Monday, 5 September 2011

New York & Hurricane Irene

I've recently returned from a family holiday in New York which turned out to be quite different from our normal family breaks. Whilst there we had to face a smallish earthquake and one 'Hurricane Irene'. 

Together with my wife and son we'd just walked out of the Empire State Building having just been at the top on the viewing platforms when we heard a lot of people talking about the earthquake and a few people asked if we'd felt anything. Thankfully, we hadn't.

However, a couple of days later Hurricane Irene came barrelling in. It really wasn't as bad as it was made out to be on the TV. Certainly not where we were. The TV reporters ramped it up and the US authorities reacted by effectively closing down NY for two days. Whilst I understand the need for precautions, I was a bit taken aback by the severity of the measures taken. Broadway was completely closed and the vast majority of shops were closed, boarded and sandbagged. The subway transit system shut completely (no argument with that) and the buses stopped running. It was literally, at least by NY standards, a ghost town.

As the storm drew closer, the reporters claimed the humidity was 100% and it may well have been. It was muggy! When it finally arrived, it was rain. Lots and lots of it for about 16 hours straight. There was however, virtually no wind. I went walkabout...

Do I think that the authorities over-reacted? Perhaps. A bit. But, I can't argue with the need to be safe as opposed to sorry. Devil and the deep blue sea scenario to be honest.


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