Hurricane Irene has killed 9 people across US east coast. More than 2 million people have been evacuated from its path
Millions of homes along the eastern seaboard are expected to be without power for several days as Hurricane Irene, the worst storm to hit the Northeast since Hurricane Gloria in 1985, will rip through the region bringing down power cables, and poles. Already, nearly 200,000 people are reporting a cessation of power supply in North Carolina due to the storm.
Gulf coast Hurricanes like Ike, Rita and Katrina do not chart their path through such densely populated areas, as Irene is expected to take. The damage is expected to be proportionately greater.
Power companies are on alert. Workers are being organized as far west as Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma, to send to the east to restore power supply after the storm.
Companies in the east have been preparing their customers for long periods of blackout. One company, Public Service Electric & Gas Co., said in a statement that full restoration of power â€œcould take between one and three weeks.â€ The utility provides electricity to about 75 percent of New Jerseyâ€™s population.
â€œOur state has never before experienced a storm of this magnitude,â€ the companyâ€™s COO Ralph LaRossa, said.
New York is especially at risk from flooding as its electric transformers and substations are located underground. Companies have been taking measures to preemptively shut power supply before the storm so as to minimize damage and speedup restoration after the storm passes.
Irene is expected to cause 6.5 billion dollars of damage. Nearly 65 million people are in the stormâ€™s path.