Hurricane Irene hit the outer banks of North Carolina on August 27th, 2011 as a Category 1 hurricane, making it the first of its kind to make landfall since Hurricane Ike in 2008. Much of the East Coast was affected, with 2.3 million people under mandatory evacuation orders and 26 river flooding records broken, according to an NOAA report.
For the first time ever, the New York City subway system shut down due to a natural disaster. Although Massachusetts, Vermont and New Jersey felt the most severe impacts from the storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, many homes and businesses were damaged all along the East Coast, and nearly 9 million people were left without power.
While the storm was not as bad as predicted in some regions, the overall effect of Hurricane Irene was devastating. The National Hurricane Center reports that 49 people were killed as a direct result of the storm, 41 of them in the United States. The damage totaled $15 billion, making Irene the 10th billion dollar disaster in 2011, and the 6th most expensive hurricane in U.S. history. Climate Central notes it was the single most expensive Category 1 hurricane, stealing the title from 1972’s Hurricane Agnes.
Months later, clean up from Irene continued along the coast. While life in some places quickly returned to normal, some lives were irrevocably changed. And with the impact of Tropical Storm Lee only a few days later, the effects of these natural disasters plagued the East Coast for some time.
Here are some stirring images from Hurricane Irene. Were you personally impacted by the storm? Tell us your experience in the comments below.