Irene was battering eastern North Carolina shortly before noon on August 27, 2011, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture. At 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on August 27, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that the Category 1 hurricane was centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 85 miles (140 kilometers) per hour.
The U.S. East Coast is outlined in black in this natural-color image. Spanning hundreds of kilometers, Irene engulfs most of the coast, extending from the Carolinas to New England.
By 11:00 p.m. EDT on August 28, Irene had lost significant power. The storm was a post-tropical cyclone centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Berlin, New Hampshire. Although the storm largely spared big cities, it still left millions without electricity and claimed at least two dozen lives, the Associated Press reported.
Irene, the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season, was poised on August 26 to be the first to make land-fall in tU.S. since 2008. More than 50 million people were estimated to lie within the path of the storm.