Irene was just downgraded to a tropical storm as what was the eye of what was a hurricane passes over this area. The winds weren't as bad as expected here, thankfully.The main issue is flooding.
I got one of those recorded emergency calls saying to boil water before brushing teeth or drinking it or cooking with it because the nearest water treatment place is flooded. I'll wait a little while before going out to check our local river, but I'm sure my neighbors there have flooded basements (Floyd flooded one distant relative on the street next to the river in her basement right up to the ceiling of it).
Except for the occasional wind gust, whenever I woke up last night and checked out the scene outside, it was mainly just like any other rainstorm. With also the exception of a lot more sirens. I'm still hearing them every ten or fifteen minutes, so am assuming there have been some trees downed and some serious flooding, which should continue though the rain is supposed to taper off soon according to the latest radar.
I put the garbage cans in the basement here but never got around to putting someone's plastic lawn furniture that's in our backyard (I suspect left here by a former tenant) in the basement. I notice the chairs have been thrown around by the wind but not not too far and not the table. The basement is partially flooded, but that's happened before with big thunderstorms or long rainy days.
I did catch the local TV news and the Hudson has overflowed its banks and the jogging path along it, at least downtown, is under a foot or so of water, which has gone all the way across the West Side Highway and on into the first floor of some buildings, including apartment buildings. That's supposedly a first for that area.
And they also reported that parts of the Holland Tunnel flooded, but the Lincoln is supposedly okay.
So all in all, not as bad as expected or as it could have been, for which I'm sure everyone is grateful, and grateful for the precautions taken that would have saved hundreds and perhaps thousands of lives had the hurricane stayed a category three and landed where it has.
My guess is by this afternoon most places will be back to normal. I'll go check the river when the rain and wind stop and post later if the power continues to stay on.