Hurricane Irene has claimed its first victim: A man was killed in North Carolina today when he was hit with a tree branch snapped off by high winds.


The unidentified man was walking near his home in Nashville, North Carolina, when a branch was ripped off a tree by 60 mile-per-hour winds and crushed him. He was killed at about 10:20 a.m. today.


The hurricane hit the Outer Banks of North Carolina at about 7 a.m. today and is on a collision course for New York City. The first bands of heavy rain started moving into the area around 3 p.m., and at the height of the storm, forecasters say the city will face winds of 75 miles per hour or worse.