Hurricane Irene Update: Downgraded, Deadly
*Updated 11am 8/28*
Irene, now a tropical storm, made her 1st landfall at Cape Lookout, North Carolina at about 7:30am EDT Saturday with winds of 115mph. The storm then traveled up the east coast, made landfall at Little Egg Inlet, NJ, then moved through the greater New York City area at barely hurricane wind levels of 75mph.
The storm now has winds of about 60mph and tropical storm force winds extending almost 200 miles from the storm’s center. Irene is expected to weaken considerably now that she has made landfall.
Millions of Americans up and down the east coast are still without power and several communities in North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey and New York have experienced devastating floods.
New York City’s mass transit system remains shut down.
With one-in-four Americans living in the path of this storm, it could also be one of the costliest weather events in history. Some estimates place possible storm damage at $16.9 Billion.
As a nod to the seriousness of this weather event, President Obama cut his vacation short.
Sunday morning briefings from the governors of Virginia and New Jersey demonstrated concern for further flooding and the damage that will result. Losses will be extensive as Hurricane Irene turned out to be more of a flood event than a wind event.