Monday, August 29, 2011

Post Irene (Thanks and Prayers and a Tiny Rant)

This post-storm Monday leaves so much to be thankful for.

The most important thing (selfishly) I'm grateful for is Hurricane Irene became Tropical Storm Irene before crossing the border of my state.  And the damage, comparatively, has been slight and negligible.  I think this is due to the wonder of modern technology, the weakening of the storm, and the fact that New England (while not known for hurricanes) has certainly seen it's share of Northeasters, blizzards, and yes even tropical storms.  Our communities and government are used to bracing for and cleaning up after destructive weather.  Our citizens are hearty.   So mostly, we survived.
Thats not to say there is no damage.  Thousands of people are without power (thank goodness the local library is not!) and extensive repairs are necessary on homes and properties through out the state.  Schools canceled their first day in some areas, and there are many injured.  Our power company & fire departments have a very full plate. . .  I pray for the safety of all the workers out there.

I've heard more than one person complain that Irene weakening was "disappointing."  This sentiment frustrates and upsets me.  35 people (the last I'd heard) are dead.  35 people - and several of them were very young children.  While being without power is a very first-world-problem, some of those without power are elderly.  Or disabled.  Or the mothers of very young children.  Or ill.  Etc etc etc.

The United States as a whole is in terrible, shaky financial condition.  The cost of flooding, down power lines, road damages, fires, and other by products of natural disaster are astronomical.  If you are disappointed a tree didn't fall on your house, please remember it fell on an eleven year old boys.  He died.  If you wish you'd seen more rain, look at the states whose streets are flooded, where main street businesses may have to be shuttered for good because their owners can't afford repairs.  If the power only flickered, or was out a few hours, and you wish for more of an adventure, go help at a local shelter, or check on an elderly neighbor.

I enjoy a good storm as much as the next person - thunder has always excited and not frightened me.  But when a storm ravished an entire coast line, causes mass evacuations, and takes many lives (granted, some of those lives WERE foolishly endangered) I think it is wiser to be grateful it wasn't worse, rather than sigh over a lack of drama.


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