Sunday, August 26, 2012

Irene's Aftermath: One Year Later

A year ago, our marathon of hurricane watching, tweeting, facebooking, and general absorption into all things Irene was in its full fury. While from my suburban residence we dodged the storm with a rather mild impact...some water seepage and a wet carpet on the second was worse in a number of places throughout the region.  Flooding swiped through portions of the Delaware Valley, some wind damage took place in others.  While in terms of historical storms, it wasn't the worse, it was part of an eight week period of time in our region that produced epic rainfall and some historic flooding.

Flooding and damage was common in spots throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania -- flooding impacts were more common in Central Jersey northwards into New England.   Vermont in particular was hammered by Irene's remnant circulation.

In Lewes, DE, the lone tornado from Irene swept through a residential development and damaged 17 homes. Coastal flooding threats forced the evacuation of much of the historical district of Lewes and scores of Shore towns up the Jersey coastline, leading to the infamous quote from Governor Chris Christie last year in the run-up to the storm. While the Shore didn't get hit as badly as feared, it did cause some rather significant flooding inland as these YouTube videos illustrated.  One New Jersey resident was killed and the storm caused a billion dollars in damage throughout the Garden State.

Irene wasn't the only storm of note in this region during the August and September timeframe.  For many Pennsylvanians, the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee two weeks later caused significant flooding throughout Central Pennsylvania as the Susquehanna River reached record and near record flood levels.  Irene was a table setter that further saturated an already soggy ground.  Lee made an already bad situation that much worse...especially to our west.

Irene killed five Pennsylvanians; three from fallen trees, one from flooding, one from a car accident.

More:  Irene (Wikipedia)