The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Hurricane Irene causes extensive damage on East Coast

Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast last weekend, causing extensive property damages, closing of schools and businesses and leaving more than 400,000 citizens without power. According to current estimates, more than 21 people in eight states have died as a result of the storm.

The Category 1 hurricane began to pummel the U.S. when it made landfall in Cape Lookout, N.C. on Saturday. CBS News reported it was the first storm to attack U.S. mainland since Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008.

Zbiginew Sorbjan, a physics professor in the College of Arts & Sciences, said East Coast hurricanes are rare because such a storm usually moves west, affecting a different and often more prepared part of the country.

Sorbjan als0 said hurricanes die over land, where there is no sufficient heat available to support their existence.

“It is crucial that people move far away from the coast,” Sorbjan said. “As flooding continues, people might lose their lives.”

This Saturday, more than 900 National Guard troops were sent to New York City and the surrounding area, forcing 300,000 citizens to evacuate.

Five main New York City airports closed Saturday and cancelled domestic and international flights, as well as the closure of major turnpikes and highways. New York City’s entire transit system was canceled for the first time in history.

“I wasn’t in the city (during the storm),” said Dorothy Jetter, a freshman in the College of Engineering and native of New York City. “But I cannot imagine living there without the buses and subways. Most, if not all, use public transportation every day of their lives.”

Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey mayors ordered evacuation plans where more than 65 million people could have been affected by the storm.

Coastal areas of New Jersey like Pompton Lakes and Wayne suffered as water levels rose to 14 feet and caused lasting car, home and landscaping damages.

Travel along the East Coast was limited, as many transit systems shut down including the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Amtrak services.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said approximately 5,300 people moved into emergency shelters with roughly one million evacuating the shore area Saturday.

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