North America’s hurricane season has begun with Hurricane Irene, generating winds of up to 140 kilometres per hour and causing extensive property damage and 25 deaths on its path from Puerto Rico to New York.
Gathering in force since August 20, Irene first made landfall on August 21 in Puerto Rico before strengthening into a Category 3 major hurricane as she passed through the Bahamas. Turning northward, Irene skirted passed Florida, making landfall in North Carolina and Virginia, before again striking land in New Jersey on August 28. Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm when she hit New York later that day.
Cruise ships itineraries were modified accordingly, with ships arriving in port early for a secure berth or voyaging east and south for calmer weather.
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