Irene Aftermath

Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene – too much media hype? Discuss.

Well, as long as you don’t watch cable news or the weather channel for hours on end, then I think it is safe to say that Irene was a major storm that did a moderate amount of damage over a wide area and a great deal of damage to a few smaller areas, plus Vermont. I’d say we’re lucky it was weaker when it hit New York City. I direct hit from a cat 3-5 would be pretty bad there.

Anyhow, it hit us in Providence and knocked down quite a few trees and power lines. Evidently, half of the state lost power at some point – that’s about 1/2 million people. Luckily, I was not one of them. There were a few downed trees in my neighborhood, and a scattering of houses and businesses lost power. Also, some of the local rasta banana trees lost their delicious, gigantic fruit.

you may not want to eat that

(thanks to Sheryl for the picture)

There were many roads blocked around the state, including parts of the East Bay Bike Path. Fellow bike commuter (and CFPVD interview subject), Jim, took some pictures for me.

It looks like the storm surge may have even gone over the path at this point.

Jim told me that there were a few places where cyclists had to go off the path in order to get around a tree (or play limbo like in the picture below).

Evidently, much of the path has been cleared now. It’s nice to know that RIDOT (or one of the cities) took the time to clear the bike path soon after the storm. My cynical nature led me to believe that they would just clear out the trees on the roads and then get around to the bike path in a week or two.

At least I still have the sand and glass-covered bike lanes of Allens Ave to confirm my cynicism.

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8 responses to “Irene Aftermath

  1. Oh ouch on Allens Ave! Add Charles St. near the U.S Post Office too. That’s a rutted out disaster.

    • Yeah, Charles street is pretty bad too – but there’s no official bike lanes over there, right? I don’t ride on Allens very often, but when I do, I have to ride in the “car lanes” because the bike lanes are dangerous there. Luckily, this is always on the weekend when there’s no traffic.

      And don’t get me started on the railroad crossings.

  2. I think the RIDEM handles the primary care of the bike path. The path is listed in both the RIDOT and RIDEM web sites, but it’s usually the ‘environmental police’ or RIDEM trucks I see taking care of the path. This may help since they don’t also have direct responsibility for the roads. Cleanup has so far been minimal, but you can ride path without having to lift your bike over anything now. I was impressed with how quickly that happened.

    • That would explain it, if RIDEM just does the parks, they probably had less work than RIDOT. I heard a report from Jamestown that the “environmental police” were blocking the entrance to Beavertail park. Think we could get them to clear snow and ice form the paths as well?

  3. I guess I have trouble getting worked up over Irene. The damage looks like the garden variety Texas storm and even the death toll is dwarfed by the heat related toll down here. At this point, we’d probably take the remnants of a hurricane simply to get the rain.

    • Yeah, the death toll was relatively minor (thankfully). The number of people who lost power is pretty huge – over 7 million homes & businesses. I’d say that the damage was wide-spread, if not particularly deep. Except for Vermont, of course.

      Now, about that heat in Texas. I’ll take our New England weather every day of the year over what you get in Texas. I know that I would adapt if I lived down there, but 60+ days of 100+? Forget that! Your right about heat-related death tolls. Those can sometimes go under-reported. See Chicago or France in recent years. They had a huge number of heat-related deaths, but it took a while before anyone came to terms with it.

      Here’s hoping you get a little rain from #13.

  4. Was on the bike path early today with a friend, and I admit I wasn’t paying enough attention and my friend and I were riding together. But I was almost impaled by a large cut-off limb right at my rib cage. I saw the piles of tree limbs on the ground, but I didn’t see the ones up in the air. I rammed right into the end of a good-sized limb and went flying off my bike and landed on my butt. Now I know what it means to “have the wind knocked out of you.” I couldn’t get my breath. We walked back out of the bike path by Squantum. Lucky to just be feeling like I was hit by a truck instead of dealing with broken ribs. Also lucky for the extra padding back there. Just a warning to all to be careful!!

    • Yeeaouch! That sounds painful. I take it this was the East Bay Bike Path, right? I was on the Washington Secondary BIke Path yesterday and it was fine from Cranston down to Toll Gate Road. I’m sorry to hear that the EBBP wasn’t quite so clear.

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