Hurricane Irene as one of the US’s most deadliest hurricanes. It cost over $1 billion in damage and hit some of the least prone cities-Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC. North Carolina’s Outer Banks were shattered by it’s category 3 strength and so was Southeast Virginia. It ended up as a category 2 hitting the rest of Virginia and Maryland, a category 1 at Philadelphia and a tropical storm at NYC. Even know it was a tropical storm, it was still extremely rare for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Before: About 2-3 days before the storm, LI bustled as usual. People went to camp, work and had fun. When the day came before the storm, people cleaned the store shelves for supplies. People expected power out for a few days, at most. Not too many people panicked though. We tried to show Floridians we knew how to handle it better than them! We always prepare for hurricanes. South Shore towns were told to evacuate, flooding was definitely expected. People definitely did not heed the warnings though. Many people had been through blizzards, nor’easters, flooding springs, sultry summers and Hurricane gloria and Bob, those were two bad hurricanes. Even know LI wasn’t preparing too well, NYC was preparing a lot. It evacuated parts of the cities in low lying zones A, B, and C. It even called an shut down of the New York City Subway System, which took a total of 8 hours. People were definitely surprised….
During: Hurricane Irene’s outer bands first arrived on LI early on August 28th. The eye was still somewhere around Delaware and Southern New Jersey, tearing apart Cape May and Ocean City. Irene’s wrath finally reached LI in the wee hours of the morning on August 28th. It landed on Coney Island, reaching winds of tropical storm force, nearly 70 mph. The Boardwalk was bare of the regular people strolling, but lots came to watch Irene’s fury. Waves battered the boardwalk and winds were definitely whipping. In Long Beach, the eye came a shore at around 8 am. Winds in Long Beach were highly damaging. The waves carried the huge Long Beach lifeguard house all the way from the beach and crashed it into the boardwalk. One reporter was nearly swept away in the waves. All of the South Shore hamlets were flooded knee deep and many were stuck after ignoring the warnings. In Lindenhurst, a line of almost a dozen trees fell down. This was not what many expected…
After: In the aftermath, 350,000+ homes were left without power in Nassau and Suffolk. LIPA was not prepared to cope. The grid was powered out, which means nearly everyone was without power, most for 3-5 days, but some were for over a full week. The damage was terrible. Long Beach and Lindenhurst were left impassable. One of the ten direct fatalities of the whole hurricane was of a windsurfer who drowned in Bellport Bay. Long Island was the worst hit part of NY. A state of emergency was declared and in the end, LI learned a little from hurricanes…actually, we learned a lot
LIPA was called on by Governor Cuomo to replace National Grid, after their contract was up anyways. This year, even with increasing customer service ratings, LIPA was second to last on the list of best company ratings, just surpassing Delta Airlines. LIPA will definitely be making some changes in the near future.