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Hurricane Irene

Long Island, NY - Aug. 28 2011

Hurricane Warning - Long Island

  • Hurricane Irene had several landfalls, first in the Bahamas, then along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, then finally in New Jersey & New York. I chose to intercept Irene in New York for a few reasons. It was closer for me to get to, I already had other storm chaser friends who lived in New York and, it was going to be a very newsworthy event.
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  • Regular chase partner, (and meteorologist with The Weather Network) Mark Robinson and I drove to New York a couple of days before the storm and met up with Dave Lewison and Scott McPartland, who we have chased many hurricanes with over the years.
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  • We went location scouting the day before Irene arrived and found ourselves in the areas of Broad Channel, Long Beach and Rockaway Beach.
  • The Day Before The Storm

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    The day before hurricane Irene hits. - Rockaway Beach, Long Island

    Surfers catching some air time in the pre-hurricane swells.

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    There were not many brave surfers out there, but the ones that were, seemed to be having fun in the waves, despite the risks.

    This surfer was getting pretty close to the rocks.

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    A fisherman looks out over the neighborhood of Broad Channel, the day before hurricane Irene.

    Busses line up to take evacuees inland from the low lying coastal areas of Long Island.

  • On the morning of the 28th, we started out pre-dawn and headed south out of Queens. It was still dark and the storm was just starting to ramp up. We encountered numerous trees that had been brought down, flooded roads and at times, power lines and transformers were sparking and exploding near us. This was especially disturbing when we were knee deep in salty storm surge water that had flooded much of Broad Channel.
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  • Technically, Irene had 3 U.S. landfalls - As a cat 1 in North Carolina, again as a cat 1 in New Jersey, then finally as a tropical storm in New York. The center of the storm passed right over New York City.
  • Hurricane Irene Comes Ashore

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    Here I'm checking on a swamped boat in Broad Channel at daybreak as the worst of hurricane Irene starts to arrive at our location.

    Much of Broad Channel, Long Island was under water from the storm surge flooding. We had to be very careful because there were damaged power lines nearby.

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    The town of Oceanside also had some very flooded areas.

    A wide look at a street in Oceanside, Long Island, NY.

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    The chase vehicles. We had to turn around because the water was just too deep to drive through.

    This driver made it through this flooded street, but this is extremely dangerous and could also ruin your car.

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    A flooded out basement of a condo building at Long Beach, NY

    Sea foam and storm surge water at Long Beach, NY

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    The elevated boardwalk at Long Beach survived, but there was extensive flooding from the waves & surge.

    The wind also whipped up a LOT of sea foam. Long Beach, NY.

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    Streets filled with sand water and sea foam - Long Beach.

    A downed tree demolishes a camper that was parked on the street in Queens, NY.