Hurricane Irene leaves behind trail of destruction on march towards US

As Hurricane Irene begins to blast its way up the east coast of the US, more than 70 million people in the path of the storm have begun preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

The hurricane is predicted to be one of the most costly and damaging in history.

More than 200,000 tourists and residents are being evacuated from coastal parts of North Carolina.

And residents have been boarding up windows and stocking up on supplies.

In New York, authorities expect high winds and flooding in low-lying areas when the storm hits on Sunday.

Earlier this week the hurricane rampaged through the Caribbean with winds of 115 miles per hour.

During it's journey from the Bahamas to the Dominican Republic, the storm has caused around $3.1 billion in damage.