US Braces for Hurricane Irene

A man walks across 42nd Street in Times Square in New York as Tropical Storm Irene hits the city and Tri State area with rain and high winds. Irene, downgraded to a tropical storm, swept through the area lacking anywhere near the force that had been feared, but still cutting power to more than a million people, toppling trees and flooding some parts of the city. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Two men and a dog frolic in the sand-filled sea foam from the Atlantic Ocean that filled the beach after Tropical Storm Irene, downgraded from a hurricane, swept through Long Island, in Long Beach, N.Y. (Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press)


A resident tries to unblock a sewage grate to free floodwater on Coney Island, and people inspect one of five trees knocked over by high winds from Hurricane Irene in front of the East River Cooperative Village apartment buildings along Grand Street in New York City. The hurricane hit New York as a Category 1 storm before being downgraded to a tropical storm. (AFP, Getty Images)


Chris Swimm retrieves planks from a friend’s deck washed away by waves, right, from Tropical Storm Irene that surged onto Wilbur’s Point in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. (Peter Pereira/The Standard Times)

Jackie Sparnackel abandons her van and her belongings near the Frisco Pier in North Carolina after she drove up to see how the storm-battered structure was doing. Friends tried to tow her out but she was caught in an overwash. Hurricane force winds from Irene battered the island, and power was knocked out. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer)

Beach balls flail around under heavy wind and rain as Hurricane Irene passes through Nags Head, top, and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. (Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

Hurricane Irene churns off the coast of the Carolinas in the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA via Getty Images)

Although the Tybee Island Ocean Rescue lifeguards closed the water to swimmers on Tybee Island, Ga., because of high waves and hazardous rip currents from the outer bands of Hurricane Irene, surfers, kayakers and paddle boarders still sought the thrill of high winds and choppy waves. (Stephen Morton/Associated Press)

AUGUST 25: A man continues to fish off the flooded Boynton Beach inlet parking lot while rain bands from Hurricane Irene. (Bill Ingram/The Palm Beach Post)


As the storm approaches, residents in a Battery Park City high rise tape their windows, grates are covered in anticipation of flooding near Battery Park, and a storefront is covered with plastic and sandbags near the South Street Seaport. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A road sign warns of inclement weather caused by Hurricane Irene as a pedestrian crosses Canal St. in front of the Manhattan bridge in Lower Manhattan on Saturday. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge are hit by Hurricane Irene early Sunday. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

A man walks through the rain in New York as Hurricane Irene hits the city. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Waves crash around a home as Hurricane Irene arrives in Southampton. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The storm surge affects homes in Bayshore on Long Island. (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)


A sign that welcomed Hurricane Irene in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn was given somewhat of a comeuppance: though damge was far less than feared, areas of Red Hook were flooded, as resident Betty Walsh discovered. (Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

Rising water from New York Harbor laps over the seawall at Battery Park in lower Manhattan. (Michael Appleton/The New York Times)










As Irene came through Long Beach it left apartment buildings, cars and planters covered in sand and mud. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

A Beach Patrol Headquarters used by City of Long Beach lifeguards was lifted and moved to the boardwalk by the strong winds. (Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press)

Irene ripped apart a dock house at Broad Channel in Queens. (Andrea Morales/The New York Times)


After the storm a street is flooded on Coney Island, and a man picks up a small tree branch while walking in flood waters along the East River Bikeway. (AFP, Getty Images)


A woman and child sit on a public bench amid floodwater on Rockaway Beach, and Scott Richheimer, Kitchen Manager of the Allegria hotel, stands outside the flooded lobby in Long Beach. (AFP, Getty Images)


After the storm on Staten Island, Kevin Holligan kayaks across a flooded section of the borough’s Hyland Boulevard, and cars are submerged on Saybrook Street. (The Staten Island Advance, The New York Times)

Residents slip past a barricade to enter Valentino Pier in Red Hook as the skies clear in the aftermath of the storm. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

The sun sets in a clearing sky over the World Trade Center site, with One World Trade Center to the right. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A woman walks through the Times Square subway station after the last subway has left, August 27, 2011. Mayor Michael Bloomberg sternly warned New Yorkers to follow the city’s unprecedented mandatory evacuation orders on Saturday, saying approaching Hurricane Irene is “life-threatening” and “not a joke.” Some 370,000 of the city’s more than 8 million residents are under orders to leave their homes in low-lying and waterfront areas, largely in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens and in the financial district in downtown Manhattan. (Reuters)

Residents leave buildings before the arrival of Hurricane Irene at downtown Manhattan in New York August 27, 2011. (Reuters)

People line up at Brown’s Hardware in Far Rockaway, New York, August 26, 2011. New York City on Friday ordered the evacuation of more than 250,000 people and prepared to shut down its entire mass transit system, both unprecedented measures ahead of the expected battering from Hurricane Irene. The powerful and unusually large storm trudged up the U.S. East Coast on Friday, threatening 55 million people including more than 8 million in New York City, which was expecting heavy winds late on Saturday or early on Sunday. (REUTERS/Allison Joyce)

Cars pack the westbound lanes of the Atlantic City Expressway, as thousands of people evacuate the barrier islands along the Southern New Jersey coastline ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Irene, August 26, 2011The eastern United States ramped up its alert on Friday ahead of Hurricane Irene and New York City ordered evacuations of vulnerable residents as the broad, menacing storm closed in on the Atlantic coast. Hundreds of thousands of residents and vacationers were evacuating from Irene’s path, starting in east North Carolina where the hurricane, now packing winds of 100 miles per hour (160 kph), is expected to make landfall on Saturday. (Reuters)

Hurricane Irene Police patrols an empty boardwalk after an evacuation in preparation for Hurricane Irene in Ocean City, Maryland, August 26, 2011. National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said Irene, which will be the first significant hurricane to affect the populous Northeast in decades, would lash the Atlantic seaboard with tropical storm-force winds and a “huge swath of rain” from the Carolinas to New England. (REUTERS/Molly Riley)

The boardwalk at Atlantic City, New Jersey, is deserted as the first rains from Hurricane Irene hit the New Jersey Shore August 27, 2011. Hurricane Irene is expected to hit the Jersey Shore early Sunday. The building at right is pictured with the original state of its facade. (Reuters)

Hurricane Irene A pedestrian passes next to sandbags used to control possible floods at downtown Manhattan in New York August 26, 2011. New York on Friday ordered residents in low-lying areas to evacuate before the onslaught this weekend of massive Hurricane Irene, which churned northward along the East Coast. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

A woman left a New York City subway station during a snowstorm in January. There will be no subway, bus or commuter train service starting Saturday at noon in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. (Reuters)

A plywood shutter, covering a window of a beachside house, shares a message from a community preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irene in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, August 26, 2011. Irene, the first hurricane of the season, churned toward the U.S. East Coast. Cities scrambled to prepare, resorts emptied of beach goers, and energy firms like braced for the storm. (REUTERS / Steve Nesius)

Beach workers fill sand bags on Long Beach on Long Island, New York, August 26, 2011. Hurricane Irene, the first Atlantic hurricane of the season, churned toward the U.S. East Coast Friday as cities scrambled to prepare, resorts emptied of beach goers, and energy firms braced for the storm. (REUTERS / Mike Segar)

Scott Grafton takes down letters from the marquee of the Morehead Center for Performing Arts as he prepares for the landfall of Hurricane Irene in Morehead City, North Carolina August 26, 2011. The United States urged 55 million people on its eastern seaboard to prepare for Hurricane Irene on Friday as the powerful storm packing high winds and heavy rain bore down on the North Carolina coast.(REUTERS / Steve Nesius)

A woman walks past an empty battery display at a Home Depot store in Freeport on Long Island, New York August 26, 2011. Hurricane Irene, the first Atlantic hurricane of the season, churned toward the U.S. East Coast Friday as cities scrambled to prepare, resorts emptied of beach goers, and energy firms braced for the storm. (REUTERS / Mike Segar)

A shopper passes empty shelves while looking for bottled water at a supermarket in Long Beach on Long Island, New York, August 26, 2011. As North Carolina braced on Friday for a direct hit from Hurricane Irene, cities along the East Coast were on alert and millions of beach goers cut short vacations to escape the powerful storm. With more than 50 million people potentially in Irene’s path, residents stocked up on food and water and worked to secure homes, vehicles and boats. States, cities, ports, oil refineries and nuclear plants scrambled to activate emergency plans. (REUTERS / Mike Segar)

Empty shelves for bottled water at a supermarket are seen ahead of Hurricane Irene in Long Beach on Long Island, New York August 26, 2011. (REUTERS / Mike Segar)

The top layer of blacktop on River Road lies peeled off due to flooding on the West Branch of the AuSable River in Lake Placid, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 29. (Mike Lynch / Adirondack Daily Enterprise via AP)

Long Beach Lifeguard Patrol members continue cleanup of rescue boards along the boardwalk at Long Beach, N.Y., on Aug. 29. (Craig Ruttle / AP)

A young couple from Germany rests on a cot as other passengers arrive at LaGuardia Airport on Aug. 29. The couple is scheduled to take a flight to Dallas on August 30. New York-area airports reopened on Monday as airlines gradually restored service after cancelling more than 11,000 flights. (Don Emmert / AFP – Getty Images)

Firefighters put out a fire at a rental house after it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Rodanthe, N.C. on Aug. 28. (Jose Luis Magana / Reuters)

Rough surf caused by Irene off the coast of Long Beach Island, N.J., Aug. 28. (Rich Schultz / AP)

Billy Stinson, left, comforts his daughter, Erin Stinson, as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in Nags Head, N.C., on Aug. 28. The cottage, built in 1903, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. “We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset,” said Erin afterward. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

With the skyline of New York in the background, people fly a kite at the Erie-Lackawanna Park along Hudson River after the pass of Irene in Hoboken, N.J., Aug 28. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters)

Officials survey the damage to Route 12 on Hatteras Island, N.C., Aug. 28. Hurricane Irene swept through the area Saturday, Aug. 27, cutting the roadway in five locations. (Steve Helber / AP)

A family inspects a downed tree in New York’s Central Park after Irene dumped more than 6 inches of rain on Aug. 28. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

Darrell Tarte, a property estimator with Erie Insurance, surveys damage from a tree at a home in Port Republic, Md., on Aug. 28. (Steve Ruark / AP)

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