Thursday, September 1, 2011
The morning after.
Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou all-shaking thunder
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world! (Shakespeare. King Lear. 3.2)
Except I wasn't there. For one who revels in extremes of weather, and who carries a weather radio throughout life, it was most worrying and frustrating to follow Tropical Storm (nee hurricane) Irene from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Reports that did reach us were primarily focused on the urban and inland parts of the tri-state area. That's natural, as that's where most of the people live, and where the storm was at its strongest. From the outset it was clear that Irene was not a storm to be dismissed, and its passing up the eastern seaboard did a great deal of damage to life and limb. We in little Wainscott were spared most of such wrath, and for that we were all grateful.
Yet within our small community there was a mess to clear up, and cables to repair. Dozens of trees were brought down and whole neighborhoods are still without electricity and land line phones. Amusing though it seems, one of the services we could offer as a church is the chance to recharge people's cellphones, and we have done just that for a few people! Most of the roads are now passable, and life is relatively normal again. The storm would have been even the more serious if heavy rain had fallen, but little did so further damage and flooding was avoided. Our steeples were not drench'd and our cocks were not drown'd, this time.
Can anything good come out of a storm such as this? The tree workmen on Main Street thought so this morning. Irene blew down and removed the weakest trunks and limbs, so what remains is safe and strong. So spoke the team leader, chainsaw in hand. And the local beach has been repaired after last winter's storms. Irene undid the deep scouring that wind and waves did last February, and we have a pleasant gradient of sand once more. Until the next storm, that is.
Posted by Tim Lewis at 12:22 PM