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With most of its transportation machinery shut down, the Eastern Seaboard spent the day nervously watching the storm’s march across a swath of the nation inhabited by 65 million people.
The hurricane stirred up 7-foot waves, and forecasters warned of storm-surge danger on the coasts of Virginia and Delaware, along the Jersey Shore and in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound. Maryland transportation officials closed the Chesapeake Bay bridge when wind gusts reached 82 mph. Shaped like a massive inverted comma, the storm had a thick northern flank that covered all of Delaware, almost all of Maryland and the eastern half of Virginia.
The deaths included two children, an 11-year-old boy in Virginia killed when a tree crashed through his roof and a North Carolina child who died in a crash at an intersection where traffic lights were out. In addition, a North Carolina man was killed by a flying tree limb, a passenger died when a tree fell on in a car in Virginia, and a surfer in Florida was killed in heavy waves.
It was the first hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States since 2008, and came almost six years to the day after Katrina ravaged New Orleans.
At least 2.3 million were under orders to move to somewhere safer, although it was unclear how many obeyed or, in some cases, how they could. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told 6,500 troops from all branches of the military to get ready to pitch in on relief work, and President Obama visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s command center in Washington and offered moral support. On Wall Street, sandbags were placed around subway grates near the East River because of fear of flooding.
While there were plenty of cabs on the street, the city was far quieter than on an average Saturday. The biggest utility, Consolidated Edison, considered cutting off power to 6,500 customers in lower Manhattan because it would make the eventual repairs easier. A day earlier, the city ordered evacuations for low-lying areas, including Battery Park City at the southern edge of Manhattan, Coney Island with its famous amusement park, and the beachfront Rockaways in Queens.
American Airlines spokesman Andrea Huguely said it was not clear when flights would resume out of New York.
The power losses covered at least 1.5 million homes and businesses and were heavily concentrated in Virginia and North Carolina.

Irene roared across the Caribbean earlier this week, offering a devastating preview for the United States: power outages, dangerous floods and high winds that caused millions of dollars in damage. Incoming waves from the Atlantic Ocean reach the boardwalk as spectators walk along the path in Ocean City, Maryland. The Darkroom offers Facebook and WordPress commenting in the hopes of fostering constructive conversation among our users.
ABOUT THE DARKROOMThe Darkroom, the photography and video blog of The Baltimore Sun, shines a light on visually captivating stories of our past and present. In the Northeast, drenched by rain this summer, the ground is already saturated, raising the risk of flooding. That made it a Category 1, the least threatening on a 1-to-5 scale, and barely stronger than a tropical storm.
Hurricane force winds covered the Hampton Roads region, which is thick with inlets and rivers and floods easily, and chugged north toward Chesapeake Bay. The bridge connects the capital of Annapolis and the rest of Maryland to the Eastern Shore.
The subway began shutting down at noon, the first time the system was closed because of a natural disaster.
In some of the busiest parts of Manhattan, it was possible to cross a major avenue without looking, and the waters of New York Harbor, which might normally be churning from boat traffic, were quiet before the storm. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also warned New Yorkers that elevators in public housing would be shut down, and elevators in some high-rises would quit working so people don’t get trapped if the power goes out. Kennedy, and Newark, plus two smaller ones — waved in their last arriving flights around noon.
The Northeast is much more used to snowstorms — including the blizzard last December, when Mr. Some forecasts had it making landfall as a Category 3 storm and perhaps reaching New York as a Category 2. Owen put his pickup truck on a small pyramid of cinder blocks to protect it from the storm tide, which had already begun surging through the saltwater marshes that stand between Poquoson and Chesapeake Bay.

Airlines declined to say how many passengers would be affected, but it could easily be millions because so many flights make connections on the East Coast. Authorities shut transit systems and ordered some evacuations as tens of millions of people on the U.S. It showcases the exciting work of our staff, offers tips in the craft, and highlights the emerging community of independent media makers.
It was expected to take as long as eight hours for all the trains to complete their runs and be taken out of service.
Construction stopped throughout the city, and workers at the site of the World Trade Center dismantled a crane and secured equipment. The Giants and Jets postponed their preseason NFL game, the Mets postponed two baseball games, and Broadway theaters were dark. In North Carolina, about 600,000 customers had no power with many of the outages in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, N.C. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. East Coast braced on Sunday for Hurricane Sandy, a gigantic storm forecast to deliver battering winds, dangerous flooding and even heavy snowfall. When uploading your photo, use the description field to tell us where you took the picture. Sandy, expected to come ashore late on Monday, could deliver a harsh blow to major cities including New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore and Boston.

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