Irene: 46 dead, millions without power still, like someone ‘set a bomb off’
MONTPELIER, Vermont– San Francisco residents are learning in top news today that Irene, once a hurricane and then a tropical storm, lead to the deaths of 46 people. Towns in New England are still without power and New England has battled epic floods.
“It could have been so much worse and it could take time for those without power to gain it back again,” says San Francisco resident Jackie Conroy.
San Franciscans are themselves not unused to natural disasters although for us, it tends to be earthquakes, not hurricanes or tropical storms.
News source, USA Today, says that communities from North Carolina to Maine are taking stock of what damage has been done by Ireneand how much it will cost to get everything back to normal. Although New York City was mostly spared, many inland town received “a historic wallop,” says the news source. New Yorkers found that things went pretty smoothly for their morning commute.
Winds had reached 75mph when Irene passed through New York City. (See that article here: Hurricane Irene and New York City, winds of 75mph (photos, video))
New York was set to be “shut down” in preparation for Hurricane Irene. (See that article here: Hurricane Irene kills 7, shuts down NY airports (photos, video) )
But further north of New York City, in Vermont, the governor there called the flooding that state received the “worst flooding in a century,” says USA Today. Rain turned rivers and streams into torrents when Irene dropped 11 inches of rain on Vermont and over 13 inches of rain in some parts of New York state.
“We were expecting heavy rains,” stated Bobbi-Jean Jeun of Clarksville, close to Albany, New York. “We were expecting flooding. We weren’t expecting devastation. It looks like somebody set a bomb off.”
It was originally thought that 25 people had died and that there had been $4bn worth of damage, but now the numbers are higher: (See that article here: SF learns: After Irene, 25 dead, 4M without power (damage photos, video)
In the Dominican Republic and Haiti five people died because of Irene. One woman died trying to cross a swollen river in Puerto Rico.
In the USA, on Sunday, there were 11 people reported dead, but bodies started to be pulled from floodwaters and that increased the total number to 40. Falling trees and downed power lines had struck or electrocuted people, increasing the death toll.
USA Today reports that:
“A driver was missing after a road collapsed and swallowed two cars about 62 miles northeast of Montreal.
An apparently vacant home exploded in an evacuated, flooded area in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, early Monday, and firefighters had to battle the flames from a boat. In the Albany, New York, suburb of Guilderland, police rescued two people Monday after their car was swept away. Rescuers found them three hours later, clinging to trees along the swollen creek.”
President Obama warned the American public: “It’s going to take time to recover from a storm of this magnitude.” He committed to doing everything in his power to get the state back on its feet and agreed to make federal assistance available.
President Obama had said, in terms of the recovery that things were not yet ‘over.’ (See that article here: Obama On Hurricane Recovery: ‘This Is Not Over’)
In the Outer Banks, 1,000 people were still waiting in emergency shelters for word on their homes.
In a dozen states, almost 5 million homes and businesses are still without power today and it could take a week before the power comes back.
In Canada, Environment Canada stated the strongest winds were encountered just east of Quebec City on Ile d’Orleans. Gusts up to 70mph were felt there. On Monday 165,000 people were still without power in Quebec and tens of thousands in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia also had none.
See these previous articles by this Examiner on Irene:
Hurricane Irene at one point was reported at 700 miles wide and $13.9bn worth of damage was possible. (See that article here: Hurricane Irene now 700 miles wide, $13.9bn damage…)
Hurricane Irene became Tropical Storm Irene after it left New York. See that article here: Hurricane Irene becomes Tropical Storm Irene, see damage photos (photos, video)
Hurricane Irene, according to forecasters, would wreak havoc along the East Coast. (See that article here: Irene threatens to wreak havoc along the East Coast …)
Well in advance of the Hurricane, residents of Ocean City, MD were ordered to leave. (See that article here: Thousands ordered to evacuate Ocean City, MD, due to…)
Breaking news resulted when Hurricane Irene made landfall. (See that article here: Breaking: Hurricane Irene makes landfall)
See photos and a video on the left-hand side for more on this story.
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See a slide show of dramatic pictures of what happened during Hurricane Irene here