Hurricane Irene damaged a lot of infrastructure along its way. Apparently the Internet fared fairly well, according to this really interesting blog post.
The post also contains a time-lapse video with the damage to Internet connected networks plotted superimposed on a satellite movie of Irene.
To sum up the conclusion of the author:
I spent 12 hours picking my way across the ruined roads and bridges of Eastern New York State yesterday, trying to get back to New Hampshire, and I can attest to the fact that the transportation network is now far more vulnerable to disruption by an event of this scale than is the cyber-infrastructure.
I am not sure about the “now” bit. The Internet has always been very resilient. Some of you are old enough to remember the stories of the last major disruption of communication networks in the New York area, exactly 10 years ago 10 days from now. Even then, Internet connectivity was hardly impaired, although a number of websites could not handle the load.
I might have the slides at hand somewhere, from the rapporteur who analysed that event. Ask me.