Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Irene: What Happened?

So a lot happened this weekend. If you're living in the Northeast of the United States you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you don't, you either live on the other side of the Atlantic—which is fine—or you listen to pricks like Mark Levin.

To clarify: Aunt Irene visited, and the flood has come and gone.

To clarify the clarification: We just got lambasted by a hurricane. Or, rather, a very large tropical storm.

I myself managed to avoid the brunt of the hurricane, but the destructive effects could be felt far and wide. Here's what I know what happened, as of this writing.

Vermont, from all appearances, was hit the hardest. The entire state has been affected directly by the hurricane, and most of the people there are still without power, and according to, the entire southern half of the state is separated from the north due to flooding. The eastern portion of New York has been hit pretty hard as well, with flood-waters destroying property, and even whole towns. The death toll, at the last count, had reached about 44.

It's astounding to think about such a disaster hitting the Northeast, a place where hurricanes and tropical storms are about as common as snow storms in Mexico. There are photos and videos all over the web over this recent storm, showing off the destructive power of Mother Nature. We can feel superior over Her with our Agent Orange and our motorways, but Nature will always be there to reclaim what we pave over.

I thought Irene would just pass over us and cause only a minor ruckus before dissipating. I was wrong, and so were so many other people. There was quite a hubbub over evacuating New York City, as it is, of course, a major city that contains an unimaginable number of people. Yet, comparatively speaking, New York City got off fairly easy.

But it's suffering for everyone, no matter your location, no matter how much you lost. This is not a Hurricane Katrina, which devastated Louisiana and, particularly, New Orleans when the levees were destroyed and flooded the entire city. But it doesn't change anything—so much has been lost, and so many people have been killed.

Yes, 44 people might not sound like a lot, but it is when you're the one going through the grieving process. My condolences go to those who have lost most of what they own, and especially to those who have lost a loved one.

Joseph Stalin has a famous quote: “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” The truth seeping from this quote disgusts me.

Even if you're as far away as Australia, as you go through your daily life, I ask that you think about what has happened here, even if it's for the briefest of moments, even if you find yourself making jokes about it. Don't forget these little things, and what they might mean to others. This disaster might pale in comparison to Japan's tsunami, which struck several months back, but scale should matter not.

As the hurricane has inconvenienced many, myself included, I do not know when the next update will come. If possible, I will provide links to photos and videos of the goings-on around the Northeast, both during and after the hurricane struck.

No comments: