As those of you on the East Coast are well aware, Hurricane Irene has just slammed into our towns and villages. In New York, the last time we felt the sting of a storm this bad was way back in 1985 when Hurricane Gloria came to town. I was eight years old then and still had one more year of ignorant bliss until my JRA took hold. Now, though, we have survived another natural “disaster,” and the cleanup stage has begun. Unfortunately, like at least 20,000 additional residents in my immediate area, I have no electricity and probably won’t for another day.
Where I live we tend to lose power if a strong breeze blows. Because of this, I was not surprised when the electricity did finally cut out for good at 4am on Sunday morning. What I was surprised about is the fact that most of the rest of my neighborhood had no power either, and that includes several traffic lights that, as I write this, are still not functioning. Estimates are that the power will not be fully restored for five more days. It amazes me that basic utilities can be disrupted for so long with so little effort. Yes, we had some strong gusts, and there are one or two big trees down on every block, but overall the damage was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. If a truly large storm or other serious natural disaster hits or we suffer another attack like 9-11, I shudder to think where people like me would end up.