The Northeast got clobbered this past weekend with a storm that brought steady rain, floods and wind gusts up to 80 mph. In our New York City suburb of Pelham, we have a lot of massive, old trees — oak, pine and other. While picturesque, they become vulnerable and hazardous in high winds. Weighing thousands of pounds, they frequently take out power lines, cars and houses. Even falling, dying branches can weigh hundreds of pounds and do significant damage. And these beautiful old trees did more damage during this past storm than I’ve seen in my 34 years of living in the area. It seems there are downed powerlines on a majority of blocks. Many neighbors moved into hotels for a few days because of power loss. We lost our power intermittently, including for several hours last night. Fallen trees have damaged yards and homes on most blocks. Few blocks have unobstructed sidewalks.
This storm hit us hard, though in an unassuming way. There was a subtle, yet forceful impact, occuring over several days. There was no single defining moment, though everyone was part of it. As a result, the news media seemed to have sensationalized the story less than usual (and media sensation, of course, was lessened for citizens without power, television and Internet).
In context, this act of mother nature was nothing compared to others — like the earthquakes in Haiti or Chile, or the floods in New Orleans. But it reminds one that it pays to be prepared for crises and disasters, and keep your cool as you deal with them. It also makes one appreciate luxuries of modern society, like reliable power grids.Â
Are you prepared for Mother Nature?
(This post was written and uploaded from my BlackBerry during my morning commute. I also took the pictures with my BlackBerry.)