From midtown Manhattan, it seems that the worst is over. The power is still on and there is little damage on the streets. At 3:00pm EST, the evacuation of Zone A will be lifted. The winds have eased up a bit, but they will stay strong, with gusts up to 50 and 60 mph likely. Some thunderstorms are also possible thereafter as the bottom edge of the hurricane moves through the city.
Coastal areas of the city are still dealing with flooding and storm surges, and many thousands of people are still without power. The city lost 650 trees. Given all of the current data, Irene was not as strong as anticipated, or as strong as was hyped by the media.
Unfortunately, given the fact that all transport was suspended, it will take the city some time to return to normal, however it seems that buses and subways will be back on schedule by sometime on Monday, with bus service back online sooner. In addition, all of the city’s hoarder’s will have to do something with the seven cases of bottled water and the 36 rolls of toilet paper they bought for the, um, hurricane. But it was fun for them.
As a woman was in a local drug store buying four 4-packs of toilet paper yesterday, I asked her what exactly she was preparing for by buying all of that TP. Was I unaware that Irene would bring dysentery-laden water from far-flung places? She looked at me with a blank stare, but said nothing.
What I really wanted to tell her is that her purchase clearly demonstrated how full of sh*t she was, but being a gentleman, I refrained.