Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The cleanup begins

Marieville firefighters southeast of Montreal tend to flooded homes on Monday (CBC.ca)

It will be weeks before we can assess the true cost of damages from hurricane Irene, but it will be in the billions with 40 deaths so far. Just in Canada alone damage to trees, power lines, infrastructure, crops and homes will be in the tens of millions.

Those who hinted on Sunday that Irene was a bust need to take a much closer look at what this storm did. The storm affected such a large swath of eastern North America, wiping some towns off the map and leaving marks on others that will never never be erased. Do not underestimate the far reaching effects of this storm. I don't exaggerate when it comes to weather, I never have, I just report facts. I have been tracking storms since Hurricane David in 1979, and this one stands up there with the worst of them. All to often we get hung up on category strength, the bottom line is these storms are packed with moisture and energy, and that energy needs to be unleashed somewhere. Vermont and New York are facing some of there worst flooding in 100 years. The rivers are receding this morning, but it will take months for the cleanup. Power is still out to millions of homes, including 28,000 in Quebec. My power was out for 20 hours, we lost food but compared to others we feel very fortunate. Several homes in the metro area had damage from fallen trees and flooding, especially southeast of Montreal. The region on the south shore of the city recorded winds close to 100km/h along with 125mm of rain.

Tranquil weather is upon us today and for the rest of the week with just a few showers and maybe a rumble of thunder this afternoon. Of note; tropical storm Katia has developed in the open waters of the eastern Atlantic with 40mph winds, a reminder to us that we are entering the peak portion of the hurricane season. Katia replaced the name Katrina which was retired 6 years ago yesterday after devastating the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.

No comments: