Beachfront houses in North Carolina stand amid rising waves during the full force of Hurricane Irene, which made landfall Saturday morning as a Category 1 storm near Cape Lookout. The tempest brought winds of 85 miles (137 kilometers) an hour and flooding.
Hurricane Irene is expected to continue its destructive trek up the East Coast over the next two days, and experts say the large, slow-moving storm could still be at hurricane strength when it makes landfall again near New York City.
A rescue worker (left) helps a person off a sailboat that had foundered in the Chesapeake Bay due to Hurricane Irene on August 27. The boat had been brought to a beach at Willoughby Spit in Norfolk, Virginia.
While Irene has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, experts warn that it's a large, slow-moving storm that can still be very dangerous due to sustained high winds. (Get our tips on hurricane preparedness.)
Photograph by Bill Tiernan, The Virginian-Pilot/AP
Blown Its Top
The roof of a beach house at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina sits in shambles August 27 due to high winds from Hurricane Irene.
Dry air pulled into Irene's circulation late Friday afternoon slightly weakened the tempest—without the influx, Hurricane Irene could have had winds well in excess of 110 miles (177 kilometers) an hour at landfall, said meteorologist Keith Blackwell of the University of South Alabama's Coastal Weather Research Center.
Photograph by Jose Luis Magana, Reuters
A surfer attempts to navigate hurricane-induced waves near a Florida pier on August 26. After inflicting heavy damage in the Caribbean, Hurricane Irene skirted the Florida coast but did bring tropical storm-force winds to the region. (Watch hurricane videos.)
Photograph by Jon M. Fletcher, The Florida Times-Union/AP
To keep tables and chairs from blowing away, outdoor furniture was intentionally submerged in a beachfront hotel's swimming pool in Ocean City, Maryland, as seen on August 26.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan ordered a mandatory evacuation for thousands of residents and visitors as Hurricane Irene moves up the East Coast.
Photograph by Mark Wilson, Getty Images
Ervin Gjoni (right) fills sand bags while co-worker Arthur Mehilli waits to grab them as they work to protect the Safari Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland, on August 26 in advance of Hurricane Irene. The storm is expected to make landfall in Ocean City (map) late Saturday night through early Sunday morning.
Photograph by Ricky Carioti, The Washington Post/Getty Images
In Nags Head, North Carolina, resident Jeanette Walton picks up take-out Chinese food on August 26. Despite a mandatory evacuation order, Walton told the AP she plans to stay in her home to ride out Hurricane Irene.
Photograph by Charles Dharapak, AP
People examine a road damaged by overflow from the Nigua River in the Dominican Republic on August 24. The river was swollen due to heavy rains from Hurricane Irene, which also claimed at least three lives on the Caribbean island country.
A slightly weaker Hurricane Irene is now expected to drop 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) of rain along the U.S. East Coast and could dump as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) in some places.