By early Tuesday, at least 46 deaths had been attributed to Hurricane Irene, stretching from North Carolina to Vermont. The rising death toll puts Irene among the 30 deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history.
What's more, the Department of Energy said Tuesday that a total of 3.3 million customers are still without power due to Hurricane Irene.
More than half a million residents remained without electricity in New Jersey, where river levels continued to rise in some areas. At least 20 communities had no running water or had ordered residents to boil all drinking water. Close to a million people had no power in New York state, and flooding in the Hudson River valley threatened significant new destruction. Hundreds of thousands more residents in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island were also without power. Companies warned customers to be ready for outages lasting up to several weeks, though on Monday some utilities in North Carolina and New Jersey signaled they could deal with the majority of the outages by next weekend.
The economic damage—ranging from wrecked roads to lost hotel bookings—could hit $12 billion or more, according to initial estimates from economists and insurance industry officials.