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Here are the Four Things You Need to Know About Hurricane Irene

Mark Wilson, Getty Images

1. After all the hype, Hurricane Irene wasn’t quite as devastating as the media had us expecting.  There was flooding and at least $3 billion in damage . . . but this wasn’t exactly “Katrina meets Manhattan.”

2. So far, 21 deaths have been reported up and down the East Coast.  Many have been from people swept away in the flood, or falling trees landing on homes.  Some trees also landed on power lines, which caused fires and electrocutions.

There were also deaths like the man in North Carolina who had a heart attack putting up plywood before the storm . . . and a man in Pennsylvania who was camping in a tent and was crushed by a falling tree.

Not to minimize the deaths, because each one is obviously tragic . . . but the hurricane could’ve been much more devastating.

3. The three major New York-area airports are reopening today.  Almost 10,000 flights were canceled . . . and there will be hundreds of thousands of people looking to get rebooked on new flights.

4. Yesterday, Irene was downgraded from Hurricane Irene to Tropical Storm Irene, and then late last night was downgraded again.  So the worst should be over.

That being said . . . there’s still a ton of damage in its wake, widespread flooding, and millions who could be without power for weeks to come.

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