Hurricane Irene was a large and powerful Atlantic hurricane of the 2011 season that left extensive flood and wind damage along its path through the Caribbean, the United States East Coast and as far north as Atlantic Canada in 2011. The ninth named storm, first hurricane and first major hurricane of that season, Irene formed from a well-defined Atlantic tropical wave that showed signs of organization east of the Lesser Antilles. It developed atmospheric convection and a closed cyclonic circulation center, prompting the National Hurricane Center to initiate public advisories on the tropical cyclone late on August 20, 2011. Subsequent convective organization occurred as it passed the Leeward Islands, and by August 21, it moved very close to Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The next day Irene made landfall at hurricane strength near Puerto Rico, where high winds and intermittent torrents caused significant property damage.
Irene tracked just north of Hispaniola as an intensifying Category 1 hurricane, skirting the coast with heavy precipitation and strong winds that killed several people. After crossing the Turks and Caicos Islands, the hurricane quickly strengthened into a Category 3 major hurricane while passing through The Bahamas, leaving behind a trail of extensive structural damage in its wake. Curving toward the north, Irene skirted past Florida with its outer bands producing tropical-storm-force winds. It made landfall over Eastern North Carolina's Outer Banks on the morning of August 27, and moved along southeastern Virginia, affecting the Hampton Roads region.
After briefly reemerging over water, Irene made second U.S. landfall near Little Egg Inlet in New Jersey the morning of August 28, becoming the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since 1903. Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm as it made its third U.S. landfall in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, New York, at approximately 9:00 a.m on August 28. Considerable damage occurred in eastern upstate New York and Vermont, which suffered from the worst flooding in centuries.