Video: Bloomberg: 'Remain inside'

  1. Closed captioning of: Bloomberg: 'Remain inside'

    >> mayor bloomberg , new york city with the latest.

    >> the edge of the hurricane is finally upon us and conditions are expected to deteriorate rapidly. according to the national weather service , tropical winds can be expected from this point forward. a tornado watch , just to make life more complex, is in the five burrough, nassau, westchester and rockaway. the conditions make it unsafe to stay outside. let me just repeat that. the time for evacuation is over. everyone should now go inside and be prepared to stay inside until weather conditions improve, which won't likely be until sunday afternoon. but we will get through this next 24 hours , i assure you. the city has taken exhaustive steps to prepare for whatever comes our way and the very best first responders are going to work nonstop through the night to make sure that we get through this night as safely as possible. i'm joined by our fire commissioner, sal cosano, police commissioner ray kelley and office of emergency management commissioner joe bruno . we have prepared for this, we've worked very hard. we've warned the public, and now we have to deal with what comes from mother nature . your safety, your own safety is dependent on what you do. new yorkers should now remain indoors and take the following steps. first, move away as far as possible from glass windows. there's a risk that flying can he brie could break and shatter windows in your home. the risk increases if you live in a high-rise particularly on the tenth floor or higher. don't stay on the first floor of your building lobby and stand in a conjugated area in glass enclosed lobby. make sure windows and doors leading to the outside are closed, if you have a fire place in your home please close the damper, turn off propane tanks and move to a room with as few windows as possible and ride out the storm there. let me summarize briefly in spanish. [ speaking in spanish ] there's a good example of why we need to heed your instructions that i want to give you, at about 7:00 p.m . this evening, the nypd received a 9/11 call reporting two kayakers who entered the surf off of staten island capsized and were floundering in high seas . why they were out there in spite of all the warnings i don't know, but the fact of the matter is they were there and the nypd harbor officers had to put their lives on the line to save these people. they responded and searched the waters and miraculously spotted the two who had been kept afloat for more than half an hour by their life jackets . they were rescued and i'm happy to say they are okay, when they were brought ashore the two were given summonses, this was clearly one of those reckless acts that have also diverted badly nypd resources, so please excuse -- please exercise good judgment if you're going ahead here. you're putting your own lives in danger, also putting lives in danger of the first responders, and i think this shows just how seriously this storm is, and at this point people need to stay insi inside. this is a different message than we tried to give before. the message before was please leave those dangerous areas. come to the shelter or go to visit family and friends. the time for that i think has passed. now the time is to focus on what to do, where you are, given the weather that is with us today. now there's a chance that con ed will be forced to shut down parts of the grid if the flooding is severe. i think everyone should be prepared for that possibility when they wake up in the morning. to prepare for that particularly if you live in high-rises where the water is pumped up by pumps that depend upon electricity, it means filling your bathtubs and sinks with water which you can later use for washing or flushing toilets. put together supplies you will need if the power goes out, food, drinking water , medicine and flashlights. if you don't have a flashlight and decide to use candles, please , please exercise the utmost caution. candles are a fire hazard and can be knocked over easily. keep an eye on them and don't leave them unattended. and remember to charge your phones and any mobile devices you may need. if the power goes out call 311 or text 311 at 311-692, which is incidentally 311-nyc and that will help us identify the areas without power. 311 is where you should go. 911 should be used only for emergencies. if it's not an emergency, please , do not tie up the 911 services. the 911 services are for the most important life-threatening emergencies. once again, for updates throughout the storm, you can visit nyc.gov or follow follow @ncymayors office or or @notifynyc on twitter. i don't think it matters if you're at a shelter tonight, staying in your home or friends and family, we are all together in this. i want to thank all of the volunteers who came out tonight to help their fellow new yorkers, particularly the volunteers staffing the evacuation centers and i'm grateful to our fire police first responders and other city employees who have given their all and a big thanks to the taxi drivers, delivery drivers, bus companies and others who answered our call and helped transport some of our most vulnerable neighbors to safety. as we've seen so many times before this emergency is really bringing out the best of new yorkers so have a safe night, look out for one another, and we will update you again tomorrow morning . the bottom line is the storm is now finally hitting new york city . the winds will increase. the rain will increase, and the tidal surge will increase particularly in the morning. tomorrow morning , when you wake up, whatever the conditions are, please , stay inside. too many things blow around, whether it's tree limbs blowing down or porch furniture being blown away , you're much better off staying inside and looking out. we will talk to you again tomorrow morning . we'll update you at that point in time, but i think what's really important here is that we understand, nature is a lot stronger than the rest of us. we'd be happy to take a question or two.

    >> reporter: mr. mayor, why wasn't reichers island evacuated?

    >> there was no reason. it is higher than the zone "a" areas and it's perfectly safe. yes?

    >> reporter: are there specific fire danger concerns?

    >> candles, for example, present a great danger, people light candles, the windows are open, the wind blows the curtain, the curtain catches on fire, that's what we worry about more than anything, that and the fact that in certain areas, we're not sure if there's enough tidal surge and the bridges are closed that we can get fire equipment to you. that's one of the reasons to evacuate all of the rockaways. yes, sir?

    >> reporter: i was wondering if the city is sure that everyone has been evacuated from the subway and there aren't any --

    >> we're not 100% sure. we've done the best job we can. keep in mind it's the mta that does that along with the nypd , done everything they possibly can. can i promise you there isn't somebody hiding someplace in there? the bottom line you shouldn't be living in the subways. we do everything we can to find the people and give them the support services they deserve but we don't think there's anybody in there. yes, miss?

    >> have you heard any reports of cab drivers or store owners that have been gouging people with prices?

    >> i'm sure there's one or two people but basically new yorkers don't do that kind of thing and i can't guarantee you that everybody doesn't, but that's not the new york way and that's not what i'd expect to find if i went out there.

    >> reporter: are the kayakers, did the harbor officers have to go into the water to rescue them in.

    >> no, they pulled them onto the boat.

    >> reporter: sorry if someone asked this, is there any call for hotels not to have their air conditioning on and not use their elevators? i heard a report some hotels --

    >> there are reports about everything, the last there's no reason why hotels shouldn't keep their air conditioning going and their elevators running. the problem with elevators is we're worried that if the power goes out, people will find themselves stuck in an elevator. the fire department has to respond, they go from floor to floor opening each door until they find where they are and get them out. during that time they're not available for more important things, life-threatening things so what we're trying to do is to get to other places where there is a chance of flooding stopping the functioning of the elevators to close down elevators. i know it's inconvenient, people have to take the stairs, some can't and they have to stay where they are but the alternative is worse. anything else?

    >> reporter: are you satisfied with the number of people evacuated? do you think the city could have done more?

    >> you know, i don't know. you can always do more but we certainly tried as much as we can to get out the message. we've had organizations like con ed who have offered their phone banks, their automated calls to call people and say please evacuate, the law requires you to do so. we've had as much press as we could possibly get to inform people. we've used the staffs of a variety of agencies to call people to do that, and yeah, i think most people have heard about it. whether they've chosen to do so, i don't know. the only place we really have good data is niger housing and 83 80% of the people left and other places 50%. many people have taken this very seriously and they should. yes, last question.

    >> reporter: you're saying even if people are living in low lying areas they should stay?

    >> given the fact that the rains and the winds are virtually upon us , they're heavy at this point, if you haven't evacuated, the suggestion would be you stay where you are but it's up to you but keep in mind there's no mass transit , when the rains are very heavy and it's dark outside, it's hard to get around, and the elevators are being shut down. at this point in time, you should have left earlier, but if you didn't, our advice would be, and you do it at your own risk, would be to stay where you are.

    >> reporter: you mentioned the nigah stats, the louanis houses, nobody told them --

    >> it's hard to believe there was a place we didn't tell everybody. we've went through great pains to tell everybody. there's always somebody that doesn't listen said oh they never told me. that's not fair. we'll see you in the morning and hopefully we'll get through this. it would be great if the storm isn't anywhere as severe as what is forecast. there certainly will be a tidal surge probably around k in the morning, hi around 8:00 in the morning, high tide . get a good night's sleep. please tomorrow morning no matter how tempting it is to say i was walking around during the storm, stay inside. that's the safest thing. there's too many things blowing around and that's really what we're worried about, people going into parks where branches come down, people walking the streets where there's a basket or something that gets blown away . people standing by a window that gets blown out, we just don't need that kind of stuff. we'd like to get through this with as minimal damage to human beings as possible and after that to property, but it's people's lives that we're really worried about. thank you.

NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 8/28/2011 4:34:09 AM ET 2011-08-28T08:34:09

Hurricane Irene bore down on a dark and quiet New York early Sunday, bringing winds, rapidly rising seawater and a tornado warning to parts of the city.

Just before 4 a.m. ET, the National Weather Service warned that tornadoes were a possibility in parts of greater New York City.  MSNBC TV advised residents of Brooklyn and Queens in particular to head the warning.

There had been tornado watches in effect until 5 a.m. Sunday for the New York City area, Long Island and New Jersey. The National Weather Service also issued a flood warning until noon on Sunday for the New York City area.

Forecasters said Irene will likely make landfall on Long Island as a Category 1 storm around 9 a.m.

Irene weakened after landfall over the North Carolina coast Saturday, but it was still a massive storm with sustained winds of up to 80 mph as it approached Manhattan. Even worse, Irene's fury could coincide with a tide that's higher than normal. Water levels were expected to rise as much as 8 feet.

Forecasters said there was a chance a storm surge on the fringes of Lower Manhattan could send seawater streaming into the maze of underground vaults that hold the city's cables and pipes, knocking out power to thousands and crippling the nation's financial capital. Officials' worst fear was water lapping at Wall Street, ground zero and the luxury high-rise apartments of Battery Park City.

Story: Hurricane Irene slams into New Jersey, shuts down NYC

In Times Square, shops boarded up windows and sandbags were stacked outside of stores. Construction at the World Trade Center site came to a standstill.

At a 10:30 p.m. press conference, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg advised people to stay inside and make preparations.Those in evacuation areas who hadn't yet left should probably stay there now due the darkness and growing storm, he added.

"No matter how tempting it is to say 'I was outside during the storm' ... stay inside," he said. "We'd like to get through this with as minimal damage to human beings as possible, and after that property, but it's human lives we are really worried about."

The mayor advised New Yorkers to stay away from windows and exercise good judgment. As an example, Bloomberg noted the rescue of two kayakers off of Staten Island by the NYPD earlier in the day. While the kayakers managed to stay afloat using their life preservers for a half hour and were later pulled onto a boat, Bloomberg cautioned for others not to make the same mistake.

"This was clearly one of those reckless acts that also diverts badly needed NYPD resources," he said.

The center of the storm was supposed to pass east of Manhattan about midmorning. The wind and rain wasn't to taper off until Sunday afternoon.

'Forget Bloomberg'
While Bloomberg had ordered more than 370,000 people out of low-lying areas, mostly in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, only 8,700 people checked-in to shelters and an untold number defied the order.

"Oh, forget Bloomberg. We ain't going anywhere," 60-year-old Evelyn Burrus said at a large public housing complex in Brooklyn. "Go to some shelter with a bunch of strangers and bedbugs? No way."

Many New Yorkers took the evacuation in stride. Some planned hurricane parties.

"We already have the wine and beer, and now we're getting the vodka," said Martin Murphy, a video artist who was shopping at a liquor store near Central Park with his girlfriend.

"If it lasts, we have dozens of movies ready, and we'll play charades and we're going to make cards that say, 'We survived Irene,'" he said.

Photo Blog: New York City readies snow plows for Hurricane Irene

Even some who followed the advice to evacuate found themselves in a fix. In nearby Hoboken, N.J., residents who had set-up in a city shelter were forced to evacuate to a second shelter at 11 p.m.

HobokenPatch.com reporter Claire Moses was on a bus full residents who had been holed up at a shelter set up at the Wallace Elementary School.

As the night wore on, city officials became concerned that the facility would not be safe from flooding, and decided to relocate the group to the Izod Center, a large sports arena in nearby Secaucus.

About 50 evacuees were loaded onto buses and were driving through the storm to the larger shelter when Moses spoke to msnbc.com. "It is orderly," she said. "Things are going smoothly and people are calm."

Earlier, the city had ordered all city residents living in first-floor apartments to evacuate, and recommended that other residents leave town.

"Hoboken faces worst case scenario," Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said via her Twitter account. "Flooding has begun. Moving Wallace shelter residents to state shelter in East Rutherford."

Public transport shuttered
All subway, bus and commuter rail service was shuttered so officials could get equipment safely away from flooding, downed trees or other damage. It was the first time the nation's biggest transit system has shut down because of a natural disaster.

Boilers and elevators also were shut down in public housing in evacuation areas to encourage tenants to leave and to prevent people from getting stuck in elevators if the power went out.

Some hotels also shut off their elevators and air conditioners. Others had generators ready to go.

At a shelter in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, public housing residents arrived with garbage bags filled with clothing; others pushed carts loaded with their belongings.

Tenants said management got them to leave by telling them the water and power would be shut off.

"For us, it's him," said Victor Valderrama, pointing to his 3-year-old son. "I didn't want to take a chance with my son."

Con Edison brought in hundreds of extra utility workers from around the country. While the foot of Manhattan is protected by a seawall and a network of pumps, Con Ed vice president John Mucci said the utility stood ready to turn off the power to about 17,000 people in the event of severe flooding.

Mucci said it could take up to three days to restore the power if the cables became drenched with saltwater, which can be particularly damaging. The subway system, which carries 5 million passengers on an average weekend, wasn't expected to restart until Monday at the earliest.

The New York Stock Exchange has backup generators and can run on its own, a spokesman said.

Con Ed also shut down about 10 miles of steam pipes underneath the city to prevent explosions if they came in contact with cold water. The shutdown affected 50 commercial and residential customers around the city who use the pipes for heat, hot water and air conditioning.

PhotoBlog: Grand Central Terminal is eerily calm before storm

High tides
As Irene passes by, tides are astronomically higher than usual. The phenomenon adds about a half a foot to high tides, said Stephen Gill, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The storm surge was likely to be as much as 4 to 8 feet.

More than 8.3 million people live in New York City, and nearly 29 million in the metropolitan area.

A hurricane warning was issued for the city for the first time since Gloria in September 1985. That storm blew ashore on Long Island with winds of 85 mph and caused millions of dollars in damage, along with one death in New York.

City police rescued two kayakers who capsized in the surf off Staten Island. They were found with their life jackets on, bobbing in the roiling water.

The area's three major airports — LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark Liberty — were closed. With the subways closed, many were left to hail taxis. To encourage cab-sharing and speed the evacuation, passengers were charged not by the mile but by how many different fare "zones" their trip crossed.

Image: Grand Central Terminal in New York City before Hurricane Irene hits.
Jonathan D. Woods  /  msnbc.com
Aside from Metro North Police and a handful of employees, Grand Central Terminal sits vacant, eerily quiet ahead of Hurricane Irene's landfall in New York on Saturday.

Dozens of buses arrived at the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league ballpark in Coney Island to help residents get out. Nursing homes and hospitals were emptied.

At a shelter set up at a high school in the Long Island town of Brentwood, Alexander Ho calmly ate a sandwich in the cafeteria. Ho left his first-floor apartment in East Islip, even though it is several blocks from the water, just outside the mandatory evacuation zone.

"Objects outside can be projected as missiles," he said. "I figured my apartment didn't seem as safe as I thought, as every room has a window."

The Associated Press and msnbc.com's Bob Sullivan contributed to this report.

Interactive: Hurricane Tracker

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

Photos: Hurricane Irene

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  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
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  1. Image: Homeowner Jon Graham removes items from his demolished home
    Vyto Starinskas / AP
    Above: Slideshow (150) Hurricane Irene
  2. Daryl Cagle / MSNBC.com, Politicalcartoons.com
    Slideshow (11) Cartoonists poke at Irene
  3. Eric Gay / AP
    Slideshow (29) Hurricane havoc

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