Irene was the first hurricane to hit the U.S. in three years
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends November 30 after producing a total of 19 tropical storms. Seven became hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. The activity matched NOAA’s predictions and continues the trend of active hurricane seasons that began in 1995.
Hurricane Irene was the lone hurricane to hit the United States in 2011, and the first since Ike struck southeast Texas in 2008. Irene was also the most significant tropical cyclone to strike the Northeast since Hurricane Bob in 1991. Its effects in the Caribbean and the United States lead to 55 deaths and accounted for the bulk of this season’s damage, more than $10 billion. Irene was the first landfalling hurricane in New Jersey in 108 years.
“Irene broke the ‘hurricane amnesia’ that can develop when so much time lapses between landfalling storms,” said Jack Hayes, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “This season is a reminder that storms can hit any part of our coast and that all regions need to be prepared each and every season.”
Massive storm triggering widespread evacuations and disaster declarations
Video clip courtesy NOAA showing Irene morphing from tropical wave off the coast of Africa to a Category 3 hurricane churning toward the Carolina coast.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Growing larger and stronger, Hurricane Irene is how aiming for North Carolina, and in a worst-case scenario, could cause widespread destruction up the Atlantic Seaboard through the Delmarva region, Chesapeake Bay, into New York City and even New England. Hurricane experts say Irene poses a threat that’s nearly unprecedented in recent memory, with flooding far inland, away from the storm’s center.