Irene weakens to tropical storm as it moves over New York

28 August 2011 18:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Irene weakened to a tropical storm on Sunday as it caused flooding and massive rainfall in New York.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 miles/hour (95km/hour) and was centred over southeast New York as of 1100 hours east coast time (1500 hours GMT), the US National Hurricane Center said.

Wind speeds of 76 miles/hour mark the dividing line between a hurricane and a tropical storm.

Irene was expected to produce storm surges of 6-8 feet along parts of Long Island.

The storm was moving north-northeast at 26 miles/hour and would continue to weaken, the hurricane centre said.

The storm had caused 10 deaths along the US east coast, according to news media reports, and had left an estimated four million people without power.

“Tropical storm force winds will spread northward into northern New England and Atlantic Canada today” the National Hurricane Center said. “Winds affecting the upper floors of high-rise buildings could be significantly stronger than those near ground level.”

Some US chemical market sources said they expected Irene to have a minimal impact on production, but infrastructure issues including power outages and flooding could have more lingering effects.

By: Brian Ford
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