Hurricane Irene

Associated Press
FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2011, file photo, people near New York's Brooklyn Bridge wade through floodwaters brought on by Hurricane Irene, which weakened to a tropical storm just before hitting New York's Coney Island. Two years prior to 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. 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/Seth Wenig, 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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