I woke up to glorious sunshine this morning. All that’s left of Irene, the latest hurricane to hit the east coast of the U.S., is the damage and the cleanup.
For a storm that massive that was predicted to pass over the New York area on Saturday evening as a Category 1 hurricane, we were very fortunate that Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reached us. As a result, we had far less damage that what was anticipated.
There have been flooding, mostly in flood-prone areas, trees uprooted trees, power lines brought down and cut off electricity in some areas. There has also been some loss of life but thankfully, not as many as could have occurred if the storm had remained as strong as was forecasted.
On Friday afternoon, like most people in the area, I made my way to the supermarket to stock up on batteries (there were no ‘D’), water, and other necessities.
By the time we arrived, around 3:00 p.m., the parking lot was full and the supermarket was bumper-to-bumper shopping carts. Several shelves were empty and there was no water. But several minutes later, they announced that water had arrived. The way people rushed to get water, you’d think they’d been in the desert and just heard that an oasis was up ahead. Before too long, that stash was completely depleted.
I had big plans for the weekend. I was going to catch up on my reading and sleeping, posting comments on blogs and writing a few posts, and watch track and field.
I was only mildly successful.
I’m glad that I don’t have to go into work today. I know I couldn’t deal with the chaos of getting to work when the subways that ferry nearly 5 million passengers daily will not be back to full speed until the tracks can be inspected to determine if there was any damage, and if there was, fixed. That means, most people will have to rely on buses, cars, bicycles, etc., to get to work.
The only other hurricane I’d experienced was in Jamaica when I was about 5 years old. All I remember was the rain — way more than I saw for Irene – and my mother warning that we stay indoors. I can remember how she was afraid that we’d go splash in the murky water and step on downed power lines.
I won’t forget my first New York hurricane, especially since it came the same week of the earthquake.