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11.II.D

New York City (NYC)
Hurricane Irene - 2011

 
 
hurricane_irene
Photo Credit: The Guardian-Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
 
     
 

New Yorkers had anticipated the coming of Hurricane Irene with much dread and exaggerated anxiety. However, the U.S. Weather Bureau downgraded Irene from a hurricane to a tropical storm shortly before it hit NYC. Although Irene was not as dangerous as originally predicted, it still had the power to severely disrupt the everyday routine of millions of New York residents. It made landfall on Sunday morning, August 28. With wind speeds up to 65 miles per hour Irene managed to do quite allot of damage in NYC. Thousands of downed trees blocked traffic and disrupted commuters all around the five boroughs the following morning. With seven inches of rain pouring over New York, flooding became an issue in low lying areas such as Battery Park in downtown Manhattan.

The city took several precautions before Irene made landfall: many businesses barricaded their storefronts with sandbags, the MTA shutdown service for the night to avoid flooding and all major airports discontinued flights before the storm and remained closed until Monday morning. The Holland Tunnel and several bridges were also closed temporarily. An evacuation order was issued to 370,000 people living in low-lying areas, particularly in Zones A and B, as designated by the city. Eighty one shelters were set up for evacuees with nowhere else to go. As a result, the City housed approximately 10,000 people in its shelters.

The estimated damage caused by Hurricane Irene cost NYC in excess of $100 million to repair. In addition to this more than 8000 people were in need of federal assistance. As a result, $13.6 million was spent on helping such families cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

 
     
 
Visit Additional NYC Hurricanes:
New England Hurricane (1938)
Mid-Atlantic Nor'easter (1992)
Hurricane Floyd (1999)
Hurricane Sandy (2012)


Return to Disaster Section
 
     
 
Know Your Hurricane Zone NYC!
 
     
 
Sources:
nytimes.com
csmonitor.com
bloomberg.com
nyc.gov/hazards-nyc_hurricane_history