Over the past week, Hurricane Irene grew from a tropical cyclone in the Caribbean to a category 3 hurricane as it blew north along the East Coast of the United States. High winds and tremendous rainfall downed trees and battered shorelines, leaving millions without power and causing some 26 deaths across nine states. Though Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm as it made landfall in New York, the heavy downpours have caused flooding problems across many states that are still unfolding. Collected below are some images from the brief, eventful life of Hurricane Irene. [40 photos]
A NASA Goddard Space Flight Center handout photo taken by an Expedition 28 crew member aboard the International Space Station shows an image of Hurricane Irene off the east coast of the United States around 4:30 p.m. EDT, on August 26, 2011.
(Reuters/NASA/Expedition 28 - ISS/Goddard Space Flight Center/Handout) #
A man stands in the middle of a deserted Broadway in Lower Manhattan, New York, early on August 28, 2011 as Hurricane Irene hits the city with rain and high winds. New York City resembled a ghost town after 370,000 people were told to evacuate flood-prone regions, including areas near Wall Street and at Coney Island.
(Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images) #
In this photo provided by the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority, two men push a cart through a deserted Grand Central Terminal in New York, on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. Metro North suspended service and Amtrak is running on a reduced schedule due to Hurricane Irene.
(AP Photo/NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Marjorie Anders) #
In this photo provided by the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority, an MTA employee fills an "AquaDam," placed across the Long Island Rail Road tracks at New York City's Penn Station, on Saturday, August 27, 2011. The temporary barrier was installed to help keep flood waters stirred up by Hurricane Irene out of Penn Station's tunnels.
(AP Photo/NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority, John Kettel) #
A crayfish walks along a gas station parking lot in Millsboro, Delaware, early Sunday, August 28, 2011. The hurricane unloaded more than a foot of water on North Carolina, spun off tornadoes in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, and left 3 million homes and businesses without power as it moved up the East Coast.
(AP Photo/The Wilmington News-Journal, Suchat Pederson) #
Janie Gibbs helps clean up a friend's destroyed home on August 28, 2011 after it was hit by Hurricane Irene Saturday in Columbia, North Carolina, The storm killed at least 14 people and left 4 million homes and businesses without power. It unloaded more than a foot of water on North Carolina and spun off tornadoes in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
(AP Photo/John Bazemore) #
Elijah Gothard, left, and Amanda Tanguay, right, interns at the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Island, help move turtles out of the center before the worst of Hurricane Irene hits the island, on August 26, 2011, in Surf City, North Carolina.
(AP Photo/The Wilmington Star-News, Matt Born) #
Jackie Sparnackel has to abandon her van and her belongings near the Frisco Pier after she drove up to see how the storm-battered structure was doing on August 27, 2011 in Frisco, North Carolina. Friends tried to tow her out but she was caught in an overwash. Hurricane force winds from Irene were battering the island where power has been knocked out.
(AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy) #
An unidentified man hangs on to a branch in a rain swollen creek as he waits for rescuers in New City, New York, on August 28, 2011. He and three others went tubing in the creek and had to be rescued by New City and Stony Point fire departments' water rescue teams. With the rains and wind of Tropical Storm Irene heading north, some people went out for recreation in the unusual conditions left in the storm's wake.
( AP Photo/The Journal News, Peter Carr) #
Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette looks at a collapsed bridge on Route 9 in Woodford, Vermont, on August 28, 2011. The remnants of Hurricane Irene dumped torrential rains on Vermont on Sunday, flooding rivers and closing roads from Massachusetts to the Canadian border, putting parts of two towns underwater and leaving one young woman swept away and feared drowned in the Deerfield River.
(AP Photo/Bennington Banner, Austen Danforth) #
Billy Stinson comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood, on August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed yesterday by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward.
(Scott Olson/Getty Images) #