LaHood lauds transportation workers in the Northeast for Irene response

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Irene was the first major storm forecast to seriously affect the United States in three years when it made landfall in North Carolina on Saturday. Over the weekend, the storm made its way up the East Coast, closing airports and transportation systems in cities including New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

Forecasters predicted the storm would hit New York on Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane carrying winds that could top 90 miles per hour, so officials preemptively made closures. In two notable cases, the subway systems in New York and Philadelphia were completely shut down for the first time in history.

By the time the storm reached the Northeast however, it had been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Both New York and Philadelphia's subway systems were running again Monday, though service had not returned completely to normal.

LaHood said it would take a while before everything was completely back on track.
 
"This afternoon, I want to remind everyone that the effects of Hurricane Irene continue to pose dangers on roadways up and down the East Coast," he said. 

"While not everything is back to normal, America's transportation workers are doing a great job in getting us on our way, and I hope you'll join me in thanking them for their service," he continued. "And, again, if you’re driving today on affected roadways, please use extra caution. Getting there is important, but not as important as getting there safely."