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PIX: Hurricane Irene not as disastrous as expected

Last updated on: August 29, 2011 14:38 IST

PIX: Hurricane Irene not as disastrous as expected

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Losses from Hurricane Irene are estimated to total about $7 billion, much less than what was feared from the massive storm that battered the United States east coast over the weekend, initial estimates say.

The total damage by Irene may reach USD 7 billion by the time the storm tapers in the coming days, an early estimate by consulting company Kinetic Analysis Corporation said.

Majority of the losses are expected to be from property damaged in New York and New Jersey.

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Image: Residents use kayaks to navigate a flooded street in Southampton, New York
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
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PIX: Hurricane Irene not as disastrous as expected

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Kinetic's director of research and development Chuck Watson said the damage by Irene was less than initially feared partly since it hit on a weekend, minimising the damage on businesses.

Watson said had Irene remained strong by the time it reached New York City, damages could have been in the range of USD 30 billion.

Hurricane Irene left at least 21 people dead in eight states, with millions without power, as it thrashed cities from North Carolina to Boston with strong winds and heavy rains over the weekend.

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Image: Waves break along the pier which was damaged during Hurricane Irene, in Ocean City, Maryland
Photographs: Molly Riley/Reuters
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PIX: Hurricane Irene not as disastrous as expected

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Even as the damage from hurricane Irene was far less than expected, President Barack Obama said that many Americans are still at risks and it might take weeks for the recovery from devastation caused by the storm throughout the East Coast.

"I want people to understand that this is not over. Response and recovery efforts will be an ongoing operation," Obama told reporters on Sunday.

"I do want to underscore that the impacts of this storm will be felt for some time, and the recovery effort will last for weeks or longer," he said in his appearance at the Rose Garden with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

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Image: Hurricane Irene swept along the New Jersey shore, knocking down trees, leaving thousands of people without electrical power.
Photographs: Chip East/Reuters
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PIX: Hurricane Irene not as disastrous as expected

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The death toll in the US from Irene has risen to 18.

"Now, dealing with a storm like this requires a three- phase approach: preparation, response and recovery. Some states and communities are still currently responding, while others are beginning to assess their damages and plan for recovery," Napolitano said.

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Image: Hotel employees clear water from a flooded area of the Allegria Hotel after flooding from Hurricane Irene in Long Beach, New York
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
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PIX: Hurricane Irene not as disastrous as expected

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Tropical Irene slammed New York on Sunday with strong winds and heavy rain after battering the eastern coast of the US.

The eye of the storm -- downgraded from a hurricane, but still blasting up to 65-mile-an-hour (105-kilometer-an-hour) winds and near horizontal rain -- passed over the Big Apple mid-Sunday morning.

An emergency was declared in eight affected states on the eastern coast even as the hurricane monitors said windspeeds had diminished as the storm moved north.

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Image: A sailboat that was washed ashore in Hampton Bays, New York.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/ Reuters
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PIX: Hurricane Irene not as disastrous as expected

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America's economic nerve centre New York virtually shut down as New Yorkers prepared for the onslaught of violent winds and flooding.

Even though the hurricane weakened to a tropical storm, fear of flooding in many areas still loomed large as river water began inundating some of Manhattan's streets.

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Image: A tree lies on a vehicle in West Hempstead after being blown down by the winds of Hurricane Irene
Photographs: Ari Brandspiegel/Reuters
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PIX: Hurricane Irene not as disastrous as expected

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Fallen power lines in Hampton Bays in New York caused by Hurricane Irene.

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Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
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A flooded basement after the pass of Hurricane Irene at Hoboken in New Jersey.

 


Photographs: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
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