Jarrid Gonyea and his wife, Michelle, check out damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene on Hurricane Road in Keene, N.Y., on Monday. The costs of the storm that stretched across the Eastern Seaboard are estimated to be in the billions. Hans Pennink/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Hans Pennink/AP

Fen Rascoe boards up his parents' cottage as they prepare for Hurricane Irene on Thursday in Nags Head, N.C., which is under a mandatory evacuation order. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

Passengers wait in line at the United Airlines terminal at Chicago's O'Hare airport in 2009 after a computer malfunction caused long delays and the cancellation of some United flights. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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A provision attached to a Federal Aviation Administration budget extension would cut subsidies for flights to rural airports. Among the airports that could be affected is one in Ely, Nev., home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A fence secures the perimeter of a half-completed 236-foot FAA control tower at Oakland International Airport. Construction has been halted because of the FAA shutdown. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The new Automated Target Recognition software eliminates passenger-specific images and replaces them with generic outlines. Courtesy of Transportation Security Administration hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Transportation Security Administration

Pedestrians stop to view the National Debt Clock in New York this April. The debt ceiling is becoming an election issue, as groups on both sides spend millions on TV ads. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Firefighters in the nation's capital (shown near the White House in 2004) have some fairly sophisticated communication devices. But those devices use the same commercial networks as D.C.-area residents. In an emergency, those networks can get crowded. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images