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Irene gone, but tropics far from quiet

Millions still in the dark while New England residents cope with historic floods following hurricane

MIAMI (UPI) | August 29, 2011

ropical Storm Jose was expected to weaken while an unnamed tropical depression was forming south of the Cape Verde Islands, forecasters said Monday.

No coastal watches or warnings for either storm were in effect, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 5 a.m. EDT advisory.

Jose was about 340 miles north of Bermuda and about 515 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and moving along a northerly track at 23 mph, the center said.

Jose was expected to veer north-northeast later Monday, lose some of its tropical storm characteristics and dissipate by early Tuesday.

Tropical Depression 12, with sustained winds of 35 mph, was about 395 miles south-southwest of the southernmost of the Cape Verde Islands and tracking west at 15 mph.

The hurricane center said the depression could gather strength during the next two days.

Meanwhile, disaster response assessments are beginning in the wake of Hurricane Irene which was responsible for 4 million electrical customers losing power and billions of dollars in damages.

Unofficially, at least 35 people died in 10 states.

Remnants of Irene moved through eastern Quebec, the National Hurricane Center said in its final advisory at 11 a.m. EDT Monday. Irene, which had deteriorated to a post-tropical depression, was about 191 miles north-northeast of Frenchville, Maine, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and moving northeast at 25 mph.

Strong winds battered parts of Quebec and the Atlantic provinces as the storm moved over eastern Canada, soaking cities, grounding flights and leaving more than 200,000 people without power, Postmedia News reported.

Quebec provincial police said one person was missing in Yamaska, northeast of Montreal, after two cars fell into a crevice created when a road washed out Monday.

"It looks like eastern townships and areas of Quebec got the most rainfall," Chris Fogarty, manager of the Canadian Hurricane Center, said. "There were a number of stations that had [nearly 4 inches] of rain or more overnight. It's pretty significant, especially when you see the scary degree of flooding" in the United States.

Air Canada warned of possible flight delays to Quebec City and other airports in Atlantic provinces and the United States.

Wind warnings were in effect for mainland Nova Scotia, most of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and portions of southern Quebec, and rainfall warnings were posted for most of southern and eastern Quebec, Postmedia News said.

Public Security Minister Robert Dutil said it could be several days before officials know the actual extent of damage from the storm, The (Montreal) Gazette reported.

In the United States, the huge, plodding storm inundated states with rain and brought with it a huge storm surge.

Airports along the East Coast reopened Monday, but thousands of passengers scrambled to rebook travel after an estimated 11,238 flights were canceled, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Cleanup and damage assessment has begun along the East Coast with some estimates putting a $7 billion price tag on the storm, Jose Miranda of Eqecat Inc., a catastrophic risk management firm in Oakland, Calif., told the Times. CNN reported the damage could reach $10 billion.

Warnings for flooding and high winds were in effect for parts of the northern mid-Atlantic states into New England, the center said. What remains of the storm was forecast to exit the United States Monday and rainfall was to subside.

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