Irene moves to Canada, US suffers $7b damages


The remnants of Irene reached Canada on Monday after barreling through the northeastern United States where the storm claimed at least 18 lives and caused estimated economic damage of up to $7 billion. Millions of people were without power along the East Coast after the huge storm – now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone – passed over the Big Apple and headed for Canada.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre warned late on Sunday of a “major river flooding occurring in parts of the northeast”, after US President Barack Obama cautioned that recovery efforts would last for “weeks or longer”. “I want people to understand that this is not over,” Obama said in a short statement in the White House Rose Garden.
“I do want to underscore that the impacts of this storm will be felt for some time… Power may be out for days in some areas.”
The governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin, said his state was in “tough shape” while New York state’s Andrew Cuomo warned of “tremendous flooding” in the Catskill Mountain area north of Manhattan. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie said roads and rails were “impassable” in some areas, and much of the state had seen “significant flooding”. Localised flooding occurred in the south and east of Manhattan, with more serious incidents in Brooklyn, where the famed Coney Island amusement park took a battering and outlying beaches were swamped.
There was heavy flooding along the low-lying south shore of Long Island where high tides, rain and ocean surge drove waves right up against expensive beach houses. Floods were also reported far inland after torrential rain. At least 18 deaths were blamed on the storm, which first slammed into North Carolina on Saturday as a Category One hurricane, before turning north up the coast and weakening.