Last week I wrote a blog post asking if the local media and politicians overdid the warnings about Tropical Storm Irene. My concern was that, in light of the area being relatively spared, future warnings might not be taken as seriously. It turns out that the answer to my question would be "no," as in they didn't overdo it. Much as I disliked the schoolgirl-like giddiness of some of the weather reporters (which is a trend that will probably never go away), the aftermath of the storm has revealed enormous damage right here in our own back yard.
- President Obama was just in Paterson, New Jersey, less than an hour from me, because the flooding was so severe.
- Power outages in Westchester were significant, and some were without electricity for days.
- Westchester also had plenty of flooding, including a a home that is under contract with some clients of ours. The basement was so flooded that the laundry appliances were floating.
- The flooding wasn't just in basements. Last Sunday I published photos of standing water in Thornwood, NY which turned a main road into a lake, and a garage that was almost washed away by a brook that overflowed.
- Tannersville, New York in the nearby Catskills had its downtown literally washed out. The main street was a river.
And right down the street from my own office, the subterranean erosion was so massive that a portion of North State Road collapsed. It is just a big hole. Worse, the area of the sinkhole housed utility infrastructure that will be no picnic to repair. Estimates are that it will take 2 months and almost $400,000 to fix and restore the road. This is a well traveled road that crosses the 9A expressway, and the disruption will be as significant as the cost.
So, to answer my own question, NO. It wasn't overdone, even in an area that was largely spared the massive damage we saw elsewhere. And I do believe that people will listen next time, or pay heavy consequences, especially if we aren't as fortunate as we were this time around.