Sunday, August 28, 2011
Irony: Katrina vs. Irene
New Orleans was spared the brunt of Katrina only to suffer flooding of 80% of the city caused by the failure of levees designed and built by the Army Corps of Engineers, hours after Katrina came ashore.
Irene chewed her way up the coast causing chaos in the southern and mid-Atlantic states before slamming into New York, leaving the 5 Burroughs of the city virtually cut off from one another due to the shutdown of mass transit, not expected to be restored any time soon. Buses may be up and running in time for Monday's commute, but that's a drop in the bucket. 1.5 million NY homes are without power with the storm surge and flooding from rain and high winds taking their toll, as well.
Here in Lower Slower Delaware we took Irene's punches, fortunately nothing compared to what happened in Gotham. There are 20K homes without electrical power here, and that's not good. Folks with homes on, or near, the Rehoboth and Delaware bays or the Atlantic have not yet been allowed to return to assess damage.
My friend Elizabeth is returning from exile tomorrow hoping to get into her place on Rehoboth Bay. She expects the worse, but the roads may be in passable condition by then. I hold hope that there is little damage to her wee cottage by the bay.
It was weeks, in some cases months, before residents were allowed in to New Orleans or surrounding parishes following Katrina.
All things considered, tiny Delaware, and even NYC will be repaired, restored, replenished and back in business in a few days, or weeks. Rehoboth Beach will be open for business tomorrow morning. New Orleans remains, in many neighborhoods, a scene of devastation and while there is always hope and talk of rebuilding in those areas, well, it's been 6 years, hasn't it.
As you think about Irene and her path of destruction all the way to New England, please take a moment to remember what happened to "the city that time forgot" 6 long years ago.
And so it goes.