|NASA: Irene-caused extreme flooding in red.|
Being a meteorologist, I take a lot of criticism when forecasts aren't "exact." Well, weather isn't an exact science as there are a lot of variables that come into play in the atmosphere.
I've heard from some people that the warnings on Hurricane Irene were "way over-hyped." I TOTALLY disagree. Meteorologists, like doctors, warn you when something MAY be harmful to your health. Because hurricanes are sometimes unpredictable with ever changing dynamics (as we saw dry air move into Hurricane Irene when it was making landfall in North Carolina which may have helped weaken it), it is better to err on the side of caution.
Meteorologists DID NOT ERR on Irene. Even though you may be one of the fortunate ones who kept their power, 3.1 Million people did not. Even if you didn't get flooded, hundreds of thousands did up and down the U.S. coast and there was RECORD FLOODING in Vermont. If you didn't have a tree down, there were millions taken down by Irene's hurricane-force winds.Houses is many states were destroyed or washed away.
My point is that because your house is safe, not everyone else fared quite as well and benefited by evacuations.
Here are some statistics to consider:
* 5 Million homes and businesses are still without power 3 Days after Hurricane Irene passed.
* 41 People died nationally
* Estimate of Irene's Damages in the U.S. 2 Billion Dollars - according to CNBC
* In Connecticut alone; 450,000 people without power in CT, 8 inches of rain. Farmington River flooded.
* In New York - 8 people died all due to flooding
* In Vermont- Worst hit the state has had from a hurricane. 263 roads were washed out or damaged. About a foot of Vermont fell in the entire state. Brattleboro, VT. Four to six of the iconic covered bridges were destroyed. The Governor proclaimed this is the worst flooding in the history of the state.* More than a foot of rain fell along coastal areas in the U.S. cutting off and washing out roadways, flooding houses, taking lives.
On the lighter side, If you haven't heard about the reporter in Ocean city that was being deluged by "weird sea foam" which turned out to be raw sewage churned up by Irene... (he thought it was plankton) here's the
Video: http://globalgrind.com/news/sea-foam-covered-reporters-other-unforgettable-moments-hurricane-irene-photos If you think the sea foam reporter had it rough check out this Weather Channel reporter's problem: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/27/hurricane-irene-2011-streaker-weather-channel_n_939095.html