I’m sitting here on my computer, waiting for Irene to come and get me. I’m in Southampton, on the second floor of a brick building in an area that is not a flood zone, and I have bottled water at the ready, along with plenty of books to read and canned food. I was supposed to go to Washington D.C. this weekend, but cancelled that trip because there was no way I was getting on a plane with all of the hoopla being said about Irene. I’m viewing this hurricane as a birthday present from God, since I turned 29 yesterday.
I have to be honest, I don’t think that this is going to be that bad. There will be damage and the power will go out and that’s about it. The anxiety that is being created by this storm is ridiculous. Be safe of course, but let’s stop pretending this is an invasion of aliens from outer space.
I will say that I had almost no fear of the hurricane until I started hearing about the mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders being issued. East Hampton has a voluntary one, parts of Westhampton has a mandatory one, and I’d hate to say it, but if you have a house on the beach at Westhampton Dunes or in low level flood zones in Montauk, I don’t think those places are ever going to look the same.
I’m not evacuating Southampton and most people I know in East Hampton who live there year round, are not evacuating, but hunkering down. After all, we’ve all been through a hurricane before, but I can’t remember a time when I heard so many officials issue so many warnings. Even during hurricane Bob and Bonnie, I don’t think they ever told people to leave their homes and go someplace else.
A lot of people that I know are not evacuating the area even though it is now mandatory for a lot of places on the East End. Every Village official in every town has issued some kind of order to tell residents to get out of the storms path, but the truth of the matter is that a lot of these people have no place to go or simply think that they are over reacting and that they will ride it out.
Technically, you can be arrested if you are in an area where an evacuation is mandatory, although there will be no enforcement of anything like that.
In East Hampton, there is a voluntary evacuation order which was given out by Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson. I was tying down my boat last night with double lines and then went out to dinner and noticed that a lot of people had completely ignored the order. Many of the restaurants were busy in Bridgehampton last night and I saw a lot of traffic in East Hampton. People are maybe hoping to ride it out.
As of this writing, Irene has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm but is still projected to hit Long Island, almost perfectly, so this is a dangerous storm and is not to be messed with, however is it the end of days for Long Island like it is being portrayed in the media?
I’m gonna have to say no on that one.
If we lose power on Sunday night, I’ll see you all online when we get it back. If you are in your homes, be sure that you have plenty of supplies and make sure that things that can easily be blown around and cause damage or placed someplace securely. And if you haven’t left your house, be sure to take some pictures of the damage and send it to me at [email protected].
If there is one thing that is good about this whole ordeal, it is that for the first time in my life, I have no envy for those with oceanfront homes. But that feeling will pass as soon as the hurricane does.
There is also going to be a lot of really, REALLY happy surfers in the next couple of days.
Good luck, God speed, and be safe out there folks.