Irene’s trials and tribulations

Home Blog Irene's trials and tribulations

The Northeast had a pretty shaky week. On Tuesday, Aug. 23, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit Virginia with aftershocks traveling up the east coast, followed by Hurrican Irene a few days later. Authorities and Mayor Bloomberg told New York City residents in what was possibly the worst Spanish I’ve ever heard to get out of the city. Evacuate. “El stormo grande is mucho dangeroso!” New York City shut down all transit systems—subways, buses, Access-a-Ride, Long Island Railroad and MetroNorth—in an unprecedented move to mitigate damage to the lines and keep passengers safe. It was my first time in a hurricane and I was terrified.

Lower Manhattan was supposed to be under several feet of water due to the moon's alignment during the storm.

It was also the hype about the storm that freaked me and everyone else out. Preparation for the storm wiped water and canned goods off the shelves in grocery stores and delis and gas stations ran out of gas, like this one in my Queens neighborhood.

This station was out of gas on Saturday, even before the storm hit. Lines at stations that still had gas were extremely long.

Luckily, my area, Manhattan and Brooklyn fared relatively well through the storm, though the New Jersey area was not so fortunate.

Coastal areas of New Jersey were decimated.

We are hoping our friends in northern and coastal Jersey are drying out and getting things back together.

As the storm traveled northward, things got worse and the Connecticut River breached its banks in an unrivaled fashion. Killington, Vt., home of the Gawet Marble & Granite quarry, had roads washed out, restricting entrance or exit from the town. My parents are currently living there and were able to leave their house and take photos of what Vermont looked like after all that rain.

This was Route 4, one of the few roads that runs across the state. It now only safe for travel by pack animals and army tanks.

Heading east out of Killington is not option. To the left of the photo, you can still see water rushing through the pavement.

Traveling west is also out of the question. A Connecticut River tributary, the Ottauquechee, took out this part of Route 4.

If these are the roads, imagine what the homes along the waterfronts look like. There will certainly be a lot of replacement work to come in this area as communities try to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives. Eventually, the industry may see some work from it, and I look forward to reading more stories that show  compassion in the flooring industry when that time comes.

-Emily

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