LIVE: Hurricane Irene radar and satellite loops
Update: Irene death toll climbs to 18 over eight states (5 in North Carolina, 4 in Virginia, 1 in New Jersey, 2 in Florida, 1 in Connecticut, 1 in Maryland, 3 in Pennsylvania, and 1 in New York).
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The highly anticipated Irene has finally made landfall over New York City as a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The landfall occurred around 9:00AM EDT.
Around this same time yesterday, Irene made landfall over Cape Lookout as a Category 1 hurricane with max winds of 85 mph.
Over the past 36 hours, Irene has wrecked havoc along the East Coast killing several people, downing trees and power poles, spawning destructive tornadoes, cancelling scores of flights, shutting down airlines and mass transit, and closing nuclear plants and oil refineries.
Irene turns fatal
Irene is responsible for the deaths of at least 11 people, most coming from North Carolina (5). Other deaths occurred in Virginia (3), Florida (1), Maryland (1), and Connecticut (1). Most of the deaths were as a result of falling trees. The reason for the falling trees is the combination of a supersaturated soil and tropical storm to hurricane force winds.
Irene spawns numerous tornadoes
Like many tropical systems, Irene produced as many as 6 tornadoes. There were numerous reports of structural damage including approximately 15 homes damaged and one demolished near Lewes, Delaware. Several mass transits across the major east coast cities were shut down due to Irene and approximately 4 million people have lost power.
Flood impacts from Irene
The greatest impact from Irene has been the flooding. Anywhere from 10 to 18 inches of rain has fallen along the East Coast. Several refineries, natural gas pipelines, and nuclear plants had to shut down as a result.
Where is Irene headed to next?
Irene is a large system and that is the most contributing factor in its widespread impact. Currently, Irene is over the New York City area and is expected to continue to move north-northeast at around 16 mph today affecting pretty much all of New England before moving into northeast Canada later tonight and Monday.
President Barack Obama has declared disaster declarations for Puerto Rico, Washington County (Virginia), and Delaware from the impacts of Irene.
Here is a list of peak wind gust from Irene:
- Cedar Island, NC 115
- Atlantic Beach, NC 101
- James City, NC 86
- New Bern, NC 84
- Gwynns Island, VA 83
- Duck, NC 84
- Nags Head, NC 83
- Virginia Beach, VA 77
- Williamsburg, VA
- Newport, NC 74
- Tuckerton, NJ 69
- Chestertown, MD 66
- Ocean City, MD 66
- Lewes, DE 66
- Salisbury, MD 61
Top rainfall reports from Irene:
- Ocean City, MD 12.09″
- Denton, MD 11.55″
- Easton, MD 11.34″
- Sulffolk Airport, VA 11.04″
- Newland, VA 10.50″
- Ellendale, DE 8.34″
- Dover, DE 7.52″
Stay tuned for further updates!