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Posted at 07:27 AM ET, 08/28/2011

Irene Sunday updates: Worst of storm is over for U.S.

Irene moving through New England

Napolitano: Worst of Irene is over

Capital Weather Gang: The latest on Hurricane Irene’s path

Get the latest on the Washington region here


Waves crash onto a road as Hurricane Irene arrives on August 28, 2011 in Southampton, New York. (Joe Raedle - GETTY IMAGES)

Irene, then a Category 1 hurricane, made landfall Saturday morning near Cape Lookout, N.C. Governors and mayors along the East Coast urged residents in low-lying areas to leave their homes and seek shelter Saturday. By mid-Sunday morning, Irene had been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Check out our Sunday updates below:


01:30 p.m. Goodbye, Irene!

For most of the East Coast, Irene is over.

The worst-case-scenario projections of the Category 1 storm’s damage have not come true. But that doesn’t mean that Irene hasn’t left a nasty aftermath in her wake.

Millions are without power. Downed trees have damaged properties. Severe flooding still threatens coastal cities and towns. And at least 15 people have died, including an 11-year-old boy and a New Jersey firefighter.

The weakened tropical storm is expected to move out of New England on Sunday into Canada.


A downed tree outside a Georgetown home. (Ned Martel/The Post.)

The NOAA is reporting record-breaking rainfall at locations up and down the East Coast. Below is a map showing how many inches of rain fell in a 24 hour period. To see a larger image click here.
Rainfall amounts from Saturday. (NOAA)

For the latest on Irene, check in with the Post’s homepage and the Capital Weather Gang.


12:45 p.m. Napolitano: Worst of Irene is over

At a press conference Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the “worst’ of Irene is over. But she asked East Coast residents to remain vigilant.

“Our No. 1 message for individuals and families up and down the Eastern Seaboard this morning is that we’re not out of the woods yet,” she said.

FEMA announced Sunday that it will suspend payments to tornado damaged areas, including Joplin, Mo, to pay for Irene’s damage, the Post’s Ed O’Keefe reported.

Read O’Keefe’s live tweets from today’s press conference below.


12:25 p.m. N.J. firefighter dies during rescue

A New Jersey firefighter died while attempting a ”swift water rescue that took place in Princeton,” Gov. Chris Christie said at a press conference Sunday.

Irene has claimed at least 15 victims. Read about them here.


12:15 p.m. Irene responsible for 13 deaths

Irene has claimed 13 lives, according to latest reports.

The Post’s Anita Kumar reports that an adult male in King William County was killed by a tree limb. He was Virginia’s fourth victim.


12:05 p.m. Irene passing through New England

Tropical Storm Irene is now making her way through New England with winds of up to 60 mph. Rivers in this part of the country could see record flooding, CNN reports.

Boston has suspended its rail and bus service for Sunday, the AP reports. Officials hope to have the system running for the Monday commute.


11:50 a.m. A very lucky Mercedes owner

Post Assignment Editor Joe Heim snapped this photo near the 1000 block of G St. NE in Washington, D.C. His subject line: "Lucky Mercedes owner.”

Share you Irene photos with The Washington Post by posting in this gallery or sending an email to userpics@washpost.com.


A lucky Mercedes owner in D.C. (Joe Heim)

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11:40 a.m. New York subway won’t be full-speed Monday

The New York Times reports that New York’s subway will probably not run at full-speed Monday morning. But a spokesperson told the paper that the damage could have been worse if preemptive actions weren’t taken.
Floodwaters covering the rails at the 148th Street / Lenox Subway Yard. (George Von Dolln - Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
.



Grand Street and West Broadway in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan is flooded Sunday. (Mary Altaffer - AP)
11:15 a.m. New York City through worst of storm

It seems that Irene did not spell doomsday for New York City.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper is reporting that the sun is coming out and that water has receded from the banks of the East River. And despite being told not to, people have gone into the streets. The north tube of the Holland Tunnel has been reopened.

Still, more than half a million New York residents are without power, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s twitter feed. Streets in low-lying areas of Manhattan are flooded.

The danger isn’t necessarily over. Rivers could crest sometime during the week, causing more flooding. The National Hurricane Center issued a stern warning that a storm surge “will raise water levels by as much as four to eight feet above ground level from western portions of [the] Long Island Sound eastward along the Southern coasts of” New England.

“The surge will be accompanied by large, destructive and life-threatening waves.”

But for the time being, it seems that N.Y.C. will remain intact.


10:55 a.m. Officials: Don’t go outside yet

Commenter ctportorange6 reminds us that there are still dangers in areas where Irene has passed through, including live electrical lines covered in debris.

“There’s still danger here,” FEMA Director Craig Fugate said to N.Y.C. residents. “Don’t let your guard down.”

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie told CNN that evacuated residents should allow officials to check out the affected areas first before returning home. Search and rescue missions will take place Sunday on the Jersey Shore.


10:30 a.m. Body of N.J. woman recovered from U.S. 40

The New York Times’s Jen Preston reports that the body of a 20-year-old New Jersey woman “was recovered at 9:30 a.m. in her submerged car on U.S. 40 in Pilesgrove Township.”

NJ.com reports that motorists attempting to drive through floodwaters were stranded on the Salem County section of highway.


10:15 a.m. North Carolina, Virginia assess damage

As now Tropical Storm Irene hits New York and New England Sunday, officials in North Carolina, Virginia and other states that the storm has already passed through are assessing the damage.

Flooding, wind damage and power outages were seen throughout the East Coast. But most officials said there was less damage than expected.

“I think it’s a little strong to say we dodged a bullet. However, it certainly could have turned out worse for the Hampton Roads area” in Virginia, National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Montefusco told the AP. Flooding caused by storm runoff could still occur over the next few days.

Get the latest details on Irene’s impact on the Washington area from Post Now.

See pictures of damage below.

North Carolina:


A travel trailer tipped over into a flooded area on Hwy 55 Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 in New Bern, N.C. (CHRIS SEWARD - AP)


Powerlines lie twisted and snapped along U.S. 301 as high winds, and heavy rain pounds Wilson, N.C. Saturday morning. (Brad Coville - AP)


A firefighter wades through floodwater as they respond to a call of a gas leak during Hurricane Irene on August 27, 2011 in Kill Devil Hills. (Scott Olson - GETTY IMAGES)

Pennsylvania:
A downed tree blocks a section of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. (AP)

Maryland:
A National Guard vehicle patrols the sand covered boardwalk on August 28, 2011 in Ocean City, Maryland. (Mark Wilson - GETTY IMAGES)

Virginia:


Gary Niren surveys a tree that fell on the house he rents as a result of Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011 in Virginia Beach. (Brendan Hoffman - GETTY IMAGES)


Branches litter an alley as a result of Hurricane Irene on August 28. (Brendan Hoffman - GETTY IMAGES)

Delaware:
A patio chair lies in a flooded street in Bethany Beach, Del., Sunday. (Suchat Pederson - AP)

..


09:43 a.m. Reporter gives Irene broadcast covered in raw sewage

We interrupt the serious news coming from Tropical Storm Irene to bring you this: a reporter giving a broadcast while covered in what is most likely raw sewage.

While reporting live from Ocean City, Md., WTTG Fox 5’s Tucker Barnes appeared covered in what he thought was sea foam. “It doesn't taste great,” he said.

For obvious reasons, the video has been making the rounds online. Watch it below.

Reporter Gives Update Covered In Sea Foam: MyFoxNY.com


09:20 a.m. Part of Holland Tunnel shut down

The north tube of the Holland Tunnel has been closed due to flooding concerns, N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted.


09:05 a.m. Irene makes landfall in Coney Island, downgraded to tropical storm

Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service. The storm, which is maintaining top wind speeds of 65 mph, made landfall in Coney Island. As NPR pointed out, that’s just 20 miles from midtown Manhttan.


08:40 a.m. New York’s East River overflows its banks

CNN reports that New York’s East River overflowed its banks Sunday morning. Some streets in lower Manhattan have begun to flood.

The Hudson River has also overflowed, CNN reports, causing flooding in the West Village.

As of 7:00 a.m. Sunday, Consolidated Edison said 72,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County are without power. That number is expected to grow.

N.Y.C. shut down public transportation at noon Saturday in anticipation of heavy flooding. Residents in low-lying areas were given a mandatory evacuation order.

Irene is expected to make landfall within the hour. Watch video of water washing away a lifeguard stand in Long Beach, N.Y.


08:25 a.m. At least nine deaths reported

Hurricane Irene has caused at least nine deaths, the Associated Press reports.

The ninth victim was killed in a fire started by downed power lines in Connecticut. Three people were killed in Virginia, including 11-year-old Zahir Robinson who died when a tree fell into his mother’s apartment.

Two deaths were reported in Florida, one in Maryland and two in North Carolina, where one victim is a 15-year-old girl from northern Virginia.

Read more about the Irene’s victims here.


08:00 a.m. Three million homes without power

Aproximately three million homes in Hurricane Irene’s path are without power Sunday, the AP reports.

The Post reports that more than one million homes in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina are without power.



A New Jersey state trooper removes debris caused by Hurricane Irene on the Garden State Parkway early Sunday near Stone Harbor. (Mel Evans - AP)
07:20 a.m. Irene makes landfall in New Jersey

Hurricane Irene made landfall in New Jersey near Little Egg Inlet early Sunday morning, the Associated Press reports. The storm, sustaining 75 mph winds, is expected to hit New York around 9:00 a.m.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been sending live updates from his city through Twitter, including this very scary tweet: “Just spotted about 7 homeless people trying to ride out storm under train overpass. Having our team go and try and get them into a shelter.”

Gov. Chris Christie, who told some residents “get the hell off the beach” Friday, visited New Jersey residents in shelters, the AP reports. He told one woman, “Hang in there. You won’t be here long.”

On Sunday’s “Today” show, Gov. Christie said that record inland flooding had trapped people in their cars. He asked residents to stay in their homes. Police said 30 to 35 people at Cranberry Run Senior Community in Atlantic County were trapped by water in their mobile homes, NJ.com reports.

Irene has killed at least eight people and knocked out power to millions.

By  |  07:27 AM ET, 08/28/2011

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