While she left a few deaths and plenty of damage in her wake (and still is tonight as she continues her northward trek into Canada), things could have easily been MUCH worse. On her way north toward NYC, she blew through several major metropolitan areas. Can you imagine what might have happened had she traipsed through those cities as a stronger storm? That's a scary thought! I know a few people who live in her path, so I am mightily relieved that she lost a lot of her power before swirling through.
Those of us who live in the southern Atlantic states know all too well that although hurricane season officially began on June 1st, it's only just now really getting cranked up. Early- to mid-September is the peak, just around the corner. And while Irene is currently exiting the stage, Tropical Storm Jose has already popped up near Bermuda. Not much is expected of him, but a new tropical wave has also rolled off the coast of Africa with a 70% chance of developing into a storm. Something we'll have to keep an eye on over the next week or two.
Batten down the hatches and hold on to your hats, kids... this hurricane season could get a lot bumpier before it's over!