At least six people died, North Carolina’s Outer Banks flooded, and more than 1 million homes and businesses were without power after Hurricane Irene slammed into North Carolina today on a path up the Eastern Seaboard.

States from Virginia to Maine are evacuating residents and preparing for outages from the hurricane, with tropical storm- force winds extending outward from the center up to 290 miles (465 km), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. Residents in the New York metropolitan area and beyond were forced to stay close to home as trains and subways stopped.

Firefighters in Chocowinity, North Carolina, could hardly walk as they battled winds of 60 miles per hour to rescue people from homes whose roofs had been blown off