Hurricane Irene's projected track similar to path of destructive Floyd in 1999

Hurricane Irene's projected path bears an uncanny resemblance to 1999's Hurricane Floyd, which passed by Florida before hitting North Carolina and skimming the eastern seaboard.

That could mean serious trouble for those in Irene's path.

Floyd was responsible for 57 deaths, $4.5 billion in damage and widespread flooding that kept entire communities underwater for weeks. Like Irene's forecasted track, Floyd passed over the Bahamas and was originally predicted to hit Florida before shifting east.

It eventually slammed into North Carolina as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds. The human toll was greatest in that state, with 35 fatalities, mostly caused by freshwater flooding.

Floyd continued to accelerate north-northeast through Virginia, eastern Maryland, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and eastern New York. Even by the time it reached the northernmost New England states, the storm was still uprooting trees, downing power lines and flooding streets and homes.

Irene's predicted path and strength are nearly identical, but with one major difference. Floyd weakened to a tropical storm by the time it hit Massachusetts. Irene is expected to remain a hurricane all the way up to New York, said National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen.

And there's at least one more odd coincidence.

In 1999, four weeks after Hurricane Floyd wreaked havoc, North Carolina's Outer Banks found itself bracing against yet another destructive hurricane.

It's name was Hurricane Irene.

Hurricane Irene's projected track similar to path of destructive Floyd in 1999 08/26/11 [Last modified: Saturday, August 27, 2011 12:31am]

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