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5 Years Later, FEMA Remembers Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee

Release date: 
September 2, 2016
Release Number: 

PHILADELPHIA – In late August 2011, Hurricane Irene caused destruction and flooding across the eastern United States, including historic levels of flooding in communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Within a weeks time, Tropical Storm Lee would move through many of those same communities, bringing additional flooding to communities still responding to the aftermath of Irene.

Five years later, FEMA Region III is remembering the storms and their impact to communities, as well as the response and recovery efforts that in many communities continue to this day. “All disasters are local, and with Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, we have many communities who continue to recover from these disasters and are finding ways to mitigate future storms,” stated FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. To encourage individuals and communities to prepare for future hurricanes, FEMA Region III created products to remember Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and to provide a retroactive view on the storms impacts on communities across the region.

5 Years Later: Remembering Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee’ is a video which looks back on the impacts and recovery efforts undertaken in response to the storms, including efforts to get people into housing and the resilience of people faced with hardship. The video includes interviews with local, state, and federal officials who looked back at their role in responding to Irene and Lee and what mattered most in helping communities to recover back stronger than before.

In addition, FEMA Region III created ‘before and after’ photos which reveal just how much water certain communities received from the two storms. The photos are available in FEMA’s Multimedia Library at by searching for “Tropical Storm Lee Pennsylvania” in the search bar at the top of the page. For additional information on Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, visit This before and after compilation photograph shows a water rescue on Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, PA and the same area today.

FEMA Region III also created a map journal, which includes the before and after photos, an interactive map feature highlighting federal assistance to communities, and additional information demonstrating the scope and impact the two storms had on communities across the country.

Want to share? Tweet or share using the hashtags #Irene5yrslater, #Lee5yrslater, and #ItOnlyTakesOne. Take time to prepare for hurricanes now, before the next storm hits. It only takes on storm to have a significant impact on a community. For more information on how to prepare, please visit

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.  Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at and Follow us on Twitter at

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Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:02