We had a brief power failure Monday, a small inconvenience compared to what was being reported elsewhere along the trail of Hurricane Irene. I spent some time cleaning up storm litter and tying up wind-dashed plants. It was nice to be out in the sun for a change.
Not having a car, I did not get around to see what Irene wreaked, but there was plenty of coverage by others in the city. With power off at lots of stores, I hope people will be careful with food purchases. If something smells funny, take it back or discard it.
From all accounts, city employees did a great job of clearing the streets of fallen trees, though there were detours due to flooding. It would be interesting to get a summary of how things went in the overall storm response by the city, maybe at the Sept. 6 City Council meeting. UPDATE: A summary is posted on the city web site.
Some odd accommodations had to be made during the hurricane. Because the WBAI radio studio was in Zone A in New York City, it was shut down and programming originated from Los Angeles at a sister station. Information on local East Coast conditions was collected and disseminated and the moderator took calls from people in the hurricane's path, including one from a Plainfielder.
For many householders, the after-effects of the hurricane will continue for days to come. Certainly the commentary on whether it was overblown or understated in the news will continue. The best use of the media after it passed, we thought, was giving practical information on storm assistance and travel. Many lives were turned upside down by the lack of public transportation and updates were invaluable.
Calamity, past and present, is dominating the public discourse this week with the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and plans to commemorate 9-11, world turmoil, and the East Coast earthquake followed by Irene. The 1939 call to "keep calm and carry on" still has relevance for us today.