Hurricane Irene Comes to Town
(This post was written on Sunday but couldn't be uploaded due to Hurricane Irene) Irene made it in the end, and despite the etymology of her name, she wasn't in a peaceful state of mind. Her weapons - air and rain - spread panic, cut off power to hundreds of thousands of homes, knocked down trees, destroyed boats, and flooded basements. In short, they did their damage. Still, Irene was more merciful that they described her to be. Her anger had somewhat quelled by the time she reached New York. She probably figured that the people of the city don't have a stomach for these sorts of things. Now that she's all well and over, good riddance to her... Irene became a part of our lives. The authorities painted the scariest picture possible when describing her to us: her unusually large area, the awesome power of her winds, the massive rains she brought with her, her high pressure, and her destructive path across the Eastern seaboard. Governors and mayors gave one press conference after another to announce the measures they had taken, to advice citizens to stock up on supplies, to order the evacuation of residents of low-lying areas, to announce the closing of airports, and the suspension of train and bus service. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged people to make haste and take precautions, warning residents living in flood zones that if they chose to stay home it would be at their own risk. Politicians faced quite a dilemma. If they were to be accused of something, it would be better to be accused of taking too many safety precautions as opposed to not enough. Life in the city came to a standstill, standing at attention and bowing before the strength and magic of Mother Nature. As if to remind us that we are nothing but ants in the face of Mother Nature's power. Just a gust of wind from her mighty mouth and we can disappear. On Friday afternoon there came the silence before the storm. Not even a leaf was blowing. The atmosphere had crystallized into a warm, wet, tropical mix. Nature was waiting for its great (albeit unwanted) visitor, Irene. The silence before the storm. Irene reached New York on Sunday at daybreak, as if it was entering through the back door. The weather was wild and threatening, and the sky was dark. The worst was yet to come, it warned. The first troops had arrived, but the heavy artillery would follow in a few hours. Up until then, however, the situation was tolerable. Do you think we'll be lucky and the meteorologists will be disproven - again? And if they are proven wrong, will we be fortunate, or will this be a lost opportunity to experience a rare natural occurence? What a dilemma! Do as you wish, Irene. What more can we do, get into an argument with Mother Nature?