Wednesday, September 22, 2010

After the flood all of the colours came out

The U2 reference in my title here notwithstanding, much of Newfoundland did not wake to a particularly beautiful day this morning. Or rather, I should clarify, the weather was bright and sunny and the sky cloudless, but that just served to highlight the damage wrought by Hurricane Igor.

I really didn't appreciate the scale of the storm until driving to work this morning—almost all of the stoplights were still out in St. John's, and everywhere there were toppled trees and branches. My own experience of the hurricane was actually a bit anticlimactic—my power did not go out, and the storm did not feel too bad (some friends and colleagues reported today that they could feel their houses shift and groan in the wind, but either because of my location or for some other reason, there wasn't too much of that for me).

I was tempted once or twice to suit up and go out into the storm, simply to be able to say I had done so, but fortunately I was able to resist such a foolish impulse. I remember once seeing a stand-up comedian who talked about a man from his hometown in Florida, who went out to experience a level five hurricane, but tied himself to a tree so he would not be blown away. "Let me explain to you the way wind works: it's not you being blown away that's the problem. Tying yourself to a tree will not protect you from being hit by, say, a Buick."

So, yeah. I stayed inside.

The fallen trees were really the most spectacular form of damage here, though there were some floods here and there. The real brunt of the storm was borne by the Burin and Bonavista Penninsulas, where the flooding was most severe. Some more isolated towns were entirely cut off when bridges were washed out. If you haven't seen any of the footage, this video was taken in Clarenville:


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