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After Irene, back on streets in New York City

Back on streets in New York City

When the clouds parted, Wall Street wasn't swamped. Coney Island's world-famous Cyclone roller coaster was still standing. The Empire State Building hadn't lost a single window.

And New Yorkers hardly missed a beat once Irene passed. Just hours after an all-night, window-rattling drenching from the storm, people were back on the streets, jogging, milling around Times Square, walking dogs and surveying the damage, which consisted mostly of downed trees, power outages and neighborhood flooding.

But the subway system, shut down Saturday because of the risk of flooding, was still out of service, and trains probably won't be running in time for this morning's commute, meaning it could be a hellish start of the work week for millions of New Yorkers.

Many may be without electricity for weeks

It could take weeks to restore power to millions of people left in the dark by Hurricane Irene. The lights went out for more than 7 million people and businesses from Folly Beach, S.C., to Portland, Maine. And thousands of utility workers have begun the race to restore power.

Irene ripped down power lines and crushed critical equipment near power plants. It flooded coastal cities with seawater, dousing electrical stations and threatening underground wires. Crews are still assessing the damage.

Power companies say they will try to get critical services running first. Many are just starting to understand the extent of damage to the grid. Utility workers must traverse thousands of square miles to find out what's down before making repairs. Lights were flickering back on in the South, where the storm hit first.

First an earthquake, then fury of a storm

Staring out at her shell-shocked congregation in Mineral, Va., on Sunday, the Rev. Marian Windel felt the need to reassure her flock that God was not "mad at us in any way."

"For us, this past week has been trying at the least," the Episcopal minister told the congregation of Church of the Incarnation. "There was little, if anything, that we could have done to prepare for the earthquake. And who would have thought it would be followed by a hurricane?"

The town of about 400 was the epicenter of a 5.8 magnitude earthquake Tuesday that rattled the East Coast, but Mother Nature must have decided that Mineral had suffered enough. The town received a good soaking and some gusty winds, but Irene's fury stayed far east of it.

Associated Press

After Irene, back on streets in New York City

08/28/11 [Last modified: Sunday, August 28, 2011 10:46pm]
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