Hurricane Irene has weakened to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph moving over southeastern New York and Southern New England.
A tweet from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office said Sunday morning said: “We are in the midst of the most dangerous period of the storm, so for your safety, continue to remain indoors. #Irene”
However, across Lower Manhattan by 10 a.m. the rain had already lightened and residents were venturing onto the streets. By noon, rain had completely stopped and families, dog walkers and couples were filling the streets with many visiting the South Street Seaport area, which had been expected to flood. A coffee shop on Pier 17 was already open serving customers, and local markets in the area were open as normal.
Wall Street looked entirely normal with little sign that Irene had even passed by.
In the Bronx Ursula Leone, a student at Fordham University’s campus told The Christian Post: “It’s windy, but it’s barely raining! And there are some leaves on the ground, but that’s basically it.”
She added that people were already walking around outside, despite strong winds still being felt.
Leone said, "The winds are starting to pick up, but no one is wearing raincoats or anything and it looks like the fears [concerning the storm] have subsided, for the most part."
CBS News reported that at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reopened the North Tube of the Holland Tunnel, along with the lower level of the George Washington Bridge and the Palisades Interstate Parkway ramp to the bridge.
The MTA reported that public transit systems remain suspended and people should not attempt to travel on any MTA services until further notice. NY’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority also stated that the process of assessing the damage from Irene couldn’t begin until the storm has passed the locations around MTA’s 5,000-square-mile territory.
According to CBS, the MTA said public transportation is not expected to return to its normal running schedule by Monday morning. John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International airports and the PATH system still have suspended services.
As of 11 a.m. Sunday a tropical storm warning was in effect for Chincoteague, Virginia to Eastport, Maine. This included Chesapeake and Delaware Bay, NYC, Long Island, Long Island Sound, Block Island, Coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) also predicted that Irene should become a post-tropical cyclone by this evening.