Hurricane Irene toll is 38; 5 mn in US still without power

August 30th, 2011 - 10:58 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 30 (IANS) More than five million homes and businesses are still without power with upstate New York and Vermont flooded in the aftermath of hurricane Irene that claimed 38 lives in 11 states across the US East Coast.

With no commuter rail trains running to New York City from Connecticut, New Jersey and Westchester County on Monday morning, many residents of the suburbs faced a day stranded at home, tens of thousands of them without electricity, media reports said.

New Jersey Transit, which did not operate any trains into New York City Monday, expected most of its commuter-rail service to be restored by Tuesday morning.

Hurricane Irene caused many rivers and creeks in upstate New York to crest at near record levels, leading to severe flooding in several communities, according to New York Daily News

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 America’s largest city a nightmare scenario, only to deliver a historic wallop to towns well inland, it said.

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.

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

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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