Hurricane “Irene” arrived late Saturday night, August 27. With the precision of a chess game NYC prepared for the storm by shutting down all their services from transportation to the Broadway shows. The streets of Times Square were eerily empty after the so called “city that never sleeps” was silenced by the threat of a killer hurricane named “Irene” bearing down with its “eye” aiming right for the heart of NYC.
Evacuations went smoothly for those who were living in the flood zones and most residents cooperated by leaving their homes, going to friends’ or relatives’ houses temporarily or to the city shelters. The Red Cross provided all the aid and comfort for their new residents with enough food and comfortable sleeping conditions. Some of the shelters even welcomed the pets of the temporary residents, which was done because of the chaos created in Hurricane Katrina when people refused to abandon their beloved pets to go to the shelters.
“Irene” lived up to her terrorizing reputation with high winds and steady, unrelenting rain. When she was done with us there was some flooding and power failures. New Yorkers are survivors and there’s nothing that anyone can do to bring this town to its knees, not even a horror named “Irene!”
Middle Village and Maspeth lost some of its trees and in Juniper Valley Park the tennis courts were underwater. There was other damage but in general “Irene” didn’t cause the havoc that her reputation suggested would occur. When it was all over everyone was ready to get back to their everyday routines despite the adversity of flooding and power failures.
Government agencies at every level were at the scene immediately to let everyone know financial help needed to get the city back to normal was going to be made available. The Bloomberg Administration, after abandoning Middle Village and Maspeth in the December 2010 blizzard and the September 2010 microburst got it right this time. The Mayor was available and attentive to every detail of the preparation and arrival of the killer hurricane, having several news conferences to keep everyone informed and to project the image of being totally involved.
By about noon on August 28th after “Irene’s” eye hit New York at 9am that day, she was gone leaving in her wake 650 trees lost, power failures and some destruction. Mayor Bloomberg announced very quickly that by Tuesday, August 30th, power would be restored to all the homes where it was out, the buses and trains were being reactivated, people would be going back to work and most important of all, there were no NYC fatalities and life resumed normally for the greatest city in the world, New York!