Dangers Remain After Tropical Storm Irene Passes
August 28, 2011
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has cautioned people
along the path of Tropical Storm Irene that even if the storm has passed
their area, danger remains.
satellite captured this stunning visible image of Hurricane Irene at
8:32 a.m. EDT, just 28 minutes before Irene's landfall in New York City.
The image showed Irene's huge cloud cover blanketing New England, New
York and over Toronto, Canada. Shadows in Irene's clouds indicate the
bands of thunderstorms that surround now tropical storm Irene. (Credit:
NASA/NOAA GOES Project)
Napolitano said Sunday that downed power lines, flooding, generator
problems and fallen trees are all potential threats once the storm is
Even as Irene continues on a path up the coastline of the northeastern
United States, the Homeland Security chief said damage assessment has
begun in the southern states of North Carolina and Virginia.
A loss-estimate company, Eqecat, already has estimated the damage to
North Carolina and Virginia at $200 to $400 million.
The National Hurricane Center says Irene has weakened since leaving the
New York City area and is now traveling at about 40 kilometers an hour
with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers an hour.
Forecasters say Irene will move into Canada by Sunday night. In areas
where the storm already has passed, weather officials say the damage was
not as severe as they feared it would be.
The storm has killed at least 15 people and paralyzed ground and air
traffic in its journey up the eastern U.S. coast.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has predicted record-level flooding
for parts of his coastal state, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett
has warned that rivers in the affected areas of his state may not crest
until Tuesday or Wednesday.
The White House says President Barack Obama has been briefed on the
emergency response to the storm.
Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm as it approached New York City
early Sunday, but it still managed to flood some streets and a traffic
tunnel in lower Manhattan, as the East and Hudson Rivers rose with high
city has not said yet when it will restart the public transit system,
which has been shut down as a safety precaution since midday Saturday.
Irene blasted ashore in North Carolina early Saturday, flooding streets
and toppling trees with winds of 140 kilometer per hour. The storm later
moved into the Washington, D.C. area, which was hit with strong winds,
heavy rain, localized flooding and falling trees.
More than four million homes and businesses in the eastern U.S. lost
power because of the storm, which is passing through some of the
country's most densely populated areas. Suspected tornadoes spurned by
the hurricane destroyed homes in Delaware and Virginia.