NEW YORK CRIPPLED BY TINY DROPS OF RAIN IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANE IRENE
August 28 2011
New York, NY – The disaster scenario had all been worked out. Flooded subway tunnels, erosion of building footings, and deaths by the thousands due to failed evacuation efforts. It was chaos incarnate, the stuff seen only in movies.
It didn’t happen that way. By the time Hurricane Irene reached New York City it had been downgraded a number of times to little more than a Tropical Storm and her impact was simply not what forecasters had predicted. There was no mass death, no apocalypse, but there was a whole lot of wet.
Still, this is a first hurricane in a long time for the city and even though the impact may not have been as severe as many had predicted, it still wasn’t a very pleasant day. Nearly 100,000 people lost power, temporarily, and large parts of the low-lying areas of the city got really wet, nearly over the tops of peoples shoes. New York, though, is a tough city and many haven’t let the crippling rain stop them from living their lives.
“While the storm was not nearly as severe as we had feared, we are still warning people to stay out of the city. There are still a number of hazards including slippery
sidewalks and the very real potential to be splashed by passing vehicles. We recommend that people who evacuated stay out for the time being and for people who stayed to please stay in their homes while we deal with this crisis,” said a city spokesperson. “We are working closely with city utilities and we are concerned that water levels may require the shutting down of more power services throughout the city in the coming hours. This crisis is not over yet.”
No one has yet died in the city, though hospitals in the area did report a higher than usual number of people coming into the emergency ward to avoid rainfall.
“It’s been pretty bad, the worst I’ve seen really. I mean it wasn’t as bad as they said it was gonna be but still, yo, still,” said one local resident. “My socks are wetter than they ever been. I feel like I’m in washing machine not on the streets. This is rough man, but this is New York. You don’t get nowhere being soft.”
Similar sentiments were reported throughout the city, but some of the most problematic areas were large barren of people.
“We are very happy that people stayed out of the low-lying areas. That could have
been a disaster. Emergency personnel have been in that region for a good amount of time now and all of them are reporting incredibly soggy conditions, which is no place for untrained personnel,” said an emergency official. “Our vehicles are having to move through massive puddles which is splashing water all over their windshields, making it next to impossible to see. They are having to change raincoats and foot wear regularly to prevent getting cold. This is pretty bad. It may not be the worst case scenario but don’t let anyone tell you that it’s a walk in the park.”
Dozens of people have been seen walking in the park, as well as a number of stray dogs which were apparently abandoned by their owners.
Mike Michaels, American Correspondent