Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene has come and gone...

So it's been a rather quiet blog week for me. Most people should know, but we have been dealing with a strong hurricane this weekend and in the days leading up to it was mostly preparation time. I had a feeling Irene could be nothing by time it got to Long Island (at least I was hoping). I was honestly hoping it would float out into the Atlantic Ocean and disappear. Natural disasters are not my favorite thing. The pandemonium and hype gets me very frustrated. But what frustrates me even more are comments made by those unaffected by the full brunt of the storm or living in less susceptible areas (as I do).

Hills and cliffs of North Shore Long Island pre Irene.
(c) 2011 Alisha Christine Photography

I understand that I am fortunate enough to live on Long Island, but not on the coast (as beautiful as they are). I am also North Shore but in an area where our coast line and beaches are the remnants of cliffs. So the land is higher then other areas. This of course does not make us exempt from any damage, but I also lived through Gloria (strong Cat 1) and Bob (Cat 2) and I am old enough to remember them. When Bob hit in 1992 I was 11 years old and in 5th grade and home alone. I was inside nothing was amiss other then knowing there was a storm. Then I was sitting in the living room and heard a loud boom, like a gun or an explosion. I went around the apartment looking outside all the windows to find a large tree fell in our backyard and was up against my bedroom window. Had that tree fallen just a few feet to the right it would have gone right through my bedroom. I was only 4 when Gloria hit us, but I remember not understanding what was going on and being told to sit under the table which I found odd since normally I wasn't allowed under the table, nor did I have any desire to crawl under the kitchen table. During both of these storms I was in areas that were up on cliffs, away from the coast, and on the North Shore. I know I am fortunate and am quite grateful for it.

I do not think, like other some other people do, that this hurricane was nothing. I don't. I don't need to look out my window and decide there was no reason for alarm and that is was nothing more then a windy rain shower. I have looked online at friends photos and reactions not only here on LI, but also in NC, NJ, and PA. I even have family up the New England states experiencing it now and being unhappy about the outcome of it. Yes the streets here are a mess and there are sporadic power outages all over the island. The outages have no rhyme or reason either.  One of my friends a few roads over has no power.  As I was driving down a main highway on my way home from a friends house today (my first time outside checking out the damage) there were traffic lights out between the LIE and 25, our beautiful trees looked tattered, and tree debris is everywhere. Going into my apartment there was branches everywhere, but no damage.

Many of my friends are not so lucky. They have lots of broken trees to deal with, power outages, and flooding among other issues.  So I ask everyone either unaffected or less affected to be more compassionate.  Especially those in the areas that were hit.  Don't complain that you can't get your cup of Starbucks because the store is closed, you have no idea where those employees live.  Don't complain that you were disappointed in Irene.  Don't complain that you can't go shopping, any smart retailer is closed today.  Don't complain that you're kids are hyper and you have no where to let them run their energy low.  Don't complain because it could be a lot worse.  You could be dealing with all these "issues" and have a tree in your house, broken windows, a tree in your car, and/or a power outage.  And please don't go telling people out of the area this storm was nothing, because it wasn't nothing.  If you need proof go out to the areas that are flooded and ask those residents if this storm was nothing.  Ask them.

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