Solely from the perspective of our vantage point in the upper east sector of Manhattan, Hurricane (or Tropical Storm) Irene has been next to nothing. Expecting to wake up to screaming winds and rain this morning as the eye was approaching New York City, instead we found it to be lightly raining and barely breezy. The dog has had two quite pleasant walks already today. The sun has peeked out a couple of times.
Were it not for the complete shutdown of public transportation (which began at noon yesterday and will apparently not be reversed until tomorrow late morning or afternoon) this would have been a non-event in this particular part of town; it would merely have been a lot of rain falling overnight. The transportation shutdown forced the closing of many stores, and has caused goodness-only-knows how many other serious difficulties in people’s lives.
In truth, however, walking around today has shown that many independent and family-run type places—coffee shops, bodegas, pizza joints—have managed to stay open through it all. So no one, it seems, even among the most unprepared Manhattanites, is going without essentials. It seems that New York has triumphed over the elements once again, at least when it comes to the average citizens and neighborhood businesses. The report card on how the city and state governments have dealt with things might well be another story.
Of-course it is yet to be seen how flooding will impact low-lying areas, or inland areas near rivers. Hopefully everyone gets through as safely as we have.