Hurricane Irene Death Toll at Least 25: Who Were They?

 @ibtimes
on August 29 2011 11:42 AM
hurricane irene damage
A lighthouse-shaped building is battered by storm surge and winds from Hurricane Irene in Montauk, New York August 28, 2011. Hurricane Irene battered New York with heavy winds and driving rain on Sunday, shutting down the U.S. financial capital and most populous city, halting mass transit and causing massive power blackouts as it churned slowly northward along the eastern seaboard. REUTERS

Hurricane Irene prompted a death toll of at least 25 across eight states, the Associated Press reported.  States of Emergency were declared in Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Maryland, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.  The East Coast braced for the storm for days, stocking up on emergency supplies, evacuating low-lying regions, and filling tubs with water.

Although the storm was not nearly as catastrophic as we had anticipated, at least twenty-five people lost their lives, some of them while committing foolish acts akin to tempting fate.  Others were sitting in their homes.  As it is inherent to human nature to believe that bad things are meant for other people, these deaths should be considered equally heartbreaking.

89-year-old Charlotte Levine was killed after a falling tree limb prompted power lines to fall onto her Prospect, Connecticut home, initiating a fire.

46-year-old Shane Seaver died in Connecticut in a canoe on a flooded street.  The man in the other boat survived the accident.

55-year-old Florida high school teacher Frederick Fernandez died near New Smyrna Beach after being tossed from his board. 

55-year-old James Palmer became caught in tumultuous North Florida waters.  His wife attempted to revive him using CPR but was unable to save him.

85-year-old Anne Bell was killed in Maryland after a tree crashed into her chimney, shattering the glass roof under which she had been sitting.  Debris from the chimney struck and killed her. 

20-year-old Celena Sylvestri became trapped in her vehicle, which was completely submerged in New Jersey floodwater.   She called for help but when they arrived there, she was already dead, police said. 

A 50-something-year-old man was electrocuted in Spring Valley, New York while attempting to rescue a small child trapped in a flooded street.  The child is in life-threatening condition, a spokesman for the Rockland County Emergency Operations Center said.

According to state police, a woman drowned when she fell into a creek near Albany, New York. 

68-year-old Joseph Rocco of East Islip, New York drowned while windsurfing in Bellport Bay. 

Two men were taken by the Croton River in New York after their inflatable boat upended, according to Croton police.

A man died in Nash County, North Carolina, after a tree limb fell on him.

A 15-year-old girl died after her family's car crashed into another vehicle in North Carolina.  Hurricane Irene was responsible for the accident as it knocked out power to traffic lights in the area.  Four people were thrown from the vehicle. 

A man died after a tree crashed into his Pitt County, North Carolina home.   A second Pitt County fatality occurred after a man drove through water.  His car derailed and crashed into a tree.

A mother died in Sampson County, North Carolina after a tree fell on her car.  Two of her family members were also in the vehicle and survived.

Melton Robinson, Jr. was recovered from the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.  It remains unclear whether Robinson fell or jumped into tumultuous waters.  

Michael Scerarko, 44, died after a tree fell on top of him in his backyard.  The Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania resident pushed his son out of the way and died a hero.

According to state police, a 58-year-old Harrisburg, Pennsylvania man was in a tent when a tree crashed into it.  It remains unclear why this man was in a tent despite a state of emergency declaration.

A man sitting in a camper died after a tree fell on top of him in northeastern Pennsylvania, according to emergency management officials. 

A motorist died after he lost control of his car on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  The vehicle hit a tree, state officials said. 

64-year-old Patricia O'Neill from East Norriton, Pennsylvania was found in the Wissahickon Creek.  It is still unclear how the woman died.

11-year-old Zahir Robinson died after a large tree fell into his apartment, Newport News, Virginia authorities said. 

67-year-old James Blackwell was killed in Brunswick County, Pennsylvania after a tree fell on his vehicle.

A man reportedly died in a Hopewell hospital after a tree fell on his home, Chesterfield County, Virginia police said.

57-year-old King William County man William P. Washington lost his life after a tree fell on him as he was cutting a nearby tree.  A fallen tree was blocking the road and Washington was trying to flee to safety.  He was four miles from his home.  

 

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