Well, not exactly. With gusty winds this afternoon, the city decided to “close” Central Park, due to the risk of falling branches. Two people have been killed by falling branches there in the past couple of years, so it’s by no means a theoretical problem. Still, closing the park today seems driven by a pronounced fear of litigation, the same fear which drives a lot of ultra-cautious decisions. In any case, it’s pretty difficult to close Central Park in practice, given its size and the enormous number of entry points. And it was pretty hard for New Yorkers (and their dogs) to resist the cool afternoon breezes today, and the desire to get out for a long walk after being cooped up by rain.
I’m not sure what the rainfall total has been in New York City, but I don’t think it has been anything like the 12 inches and more predicted. And the afternoon winds have dried things off pretty effectively. (We are convinced we saw Mayor Bloomberg’s girlfriend, Diana Taylor, in “closed” Central Park this afternoon, walking her dogs, although I wasn’t rude enough to snap her picture.)
The backbiting and second-guessing of the pre-storm decisions has begun in earnest.
Back to normal, in other words. (I made my points in advance, so I’m not going to rehash.)