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Irene makes landfall in NYC as tropical storm

(Xinhua)

09:30, August 29, 2011

NEW YORK, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Irene arrived as a tropical storm at Coney Island in New York City at around 9 a.m. local time (13: 00 GMT) on Sunday, bringing winds of 65 miles per hour (mph), the National Hurricane Center reported.

As Irene bore down on the city, the storm brought heavy winds and rapidly rising seawater to the city.

The East River in New York City is topping the edge of its barrier wall and seawater from New York Harbor lapped on some streets in lower Manhattan. At about 9:00 a.m., the crossroads of the world, where scenes of hustling had been common, was largely abandoned amid torrential rain and intermittent gusts.

Electronic screens were still flashing on skyscrapers, but the windows of shops flanking the square remained shuttered. Traffic was thin but for a couple of police cars parked on the roadside and the occasional passing of yellow cabs.

There were power outages in all four of the outer boroughs. About 85,000 customers across New York City were out of power supply as of early Sunday.

In New York, a flood watch will be effective until late Sunday night. The public transit system was shut down. Bridges, tunnels and ports were also closed in the city of more than 8 million people. A resumption is not expected until Monday.

Jason Le miere, who stayed put, told Xinhua that he is relieved about the Irene status: "I thought by now we'd definitely have lost power and water but we are okay. We are on the 28th floor and the windows are completely fine too."

Irene made landfall Sunday morning around Little Egg Inlet, New Jersey, around 5:35 a.m. local time (09:35 GMT) as a minimal category 1 hurricane, with winds near 75 mph.

It had already unloaded more than a foot of water on North Carolina, spun off tornadoes in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, and left more than 3 million homes and businesses without power. Eleven people were killed so far.


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