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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

U.S. NATURAL CALAMITY: Hurricane Irene has now killed 40 people!!!


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NDTV / Associated Press, Updated: August 30, 2011 11:02 IST.


New York:  The full measure of Hurricane Irene's fury came into focus Monday as the death toll jumped to 40, New England towns battled epic floods and millions faced the dispiriting prospect of several days without electricity.

From North Carolina to Maine, communities cleaned up and took stock of the uneven and hard-to-predict costs of a storm that spared the nation's biggest city a nightmare scenario, only to deliver a historic wallop to towns well inland.

In New York City, where people had braced for a disaster-movie scene of water swirling around skyscrapers, the subways and buses were up and running again in time for the Monday morning commute. And to the surprise of many New Yorkers, things went pretty smoothly.

But in New England, landlocked Vermont contended with what its governor called the worst flooding in a century. Streams also raged out of control in upstate New York.

In many cases, the moment of maximum danger arrived well after the storm had passed, as rainwater made its way into rivers and streams and turned them into torrents. Irene dumped up to 11 inches of rain on Vermont and more than 13 in parts of New York.

"We were expecting heavy rains," said Bobbi-Jean Jeun of Clarksville, a hamlet near Albany, N.Y. "We were expecting flooding. We weren't expecting devastation. It looks like somebody set a bomb off."

Meanwhile, the 11-state death toll, which had stood at 21 as of Sunday night, rose sharply as bodies were pulled from floodwaters and people were electrocuted by downed power lines.

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