Irene became hurricane this time last year
On the morning of August 22, 2011, Irene was upgraded to a hurricane while over Puerto Rico, becoming the first hurricane of the season.
Still a relatively small storm, hurricane force winds only extended 15 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds were spread over a 150 mile area, mainly northwest and northeast of the center.
“While passing near the island of Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Irene moved toward Puerto Rico, more northward than initially expected, where it underwent a considerable increase in strength and organization,” said the National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City, NC event summary for Irene.
“Hours later, Irene moved ashore, approaching from the southeast at landfall near Punta Santiago, Puerto Rico, with estimated sustained winds of 70 mph,” said the summary.
According to several publications in Puerto Rico, heavy rains caused extensive damage to roads while hurricane-force winds toppled many trees and utility poles, leaving more than 1 million residences without power, and one person died when their car was swept away in flooding.
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