Eastern Seaboard Recovering From Irene

Irene has come and gone, but it will take days, weeks and even months for the Eastern seaboard to recover from the devastation the hurricane left in its wake.

That includes at least 45 deaths attributed to Irene across 13 states. And up to $6 billion in insured losses, according to catastrophe modeling company AIR Worldwide.

The 13 states that found themselves in Irene’s path struggle to return to normalcy.

In the tri-state New York region, for instance, nearly one million residents remained without power on Tuesday. That included nearly 470,000 in New York proper, 300,000 in Connecticut and 220,000 in New Jersey.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he expects power to be restored in the Garden State by Friday. He’s more optimistic than Connecticut Light & Power, the Nutmeg State’s largest electricity provider, which said that some its customers won’t see their power restored until a week from now.

As it is, the Wall Street Journal reported, more than a dozen Connecticut towns have gone completely dark. Traffic lights are out, gas stations and grocery stores closed and stores that are open taking cash only.

New England’s hardest hit state might very well be Vermont, which suffered its worst flooding in nearly a century, Gov. Peter Shumlin lamented. Irene washed out more than 260 roads throughout the state and rendered 35 bridges impassable. More than 18,000 of the Green Mountain State’s residents were without power as of yesterday.

The mid-Atlantic region did not bear the full brunt of Irene’s fury, but not escape its wind and rain unscathed.

More than two million gallons of rain mixed with raw sewage overwhelmed pumping stations in Washington, D.C., pouring into the city’s waterways. Aside from that, said D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, “We fared much better than we could have.”

Virginia also fared better than Gov. Bob McDonnell expected, though more than 400,000 of the state’s residents were without electricity as of midday. Maryland schools remained closed for a second day on Tuesday as post-Irene cleanup continued throughout the state. More than 250,000 residents were still without power as of Tuesday afternoon.

Irene made landfall in North Carolina on Saturday where it damaged the only road linking Cape Hatteras island with the mainland. Meanwhile, some 145,000 residents of the Tarheel State remained without power Tuesday.

In neighboring South Carolina, there was some damage to the state’s beaches. But Irene never posed the kind of threat to life and property in the Palmetto State that had Gov. Nikki Haley considering an evacuation late last week.

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