Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene Turns Out to Be a Major Disaster After All

... just not in New York City.

While the storm spared much of New York City, it clobbered parts north of here, especially in the Catskills. While subway service is up and running this morning in the city and people are grousing that the MTA will not extend weekly Metrocards to cover the lost day, the entire Metro North commuter line remains shut down with multiple damages, each of them enough to shut down a whole line. The Catskills and the upper Hudson Valley saw high winds and heavy rains causing very bad flooding, mudslides and avalanches, washed out roads and bridges, and lost power. One of the remarkable things about New York State is that so much of it is actually sparsely populated and even empty of people, including the mountainous regions in and around the Catskills and the Adirondacks, even areas fairly close to New York City. There is limited or no cell phone coverage in these areas, and when electricity and landlines go out, a lot of people become completely isolated with no way to call for help. And so there are now efforts to find and contact a lot of people who may be completely cut off from the outside world.

New Jersey and Connecticut both suffered extensive wind damage and flooding, mostly inland. New York City turns out to have been very lucky.

For what it's worth, I agree with the Mayor's decision to close down public transportation and evacuate low lying areas. No one knew how big the storm would be when it landed. All the evidence indicated a huge storm of a kind not seen in this area since 1938. The surprise is that the areas worst affected were not the coasts, but far inland.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hurricanes seldom go that far North and it so sad that there was so much damage from this one North of you.