Hurricane Irene

Associated Press
FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2011, file photo, waves crash against the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, N.J. as Hurricane Irene approached the northeast. Two years before Irene, 100 scientists and engineers met to sketch out a bold defense: Massive, moveable barriers to shield New York City from a storm-stirred sea. One strategy entailed an estimated $9.1 billion set of barriers at three critical points around the city's waterways. The network would protect Manhattan and parts of the four outer boroughs and New Jersey, but not some vulnerable swaths of Brooklyn and Queens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

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Irene, the hurricane that weakened to a tropical storm, thrashed the East Coast, knocking out power to millions of homes and businesses, destroying piers and killing at least 40 people in 11 states. (AP)

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