‘Tis well I remember Hurricane Irene from 14 months ago. I remember going out just about when it was predicted to have been at its worst. The rain had stopped and light was breaking through the clouds; it seemed for all the world like a nice day. I thought: “Wow, this must be the eye of the storm.” But no: that was the storm — at least in our neighborhood.
I’m so tempted to say “Deja-vu all over again.” Yet, it’s clear enough from news reports that low-lying areas by the sea are getting inundated, and no one can say this storm isn’t going to be very serious for many people. But as far as dramatic effects in the heart of New York City … well, there have been passing summer thunderstorms that created more of a stir. We’ve had breezes, the occasional howling gust, and some moderate but intermittent rain. The focus in the media right now on a single crane slightly dislodged in midtown seems to sum things up; there’s a distinct lack of news, at least in Manhattan.
Some are saying that the worst is yet to come, but I can look at a satellite picture as well as anyone else, and at this point—5 p.m. Eastern Time—the center of Sandy has already made landfall in New Jersey just to our south. How much stronger are the winds going to get at this stage?
Well, one can only hope that it remains largely a non-event here, and also that it turns out to be less destructive for everyone than has been predicted. All of that will be clearer tomorrow.