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Hurricane Irene Believed Responsible For 21 Deaths Along East Coast

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In this handout satellite image provided by NASA, Hurricane Irene, now downgraded to a tropical storm, is seen at 8:32 a.m. EDT, just 28 minutes before landfall in New York City August 28, 2011 in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

In this handout satellite image provided by NASA, Hurricane Irene, now downgraded to a tropical storm, is seen at 8:32 a.m. EDT, just 28 minutes before landfall in New York City August 28, 2011 in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The devastating winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Irene are believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least 21 people in eight states along the East Coast, including New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

NEW JERSEY

- Celena Sylvestri, 20, of Quinton, called her boyfriend and then 911 early Sunday seeking help getting out of her flooded car in Pilesgrove, police said. Her body was found eight hours later in the vehicle, which was about 150 feet off the road, police said.

NEW YORK

- A man in his 50s was electrocuted in Spring Valley when he tried to help a child who had gone into a flooded street with downed wires. The child was in very serious condition at Westchester Medical Center’s burn unit, said a spokesman for the Rockland County Emergency Operations Center.

- State police said they recovered the body of a woman who apparently drowned after she fell into Onesquethaw Creek in New Scotland, near Albany.

CONNECTICUT

- In Prospect, one person was killed in a fire that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said was apparently caused by wires knocked down by the storm.

FLORIDA

- In Volusia County, 55-year-old Frederick Fernandez died Saturday off New Smyrna Beach after he was tossed off his board by massive waves caused by Irene. The Orlando Sentinel reports the high school teacher had a large cut on his head, apparently from hitting the sea floor.

- In Flagler County, 55-year-old tourist James Palmer of New Jersey died Saturday in rough surf. Family members say they lost sight of him after he waded into the surf in North Florida. He was pulled to shore and his wife attempted CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

MARYLAND

- In Queen Anne’s County, Md., 85-year-old Anne Bell was killed when a tree knocked a chimney through the glass roof of the sunroom where she and her son were sitting. They’d gone out into the sunroom after the power went out in her Queenstown home. Bell was struck by debris, causing severe trauma.

NORTH CAROLINA

- In Nash County, a man was killed after a tree limb fell on him outside his home Saturday morning as outer bands from the storm brought near hurricane-force gusts inland.

- Goldsboro police say a 15-year-old girl died Saturday afternoon after the SUV carrying her and family members collided with another SUV at an intersection where Irene had knocked out power to traffic lights. She was one of four family members thrown from the vehicle; the family was returning to northern Virginia from Myrtle Beach, S.C.

- Authorities in Pitt County say a man was found dead in his home after Irene’s winds toppled a tree onto his house.

- Another man in Pitt County drove through standing water, went off a road and died after striking a tree on Saturday.

- A mother in Sampson County died Saturday morning when a tree fell on a car carrying her and two family members.

- New Hanover County deputies on Sunday afternoon recovered the body of Melton Robinson, Jr., who had been missing since falling or jumping into the Cape Fear River as storms from Irene reached North Carolina on Friday night.

PENNSYLVANIA

- Michael Scerarko, 44, was killed Sunday when a tree fell on him in his yard. Scerarko, of Stroudsburg, pushed his son out of the way, but could not get out of the way himself, police said.

- A 58-year-old Harrisburg man was killed Sunday morning when a tree toppled onto his tent, state police said. The man was one of about 20 people at a party on private property in East Hanover Township, Dauphin County, some of whom who decided to sleep outside.

- A man in a camper was crushed by a tree in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County, state emergency management officials said. Police found his body shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday.

- A motorist was killed when he lost control of his car on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Carbon County, skidded over an embankment and hit a tree. State officials attributed the accident to the storm.

VIRGINIA

- Newport News authorities report that 11-year-old Zahir Robinson was killed when a large tree crashed through his apartment shortly after noon.

- In Brunswick County, a tree fell across a car Saturday afternoon, killing 67-year-old James Blackwell of Brodnax. The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

- Chesterfield County police say a man died at a Hopewell hospital Saturday after a tree fell on a house that he was in.

- A King William County man, 57-year-old William P. Washington, was killed when a tree fell on him as he was cutting another tree on Saturday night. Washington was trying to get home at the height of the storm when a fallen tree blocked his path on a road, about four miles from his home, and he and another motorist tried to clear the way.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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