And so we have weathered the storm. Here in Boston, the general attitude toward Hurricane/ Tropical Storm Irene has mostly been one of sarcasm. Sure, there was some anxiety - stocking up on water and that sort of thing. But for the most part it's been a collective rolling of the eyes, a general feeling that the whole thing was unnecessarily hyped up by the media. One local establishment posted a handwritten sign stating "Closed tomawrah due to wicked bad hurricane!" Other businesses ranted against the public transit system for shutting down - drafting "Closed for the Day Thanks to MBTA" signs explaining that their employees have no way of getting to work - but that otherwise they would have happily remained open.
My own feeling was that the hurricane/ storm was not so much intentionally overhyped, as unpredictable - and there was a conscious decision to err on the side of caution. I also felt that it was insensitive of some to make light of a potentially destructive phenomenon just because it did not cause havoc in their neighbourhood. We live on the border of Somerville and Cambridge, MA, where the storm felt mild - but it did damage even here. Around mid-day Saturday, a large tree toppled over onto a major road around the corner from us, knocking out power lines and blocking part of the street until the city cleared it away. Had anyone been walking, cycling or driving on that side of the street at that exact moment, they could very well have been killed.
Cap'n Transit wrote a post a couple of days ago about the connection between driving and hurricane deaths that is worth reading.
I hope that all my East Coast readers are doing well, and that the storm has not been too severe for you. Has anyone been cycling?