Hurricane Irene failed to deliver the storm surge of water that had been feared in New York City, but it was still powerful enough to claim lives and cause widespread damage elsewhere. The death toll now stands at more than 15 with lives lost all along the storm’s track from the Carolinas to Virginia and up through Pennsylvania.
In New York City, limited bus service began Sunday and subway service was partially restored at 6 a.m. Monday. Commuter rail service to Long Island and New Jersey was being partially restored, but trains from the city’s northern suburbs were suspended because of flooding and mudslides.
Riders were warned to expect long lines and long waits, but early commuters reported empty subways and smooth rides.
Outside New York City, the storm’s wrath was stark. In New Jersey, more than 800,000 customers were without power on Sunday, and the state’s largest utility, Public Service Electric and Gas, estimated it could take a week to restore electricity to all of its customers. In Connecticut, 670,000 customers had lost power — roughly half the state — which surpassed power failures caused by Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
Irene caused severe flooding in New England and Vermont where towns were battling floods of historic proportions.
More than six million homes and businesses lost power as the storm passed up the east coast. Two million people were warned or ordered to flee its path. The storm also spawned tornadoes in parts of Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. A twister destroyed 15 buildings in the popular holiday town of Lewes in Delaware.