Hurricane Irene: A Personal Look Back
By Stephen Barabas on August 27, 2012, 9:06pm
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It was quite interesting and exciting waiting for Irene's impact on the Northeast. It had been quiet awhile since the last actual hurricane had hit the New England area, I believe it was Bob. Everything else had been a tropical storm. My goal was to document the storm as best I could, but unfortunately it looked like the majority of the intense portion of the hurricane would be occurring during the early morning hours of Sunday, August 28th.
Given the condition of my truck and the time that the most intense part of the storm was to hit at, I decided I would wait until daylight to go out.
Now, the hurricane didn't hit as hard as I thought it would, with what would roughly be considered an eyewall by the time it got up to us (The entire storm quickly went to crap), and it was hard to say whether it was a hurricane or a tropical storm at landfall. It's debatable, but the coast of Connecticut received a lot of damage from surge and wind, and a bit further inland many downed branches and trees creating some serious power problems. Really, the southern half of Connecticut was hit the hardest for this hurricane, as would make sense! (We know that kind of the reciprocal happened for the Halloween Nor'easter of 2011 and it was far worse.)
When I went out to survey the damage, I didn't particularly get to drive far due to the damage and because people were gawking around and being careless; really making a bad situation worse. In Southbury (where I live) the flooding was the worst part from the storm, and not so much the tree damage, though I had power all night and through the morning, I ironically lost power around 1 p.m. on Sunday after the storm had moved north. I guess a loose broken tree branch finally snapped off in a wind gust and landed on the lines. But not having power for about 2 days was a long cry from the near 9 from the Halloween snow event.
The following slides are some pictures of damage and flooding from Irene, mainly in Southbury, CT.