Irene Death Toll Continues To Rise

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STATE – As the cleanup from Hurricane Irene continues, reports of deaths attributed to the storm continue to mount.

A 60-year-old North Bergen man who fell from a height of two stories while cleaning gutters in preparation from the storm on Saturday succumbed to his injuries on Monday.


Michael Kenwood, a 39-year-old member of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, died yesterday of injuries suffered Sunday when floodwaters pulled him away from a safety line as he investigated a submerged car that turned out to be empty.

Two bodies, including that of 25-year-old Jorge Hernandez, washed up in Point Pleasant Beach on Monday. Investigators believe that both men had gone out to watch the storm, according to reports.

Ronald Dawkins, 47, of Orange, a supervisor at the U.S. Postal Service facility in Kearny, was killed when he fell into an obscured drainage canal while trying to walk to safety from his flooded car on Sunday morning.

Scott Palencek, 39, fell into a fast-moving stream in Wanaque while walking with friends on Sunday.

A 74-year-old Edison man died of a heart attack in his flooded basement, and a 20-year-old woman was killed when her car was swept away by floodwaters in Salem County.

Two other New Jersey residents died outside of the state. James Palmer, 55, drowned in rough surf created by the hurricane on Saturday in Florida. Clark resident Jean Baptista, 25, was likely caught in a flash flood on Sunday in Delaware.

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