Hurricane Irene weakened to a below Category 2 storm on Sunday, leaving several states along the Unites States East Coast calculating real and potential economic loses. The storm’s path moved north to Canada but its devastating power is not expected to cause major damages in Quebec and other Canadian provinces. At the meantime, Americans suffer from power shortages and floods while the number of dead and missing people is still not officially confirmed.
North Carolina was the first state that was hit by the storm and six people are reported dead after Irene cut off wires and induced floods throughout the state. Over 200 roads and 21 bridges were closed by state authorities due to damages caused by Irene and about 2,500 people were isolated on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks during the weekend.
Three people are missing and one is declared dead in Connecticut, State Governor Dan Malloy said. No extensive damage was left behind Irene but power outages are widespread, he added.
In Pennsylvania, the Hurricane Irene took four lives and caused power stoppages and high waters but Philadelphia and other cities in the state escaped great damages.
Four people died in Virginia by falling trees, Governor Bob McDonnell told journalists. The state witnessed downed power lines and lots of debris that is still on the streets.Flooding and power outages hit Delaware but overall the state was not hit hard by Irene, Governor Jack Markell said. Parts of the state are still isolated and inaccessible, following the heavy floods, he added.
Washington, D.C. suffered only minor damages with local people witnessing only downed trees and power lines and no injuries to people have been reported by the authorities. The state of Maryland was hit by heavy rains and at least one person was reported dead. In Calvert Cliffs, a nuclear power reactor automatically switched off in an accident caused by the Hurricane Irene.
Another person was reported dead in accidents related to the storm in New Jersey while the state is heavily flooded by rains caused by Irene. The state evacuated over a million people in an operation that saved lives, Governor Chris Christie commented. Floods remain the main danger in the state, he added.
A windsurfer died in New York and possible flooding is expected, according to NYC authorities, but the markets opened on Monday and all transport lines are working.
Overall, the United States escaped heavy damages from Hurricane Irene and avoided the worst scenario that includes damages worth billions of dollars.