Aug 28, 2011 4:14 PM by AP Posted by James H Egbert
NEW YORK (AP) - Irene remains a massive storm, but its winds are diminishing and it's moving northward twice as fast as yesterday.
Irene's now a tropical storm, with top winds well below the 74 mph threshold to be considered a hurricane.
New York City escaped the urban disaster many had feared, but Irene still sent seawater flooding into lower Manhattan and other low-lying neighborhoods. Firefighters made dozens of water rescues, including three babies. But the sandbags on Wall Street, tarps covering subway grates and plywood on storefront windows all helped.
In New England as in the mid-Atlantic states yesterday, authorities are reporting flooding, downed power lines and broken trees limbs are making roadways treacherous.
The former hurricane is blamed for at least 18 deaths along the East Coast, and emergency officials are warning people to stay inside even after Irene has passed. They say weakened trees and limbs could fall, power lines may pose a danger and utility crews need room to do their jobs.