It seems New York city will be spared the worst as Irene has crept towards its coastline as a chastened Tropical storm. Long Island, however, was hit hard.
The downgrade came as winds dropped to a more manageable 100 kilometres an hour. Instead columns of rain fell, and a warning has been issued of severe inland river flooding.
Irene will continue to bring tropical rainfall for several hours as it continues its way north along America’s east coast.
In Lower Manhattan the floods reached Wall Street as Irene’s national damage estimate ran into the hundreds of billions of dollars.
Despite an unprecedented mass evacuation of nearly 400,000 people some have stayed behind to witness one of the great city’s nights to remember, the ‘Great storm’.