Hurricane Irene Death Toll Reaches 44World | August 30, 2011, Tuesday // 10:52| views
A weakened Hurricane Irene tore Sunday into New York, hammering Manhattan's skyscrapers with fierce winds and threatening to flood the financial district. Photo by EPA/BGNES
The death toll from the hurricane Irene which hit the American East Coast has reached 44.
About 5.1 million households and businesses are without electric power all the way from North Carolina to Maine. Restoring electricity can take days and even weeks in the more inaccessible areas.
New York City, which was spared as Irene arrived there downgraded to tropical storm, is returning to normal life and public transportation, including the subway, is running on schedule and on time after being shut down in an unprecedented safety move. About 100 000 are still without power.
On the north, the State of Vermont sustained the most serious flooding in the last 100 years. New Jersey also reported wide-spread damage.
Irene moved Monday to the Canadian East Coast as a tropical storm with wind gusts up to 90 km/h. 165 000 in Quebec are without power.
Air traffic on the US East Coast is also returning to normal after 12 000 flight cancelations between Friday and Sunday. Experts say the storm could cause losses for the 10 largest US airlines amounting to USD 200-300 M.
However, losses for insurance companies have been downgraded to USD 3-6 B from the initial estimates of up to USD 11 B.
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