Weather on the East coast has been pretty bizarre as of late. From an unexpected earthquake felt across the Eastern seaboard to our new best friend Irene. Oh Irene. I have never been quite a fan of any Irene I have ever met in my 21 years of life. In school there was a pretty hostile girl named Irene that was not very fond of me. She was what one would consider a “wankster”. A wankster is one that is caught up in the insane delusion that they ARE in fact gangster. She should have known better than to mess with me. Although quiet and shy in high school, I was pretty strong. I was a band-hoodies-and-always-has-headphones-on kind of kid. When I was not listening to the newest Silverstein album I was busy being angsty, going to shows, and spending entirely too much time on xanga. Of course I had friends, everyone had friends. Thankfully I’m blessed enough to still maintain close friendships with my best friends from high school. Anyway, before I get even more off track. (no pun intended)
The hurricane raged up and down the coast hitting and causing havoc. The category of the storm changed faster than my hair color in high school. Mayor Nutter was quoted saying that it would be “the worst storm in at least 50 years”. Philadelphia residents were told to gather supplies like food, water, batteries, candles, and other typical survival supplies. People took this very seriously of course. So seriously in fact that the Target near my house sold out of bottled water. I started a new job that day and was being told that other stores had the same problem. I wasn’t too concerned, I had a flashlight with low batteries and a Brita filter bottle. (very prepared as I would later find out) I had carried an umbrella around the entire day since I’m normally not so lucky when it comes to avoiding the rain here. (The month I moved in broke the record for rainfall in August) After many incidences of inside out umbrellas I had gotten frustrated and made a mental note to research if military grade umbrellas exist and are available to the public. Septa was said to be shut down for the first time in history. At work every hour there was a new time, it was kind of like a game of whisper-down-the-lane and no one was winning. I went back to my good friend’s apartment after work and visited a bit before braving the walk back to the subway to go home. This is of course after taking the precautionary measure of getting money out from the ATM. The subway was set to be shut down at 12:30AM that night. I later found it was actually shut down early at 11PM instead.
Meanwhile, I tell my roommate I’m coming home and and she kindly offered to pick me up from the station down my street. (a god send, truly). When I get in the car she informs me that the power is out at our house. After mocking the hurricane all day on social networking sites…this what I deserve. Luckily it only went out for around 20 minutes. I end up being saved by another friend soon after and we spent the night watching the storm. Waiting and waiting for the big guns to come out, we were disappointed. I was expecting downed power lines, bent traffic signs, and total destruction when I walked out the door the next morning. After taking the Broad line home I was met with this:
Yes, in South Philadelphia this was the extent of the damage. Surprisingly enough, my street did not flood. Other areas like Manayunk got hit a LOT worse than we did. Checking Facebook the next day I see my friends talking about losing power, fallen trees, and school closings.
Other states were not so lucky and I can’t even imagine what it’s like to experience a disaster such as this on a larger scale. My thoughts go out to those affected by this tragedy. Mother nature is a force to reckoned with.
You can visit the link below to get more information on the after effects of Irene and to donate.