US & Canada

Hurricane Irene: Your stories

Photo: Rolando de la Fuente
Image caption Heavy waves and surf on the east coast of Florida. Photo: Rolando de la Fuente

Hundreds of thousands of evacuated New Yorkers are being allowed back home after fears of major flooding due to Tropical Storm Irene have subsided.

Earlier, the powerful storm caused widespread destruction along the US eastern seaboard.

BBC News website readers have been in touch sharing their photos and experiences of the storm.

Linda Rootkin, Hoboken, New Jersey

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Media captionLinda Rootkin in Hoboken, New Jersey is 38 weeks pregnant

The hospital where I'm due to deliver was evacuated so it was a little nervewracking.

I was anxious that if I did go into labour, what we would do.

I'm having some Braxton Hicks and getting some of those pre-labour pains.

We haven't lost power so we've heard from our parents in Hertfordshire and in Kent.

My two-year-old son Alex is going a little stir crazy because we haven't been able to go outside for the last 24 hours.

I'm really looking forward to being able to take him outside and let him run around and let off steam.

We're still not allowed to get in our cars and we have been notified that we still may lose power due to the rising floodwaters.

Katie Longobardi, Englishtown, New Jersey

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Media captionKatie Longobardi is a volunteer for the local emergency medical services

I am British and moved to New Jersey four years ago. I am a volunteer member of the emergency medical service for our town.

This video was shot at around 09:00 on Sunday and shows some wind damage, but mostly severe flooding in Englishtown.

The water level of the lake is normally 4ft below the roadway. As you can see the level is well over the roadway causing severe flooding for about one mile.

Because this road bisects the township, ambulances are unable to travel to both sides.

Last night, an ambulance was stationed on the south side, and that is the ambulance I am with. The north side has had six calls, and we have had four.

These calls have ranged from cardiac, to water rescue from trapped cars.

Michael Latin, Queens, New York

Image caption Michael Latin: "The gutter to my house has been completely destroyed"

The gutter to my house has been completely destroyed and there is partial damage to the roof.

In addition, both my car and my neighbour's cars have been damaged. I got partial flooding in the basement too.

Despite all this, no-one has been injured in my neck of the woods.

I think I'll be stuck at home for a week because the emergency crews came to remove the fallen tree but they didn't succeed.

Richard Lai, New York

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Media captionRichard Lai: "I saw a few broken branches"

I was meant to fly out this morning, but now I'm stuck here until Thursday.

I walked from East 24th Street to 9th Street just now. There's plenty of rain but only random gusts of strong wind.

I saw a few broken branches.

There were still pigeons and sparrows loitering.

No public transport, and very few cabs around. It's very quiet, most shops are closed.

Hadyn Lassiter, West Haven, Connecticut

Image caption Hadyn Lassiter: "Trees are falling everywhere."

Irene is just getting started with us now. Trees are falling everywhere.

Utility crews are already hard pressed in New Haven just getting tree limbs out of the way.

Roads are blocked and our house is shaking. The temperature is very warm.

Yesterday, my daughter went to the shops to stock up - the price of water has doubled in the last couple of days.

Jay, Garment District, Manhattan, New York

Thursday late night I bought bottles of water after New Jersey declared a state of emergency. They were the last bottles of water on the shelves.

Friday early morning was spent trying to locate flashlights as I had only recently moved back to New York from London, UK.

It took me three stores to find, as it was sold out.

I also purchased easy cook food and essentials in case the electricity was cut. I spent 45 minutes in a line that extended from the entrance of Wholefoods in Columbus circle to the checkout.

I live on the 33rd floor so gusts are powerful up here. The rain is coming down consistently hard. There's low-ceiling cloud cover so you can't even see the top of the Metlife building.

Last time I checked from my window I only saw police cars on West 34th Street, which never happens. It's one of the busiest streets in Manhattan 24/7.

There is not much I can do right now. I've prepared the best I can. It's now up to fate - wrong place at the wrong time.

I have a flashlight and candles ready in my bathroom in case of a tornado warning, or if my window caves in from the strong winds.

Ryan Narcisse, Roselle, New Jersey

Image caption New Jersey resident Ryan Narcisse says: "The wind and the rain has really started picking up."

I'm a college student and I'm up late reading the news. It's overwhelming. The wind and the rain has started really picking up.

As far as taking precautions, we have stocked up on food and candles.

We are not too close to low-lying areas near the shore so we're not too worried but we did park our car further into the drive as the road had started to flood.

This is my first time I've witnessed anything like this. The street was blanketed with a sheet of water.

It is tense. It's amazing - the wind.

The New Jersey governor has 6,000 electricians ready to fix down power lines but I don't think that's going to be enough given the damage that is bound to happen.

It could be as much as three weeks that power may be down.

Overall state and local officials have been doing a good job to get people prepared for this - but this is a new experience for us.

Donna DiGiacomo, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I have been up all night. I'm really worried about the rain which has come down since 14:00 yesterday.

I live in north-west Philadelphia so we don't have flooding yet. About five minutes away I heard there was some flooding but the city is taking care of it.

In north-east Philadelphia the local stations say there was some power out and we have a tornado warning out.

I stocked up before the weekend. I live with my uncle and we normally have radios and batteries, so when people were losing their minds trying to get some we already had that.

Even on a good day you don't know what is going to happen.

I remember Hurricane Floyd in 1999. We've been caught in the tail end of storms before but this is just ridiculous.

Last week we had the power out several times, then the earthquake, and now this. The road outside is just mud - 12 hours straight of rain.

The houses we live around here are Victorian, so my neighbours and I should be OK. There may be some flooding in the basement.

The biggest problem could be trees falling.

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