by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 31, 2011
Forecasters late Wednesday said Hurricane Katia had formed in the Atlantic, the second of the season, as it roiled steadily westward.
Packing winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, Katia was a category one hurricane far out in the mid-Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.
"Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Katia could become a major hurricane by the weekend," the NHC warned.
Yet the center of Katia, some 1,165 miles (1,875 kilometers) east of the Leeward islands, was not an immediate threat to any land mass, the NHC said.
The new hurricane formed even as US President Barack Obama declared a "major" disaster area in New Jersey and announced plans to visit the flood-hit state on Sunday to view damage wreaked by Hurricane Irene, the Atlantic season's first.
Thousands remain cut off by flooding in Vermont, New Jersey and upstate New York in the aftermath of Irene, which has now killed nearly 50 people.
Three days after the storm passed, some marooned families are still waiting for the national guard and firefighters to bring food and water to swamped towns.
Officials have reported at least 43 deaths across 11 states, including eight in New York, seven in New Jersey and six in North Carolina, where Irene made landfall Saturday with winds upwards of 85 miles (140 kilometers) an hour.
The hurricane was already responsible for at least five deaths in the Caribbean before it struck the United States, and is being blamed for a 49th fatality in Canada, where the storm finally petered out on Tuesday.
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Irene damages to US more than $10 bn: firm
New York (AFP) Aug 31, 2011
Hurricane Irene caused more than $10 billion in total damages to the United States as it swept across the country's east coast, a leading risk-assessment firm said on Wednesday. "Irene caused significant damage to property," the firm, Eqecat, said in a report. "Eqecat estimates that Irene caused in excess of $10 billion in economic damages in its traverse across the mainland US." More th ... read more
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