Hurricane Irene Impacts Popular Tourism Spots

A bright sunny day in New York today doesn’t reflect the havoc that went on up and down the East Coast yesterday as Hurricane Irene slammed the region.

For many areas it was very hit or miss, with some neighborhoods seeing flooding and power outages, while others escaped with barely a tree branch out of place.

In New York, area airports, trains and subways were closed as a preemptive safety measure. By this morning, airports were open, first receiving aircraft for the first time in days; a few hours later they were also allowing outbound planes to depart. Spotted cancellations were still a reality, but for the most part, it appeared the airways had been reopened.

Whether people would be able to travel because of issues at their homes, such as flooding or loss of power, remained to be seen, however.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) used Twitter to give an update on his state’s power outages: “398,000 people statewide w/o power. 125,000 customers have power restored. LIPA projects 95% of customer outages will be restored by COB Fri.”

@MetroNorth, the train line that services Westchester and Connecticut this afternoon tweeted “Hoping to get some service back soon, but nothing definite yet.” The loss of that service meant thousands upon thousands of commuters were not able to make it in to Manhattan for work today.

Suppliers have been using Twitter to notify passengers of their status; @AmtrakNEC reported this afternoon that “All Acela service cancelled today Boston to Washington. Amtrak crews working to restore damage caused by Hurricane.”

USA Today, meanwhile, noted that while Vermont had suffered “extensive flooding, washed-out roads and other damage from Hurricane Irene…the leaves will be fine," says Greg Gerdel, chief of research and operations for the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.

In North Carolina, where Hurricane Irene hit earlier in the weekend, the news was mixed. Governor Bev Perdue announced Sunday that much of the state’s 300 miles of coastline is open for business and ready for visitors during the week leading up to Labor Day and for the holiday weekend but advised that travelers should contact their lodging provider ahead of time to make sure the property is ready to receive them.

All of the southern beaches in New Hanover (Wrightsville, Carolina, Kure beaches and Wilmington), Brunswick (Sunset, Ocean Isle, Holden, Oak Island, Caswell and Bald Head Island), Pender (Topsail, Surf City) and Onslow (North Topsail) counties are open to residents and visitors. Most of Carteret County's Crystal Coast (Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Atlantic Beach) is also open. Parts of Dare County's Outer Banks were set to open today, while some areas remain closed, but hope to re-open soon.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore was not so lucky, as it will be difficult to reach by vehicle now, thanks to the fact that Highway 12 was damaged by storm waters from Hurricane Irene, according to
The road, the main artery that runs the length of Cape Hatteras, was blown out just north of Rodanthe, and damage to the road also was reported near Salvo, according to the National Park Service.

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