Still without power? Here's what you need to know
Irene damaged power lines in Hampton Bays, New York, and left millions of people without power across the East Coast.
September 1st, 2011
11:58 AM ET

Still without power? Here's what you need to know

More than 1.7 million customers remained without electricity Wednesday from North Carolina to Maine as a result of Irene's wrath, the U.S. Department of Energy said.

As residents who are battling flooding and power outages enter another day without power, concerns about how they can stay connected and what they can eat and drink are becoming more of an issue.

If you haven't prepared a kit or stocked up with the appropriate foods, this is the time when things can start to get a little tricky.

So, what do you need to keep in mind during the power outage?

The big three things to focus on, according to the Red Cross, are your food, any electrical equipment, generators and being aware of carbon monoxide. Here are some tips from the FDA, USDA, CDC and The Red Cross on what to do.

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September 1st, 2011
07:36 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

Hurricane Irene may have come and gone, but the recovery process continues for many.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of Irene's aftermath.

Today's programming highlights...

8:00 am ET - Race to 2012: Huntsman in New Hampshire - GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman addresses a "politics and eggs" breakfast in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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Filed under: Elections • Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Tropical weather
August 31st, 2011
12:35 PM ET

Popular teacher, public servant, rescuer, Holocaust survivor among Irene's dead

One of the first U.S. casualties from Hurricane Irene, which killed 43 people, was a popular Florida teacher who suffered a fatal head injury Saturday when a big wave knocked him down.

Frederick Fernandez, 55, an algebra teacher at New Smyrna Beach High School, was known as a skilled surfer, according to CNN affiliate WESH. Although the brunt of the storm missed Florida by hundreds of miles, it stirred up high surf that brought many, including Fernandez, out to the beach.

Fernandez was standing in shallow water when a large wave bowled him over and slammed his head against the compacted sand, WESH reported.

Principal Jim Tager couldn't bring himself to speak of Fernandez in the past tense.

"He's just well-respected," he told WESH. "The family is well-respected. They are from our community, and it hurts. I hope it brings us all closer together, and he is just a fine man, and I know many of us wish we could be just like him."

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Filed under: Connecticut • Flooding • Hurricane Irene • New Jersey • New York • North Carolina • U.S. • Vermont • Weather
Irene sweeps along East Coast
August 31st, 2011
12:16 PM ET

Irene sure to join billion-dollar disaster club

Hurricane Irene almost certainly has roared into 2011's list of billion-dollar U.S. disasters in a big way.

Click the player to hear CNN Radio break them down, one by one:


You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Hurricane Irene • Natural Disasters • Tornadoes • U.S. • Weather
August 31st, 2011
09:23 AM ET

States struggle with Irene aftermath as floodwaters surge

Despite sunny skies, flood warnings remained in effect Wednesday for areas of several states hard-hit by Hurricane Irene, as authorities struggled to clean up and rebuild roads and bridges in the aftermath of the storm.

"Nobody that got hit with this flooding dodged a bullet," Craig Fugate, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, said Wednesday. "Loss of life, extensive damages, homes flooded ... it may not have been as big a deal on the coast, but these flood areas definitely got hit hard."

Irene killed 43 people from Florida to New England as it marched up the Eastern Seaboard over the weekend, dumping torrential rains. Some of the worst flooding struck Vermont, New Jersey and upstate New York.

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Filed under: Hurricane Irene • Weather
On the Radar: Atlantic storms, Libya and Petraeus' promotion
Route 107 is seen destroyed after floodwaters receded Tuesday in Bethel, Vermont.
August 31st, 2011
08:34 AM ET

On the Radar: Atlantic storms, Libya and Petraeus' promotion

Irene recovery under way as Katia forms - States in the Northeast - particularly Vermont, New Jersey and New York, which saw the worst of Irene's wrath - were struggling with basic recovery efforts: rebuilding roads and bridges, restoring power and stemming the flow of floodwaters after Hurricane Irene struck this weekend. The Passaic River in northern New Jersey was still making the town of Little Falls look more like Niagara Falls. A resident in Montclair said the Passaic was high before Irene, but after the hurricane's rains, "the river began to rage."

One Vermont town hit hard by Irene decided to look for a silver lining. Some Pittsfield residents - there are only 427 of them in all - decided to throw a barbecue. Homes were underwater and roads were impassable, but they nonetheless gathered at a local park for hot dogs and hamburgers. Said Jason Evans, owner of the ski town's Clear River Tavern, "No one in this town was expecting the flooding to be what it was, and we've all gotta eat."

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Katia was strengthening in the Atlantic Ocean and threatening to become a hurricane by Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said. Early Wednesday, the storm was almost 1,000 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, moving west-northwest at 21 mph. Katia could grow into a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph by Saturday evening, forecasters said. It is too early to say if or when the storm will make landfall.

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Filed under: District of Columbia • Hurricane Irene • Hurricane Katrina • Hurricanes • Libya • Military • Natural Disasters • New Jersey • New York • Pentagon • Tropical weather • U.S. • Vermont • Weather • World
August 31st, 2011
07:46 AM ET

Wednesday's live video events

Hurricane Irene may have come and gone, but those that felt its wrath are still picking up the pieces.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of Irene's aftermath.

Today's programming highlights...

10:35 am ET - Obama pitches transportation legislation - President Obama will call on Congress to extend the Surface Transportation Bill and FAA reauthorization during an event at the White House.

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Filed under: Flooding • Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Tropical weather • Weather
Picking up the pieces - and making money - after Irene
Dragoneitti Landscaping and Tree Removal took care of fallen trees at the Wyckoff Gardens housing development in Brooklyn this week.
August 30th, 2011
10:23 PM ET

Picking up the pieces - and making money - after Irene

Irene’s winds uprooted thousands of trees in and around New York on Sunday, leaving plenty of debris to clean up this week. Fallen branches littered communities for hundreds of miles around. At least 2,000 trees were downed in New York City, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“Let me remind New Yorkers: It really is a bad idea to cut down or remove trees yourself. Leave it to the professionals,” the mayor said during Monday morning’s update on the storm cleanup.

One of those professionals is Anthony Dragonetti. He and his family own Dragonetti Brothers, a landscaping and tree removal business in the city. Shortly after the storm had passed, Dragonetti was cleaning up the mess in Brooklyn, New York.

“Every tree that’s leaning down or down on the floor, we’re cutting it up, putting it in the chipper and getting out of here,” Dragonetti said. He expected to be busy for a few weeks. “There’s a lot of downed trees, downed trees all over the place,” he said.

Dragonetti’s services don’t come free of charge. There is money to be made in storm cleanup. An informal survey of several landscaping business found that the going rate for the removal of a small tree lying in a front yard is a few hundred dollars. But the bill can increase dramatically. If a very large, old tree fell through the back wall of a home, and it’s not easily accessible, that’s a more complicated job. A crane would need to be called in, and a crew would have to work slowly to not cause any more damage. A job like that can cost up to $5,000.

Click the audio player to hear the rest of the story:


You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

Irene update: Death toll at 43; 2.85 million still without power
Hurricane Irene unleashed floodwaters in Shelburne, Massachusetts.
August 30th, 2011
06:42 PM ET

Irene update: Death toll at 43; 2.85 million still without power

[Updated at 6:42 p.m. ET] The death toll from Hurricane Irene stands at 43 across 12 states, with officials in New Hampshire reporting a death linked to the storm.

Here is a state-by-state tally of the deaths:

New York - 8
New Jersey - 7
North Carolina - 6
Pennsylvania - 5
Virginia - 4
Vermont - 3
Connecticut - 2
Delaware - 2
Maryland - 2
Florida - 2
Massachusetts - 1
New Hampshire - 1

Authorities are trying to determine whether an additional death reported in New York is connected to the storm.

Read details of the deaths.

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Filed under: Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Massachusetts • Tropical weather
Outer Banks highway faces extensive, costly repairs - again
Hurricane Irene breached North Carolina Highway 12, cutting off road access to Hatteras Island.
August 30th, 2011
11:24 AM ET

Outer Banks highway faces extensive, costly repairs - again

Hurricane Irene severed North Carolina Highway 12, the route that connects the islands of the Outer Banks, in four places, raising questions about how many times taxpayers will have to pony up to fix the roadway.

In 2003, Hurricane Isabel cut a gap in the road that took two months and $5 million to fix, according to a report in the Raleigh News & Observer. This time, the damage to the road is worse, officials said.

(See a North Carolina Department of Transportation map of the breaches.)

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue told CNN affiliate WRAL-TV that two of the breaches are bigger than what has been seen before and that the surf is continuing to erode them.

One of the four breaches presents a particular problem, CNN affiliate WAVY-TV reported. It is a gap about 250 feet wide in which the foundation of the road has been washed away, meaning repairs will be more extensive.

But Perdue says no matter how bad the damage, the road will be repaired.

"There are going to be those from across the country saying, 'Why are (you) investing in that road again?' " she is quoted as saying by CNN affiliate WRAL-TV. "Until we can find a better way to move on and off (the islands), they are North Carolina citizens, they pay taxes and they have got to have a highway, road or bridge to travel on the same as the rest of us."

Then expect to be paying for repairs frequently, East Carolina University geology professor Stanley R. Riggs tells the News & Observer.

"If we get one or two more of these (storms) in September and October, you're going to have a whole bunch of holes in the Outer Banks out there," the paper quotes him as saying.

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Filed under: Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • North Carolina • Tropical weather • Weather
August 30th, 2011
11:23 AM ET

How Irene's forecast missed the mark and why it could happen again

They know they missed it. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say when it comes to the strength of Hurricane Irene as it approached North Carolina, they know they were off. Way off.

“At least in the guidance we were looking at there was no indication of anything that would cause the storm to weaken. So, we thought we would have a Category 3 at landfall,” said Bill Read, the director of the Hurricane Center. Irene came in at a Category 1, the weakest. Read said there’s good reason they were so far off.

The science of forecasting how strong or weak a storm will become is simply not very good. With Irene, forecasters say they weren’t even as good as their five-year average.

“Every storm comes up with a surprise,” Read said. “In this case it was one where it went downhill. Charlie a few years ago is one that went uphill. Neither case did we see that coming, and that’s my measure of the fact that we have a long way to go.”

Bill Read, of the National Hurricane Center, talks about the difficulty of predicting hurricanes.

Hurricane forecasters say they want to get it right all the time. But if you are going to be wrong, they say it's better to be wrong in weakening storms like Irene.

“I’d say a bigger worry than one weakening at landfall is the ’35 hurricane that came through the Keys," Read said. "Charlie if it’s a little bigger. Audrey in 1957. Get the picture?”

In all of these cases, the storms rapidly intensified as they neared the coastline. By then, it’s too late to order massive evacuations.

CNN's severe weather expert Chad Meyers said when Hurricane Irene smashed into the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the contact weakened the storm.

So, forecasters had the path right, but the impact of landfall changed what the amount of destruction would be in some areas. Wind shear helped knock down velocity, and unexpected dry air sucked some of the power out of the storm.

"It literally knocked the stuffing out of the eye," Myers said. "It never got its mojo back."

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Filed under: Flooding • Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Weather
August 30th, 2011
07:39 AM ET

Tuesday's live video events

Hurricane Irene may have come and gone, but residents up and down the East Coast continue to clean up from the storm.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of Irene's aftermath.

Today's programming highlights...

8:00 am ET - NATO briefing on Libya - NATO officials will brief reporters on the ongoing situation in strife-torn Libya.

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Filed under: Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Libya • Tropical weather • Weather
On the Radar: Vermont flooding, Obama speech, Japan leader
As many as six covered bridges have been destroyed in the Vermont flooding.
August 30th, 2011
05:57 AM ET

On the Radar: Vermont flooding, Obama speech, Japan leader

Three things you need to know today.

Vermont flooding: Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate plans to tour flood-damaged communities in Vermont on Tuesday.

Rain from Hurricane Irene spawned raging floodwaters that washed out or otherwise damaged 263 roads and bridges, Gov. Peter Shumlin said. Hundreds of people remained trapped in communities, he said Monday.

"It's just devastating," Shumlin said. "Whole communities under water, businesses, homes, obviously roads and bridges, rail transportation infrastructure," he said. "We're tough folks up here but Irene ... really hit us hard."

Obama to address vets: President Obama travels to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, on Tuesday to speak at the 93rd American Legion National Convention.

Mostly veterans are expected to be in attendance at the Minneapolis Convention Center event.

As the president continues to push his economic recovery message, a senior administration official told CNN “I am sure a good chunk of it [speech] will be about how service members and their families have been impacted by the economy.”

New Japanese PM: Japan's parliament elected Yoshihiko Noda as the country's new prime minister Tuesday, making him the country's sixth new leader in five years.

Noda won 308 out of 476 possible votes.

The prime minister-elect will officially take over his new post after a ceremonial endorsement by Japan's emperor, which is expected to happen Wednesday.

Ahead of the vote, former Prime Minister Naoto Kan officially submitted his resignation, as did his Cabinet, clearing the way for Noda's election.

 

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Japan • Politics • Tropical weather • Vermont • Weather
Irene death toll in U.S. hits 27
Signs stick out of a submerged neighborhood Monday in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey.
August 29th, 2011
10:20 PM ET

Irene death toll in U.S. hits 27

Flooding emerged as a major concern Monday for states hit by Irene, which hit the East Coast as a hurricane and then a tropical storm over three days.

Even as Irene weakened to a tropical storm, authorities warned that its impact was not waning, especially in Vermont.

"Many Americans are still at serious risk of power outages and flooding, which could get worse in coming days as rivers swell past their banks," President Barack Obama said Sunday, adding: "The recovery effort will last for weeks or longer."

Officials said the storm had knocked out power to more than 4 million people and was responsible for at least 27 deaths.

Check out our Open Story, read the full CNN Wire story and follow the latest developments here:

[Updated at 10:20 p.m.] Personnel in a state police helicopter on Monday rescued 21 people who had been stranded by post-Irene floodwaters in a Prattsville, New York, house, a local official said.

The group was stranded at a house that was cut off when all the bridges near it were washed out after torrential rains flooded homes and businesses and left the Catskill Mountains town of Prattsville largely cut off from the outside world.

Emergency workers rescued 87 people from the Prattsville area a day earlier, including 25 people who were stranded at a motel for hours after 70 mph wind gusts grounded aircraft.

[Updated at 7:32 p.m.] Vermont's governor warns that further flooding and loss of life related to Irene are likely for his state. Although small brooks have crested, large rivers have not, he said.

"It's just devastating," Gov. Peter Shumlin said. "Whole communities under water, businesses, homes, obviously roads and bridges, rail transportation infrastructure. We've lost farmers' crops," he said. "We're tough folks up here but Irene ... really hit us hard."

Three people are reported to have died in Vermont as a result of the storm. The nation's death toll from Irene is at 27.

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Monday's live video events
GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman will speak to the media in South Carolina
August 29th, 2011
07:51 AM ET

Monday's live video events

Hurricane Irene may have come and gone, but residents up and down the U.S. East Coast must now deal with the storm's aftermath.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of Irene's aftermath.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - International space station briefing - The international space station program manager will update the status of the station following last week’s failure of a Russian cargo vehicle to reach orbit.

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Filed under: Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Tropical weather • Weather
CNN on the ground: Water spills into N.Y.; N.C. resident has 'never seen it this bad'
Floodwaters surrounds a home as storm surge from Irene hits Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.
August 28th, 2011
07:14 PM ET

CNN on the ground: Water spills into N.Y.; N.C. resident has 'never seen it this bad'

Editor's Note: CNN has reporters up and down the East Coast to cover Hurricane Irene. We'll be providing updates throughout the day on the scenes they are coming across and the people they talk to.

[Updated 7:14 p.m. Sunday]

(Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina) What a difference a day makes.

CNN's David Mattingly reported Saturday from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina,a couple miles northeast of Kill Devil Hills.

Yesterday, sand and rain were blowing so hard on the Outer Banks of North Carolina that it made my skin burn. Today, I run a big risk of a SUN burn.

I've always seen this as an irony of nature the day after a hurricane is almost always beautiful, with clear skies and gentle breezes. It is a sharp contrast to the damage that has been left behind and the daunting tasks of clean-up and repair.

-CNN's David Mattingly

[Updated 5:29 p.m. Sunday]

(Avon, North Carolina) The following pictures, which I took while aboard a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter this morning with Rear Admiral William Lee, show flooding and road damage along the Outer Banks of North Carolina - including breaks in state Highway 12, which has stranded people on Hatteras Island.

The storm broke parts of North Carolina's Highway 12 on Hatteras Island, photos taken Sunday morning show.

The breaks, north of Rodanthe, have effectively cut off Hatteras Island from the mainland, Lee told CNN on Sunday. About 2,500 people were stranded Sunday on Hatteras Island, Dare County officials said.

About 2,500 people were stranded Sunday on North Carolina's Hatteras Island because of breaks in Highway 12, Dare County officials said.

An emergency ferry Monday will provide assistance to people on the island, who chose to ride out the storm there despite mandatory evacuation orders, officials said.

We were in the helicopter for five hours, departing Charlotte, North Carolina, at 6:30 a.m. We traveled along the coast from the Outer Banks to Port Smith, Virginia. The most serious damage was in the Outer Banks, including Hatteras Island, and in and around North Carolina's Dare County.

-CNN producer Brian Rokus and The CNN Wire

[Updated 4:33 p.m. Sunday]

(Washington) As the last bands of Hurricane Irene passed over Washington on Sunday, residents re-emerged on the streets, ready to return to their daily lives.

The Dupont Circle farmers market in Washington was open Sunday.

Farmers markets in Georgetown, Eastern Market and Dupont Circle opened as planned with a few less vendors. Standing among her farm-ripe peaches, apples and nectarines, Emily Zaas said she knew on Saturday night that she would be selling on Sunday in Dupont Circle.

“Today we have white peaches, white nectarines… three kinds of sweet plums and six kinds of apples and not bringing them is just not an option,” said Zaas.

And there were plenty of people buying. Through light showers, Chloe Holderness and her family perused the brightly colored produce. Holderness’ said her daughter was “antsy” and wanted to be outside, rain or shine.

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August 28th, 2011
01:41 AM ET

Live blog: Death toll now at 20; Irene no longer tropical storm

Flooding emerged as a major concern Sunday for states hit by Irene, which hit the East Coast as a hurricane and then a tropical storm over three days.

Even as Irene weakened to a tropical storm, authorities warned that its impact was not waning, especially in Vermont.

"Many Americans are still at serious risk of power outages and flooding, which could get worse in coming days as rivers swell past their banks," President Barack Obama said Sunday, adding: "The recovery effort will last for weeks or longer."

Officials said the storm had knocked out power to more than 4 million people and was responsible for at least 20 deaths.

Check out our Open Story, read the full CNN Wire story and follow the latest developments here:

[Update 11:11 p.m. Sunday] Emergency officials said at least 20 people across the United States have died as a result of Hurricane Irene .

[Update 11:09 p.m. Sunday] The body of woman who apparently drowned after either falling or being swept into a storm swollen creek was recovered Sunday near New Scotland, New York State Police said. The woman's body was pulled from Onesquethaw Creek about 4:30 p.m., police said. The identity of the woman was not immediately released, though police said that a New Scotland man reported his wife missing about noon. She was last seen near the creek.

[Update 11:08 p.m. Sunday] Irene ceased being a tropical storm late Sunday as it swirled near the U.S.-Canadian border, the National Hurricane Center reported.  Despite losing its tropical characteristics, the storm continued to kick out sustained winds of 50 mph about 50 miles north of Berlin, New Hampshire.

[Update 8:41 p.m. Sunday] More details about flooding concerns in Vermont's capital, Montpelier: Jill Remick, from the state's emergency management division, said water in the area where multiple rivers converge could rise as high as 20 feet, above the 17.5 feet that led to substantial flooding in May in Montpelier.

See how other states are faring in this state-by-state list of Irene developments.

[Update 8:30 p.m. Sunday] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he erroneously reported that a firefighter died during an attempted water rescue in Princeton. He said he was provided erroneous information and apologized, saying the firefighter was in intensive care.

This lowers a count of U.S. deaths reported to be linked to Irene to at least 18 in seven states.

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August 27th, 2011
08:04 PM ET

Tough lessons from 1938's Long Island Express reverberate today


Though they are rare, this is not the Northeast's first time dealing with a hurricane.

On September 21, 1938, a hurricane, later to be known as the Long Island Express, came roaring up the Eastern Seaboard over Long Island and through parts of New England with a fury beyond any coastal storm in the memory of the people living there.

According to the U.S. Weather Service, it had already been raining for days ahead of the storm and the tide was near its highest point when the storm made landfall.  The effect of the storm surge was devastating, the destruction of property immense and the loss of life severe.

Where it hit, the storm took most residents by surprise.  No early warning came telling them to get out of the way.  No substantial preparations to structures had been made.

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Filed under: Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Weather
Gotta Watch: Hurricane Irene
A satellite NOAA image of Hurricane Irene on Saturday, August 27, 2011.
August 27th, 2011
03:39 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene made landfall off the coast of North Carolina early Saturday morning. With a cloud field more than 800 miles wide and maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, the storm is massive. Despite being downgraded to a category 1 hurricane, Irene is still a force to be reckoned with, bringing heavy flooding and damaging winds as it continues its path up the eastern seaboard from Virginia to Maine. Today, you've gotta watch the most dramatic video of Hurricane Irene.

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Filed under: Gotta Watch • Hurricane Irene • Hurricanes • Natural Disasters • Nature • U.S. • Weather