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Before Irene: 10 Photos Before Hurricanes Strike | GlobalPost
Friday, August 26th, 2011

Hurricane Irene rains began lashing the U.S. East Coast Friday as residents from North Carolina to Massachusetts started evacuations and traffic chaos gripped routes heading away from the eastern seaboard. New York City announced plans to evacuate low-lying areas and shut down the public transit system.

East Coast residents stocked up on water, batteries and generators and monitored Hurricane Irene's path via storm trackers. On Friday afternoon, the storm looked set to hit the coastal area of North Carolina with hurricane-force winds late Friday night or early Saturday.

As Irene inches closers, here are 10 images of preparations in the U.S. and of other hurricanes before they strike.

HUR1
1

Astronaut Ron Garan tweeted this picture of Hurricane Irene from the International Space Station on August 24, 2011: "Ominous view #FromSpace of Hurricane #Irene east of the Bahamas @ 3:14pm EST today. East FL coast is calm b4 storm."

(NASA - Courtesy)
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Oil and water surround a pump jack September 14, 2008 in High Island, Texas. Hurricane Ike hit Galveston causing widespread wind and flood damage along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

(Pool - AFP/Getty Images)
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Havana´s waterfront is seen under the rain and winds of tropical storm Paula on October 14, 2010. Hurricane Paula hit Cuba, after drenching Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

(Adalberto Roque - AFP/Getty Images)
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Cory Ritz braces himself as a wave bursts onto a pier at the Boynton Beach inlet on August 25, 2011 in Boynton Beach, Florida.

(Joe Raedle - AFP/Getty Images)
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In this handout GOES-13 satellite image provided by the NASA, Hurricane Irene churns on August 25, 2011 in the Caribbean Sea.

(NASA - Courtesy)
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A lightning strike in San Salvador during a thunderstorm on September 4th, 2007.

(Jose Cabezas - AFP/Getty Images)
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Bill Salter of Boca Raton fishes in the ocean as storm clouds from Tropical Storm Ernesto approach from the south August 29, 2006 off Captiva Island, Florida.

(Win McNamee - AFP/Getty Images)
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Outdoor furniture sits in a pool at the Hilton hotel keep it from blowing away in preparation for Hurricane Irene on August 26, 2011 in Ocean City, Maryland.

(Mark Wilson - AFP/Getty Images)
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Rain and dark clouds pass over the Empire State Buidling in New York on August 25, 2011.

(Timothy A. Clary - AFP/Getty Images)
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A man tries to calm people during the evacuation of over 1,000 of the most vulnerable residents of the Corail-Cesselesse relocation camp due to Tropical Storm Tomas on November 4, 2010 in Port au Prince, Haiti.

(Spencer Platt - AFP/Getty Images)
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