Hurricane Irene loses steam, heads north

Added by on August 29, 2011

Map of Hurricane Irene’s path / NOAA

Hurricane Irene left New York and surrounding areas well enough to allow its infrastructure and population to resume most of their regular routines on Monday.

US markets opened on time, and most commuter trains were running, and New York’s subway system was in full operation since it escaped without flooding. Rail service from New Jersey and from the north are currently not servicing New York as cleanup operations continue. All airports around the city were opened and flight schedules are expected to normalize throughout the week.

Parts of New York state, New Jersey and Vermont are dealing with flood conditions and rapidly rising water levels. New Jersey’s rivers are expected to reach peak levels during the next 48 hours; Vermont’s waterways are overflowing with about 50 000 people without power.

Hurricane Irene claimed about 11 lives and had about 4m people without electricity at one point. The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression just as it reached the densely populated areas around New York city.

The remnants of the storm brought strong winds and knocked out power to thousands of residents in several provinces in Canada’s maritime provinces and province of Quebec.

Wind warnings of up to 100km/hr were issued in many areas and were lifted by mid-morning local time (about 4pm GMT/UTC). Outside of power outages, officials say most issues resulted in inconveniences such as limitations on vehicles that are currently allowed to cross Canada’s Confederation Bridge between the provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Former Hurricane Irene, now a post-tropical storm is quickly dissipating and has left the Canadian east coast. Tropical storm Jose briefly affected Bermuda and quickly dissipated. The next storm that could cause a threat to the Caribbean islands and potentially North America’s east coast, currently called Tropical Depression 12, is located near the Cape Verde islands and may be called Katia if it continues to develop.