Weather System Irene: Latest developments

People along beach strewn with debris after Hurricane Irene swept the area, Aug. 28, 2011, in Atlantic City, N.J. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

12:36 a.m. ET

Chris Fogarty, director of the Canadian Hurricane Centre, warned of flooding and wind damage in eastern Canada. He said the heaviest rainfall was expected in Quebec as high winds and pounding surf were more of a concern in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. As of Sunday afternoon, at least 180,000 customers in Quebec had lost power.

11:03 p.m. ET

The warnings for the East Coast are over; Irene is no longer a tropical system, but winds still at 50 mph, flooding a high danger.


10:18 p.m. ET

A raging river, swollen by Irene's rains, swept a woman away in Vermont, and she is feared lost. Parts of downtown Brattleboro and Bennington were under water, as were several smaller communities. Evacuations were ordered around the state and Red Cross and other shelters filled up.


10:13 p.m. ET

The New York City subway system will be up and running for the start of the work week Monday morning, transit officials said, but some pieces of the country's largest transit system will remain idle while inspectors check for any damage from Tropical Storm Irene.


7:53 p.m. ET

Officials with Boston's commuter transit system says most of its regular weekday service will resume Monday.

The three major New York-area airports will resume most flights Monday morning.

One private estimate reports Irene damage at $7 billion.

At least 21 are reported dead due to Irene.

7:25 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Irene has caused at least 20 deaths in eight states.

The remnants of Irene have turned rivers and creeks into raging torrents in parts of upstate New York and New England.

5:02 p.m. ET

President Obama says that Irene impact will be "felt for some time" and that "the recovery effort will last for weeks or longer."

At 5 p.m. the National Hurricane Center announced that Tropical Storm Irene was 65 miles south of Rutland, Vt., traveling north-northeast at a a speed of 26 mph. Maximum sustained winds were 50 mph.

4:20 p.m. ET

After the city's entire mass transit system was shut down for the first time in anticipation of Tropical Storm Irene, New York City is working to get its buses back on the road - and, in Manhattan at least, has succeeded, reports CBS News' Gordon Donovan.

In a statement the Metropolitan Transit Authority said, restoration of service will begin in Manhattan and the Bronx, followed by Queens and Brooklyn. "Conditions in Staten Island continue to prevent restoration of service at this time," the MTA said. No fares will be charged for service provided today.

Restoration of subway and rail service into the city is another matter. The MTA said crews are assessing subway tracks, signals, and equipment - which includes walking the more than 800 miles of subway track - then test trains will be run before passenger service can resume. Pump trains are also operating to remove water from tracks.

Fallen trees and flooding are affecting Long Island Rail Road service. Power outages and a mudslide are affecting Metro-North Railroad.

Downed power lines stretch across Metro North Train tracks in Valhalla, N.Y., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011.
AP/New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority

4:11 p.m. ET

Associated Press reports at least 18 people have died due to Irene. More than 4 million homes and businesses are without power.

3:20 p.m. ET

New York City's Mayor Bloomberg has lifted the evacuation order on low-laying regions of New York, allowing upwards of 370,000 residents to return home in the aftermath of Irene. There is no word yet, however, on when the city's mass transit system will resume service.

Check out our gallery of photos from the storm's impact on New York City:

2:44 p.m. ET

United Continental Holdings, Inc. released a statement that they are assessing Tropical Storm Irene damage in New York City, but hope to have United and Continental flights resumed no earlier than Monday 12 p.m. ET.

Customers on flights to, from or through the affected areas through August 30 may reschedule their itinerary with a one-time date or time change for free. Customers may also request a refund. Check united.com and continental.com for details and eligible dates.

2:35 p.m. ET

CBS News' Wyatt Andrews says that there's very light rain in Connecticut. However, the storm did knock down lots of tree limbs. There are a reported 700,000 customers without power.

2:30 p.m. ET

New York's MTA have posted these photos of some of their flood-affected tracks.

N track at 86th Street in Brooklyn
MTA

The 148th Street Yard in Harlem
MTA

Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line at Ossining
MTA

2:08 p.m. ET

CBS News anchor Scott Pelley tells East Coast residents what to expect from the rest of Tropical Storm Irene.

2:00 p.m. ET

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, MBTA, has suspended mass transit for the city of Boston starting at 8 a.m. ET this morning. According to Reuters, Boston's international airport remains open, although all but two airlines have cancelled all their flights. "The worst of this storm has not reached us yet and it is still important to exercise extreme caution," said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

1:34 p.m. ET

Mandatory evacuation order for NYC residents will be lifted at 3 p.m. ET, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. City government offices, the NY Stock Exchange and other financial markets plan to be open.

1:28 p.m. ET

Interesting article from Hollywood Reporter about how Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene affected this weekend's box office. They are estimating about a $25 million loss in ticket sales.

12:52 p.m. ET

CBS News anchor Scott Pelley spoke to New Jersey governor Chris Christie about the damage in the state.

12:45 p.m. ET

During a press conference, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said worst of storm was over, but East Coasters should remain careful.

12:10 p.m. ET

UPDATE: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reports one person in New Jersey have died, and a firefighter was seriously injured during a water rescue. Flooding still remains a concern for the state.

11:54 a.m. ET

President Barack Obama gets briefed on Tropical Storm Irene
White House Flickr

11:42 a.m. ET

AP is reporting that there are 11 confirmed deaths, 14 unconfirmed deaths because of the tropical storm.

11:15 a.m. ET

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reopened the North Tube of the Holland Tunnel, as well as the George Washington Bridge's Lower Level and the Palisades Interstate Parkway ramp to the bridge.

Public transportation is not expected to be back to normal by Monday morning, according to the MTA. John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia airports and the PATH system still remain suspended.

11:02 a.m. ET

According to the National Weather Service, a tropical storm warning has been issued for Chincoteague, Virginia to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts. All warnings have been discontinued south of Chincoteague and for Chesapeak Bay, south of North Beach. The hurricane is approximately ten miles west of Danbury, CT and has maximum winds of 60 MPH.

10: 59 a.m. ET

The East River tops its banks near East 120th Street, in uptown Manhattan, Aug. 26, 2011
Greg Sandoval/CNET

A person walks by downed trees in Brooklyn during heavy rain and winds from Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011 in New York City.
Getty Images

10:41 a.m. ET

According to CBS News national correspondent Chip Reid, Ocean City, Maryland will be open to tourists at noon. However, the danger is still not over for the East Coast, as high winds should persist throughout New England today.

10:18 a.m. ET

An update from the Long Island Power Authority: 404,000 customers are now reported to be without power.

If you are in the NYC area, you can track ConEd power outages here.

10:04 a.m. ET

The New York State Thruway has been closed in both directions between West Nyack and Newburgh due to flooding.

10:04 a.m. ET

As Hurricane Irene etches its name into the history books, the National Climatic Data Center notes that the United States has sustained "108 weather-related disasters" over the past 31+ years where the final bill for damages either reached or breached the $1 billion mark.

9:58 a.m. ET

The President has declared emergencies for the District of Columbia and Delaware.

9:46 a.m. ET

The Long Island Power Authority says that 372,000 of its customers have no power. Meanwhile, more than 4,000 people have sought refuge in Nassau County shelters.

Flooding on Long Beach Blvd., near Long Beach, New York, Aug. 28, 2011
Steve Futterman/CBS

9:13 a.m. ET

Irene has been downgraded to a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph as it crosses over New York City. The storm made has made landfall on New York's Coney Island.

So far, a total of more than 4 million people have lost power due to the storm.

8:43 a.m. ET

As Irene quickly approaches the New York City area, we're providing a webcast of WCBS' live coverage to keep track of the storm's impact.

8:11 a.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center reported that Irene has gained speed on its way to New York. The storm's eye is now about 40 miles south-southwest of the city traveling at 25 mph, up from 18 mph earlier in the morning. At that rate, it will pass over the New York area mid-morning and hit New England Sunday afternoon.

8:01 a.m. ET

Irene may be barely a hurricane, but it's still got a pretty big headache-causing potential. The Associated Press succinctly outlines what's at stake in New York City:

A possible storm surge on the fringes of lower Manhattan could send seawater streaming into the maze of underground vaults that hold the city's cables and pipes, knocking out power to thousands and crippling the nation's financial capital, forecasters said.

The storm has already caused a 3.5 foot storm surge in New York harbor and that could more than double in the next couple of hours.

6:19 a.m. ET

One of Irene's biggest impacts has been to the East Coast power grid. Early Sunday, there were 2,790,350 people without electricity, according to estimates from power companies along the coast. That number is expected to rise as the storm pushes on toward New York City and New England. Even hours before the storm is expected to make landfall in New York's Long Island, more than 400,000 homes were without power in the city's surrounding areas, including New Jersey.

5:35 a.m. ET

Irene has made landfall along the New Jersey coast at Little Egg inlet, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

5:12 a.m. ET

National Hurricane Center says Irene has weakened to barely a hurricane, with 75 mph winds. However, it's still expected to cause trouble for New York City, which has already experienced a storm surge and water levels are expected to rise as much as 8 feet. A higher-than-normal high tide could complicate matters further.

The storm is expected to make landfall on Long Island at around midday.

3:38 a.m. ET

Constellation Energy Nuclear Group said one of its reactors at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland went off-line automatically late Saturday night after a large piece of aluminum siding dislodged from a building and came into contact with the facility's main transformer. An unusual event has been declared. That's the lowest of four emergency classifications by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A spokesman for the company said that Constellation Energy's second reactor was safe and operating at 100 percent power.

3:07 a.m. ET

AP is reporting that one of two nuclear reactors operated by Constellation Energy Nuclear Group at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland went off-line automatically because of winds from Hurricane Irene. The company says that the facility is safe and stable.

2:14 a.m. ET

Three bridges to New York City's flood-prone Rockaways are closed because of rising winds as Hurricane Irene advances toward the city. The Broad Channel bridge, the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge were closing. It's unclear when they will reopen. Authorities also have closed the lower level of the George Washington Bridge and one of the bridge's approaches in New Jersey. The bridge's upper deck is still open.

2:04 a.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Irene's sustained winds were topping out at 80 mph while the storm was moving north-northeast at a 17 mph clip. It was centered about 195 miles south-southwest of New York City. Although forecasters say Irene will be moving over cooler waters, it is still expected to stay a hurricane until landfall again near Long Island, N.Y., about midday Sunday.

1:14 a.m. ET

The St Mary's Lake Dam near Callaway, Md. could spill over but is not in danger of breaching, according to officials in St. Mary's County. Residents living near the 250-acre lake are being urged to move their families and pets upstairs or to a high place with a means of escape.

Hurricane Irene Times Square
People play in the rain in Times Square in New York City on the eve of Hurricane Irene's arrival on Saturday, August 27, 2011.
Charles Lamont/CBS News

12:31 a.m. ET

Hurricane Irene has caused chest-deep floodwaters in Norfolk, Va. Check out this video of WTKR's Kurt Williams navigating through chest-deep floodwater to report on the powerful storm surge and heavy rainfall.

12:21 a.m. ET

The National Weather Service predicts up to to 8 inches rain are expected in New York City through Sunday afternoon.

12:15 a.m. ET

New York's Port Authority has closed the Palisades Interstate Parkway entrance to the George Washington Bridge because of the storm.

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