I am one who said Irene was over-hyped, and this article shows that it was — only in it’s obsessive concentration with New York City — but Irene was one of the costliest hurricanes ever. Kris and I kept wondering how the good folks were doing in North Carolina, and then we wondered about New Hampshire. N.B. at The Economist has this to say about the over-hyped issue:
I am glad I wasn’t arguing that the storm was overhyped, but I’m afraid I may have missed the point, too. Although Irene did not cause massive damage in New York or Washington, other places exist, too, and the storm hit many of them hard. In fact, Irene may end up proving to be one of the ten costliest disasters in American history. TheNew York Times has the story:
Industry estimates put the cost of the storm at $7 billion to $10 billion, largely because the hurricane pummeled an unusually wide area of the East Coast. Beyond deadly flooding that caused havoc in upstate New York and Vermont, the hurricane flooded cotton and tobacco crops in North Carolina, temporarily halted shellfish harvesting in Chesapeake Bay, sapped power and kept commuters from their jobs in the New York metropolitan area and pushed tourists off Atlantic beaches in the peak of summer.
The flooding in Vermont, in particular, is one of the under-covered stories of the past week. Amtrak was forced to suspend train service in the state because four crucial railroad bridges were unusable in the wake of the storm. Nearly three dozen other bridges were “swept away” entirely, according to the Times. If Irene does turn out to be as costly as the early estimates suggest, the people who implied it was overhyped or not as bad as expected will have to eat crow. I’ll start: $7 billion-$10 billion is a lot of damage, and at least as bad as I expected. Sorry.