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Monday, August 29, 2011

HURRICANE IRENE: From Coastline to Mountains, Water Fast and Lethal!

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By PETER APPLEBOME, / Published: August 28, 2011.

Chip East/Reuters / Engineers conducting a safety inspection were slammed by waves in Asbury Park, N.J.

In southern New Jersey, a 20-year-old woman called her boyfriend early Sunday to tell him that she was trapped in her car with water that was up to her neck. Then she called the police. Her body was found about eight hours later, still inside her car, which had been swept away during a flash flood on Route 40 in Salem County.

Farther north in the state, a postal inspector waded through a flooded road as he tried to get to the building in Kearny where he worked. He apparently stepped into an unseen drainage ditch and was sucked into 10 to 12 feet of flowing water, the Kearny police said. His body was found 100 yards from the entrance to the building.

In the Catskill Mountains, in New York, National Guard troops worked feverishly to rescue people who were stranded in several rural mountain towns in Greene County.

“We’ve been crushed up here,” said Shaun S. Groden, the county administrator. “We have major flash floods. We have bridges that have been blown out. We have people stranded, people who have gone up to the second floor of their homes.”

In New York City, Tropical Storm Irene’s winds did not come close to meeting expectations, which meant that there was no sea of shattered glass from Manhattan’s forest of high-rise buildings and no waves of water cascading across low-lying neighborhoods.

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