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Irene downgraded to tropical storm, moving to New England


16:35, August 29, 2011

BEIJING, Aug. 29 (Xinhuanet) --Hurricane Irene has been downgraded to a tropical storm, and has moved from New York into New England, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to much of Connecticut.

The Miami-based US National Hurricane Center says windspeeds dropped to 100 kilometers per hour Sunday morning as it pummeled Long Island and metropolitan New York. But gusts knocked down power lines, leaving more than 500,000 homes and businesses in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire without electricity.

Forecasters say Irene still poses a serious threat in coastal areas from Virginia to Massachusetts, and isolated tornadoes in New York and inland areas are also possible. Irene has killed 16 people so far since it made landfall.


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