Irene was battering eastern North Carolina shortly before noon on August 27, 2011, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image. At 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on August 27, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that the Category 1 hurricane was centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 85 miles (140 kilometers) per hour.
The U.S. East Coast is outlined in black in this natural-color image. Spanning hundreds of kilometers, Irene engulfs most of the coast, extending from South Carolina to New England.
By 11:00 p.m. EDT on August 28, Irene had lost significant power. At that time, the storm was a post-tropical cyclone centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Berlin, New Hampshire. Although damage from Irene was less than feared and the storm largely spared big cities, it nevertheless caused severe destruction in multiple states. Some of the worst damage actually occurred hundreds of miles inland, in the form of heavy rains and floods.
The PBS NewsHour reported that the storm had disrupted power to almost 7.5 million homes and businesses along the East Coast, and some people could be without power for a week or longer. As of August 29, the Associated Press reported, Irene had caused at least 40 deaths in 11 states.