Sunday, August 28, 2011

One very historic week in the northeast United States weather wise!!

I will admit it has been quite a remarkable week when it comes to Mother Nature. I live in the northeast of the United States and I have seen my fair share of remarkable weather in the last half century. But not much compares to this last week.

Last Tuesday I was in my library at home, it was the early afternoon. When suddenly I felt uneasy and off center. The lamp in the library has a glass shade and it started to rattle and there are chain pulls for the light switch on it and they started to bang against the light, Then my stained glass windows started to rattle and my desk started to move. It did not make any sense to me. Being in the New York City area I am not even thinking of earthquakes, as they do not happen here, or if they do, no one notices them as they are so slight. But this was different and it took a while for me to think what it was. I stepped up off my desk and the floor felt funny as the building was swaying back and forth and making some nasty noises. So I hobbled out of the library, which is on the 3rd floor and ran down the stairs. By the time I got to the ground floor it was all over.

It was then that this all started to rattle in my brain, an earthquake? I was thinking perhaps there was a gas explosion somewhere, or perhaps as now can happen a bombing in NYC somewhere. These were the thoughts that were running through my mind. Soon it became apparent that there was indeed a earthquake that was around 5.8 on the Richter Scale. It was centered in Virginia not too far from Washington DC. Well I had never experienced an earthquake before and I have now done so and do not wish to repeat the experience. This became the topic of conversation and news programs as to the unusual nature of it. Well that passed by and soon the next news was that a hurricane was on its way toward the northeast. Well why not I thought....

On the 27th of August we were hit by Hurricane Irene and it was pretty fierce, but not too bad in most respects. I went walking to where Grant's Tomb was to see the effects of the weather. It was pretty windy and rainy with wind gusts of about 65 MPH. Outside of that it was not too bad and was like our earthquake, no where as bad as it could have been.

Perhaps what is more historic than the two unique events taking place was New York and New Jersey's response to it. For the first time in the history of the NYC subway it was closed down completely due to the upcoming weather. No bus service, subway, PATH trains, Highways closed, and parts of New York City and New Jersey were evacuated. This was a massive movement and highly unprecedented. But in the field of history it is unique. It was a day no one could get anywhere, in either state. To be honest who would have wanted too? But there was an eerie feeling hearing no noise or traffic or planes and the like. It seemed a lot like the day after 9/11.

So I am writing this the day after the major part of the hurricane has passed by. It is still windy and rainy here, and amazingly quiet. We are now in just an afterglow of the storm that once was. I cannot wait to see what is on the menu for next week!