Hurricane Irene A Disaster Or Not? The Aftermath.
After the media hype of hurricane Irene, it turned out to be no more than a tropical storm. More than 4.5 million homes and businesses along the East Coast lost power, and at least 11 deaths were blamed on the storm. But as day broke Sunday, surprisingly light damage was reported in many places, with little more than downed trees and power lines.Â It was unfortunate to lose 11 innocentÂ victimsÂ to the storm butÂ casualtiesÂ could have been considerably worse.
By Friday, though, the storm began losing steam. It came ashore the next day in North Carolina a mere Category 1 with winds of about 85 mph, and had weakened into a tropical storm by the time its eye hit New York City on Sunday.
One has to wonder though if the continuous rain will result in the aftermathÂ of Irene possiblyÂ creating severe flooding for the next few days. Over 7000 flights were cancelled inÂ preparation for the “Monster Hurricane”. Floodwaters were rising across New Jersey, and more than 2,000 National Guardsmen were helping with search and rescue work as officials assessed the damage. The Raritan River, which caused disastrous flooding after it was swelled by rain from Hurricane Floyd 12 years ago, was not expected to crest until Sunday evening.
In 1999, Floyd dropped at least 15 inches of rain on eastern North Carolina. The flooding was the most damaging in the state’s history, topping $3 billion in North Carolina. Four years later, Isabel brought hurricane conditions to eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia, causing about $1 billion in damage.
As the storm weathered on a lot of users were following IreneÂ on Twitter, Irene’s tweets were some what entertaining, none the less disturbing to others.
In the resort town of Ocean City, Md., damage appeared minimal. A few small trees along a major road had been uprooted. Scattered piles of sand about two feet high covered areas of the boardwalk. The end of a wooden pier was sagging and a wooden railing was askew.
At the Quietstorm surf shop on the boardwalk, part of a wall where the shop’s name is advertised had been torn off, exposing wiring and scattering insulation. Locals, though, said they had seen worse during ordinary storms.
All in all I am glad the storm was downÂ graded. As you can see here in Richmond, the streets are clear and the sun is shinning!