1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Thousands flee ahead of Irene

  1. Closed captioning of: Thousands flee ahead of Irene

    >> all the forecasts and computer models show the next stop for hurricane irene , the north carolina coast. nbc's mark potter in nags head tonight. mark, good evening.

    >> reporter: good evening to you, brian. as you can see, there are very few people out here on the beaches today and that's because more people here started taking this storm seriously. many are borarding up and are now leaving for higher ground. with the storm bearing down, the tourists are heading out. during high tourist season , 150,000 visitors have been ordered off the north carolina outer banks , checking out of hotels and packing their cars for an early trip home.

    >> just feeling the need to be safe and never underestimating a hurricane or the damage.

    >> reporter: emergency managers say hurricane irene seen here from space will bring destructive winds and flooding, tearing up roads. among those leaving was melissa cook from philadelphia, clutching her wedding dress . she and her fiance had planned to get married sad at the nags head pier overlooking the ocean, but irene dashed their plans.

    >> it's been so much time and so much work.

    >> reporter: some 30,000 residents are also being ordered to evacuate tomorrow. 88-year-old stacy man is boarding up his house.

    >> the winds's blowing like it's blowing.

    >> reporter: richard peterson worries about the powerful ocean storm surge .

    >> best case is five feet of water and it goes away, worst case is any house is gone.

    >> everyone leaves. so there is no income at that point.

    >> reporter: the only residents not expected to leave are more than 100 wild horses on north carolina barrier oilds thislands that have survived lots of storms from the past. the bride and groom from philadelphia say they'll now get married at a church with a good strong roof to protect them. some locals say they will not be leaving the outer banks and will ride out the hurricane here. but emergency managers say if they do that and they get in trouble, no one will be able to go out and help them.

    >> nags head , north carolina , mark, thanks.

NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 8/26/2011 6:36:11 AM ET 2011-08-26T10:36:11

Top Developments:

  1. Stories from
    1. Cara Delevingne Is a Master of Disguise (Sorta): See Her Paparazzi-Dodging Masks
    2. Jennifer Hudson Has an Unusual Plan to Become an 'EGOT'
    3. Big Brother's Frankie Grande Is Headed to Broadway
    4. NHL Suspends L.A. Kings' Slava Voynov on Domestic Violence Suspicion
    5. Kamara James, Olympic Fencer Who Battled Schizophrenia, Dies at 29

- Hurricane watch issues for areas along the coast north of New Jersey, including Long Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, Mass.
- Hurricane warning area now extends from N.C. coast northward to Sandy Hook, N.J., which is just south of New York City.
- Hundreds of thousands told to evacuate in N.C., Md., N.J., Va. areas.
- NYC orders hospitals, nursing homes in low-lying areas to evacuate.
- 8 injured by rough ocean in Fla.
- New York, Connecticut join N.C., Va., Md. and N.J. in declaring state of emergency.
- Hundreds of homes destroyed in Bahamas.

Hurricane Irene weakened slightly early Friday to a Category 2 storm as it approached the U.S. East Coast, where a hurricane warning was extended to New Jersey.

But the National Hurricane Center said some re-strengthening was possible and the storm was expected to be near the threshold between a Category 2 and 3 storm as it reached North Carolina's coast.

The massive storm was expected to track farther inland, threatening 65 million people along a shore-hugging path along the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina to New England.

  1. Only on NBCNews.com
    1. From belief to betrayal: How America fell for Armstrong
      OWN via Getty Images
    2. pool via Reuters file
      US to Syria neighbors: Be ready to act on WMDs
    3. China: One-child policy is here to stay
    4. NRA: Practice Range
      New 'Practice Range' shooter game says it’s from NRA
    5. 'Gifted' priest indicted in crystal meth case
    6. AFP - Getty Images
      China's state media admits to air pollution crisis
    7. AFP - Getty Images
      French to send 1,000 more troops to Mali

In South Florida, eight people were out on a jetty off Boynton Beach Inlet when a wave churned up by the outer bands of Irene knocked them over, Palm Beach County officials said. One person was taken to a hospital; seven others were treated at the scene.

Widespread power outages are likely along the Eastern Coast, and damage from storm surges, fallen trees and flooding could end up in the billions of dollars.

"What we have to do is assume the worst, prepare for that, and hope for the best," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters.

New York City, Long Island, Atlantic City and Virginia Beach were among the areas now near the center of Irene's forecast path, along with even more areas of North Carolina, where Irene is expected to make a first landfall on Saturday near Ocracoke Island. The storm could drench parts of the region with as much as 15 inches of rain.

The center of the storm was still about 420 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and moving to the north at 14 mph.

  1. Get updates
    1. Get the latest updates on this story and others from @breakingnews.

    2. Text NEWS to 67622 to receive mobile alerts

After hitting North Carolina, Irene is expected to move Sunday into the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coastal region and then on to New York. A Category 2 storm carries winds of 96 to 110 mph.

"Any further deviation left could bring direct impacts as far inland as the Washington-Baltimore area," National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said.

"We're going to have storm surge issues all the way up the coast," Read said. "We're going to have flash flooding" as well, since the soil is still saturated from recent rain. And given Irene's winds and the saturated soil "we should see a lot of trees down, with the power outages that go with that."

Emergencies were declared in several Eastern states as a way to marshal resources ahead of time.

At 5 a.m. ET Friday, Irene remained powerful but the storm's maximum sustained winds had decreased slightly to 110 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

The core of the hurricane was expected to pass well offshore of the east coast of Florida before approaching coastal North Carolina on Saturday.

Below is a look at Irene's most recent impacts, as well as preparations:

Bahamas. Irene destroyed hundreds of homes on small Bahamian islands but largely spared the capital Nassau on Thursday as it tore over the sprawling archipelago in its way toward the U.S. East Coast.

There were no immediate reports of deaths, but some small settlements reported up to 90 percent of their homes damaged while assessments from other islands were not in because telephone lines were down.

Irene left a mess of scattered debris, toppled trees and minor flooding but no major damage.

Video: Irene rocks the Bahamas (on this page)

Downtown Nassau with its colorful limestone buildings was largely unscathed, but the Straw Market, a well-known shopping spot for tourists, did not survive. The canvas roof was torn and the metal frame was damaged, leaving about 600 craft stalls exposed to the wind and rain.

Merchant Larry McDonald, a wood carver, had thought to pack away his merchandise, but others did not and their goods were soaked from the rain. He said the market would not be able to operate.

"How are we going to open? Ain't nobody going to come here to buy stuff. Might be for weeks, might be for months," he said.

Nassau residents expressed concern about fellow Bahamians in Eleuthera and other islands.

About 90 percent of the homes in two settlements known as Lovely Bay and Chesters on Acklins Islands were destroyed and no longer inhabitable, said Gayle Outten-Moncur, the operating officer of the Emergency Management Agency in the Bahamas. A total of about 100 homes were damaged, she said.

On the island of Mayaguana, where roughly 250 people live, about 40 homes were damaged, she said.

North Carolina. An evacuation order took effect for an estimated 150,000 tourists in coastal Dare County hours after forecasters issued a hurricane watch for much of the state's coast.

Story: Are you in Irene's path? Share photos, if it's safe to do so

Dare County's residents were told Thursday that they would have to evacuate by Friday as well.

"It wouldn't behoove anyone to stay in these circumstances," Dare County emergency management spokeswoman Sharon Sullivan said. "Businesses are boarding up. Nobody can guarantee their safety."

Carteret, Currituck and Hyde counties on Thursday also told tourists to move inland. Hyde extended that to its residents as well.

Story: Tourists told to leave coastal areas ahead of Irene

Irene could hit North Carolina's Outer Banks on Saturday afternoon with winds around 115 mph.

President Barack Obama declared an emergency for the state, a move to fast-track whatever federal help is needed after the storm hits.

The Outer Banks have a long history of hurricanes, and building codes and emergency plans reflect that. Structures in the region are designed to withstand up to 110 mph sustained winds and gusts of up to 130 mph for three minutes. Evacuation routes are meticulously planned, down to the order in which counties hit the road.

Ocracoke Island, a tiny Outer Banks community, has already ordered visitors off, but it has special challenges since it's only accessible to the mainland by boat.

Some of the region's most popular destinations rely on the ailing Bonner Bridge, which was built in 1963 and intended to last 30 years, to connect Hatteras Island to the northern Outer Banks. There's no other way to reach Hatteras except by boat.

The bridge handles about 2 million cars a year and the state DOT ranks it a 2 on its safety meter, with 100 being the highest, or most safe, designation.

Trip affected? Here's how airlines are responding

"We're going to shift people and resources around to do what we need to do and keep the roads open," said North Carolina Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nicole Meister. The 2.7-mile bridge won't stay open if it's deemed unsafe — which happened during Hurricane Earl last year — but the state has an emergency ferry terminal ready in that case to get people off the island, Meister said.

Virginia. A mandatory evacuation was ordered Thursday for the beach community of Chincoteague.

The Navy ordered the Second Fleet in southeastern Virginia, including at Norfolk Naval Station, to leave so ships would be safe from the approaching hurricane. Thursday's order applied to 64 ships in the area, some of which were already at sea.

The Navy said ships at sea can better weather storms. The move will also help protect piers from being damaged.

Cities along the state's coast were reviewing their evacuation plans.

New York City. Mayor Bloomberg on Thursday ordered five hospitals and numerous nursing homes in low-lying areas to evacuate by Friday unless they get an exemption from the city.

"Whenever the city has faced a difficult, tough situation, New Yorkers have always shown courage, compassion, presence of mind, and have been innovative in dealing with whatever is thrown at them. And I have confidence that they will do that again," Bloomberg said.

He added that he expected to make a decision by Saturday morning whether residents in the city's so-called "Zone-A" would need to evacuate as well.

That zone includes neighborhoods along the coast, including Battery Park City in Manhattan, Coney Island in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway in Queens. The city also placed information about evacuation possibilities online.

Crews are working to clean out catch basins to help with street drainage. The city has also moved police boats to station houses in low-lying areas, hired emergency forest contractors and topped off emergency generators with fuel.

Officials are also looking at how to secure 26 tower cranes across the city that are only rated to withstand winds up to 65 mph, WNBC-TV reported.

Story: NYC, Long Island vulnerability exposed by Irene

The city's subway stations and tunnels would likely be flooded in places, and officials plan to shut the system down ahead of time to reduce damage to the infrastructure.

In the last 200 years, New York has seen only a few significant hurricanes. In September of 1821, a hurricane raised tides by 13 feet in an hour and flooded all of Manhattan south of Canal Street, the southernmost tip of the city. The area now includes Wall Street and the World Trade Center memorial.

Video: How to prepare for Hurricane Irene

Long Island, N.Y. Nassau County officials said they would evacuate barrier islands if Irene's track does not change. School buses were moved to higher ground in case they're needed to evacuate residents.

Maryland. The 125,000 or so visitors and residents in Ocean City were told Thursday to evacuate due to the high chance of flooding. Gov. Martin O'Malley declared a state of emergency.

Washington, D.C. The dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall has been postponed indefinitely. No new date has been set for the dedication originally planned for Sunday. Obama was to have spoken at the ceremony. Organizers had previously said they expected to draw up to 250,000 people.

Electric power provider Pepco Inc said it had requested 600 emergency workers from other regions, and had already deployed 150 of them, to prepare for Irene's heavy rain and high winds.

Story: Airlines begin canceling flights as Irene nears

"The subsequent restoration could be a multiday event," the utility warned customers on its website.

Railway operator Amtrak canceled trains operating south of Washington for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. "Additional cancellations may be necessary in the coming days as the major storm moves north," the railway said in an alert on its website.

New Jersey. Evacuations were ordered Thursday in Cape May County, which has about 100,000 year-round residents and hundreds of thousands of seasonal visitors to its many beach resorts.

Gov. Chris Christie earlier told people planning to visit the shore this weekend to stay home.

Forecasters say Irene is likely to cause flooding across the already rain-soaked state. Winds also could take down power lines.

Story: Factbox: U.S. East Coast energy sites brace for Irene

The Garden State has gotten twice as much rain this month as in a normal August, and high tide happens at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday, when Irene might be passing by, noted New Jersey state climatologist David Robinson.

"You want to go into a hurricane threat with dry soil, low rivers, a half moon," he added.

Connecticut. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declared a state of emergency in Connecticut as residents stocked up on generators and other provisions.

"There's no way that looking at any of the maps we're seeing now that one could feel secure that we'll dodge this ... We're becoming more certain that we're likely to be impacted," Malloy said.

Connecticut Light & Power, which serves 1.2 million customers, cancelled vacations, putting all its personnel on standby and coordinating with sister companies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to have additional crews available to restore power.

Massachusetts. Roads and bridges are likely to bear the weather in good condition, said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. But the agency is planning for flooding and is keeping an eye on the 3,000 public and private dams throughout the state.

Hurricanes are rare in the Northeast because the region's cooler seas tend to weaken storms as they approach, and they have to take a narrow track to strike New York without first hitting other parts of the coast and weakening there.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Interactive: Hurricane Tracker

See current storm data and paths of earlier storms from this season.

Photos: Hurricane Irene

loading photos...
  1. A house destroyed by Irene sits in a river in Rochester, Vt., on Wednesday, Aug. 31. Homeowner Jon Graham, right, removes items from the home with the help of friends. (Vyto Starinskas / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Rescue crews in Paterson, N.J., patrol the intersection of Memorial Drive and Governor Road as the swollen Passaic River floods on Aug. 31. (Rich Schultz / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Floodwaters from the Passaic River fill streets in Paterson, N.J., on Aug. 31. (Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A volunteer removes mud and debris from a real estate office on Aug. 31 in Wilmington, Vt. The nearby Deerfield River overflowed its banks Sunday, inundating homes and businesses in the downtown area. (Matthew Cavanaugh / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A woman looks out over a flooded street on Aug. 31 in Wallington, N.J. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Henry Rhines tries to salvage anything he can from the debris field that was once his home in Columbia, N.C., on Aug. 30. Several houses along U.S. 64 south of Columbia were destroyed when a tornado touched down before Hurricane Irene's wind and rain. Rhines wasn't home at the time, evacuating to Rocky Mount earlier in the day. "That tornado put a hurting on us right on down the line," he said. (Shawn Rocco / The News & Observer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Flooding in Rochester, Vt., eroded part of the town's cemetery, seen here on Aug. 30, exposing some coffins. (Toby Talbot / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Residents of Totowa, N.J., are evacuated from their flooded homes on Aug. 30. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Corrinne Levin kisses her daughter Jillianne Davis, whose home in Woodford, Vt., was destroyed by floodwaters. They were outside Davis' home on Aug. 30. (Matt Rourke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Keith Beavers examines his tobacco crop following Hurricane Irene in Mount Olive, N.C., on Aug. 30. Far from the beach towns that took Hurricane Irene's first hit, the storm inflicted some of its worst damage on inland farms from North Carolina to New York as crops were pummeled by wind, scalded by salt spray and submerged by floodwaters. Some farmers, like Beavers, are reporting total losses. (Jim R. Bounds / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Jude Fitzgerald salvages items from a mud-filled basement in Brattleboro, Vt., on Aug. 30. (Jessica Hill / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. A bridge on Route 73 in Rochester, Vt., lies in the river on Aug. 30, cutting off road access to the town. (Toby Talbot / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A man looks out at a closed and damaged beach on Aug. 30 in Westport, Conn. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Standing on a neighbor's porch in Stumpy Point, N.C., Darnel and Debbie Talbert lean on each other as Nationwide insurance agent Paul Tine checks on their policy on Aug. 30. The Talbert's house was heavily damaged by Hurricane Irene. (Shawn Rocco / The News & Observer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Irene-triggered floodwaters remain several feet deep in Wayne, N.J., on Aug. 30. New Jersey and Vermont continue to struggle with their worst flooding in decades. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Residents wait in line outside a grocery store on Aug. 30 in Rochester, Vt. The town has been completely cut off since Irene hit. (Toby Talbot / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. This section of Highway 23 in Wayne, N.J., remains flooded on Aug. 30. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Greg Austin of Avon, N.C., on Aug. 29 tries to save a large fish that was washed out of a local pond during the storm surge from Hurricane Irene. Avon is one of the Hatteras Island communities cut off due to breaches in N.C. Highway 12. (Chuck Liddy / The News & Observer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Flooding over a road from the Farmington River is seen in the aftermath of Irene in Simsbury, Conn., on Aug. 29. (Jessica Hill / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Tom Chase waves atop of his friend's beach home in East Haven, Conn., on Aug. 29. (Jessica Hill / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Firefighters from the Skyline Lakes Fire Department try to extinguish a fire fed by a natural gas line, which ruptured causing the house to explode, after the Pompton River overflowed its banks during a record flood, in Pompton Lake, N.J., on Aug. 29. (Chip East / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. This section of Route 7 south of Rutland, Vt., was washed out on Aug. 29. (Vyto Starinskas / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Gino Borova gives a ride to his neighbor, Tom Soboleski, as they make their way through floodwaters after surveying their homes in Pompton Lakes, N.J., on Aug. 29. The Ramapo River flooded the area. (Julio Cortez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Strafford, Conn., saw storm damage from Irene, on Aug. 29. (Jessica Hill / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Nan Raphael looks at damage to her block on Aug. 29 in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington D.C. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Route 5 between Scotia to Schenectady, N.Y., is overrun by flood waters from the Mohawk River on Aug. 29. (Str / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. The top layer of blacktop on River Road lies peeled off due to AuSable River flooding in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Aug. 29. (Mike Lynch / Adirondack Daily Enterprise via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Nina Brennan, right, and Phyllis Berry clean mud from the Proud Flower store in Waterbury, Vt., on Aug. 29. (Toby Talbot / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Long Beach Lifeguard Patrol members clean rescue boards along the boardwalk at Long Beach, N.Y., on Aug. 29. (Craig Ruttle / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Stranded travelers rest at LaGuardia Airport in New York on Aug. 29. The couple lying down is scheduled to take a flight to Dallas on Aug. 30. New York-area airports reopened on Aug. 29 as airlines gradually restored service after canceling more than 11,000 flights. (Don Emmert / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Residents walk along Highway 12, the main road that connects Cape Hatteras National Seashore to the main land which was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in Rodanthe, N.C., on Aug. 28. (Jose Luis Magana / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. An unidentified male hangs on to a branch in a rain swollen creek as he waits for rescuers in New City, N.Y., on Aug. 28. He and three others went tubing in the creek and had to be rescued by New City and Stony Point fire departments' water rescue teams. (Peter Carr / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Firefighters put out a fire at a rental house on Aug. 28 after it was destroyed by Irene at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Rodanthe, N.C. (Jose Luis Magana / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. The raging Whetstone Brook surges over the falls in downtown Brattleboro, Vt., on Aug. 28. (Chris Bertelsen / The Brattleboro Reformer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. A motorboat passes a submerged pickup truck on Main Street in Washingtonville, N.Y., on Aug. 28, following heavy rains from Irene. (Paul Kazdan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. A Fairfield Beach Road home is submerged in Pine Creek in Fairfield, Conn., as treacherous weather caused by Irene came through the area on Aug. 28. (Cathy Zuraw / The Connecticut Post via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Billy Stinson, left, comforts his daughter, Erin Stinson, as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in Nags Head, N.C., on Aug. 28. The cottage, built in 1903, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward. (Scott Olson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Bravo Company 1st of 120 out of Whiteville ride through rural Goose Creek Island handing out bags of ice on Aug. 28, in Lowland, N.C. Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina, creating a storm surge of up to 8 feet in some areas of the Pamilco Sound. (Sara D. Davis / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. With the skyline of New York in the background, people fly a kite at the Erie-Lackawanna Park along Hudson River after the pass of Irene in Hoboken, N.J., on Aug 28. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. A car sits submerged on Main Street in Hightstown, N.J., on Aug. 28, after Peddie Lake overflowed from Irene. Businesses and shops along the street were flooded. (Jim Gerberich / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Crews from the New York Department of Environmental Protection work to unplug storm sewer grates on the Van Wyck Expressway under the Grand Central Parkway overpass in the Queens neighborhood of New York on Aug. 28. Widespread flooding of interstates and low-lying areas kept crews busy overnight and throughout the day. (Jonathan D. Woods / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Officials survey the damage to Route 12 on Hatteras Island, N.C., on Aug. 28. Hurricane Irene swept through the area Saturday, Aug. 27, cutting the roadway in five locations. (Steve Helber / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. A family inspects a downed tree in New York's Central Park after Irene dumped more than 6 inches of rain on Aug. 28. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Ken Smith clears the street in front of his family's house after Irene hit the Rockaway beach section of Queens, N.Y., on Aug. 28. (Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. Mark Wade trips while surfing with his friend Craig Busick, left, in a large puddle in front of the Board of Education in Centreville, Md., on Aug. 28, after Irene. (Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. Danica Quinn, 9, and her dog Scruffy, stand in her front yard on C Street in Bridgeton, N.C., on Aug. 28. Quinn and her family were in their home during Hurricane Irene when winds toppled a pine tree that crashed through the roof of their living room. No one was hurt, though the house was destroyed. (Byron Holland / New Bern Sun Journal via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. Lechelle Spalding pulls a boat up to her flooded home after a storm surge on the Outer Banks in Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Aug. 28. (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. Annie Gullett, right, gets help from her daughter Katy Caroline, center, and friend Louise Sanderlin sorting through damaged items in her gift shop after it was flooded in the wake of Hurricane Irene on Aug. 28 in Manteo, N.C. (Scott Olson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. Darrell Tarte, a property estimator with Erie Insurance, surveys damage from a tree at a home in Port Republic, Md., on Aug. 28. (Steve Ruark / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. Two Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority trains sit in water on flooded tracks on Aug. 28 in Trenton, N.J. Rains from Irene caused inland flooding of rivers and streams. (Mel Evans / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. Rainwater collects beneath machinery at the World Trade Center site on Aug. 28 in New York. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. High winds from Irene knocked down five large trees in front of the East River Cooperative Village apartment buildings along Grand Avenue on Aug. 28 in New York City. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  53. Waves and storm surge pound the boardwalk and the beach at first light as Irene slams into Asbury Park, N.J., on Aug. 28. (Chip East / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  54. Brian Grant, left, and Bob Bianchini, engineers from the public works department out for a safety inspection, are slammed by waves and storm surge pounding the boardwalk and the beach at Asbury Park, N.J., on Aug. 28. (Chip East / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  55. Sand covers the boardwalk after Irene passed through in Ocean City, Md., on Aug. 28. (Molly Riley / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  56. Chris Swimm retrieves planks from a friend's deck washed away by waves from Irene that surged onto Wilbur's Point in Fairhaven, Mass., on Aug. 28. (Peter Pereira / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  57. Waves kicked up by Irene crash into homes on Wilbur's Point in Fairhaven, Mass., on Aug. 28. (Peter Pereira / The Standard Times via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  58. Josh Holloway, son of homeowner Jack Holloway, stands near the front door as family members look over the damage to their home in Lewis, Del., on Aug. 28. (Suchat Pederson / The News Journal via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  59. Hurricane Irene's wind and rain pour down as North Cove Marina employees work to secure gangways, docks and boats as seawater comes over the marina's low walls just before high tide in the World Financial Center Plaza on Aug. 28 in New York City. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  60. Pat Valent helps friends clear out belongings from their storm-damaged beach home in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach, Va. on Aug. 28. Irene caused damage over such a broad area that the total damage is not yet known. (Steve Helber / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  61. A woman walks by downed trees in Brooklyn during heavy rain and winds from Hurricane Irene on Aug. 28 in New York City. While Hurricane Irene has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, it has knocked out power to more than 3 million people. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  62. A lighthouse-shaped building is battered by storm surge and winds from Hurricane Irene in Montauk, New York on Aug. 28. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  63. A man walks on a flooded street in Hoboken, N.J. on Aug. 28. (Kena Betancur / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  64. Jeremy Wilkins of the Kitty Hawk Fire Department removes a tree that was downed by Hurricane Irene on the Outer Banks in Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Aug. 28, (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  65. Rising water laps over the sea wall at Battery Park in New York City on Aug. 28. Hurricane Irene bore down on a dark and quiet New York early Sunday, bringing winds and rapidly rising seawater that threatened parts of the city. (Mary Altaffer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  66. A bull dozer clears sand and debris from Hwy. 12 near Avon, N.C. on Aug. 28. High winds from hurricane Irene and overnight flooding affected much of the Outer Banks. (Steve Early / The Virginia-Pilot via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  67. The Coney Island boardwalk in New York is obscured by sand and rain as Hurricane Irene reached the area on Aug. 28. Rainfall overflowed sewers and seawater lapped at sidewalks at the edges of New York City from densely populated lower Manhattan to the far reaches of Queens as a weakening Irene made landfall over Coney Island. (Craig Ruttle / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  68. A street signs rest in a Baltimore, Md. street, Aug. 28, after falling over during Hurricane Irene. The storm caused some power outages but no significant damage or flooding throughout the Baltimore region. (Patrick Smith / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  69. Manhattan is hit by Hurricane Irene on Sunday, Aug. 28. The hurricane hit New York City’s skyscrapers with fierce winds and threatened to flood the financial district after killing ten people along the East coast on Saturday. (Emmanuel Dunand / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  70. IKONOS satellite images show before, Dec. 27, 2010, and after, Aug. 28, 2011, views of an area north of Rodanthe, North Carolina following Hurricane Irene. The after view shows broken sections of Highway 12 caused by the hurricane. (Geoeye / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  71. Heavy rain falls in Battery Park in New York City as Hurricane Irene hits Manhattan on Aug. 28. Battery Park and other areas in Lower Manhattan were evacuated in advance of the storm. (Jason Decrow / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  72. People walk in Times Square in New York on Aug. 28, as Hurricane Irene hits the city and Tri State area with rain and high winds. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  73. A gas station is damaged on Aug. 28 after Hurricane Irene swept through Lusby, Md. (Steve Ruark / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  74. Waves crash onto a road as Hurricane Irene arrives, Aug. 28, in Southampton, New York. Irene is expected to move through the area today with heavy rain and high winds. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  75. Floodwater surrounds a home as Hurricane Irene arrives on Aug. 28 in Southampton, New York. Irene is expected to move through the area today with heavy rain and high winds. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  76. Branches litter an alley in Virginia Beach, VA on Sunday, Aug. 28. The hurricane made landfall in North Carolina and Virginia early Saturday morning and has now moved further up the East coast to New Jersey and New York later today. (Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  77. A man walks past a damaged store front on a boardwalk in Ocean City, Md., on Aug. 28. Authorities in Ocean City said that there were no reports of major damage. (Patrick Semansky / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  78. The sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach, Va. on Aug. 28. Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina and Virginia early Saturday morning and has now moved further up the East coast. (Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  79. Large waves from Hurricane Irene pound the Ocean City pier on Aug. 28 in Ocean City, Md. During the night Hurricane Irene past by the small resort town causing power outages, minimal flood and wind damage. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  80. Two men explore a street flooded by Hurricane Irene on Aug. 27 in Manteo, N.C. (John Bazemore / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  81. This road in Virginia Beach, Va., flooded on Aug. 27. (Steve Helber / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  82. A water rescue team maneuvers around a beached boat in the middle of Hwy. 304 in Mesic, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Chris Seward / The News & Observer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  83. Floodwaters surround homes on Hwy 304 in Mesic, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Chris Seward / The News & Observer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  84. Jackie Sparnackel has to abandon her van and her belongings after she ventured to check out the storm-damaged pier in Frisco, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Chuck Liddy / The News & Observer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  85. Firefighters work to remove the body of an 11-year-old killed when a tree fell and severely damaged this home in Newport News, Va., on Aug. 27. (Rob Ostermaier / Newport News Daily Press / MCT via Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  86. The hurricane-force winds of Irene rip the siding off of homes in Nags Head, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Stephen M. Katz / The Virginian-Pilot via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  87. Jarod Wilton looks at the floodwaters rising to his doorstep on Aug. 27, in Alliance, N.C., as Hurricane Irene hits the coast. (Chuck Burton / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  88. Kelly Harvey, who evacuated her St. Leonard, Md., home, plays with her daughter on Aug. 27 at a hurricane shelter set up at Southern Middle School in Lusby, Md. (Steve Ruark / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  89. Lounge chairs are stored in a pool in Ocean City, Md., on Aug. 27 in order to keep them from blowing away. (Molly Riley / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  90. Two men push a cart through an otherwise deserted Grand Central Terminal in New York on Aug. 27. Metro North has suspended service and Amtrak is running on a reduced schedule due to Hurricane Irene. (Marjorie Anders / NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  91. Sandbags are stacked outside a Manhattan financial district building on Aug. 27 in New York. (John Minchillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  92. The Berkeley Mall in Goldsboro, N.C., saw a roof collapse in its atrium section on Aug. 27. (Michael K. Dakota / The Goldsboro News-Argus via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  93. The victim of a fatal car accident near Interstate 795 in Goldsboro, N.C., is recovered by crews on Aug. 27. The two-car accident occurred at an intersection where traffic signals were not working due to a power outage caused by Irene. (Robert Willett / The News & Observer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  94. People shield themselves from blowing sand and rain as they look over the beach during Hurricane Irene on Aug. 27 in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. (Scott Olson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  95. Damaged power lines burn in Nags Head, N.C., on Aug. 27, as Hurricane Irene hits the northern Outer Banks of North Carolina. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  96. Cody Levy, left, Ian Crossman, and Christian Van Vliet run out onto a receded Albemarle Sound in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., on Aug. 27. The sound had moved out due to the high winds of Hurricane Irene. (Shawn Rocco / Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  97. Vehicles are driven through a flooded area during Hurricane Irene in Surf City, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Randall Hill / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  98. People hurry in the rain on the boardwalk as Hurricane Irene bears down on Cape May, N.J., on Aug. 27. (Mel Evans / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  99. Turnstiles are barricaded with caution tape shortly before the New York City Subway system suspended service for the first time ever, as preparations are made for Hurricane Irene, in New York, on Aug. 27. (Mike Groll / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  100. A worker places plywood on the windows of a home as he and other workers secure it against the winds of Hurricane Irene on Aug. 27, in Water Mill, N.Y. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  101. One of two people rescued from a sailboat uses a line to make their way onto the beach on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 27. The two were rescued from the boat that foundered in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. A rescuer, left, waits for s second person to exit the boat. (Bill Tiernan / The Virginian-Pilot via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  102. An onlooker takes a photo of a fallen gas canopy hit by Hurricane Irene, at the Atlantic Food Mart in Surf City, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Randall Hill / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  103. A man fills sand bags at 128th Street beach in the Rockaways, N.Y., on Aug. 27, in preparation for Hurricane Irene. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  104. Police walk through an area which is under mandatory evacuation orders in the Rockaways, N.Y., on Aug. 27, in preparation for Hurricane Irene. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  105. Arseni Flax, center, and his mother Nelly wait for their subway train to leave as they bring along their parakeets while evacuating the Coney Island section of New York, on Aug. 27. (Craig Ruttle / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  106. Margene Jezo of Kitty Hawk goes for a 6-mile jog as Hurricane Irene lashes the Outer Banks in Kitty Hawk, N.C, on Aug. 27. (Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  107. Don Hurtig looks at an oak tree that blew over in his front yard as Hurricane Irene comes ashore near Morehead City, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Steve Nesius / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  108. Defying mandatory evacuation orders and a curfew, summer residents Pam Cooke, left, and Jody Bowers share a laugh as strong winds puff up Jody's jacket as they venture out to the beach in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  109. People shop at a Hurricane Irene fashion sale in the town of Amagansett, N.Y. on the east end of Long Island, on Aug. 27. (Peter Foley / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  110. Lifeguard Steve Thompson patrols the beach on Aug. 27, in Montauk, N.Y., as Hurricane Irene approaches. (Stephen Chernin / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  111. The sun breaks through as surfers hit the ocean on Aug. 27, off of Pawleys Island, S.C. after Hurricane Irene moved through the area and north along the eastern Atlantic coast. (Steve Jessmore / The Sun-News via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  112. Water in a parking lot enters a storm drain as winds and high tides from approaching Hurricane Irene start to hit the area, on Aug. 27, in Ocean City, Md. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  113. Debbie Austin gets off her boat as winds and high tides from approaching Hurricane Irene start to hit the area, on Aug. 27, in Ocean City, Md. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  114. Personnel at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, including NHC director Bill Read, center bottom, conduct a conference call to coordinate the 11 a.m. ET forecast for Hurricane Irene, on Aug. 27. (Andy Newman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  115. Abandoned beachfront houses are surrounded by rising water from Hurricane Irene in Nags Head, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Gerry Broome / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  116. A pedestrian crosses an open area as Hurricane Irene passes through Wrightsville Beach, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Randall Hill / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  117. Roman Alvarez, left, and Bob Alvarez use plywood to secure a business against the winds of Hurricane Irene on Aug. 27, in Southhampton, N.Y. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  118. Rhiannon Shaw, 9, tries to stay warm while checking out the beach with friends as Hurricane Irene passes through Wrightsville Beach, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Randall Hill / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  119. Waves crash into Avalon Pier as Hurricane Irene strikes the Outer Banks in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., on Aug. 27. (Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  120. Pawleys Island police closed the North Causeway to Pawleys Island as the marshes filled with water at high tide, forming white caps and began crossing the road on Aug. 26 in Pawleys Island, S.C. (Steve Jessmore / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  121. Milk refrigerators sit almost empty at a Target store as New Yorkers stock up on supplies in preparation for Hurricane Irene in Queens, New York on Aug. 26. (Andrew Gombert / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  122. Traffic backs up at The Washout at Folly Beach as people come out to watch the waves created by Hurricane Irene and cheer on the few surfers that came out on Aug. 26 in Folly Beach, S.C. (Sarah Bates / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  123. Boaters brave the waves and wind caused by Hurricane Irene at the Morris Island light house on Aug. 26 in Folly Beach, S.C. (Sarah Bates / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  124. People crowd a Whole Foods store in Manhattan before the arrival of Hurricane Irene in New York City on Aug. 26. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  125. Heading out before Hurricane Irene arrives, people line up on Aug. 26, for a ferry leaving the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. (Cj Gunther / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  126. People crowd an outdoor supply store in New York City on Aug. 26. The store had already sold out of batteries and flashlights. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  127. Cars pack the westbound lanes of the Atlantic City Expressway on Aug. 26, as thousands of people evacuate the barrier islands along the southern New Jersey coastline ahead of Hurricane Irene. (Tom Mihalek / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  128. An 83-year-old gets help finding a taxi in New York City on Aug. 26 after she and some 400 others were discharged or moved from a hospital in a low-lying area due to Irene. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  129. Travellers wait in line for Metro North tickets at New York's Grand Central Station on Aug. 26. (Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  130. Beachgoers walk against the wind as Hurricane Irene begins to pound Atlantic Beach, N.C., on Aug. 26. (Steve Nesius / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  131. A worker boards up a "Ripleys Believe it or Not!" located on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Md., on Aug. 26. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  132. Nursing home residents are evacuated in Barco, N.C., on Aug. 26. (Jim R. Bounds / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  133. Traffic northbound on Garden State Parkway near Ocean View, N.J., was backed up on Aug. 26. (Mel Evans / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  134. A shopper passes by empty shelves while looking for bottled water at a store at Rockaway Beach in New York on Aug. 26. (Allison Joyce / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  135. Ambulances wait to transfer patients out of Coney Island Hospital as evacuations began in low-lying parts of New York on Aug. 26. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  136. A surfboard provides protection from wind gusts of 50 mph on Folly Beach, S.C., on Aug. 26. (Richard Ellis / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  137. Customers stand in line outside a Home Depot in Springfield, N.J., on Aug. 26. More than 50 people put their names on a wait list for a rumored shipment of generators. (John Makely / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  138. A lifeguard stand is removed along a beach in Atlantic City, N.J., on Aug. 25, ahead of Hurricane Irene. (Danny Drake / The Press of Atlantic City via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  139. A message is left for Hurricane Irene on one house, as a resident boards up another on Aug. 25 in Nags Head, N.C. (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  140. A high hazard warning flag for dangerous rip currents is raised on Aug. 25 at Tybee Island, Ga. (Stephen Morton / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  141. Ismael Ramirez, right, fastens a plywood board to a house an Ortley Beach, N.J., while his brother Jorge Ramirez measures the next board. The handymen are boarding up the house for a New Jersey Shore resident in preparation for Hurricane Irene on Aug. 25. Gov. Chris Christie asked New Jersey shore visitors to get out by midday Friday because the hurricane is poised to be a "serious, significant event" with possible flooding across the entire state. (Julio Cortez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  142. Cory Ritz braces himself as a wave bursts onto a pier on Aug. 25 in Boynton Beach, Fla. Irene caused high surf along the Florida coast. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  143. Workers at Alligator River Growers harvest corn in Engelhard, N.C., on Aug. 25, in advance of Hurricane Irene as it threatens to make landfall in North Carolina. The storm's winds and torrential rains could mean devastating losses for those who grow corn, cotton, soybeans, tobacco and timber. (Gerry Broome / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  144. Shoppers stock up on water from rapidly emptying shelves at a grocery store in Far Rockaway in New York on Aug. 25. Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged New York City residents living in low-lying areas to line up a place to stay on high ground ahead of a possible evacuation this weekend. (Seth Wenig / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  145. Winds from Hurricane Irene whip through Nassau, Bahamas, on Aug. 25. The center of the storm stayed offshore but still downed trees and caused power outages. (Lynne Sladkybahma / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  146. Heeding the mandatory visitor evacuation, the Wyn family of Cleona, Pa., pack up at their rented beach house in Nags Head, N.C., on Aug. 25. (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  147. Tugboats help Navy guided missile destroyers, the Jason Dunham, left, and the the Winston Churchill, leave the Norfolk Naval Station on Aug. 25. as Hurricane Irene approaches. The U.S. Navy ordered more than 60 ships out to safer waters so they could better weather the storm. (Bill Tiernan / The Virginian Pilot via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  148. Trees downed by Hurricane Irene block a road in Nassau, Bahamas, on Aug. 25. (Lynne Sladky / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  149. Residents of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, on Aug. 24 look at damage left by Irene along the Nigua River. At least three people were killed and more than 37.000 people were evacuated in the country due to the heavy rains caused by the hurricane earlier in the week. (Orlando Barría / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  150. Residents search for belongings amid debris in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, on Aug. 24. (Roberto Guzman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Getty Images

    Jenna Bush Hager, celebs remember Oscar de la Renta with adoration

    10/21/2014 1:36:20 PM +00:00 2014-10-21T13:36:20
  1. Car owners warned about exploding air bags

    video The federal government is urging nearly 5 million people to get the air bags in their cars repaired because they pose a potentially deadly risk in the event of an accident. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

    10/21/2014 11:36:09 AM +00:00 2014-10-21T11:36:09
  1. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

    Kate's back! Duchess Kate appears for first time since pregnancy news

    10/21/2014 11:57:43 AM +00:00 2014-10-21T11:57:43
  1. TODAY

    Keanu Reeves reveals secret to doing stunts at 50

    10/21/2014 2:27:33 PM +00:00 2014-10-21T14:27:33