Sunday, August 28, 2011

#323. Hurricane Irene: the Aftermath

"A weakened Hurricane Irene tore into New York on Sunday hammering Manhattan's skyscrapers with fierce winds after killing at least nine people along the US east coast" according to, but by time it had made its 3rd landfall here, it had been downgraded to a tropical storm (max wind gusts 100 kph). On the Weather Channel, old-timers were saying it was more like a garden variety "Nor- easter" that we get frequently, and nothing like Hurricane So&So in 1962 or whenever. But it was a big storm, August has been the wettest month on record and it has been the wettest summer ever.

It certainly was true "New York City resembled a ghost town after 370,000 people were told to evacuate flood-prone areas, including near Wall Street and at Coney Island, and mass transport was shut down". We got 6.7" rain, with 10" in NJ and out on Long Island and lots of local flooding. And some strong wind gusts that knocked things over.

But we didn't get the destructive Category 2 winds predicted, or the storm surge that was feared. Central Park has been closed all day and a number of grand old trees fell or are badly damaged and apparently the Bethesda Fountain area is flooded.

It was an anxious 24 hrs and a weird, housebound weekend. But this evening the power is on, the water is running, our garden is intact, the sky is clearing up to the south and it is back to work tomorrow, with forecast to be sunny & 25 deg C.

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