Hurricane Irene Does (Relatively) Little Damage to the Eastern Seaboard

Hurricane Irene fell short of the doomsday prediction as it made its way from North Carolina to New Jersey. But it will be days before the full extent of the damage is known because there are still impassable roads, fallen trees, and high water. It is know that there are more than four point five million homes without power along the East Coast and there have been at least eleven deaths reported. When Sunday dawned, there was light damage in many places that forecasters predicted would be hit hard. Most damage was because of downed power lines and trees.

They are predicting that there may be severe flooding as the runoff from Hurricane Irene spills into the rivers and creeks. Hurricane Irene brought six inches to a foot of rain to many areas along the Eastern Seaboard and when it hit New York it was no longer considered a hurricane as the winds had dropped to sixty-five miles per hour with heavy downpours.

The governor of Virginia had predicted that Hurricane Irene could produce record storm surges up to eight feet but Virginia Beach Resort only suffered minimal damage. Flood waters were rising in New Jersey and the Raritan River was not expected to crest until Sunday evening.

Last week when Hurricane Irene was heading toward the Eastern Seaboard it was a Category 3 with winds up to one hundred fifteen miles per hour and the forecasters thought she might reach a Category 4 before blowing onshore but by Friday evening she was starting to loose steam. When it came onshore in North Carolina on Saturday it was only a Category 1 hurricane with winds of about eighty-five miles per hour. By the time it reached New York on Sunday it was nothing more than a tropical storm.