented flooding.
Marion Bender's home in Greenfield, Massachusetts, was completely flooded by the huge torrents that have swept across the region - and she and her husband have no flood insurance.
'We have got to start all over,' she said. 'We'll be all right.
The flooding has brought the death toll from hurricane Irene to 46 with whole towns swept away and the state of Vermont particularly badly affected.
The governor of Vermont has spoken of the devastation the small rural state suffered at the hands of Hurricane Irene and warned that further flooding and loss of life are likely.
Although floodwaters brought by Tropical Storm Irene began to recede on Monday in parts, hundreds of people remained trapped in communities which were cut off by raging floodwaters. It is still unclear how many are stranded.
Governor Peter Shumlin said: 'It's just devastating. Whole communities under water, businesses, homes, obviously roads and bridges, rail transportation infrastructure. We've lost farmers' crops. We're tough folks up here but Irene ... really hit us hard.
High water: Lock 8 in Rotterdam, New York, overflows, and a metal barge is crashed into the gates, on Monday during extensive flooding in the region as a result of Irene
Help: Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, second left, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, second right and Brattleboro Town Manager Barbara Sondag tour areas in Brattleboro, Vermont damaged and flooded
Safe: Tom Chase waves atop of his friend's beach home in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, in East Haven, Connecticut
'It's hard for us to know, frankly, haw many are stranded because it's hard for us to get into the communities we need to get to. It really packed a punch. It is probably the toughest flooding that we've seen in the state of Vermont in our history.
'We really need more resources but the President has been extraordinarily helpful'.
Highlighting the transportation problems, the Vermont National Guard had to travel through neighbouring Massachusetts to get rescue crews to the small, cut-off town of Wilmington, the governor said.
The death toll for the hurricane has now risen to 46 as towns and cities start the recovery process, with some still grappling with more flooding.
Images of the flooding showed normally tranquil streams pouring through city streets and thrashing against buildings and bridges, including some of the state's iconic covered bridges. Four to six of the covered bridges were destroyed in the flooding, officials said.
From North Carolina to Maine, communities cleaned up and took stock of the uneven and hard-to-predict costs of a storm that spared the nation's biggest city a nightmare scenario, only to deliver a historic wallop to towns well inland.
Collapse: Another home destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene rests on the beach in East Haven, Connecticut, yesterday
Gushing: Major flooding along the Delaware River in New Jersey and Pennsylvania has been one of the remnants of Irene, forcing evacuations along the low lying areas of the river
Timber: A tree brought down by Hurricane Irene uproots a sidewalk and blocks a neighbourhood street in Manasquan, New Jersey
In New York City, where people had braced for a disaster-movie scene of water swirling around skyscrapers, the subways and buses were up and running again in time for the Monday morning commute. And to the surprise of many New Yorkers, things went pretty smoothly.
In many cases, the moment of maximum danger arrived well after the storm had passed, as rainwater made its way into rivers and streams and turned them into torrents. Irene dumped up to 11 inches of rain on Vermont and more than 13 inches in parts of New York.
Pratsville in New York was completely washed away and the 300 homes in the town wiped off the map with hundreds of people stranded in emergency shelters.
CNN reports the land has been completely washed away and of the 800 residents all have been accounted for.
'We were expecting heavy rains,' said Bobbi-Jean Jeun of Clarksville. 'We were expecting flooding. We weren't expecting devastation. It looks like somebody set a bomb off.'
Torn apart: Route 4 in Mendon, Vermont is damaged as work crews evaluate their next move. It was just one of the hundreds of roads and infrastructures which were damaged over the weekend
President Barack Obama warned that the aftermath of the storm could be more painful than the storm itself but promised the government would do everything in its power to help people get back on their feet.
As the damage of the storm is estimated to cost between $7billion and $10billion, it is believed it will also help the economy as it will help create much-needed jobs.
Many people lost all their worldly possessions in the hurricane and some even their whole homes.
All that is left of a beach front cottage in Nags Head, North Carolina, owned by the Stinson family are the steps that once lead up to it.
The Stinson family's devastation has been shown in several photographs of the disaster, a father comforting his wife and daughter on the steps leading to where their house once stood, staring at the ocean beyond.
Loss: The Stinson family looks out at the ocean from the remains of their beachfront home, which was swept away in the wrath of Hurricane Irene
Beauty: The Stinson cottage, seen in this 2010 photo, was built in 1903, and bought by Billy Stinson's family in 1963
Rubble: Billy Stinson, left, is comforted by neighbour Lisa Morrisette while he sits next to a pile of debris that was once his cottage in Nags Head, North Carolina
His daughter, Erin Stinson said: 'We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset.'
The cottage, which was built in 1903, was bought by Billy Stinson's family in 1963.
Since then, it was where the retired art teacher spent his vacations, wooed his wife Sandra, and gathered with family, according to OurState.com in an article written a year ago that recounts the cottage and its rich history.
Whole neighbourhoods lay submerged underwater and millions were without power in Hurricane Irene's wake last night as the storm moved north.
Rivers and creeks turned into raging torrents tumbling with tree limbs and parts of buildings in northern New England and upstate New York as the storm's winds diminished, but the torrential rains refused to let up.
Late last night, the storm continued to batter Vermont with heavy rains forcing hundreds of evacuations.
'This is not over,' President Barack Obama said from the White House. 'Many Americans are still at serious risk of power outages and flooding, which could get worse in the coming days as rivers swell past their banks.'
Picking up the pieces: A friend comforts Billy Stinson as the North Carolina man tries to salvage his belongings from the destroyed cottage
Grief: Billy Stinson, right, and his daughter Erin comfort each other as they stand next to the pile of debris that was once their cottage in Nags Head, North Carolina
Devastation: Billy Stinson, left, comforts his daughter Erin as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene
While the full extent of the damage was not known, early estimates put it up to $45billion, including lost business and physical damage.
Up and down the coast, the images were the same: Siding peeled from houses; boats torn from moorings and thrown ashore, massive trees ripped from the ground and cars submerged beneath flood waters.
Flooding was widespread in Vermont, where parts of Brattleboro, Bennington and several other communities, were submerged. One woman was swept away and feared drowned in the Deerfield River.
'It's very serious for us at the moment in Vermont. The top two-thirds of the state are inundated with rapidly rising waters, which we anticipate will be an issue for the next 24 hours,' said Robert Stirewalt, a spokesman for Vermont Emergency Management Agency.
Precarious: A Vermont home balances on the brink of collapse after it was nearly washed away by the floodwaters
Fire and water: Several homes already caught in flood-damaged areas caught fire yesterday in incidents involving downed wires and propane tanks
Roads become rivers: Streets of Asbury Park, New Jersey, are flooded after Hurricane Irene moved through the area on Sunday
Hundreds of Vermonters were told to leave their homes after Irene dumped several inches of rain on the landlocked state.
Video posted on Facebook showed a 141-year-old covered bridge in Rockingham swept away by the roiling, muddy Williams River. In another video, an empty car somersaulted down a river in Bennington.
'It's pretty fierce. I've never seen anything like it,' said Michelle Guevin, who spoke from a Brattleboro restaurant after leaving her home in nearby Newfane. She said the fast-moving Rock River was washing out the road to her house.
The high flood waters seemed to come as a surprise to a state where evacuations had not been made.
'We didn't know where the storm was going to hit,' Mark Bosma of the state's emergency agency said as floodwaters lapped around the command centre. 'Evacuations beforehand just weren't possible.'
At least 32 people died in the storm across the country, most of them when trees crashed through roofs or onto cars.
Paddling: Kevin Holligan, of the Staten Island borough of New York, kayaks across a flooded section of the borough's Hyland Boulevard
Rivers and streams yesterday swelled until they burst their banks in upstate New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Last night, flood waters were rising across New Jersey, closing side streets and major highways including the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 295.
In Essex County, authorities used a five-ton truck to ferry people away from their homes as the Passaic River neared its expected crest on Sunday night.
Twenty homes on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut were destroyed by churning surf.
In the Connecticut town of Prospect, 89-year-old Charlotte Levine was killed early Sunday when a falling tree limb pulled power lines onto her home and started a fire.
The torrential rain chased hundreds of people in upstate New York from their homes and washed out 137 miles of the state's main highway.
Downtown Windham, New York, was 'wiped out' by flooding, with four feet of water rushing through the main street, said Michael Scarey, the town's fire chief.
In Massachusetts, the National Guard had to help people evacuate. The ski resort town of Wilmington, Vermont, was flooded, but nobody could get to it because both state roads leading there were underwater.
'This is the worst I've ever seen in Vermont,' said Mike O'Neil, the state emergency management director.
Captain Ray Keefe of Vermont State Police described the flooding as 'epic.'
'I've never seen flooding like this, especially this widespread,' he said. 'We've lost a lot of homes. Hundreds of roads, bridges have been washed away. This has been a real tough one.'
Water levels: A deer is seen in floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. Rivers and creeks surged toward potentially record levels late on Sunday as Irene charged to the north and left behind a mess
Underwater: Downtown New Brunswick, New Jersey, can be see near the overflowing Raritan River on Sunday as heavy rains left by Hurricane Irene are causing inland flooding of rivers and streams
Submerged: Andre Kozlov, 38, walks through his flooded basement after the pass of Hurricane Irene in Hoboken, New Jersey
Rivers roared in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In the Hudson Valley town of New Paltz, New York, so many people were gathering to watch a rising river that authorities banned alcohol sales and ordered people inside.
And in Rhode Island, which has a geography thick with bays, inlets and shoreline, authorities were worried about coastal flooding at evening high tide.
The entire Northeast has been drenched this summer with what has seemed like relentless rain, saturating the ground and raising the risk of flooding, even after the storm passes altogether.
The storm system also knocked out power for millions of people along the Eastern Seaboard and on Sunday night, electricity companies warned it could take weeks to restore power.
THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE IRENE
NEW JERSEY: 4
NEW YORK: 5
NORTH CAROLINA: 6
(Source - AP)
The lights went out for more than seven million people and businesses from Folly Beach, South Carolina, to Portland, Maine. And thousands of utility workers have begun the race to restore power.
Getting the lights back on will be an enormous job for crews fanning across the East Coast.
Irene ripped down power lines and crushed critical equipment near power plants.
It flooded coastal cities with seawater, dousing electrical stations and threatening underground wires. Crews are still assessing the damage.
'We're dark across the whole map,' said Theresa Gilbert of Connecticut Light & Power. Irene blacked out half of the utility's 1.2 million customers on Sunday, making it the biggest outage in Connecticut history.
Return: Resident Norm Stump watches his son Hunter take a paddle boat to help residents return to investigate their homes on a flooded street in Southampton, New York
Toppled: A Fairfield Beach Road home is submerged in Pine Creek in Fairfield, Connecticut as treacherous weather caused by Tropical Storm Irene came through the area on Sunday
Roaring: Mel Martin joins a crowd watching the raging Whetstone Brook surge over the falls in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont
More than five million people and businesses remain without power, and the storm had led to the deaths of at least 20 people in eight states by Sunday evening.
Some areas in its path, like Manhattan, were relatively unscathed by the weekend storm, while other areas will need days, or even weeks, to recover.
In the hardest-hit areas, pockets of about 20 homes were destroyed.
For many, though, the storm was more inconvenience than calamity.
In Ocean City, Maryland, Charlie Koetzle ignored evacuation orders and went to the boardwalk before dawn in his swim trunks and flip-flops, saying he always wanted to see a hurricane.
Asked about damage, he mentioned a sign that blew down, the Associated Press reports.
'The beach is still here, and there is lots of it,' he said.
'I don't think it was as bad as they said it was going to be.'
Some cell phone networks were knocked out in coastal North Carolina and Virginia, and regulators warned more towers could go silent as backup batteries and generators run dry. At least 125,000 people were without landline service.
The outages could be critical for the elderly, disabled and others who rely on community services.
'What if we're without power for days?' asked Pat Dillon, 52, who is partially paralysed from a stroke.
Ms Dillon's senior care facility in Milford, Connecticut, lost power when a generator failed.
As she sat in the dark, Ms Dillon worried that her wheelchair's batteries would run out. Even worse, she needs to keep her diabetes mediation chilled.
Raging: Derrick Arbuckle watches from the top of a parking garage as the Whetstone Brook floods downtown Brattleboro, Vermont
Securing: Rich Machnicz throws a rope to his son Shawn as they try to secure a floating dock on the Housatonic River behind their home in the Maples neigborhood of Shelton, Connecticut
Making the best of it: A man kayaks down West Broadway in Manhattan as flood waters ripple through Manhattan's trendy SoHo neighbourhood
Surge: A walkway at the southern part of Battery Park in Lower Manhattan today as Irene strikes the city
'Once the refrigerator gets warm, my insulin goes bad,' Ms Dillon said. 'I could go into diabetic shock. It's kind of scary.'
Power companies say they'll try to get critical services running first. But many are just starting to understand the full extent of damage to the grid.
Utility workers must traverse thousands of square miles to find out what's down before they can start repairs.
'It's going to be several days at least for our most severely damaged areas' to get power back, said Mike Hughes, a spokesman for Progress Energy in North Carolina, which serves about 3.1 million customers.
Gilbert, with Connecticut Power, said it took two weeks to restore power after Hurricane Gloria knocked out service to 477,000 customers in 1985.
'And this definitely blows those numbers away,' she said.
In Virginia, Irene knocked out power to more than 300 critical services, including hospitals, emergency call centers and fire stations.
Dominion Resources expects half of those facilities to be restored by the end of the day and most of the rest fixed by Monday.
Most public health and safety facilities have backup generators, Dominion spokesman Dan Genest said. 'For those that don't, we're asking them to take care of their people as well as they can. We'll get them up as soon as possible.'