So far, Irene is responsible for the deaths of 12 people, and 128 injuries. As the storm grew closer, it weakened and that along with the many evacuations and emergency preparations helped keep the count low.
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All the major insurance carriers that provide home, property, business or automobile insurance have seen their stocks slide today as Hurricane Irene threatens to make this the United States' largest hurricane in terms of damage. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew sunk many mid-sized and small insurance providers in Florida, and Irene is now predicted to do much worse damage over a greater area.
Hurricane Irene is over the northern Bahamas with sustained winds of 120mph, still a category 3 storm, moving NW at 13 mph, and is exactly located at 25.5°N 76.5°W.
Weather conditions along the coast of Florida have begun to deteriorate, with sustained winds of 20 mph and gusts up to 45mph in West Palm Beach and Stuart, Florida. The surf has kicked up significantly since yesterday, with wave heights reaching 6-12 feet.
Hotels report being sold out in the Bahamas as some tourists get stuck with airports closing and residents staying in hotels rather than at home, feeling safer there. Top sustained winds have reached 120mph with wind gusts reaching 155mph. Irene is currently crossing over the Turks and Caicos Islands and is fast appraoching the Bahamas moving NW at 12 mph.
The main airport in the Bahamas closed today at 3pm.