With Irene gone, cleanup crews began pumping water out of soggy subway tunnels, fixing traffic lights in the nation's capital, and clearing debris from hundreds of roads as the East Coast readied for the workweek. While early indications were that the damage was not as bad as feared, the hurricane led to the deaths of at least 25 people in eight states as of last night. It will be days before things get back to normal in many places, as more than 4 million homes and businesses along the coast still did not have power yesterday.
Roads were impassable because of high water, fallen trees, and downed power lines. And while the full extent of the damage was not known, early estimates put it in the billions of dollars. Irene brought six inches to a foot of rain to many places along the East Coast: Flood waters were rising across New Jersey, and dozens of homes were destroyed by flooding and surf in North Carolina and Connecticut. The possibility of days or even weeks without electricity was a dangerous prospect for some. Asked one Milford, Conn., woman in a nursing home who relies on an electric wheelchair and refrigerated insulin: "What if we're without power for days?" Click to read about the storm's 25 victims.