Irene is dead as hurricane but still lives as a post-tropical storm in Canada, leaving behind 21 dead and billions of dollars in damage. Most of the victims were killed by trees that crashed on their cars.
The massive storm was at the Canadian border around noon in Israel (5 a.m. EDT) and is expected to drift out to sea by nightfall.
Although Irene’s fury was less lethal than feared, partly because of massive preparations, its damage continues, with swelling floods burying homes and businesses along the East Coast.
Most hurricanes sweep along the coast without venturing into the mainland, but the full force of hurricane Irene hit land, beginning with North Carolina. Irene was only the third hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey, which often is whipped by hurricanes whose eye usually stays over the Atlantic Ocean.
Electricity in Manhattan was kept on as fears of Consolidated Edison’s equipment being flooded did not materialize. “It wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be,’’ New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said.
That was little solace for the injured, the surviving families of the dead, and millions of people who were evacuated and many of whom still are without electricity.
Rising river levels threatened to bury homes in one county in New Jersey, where a ferry was sent to evacuate residents.
In Quebec, a quarter of million people are without power as the storm dumps several inches of rain on the province.
Flights to and from Israel were resumed along with 10,000 other flights as New York airports re-opened.