Today’s news:

Hurricane — what hurricane? Irene blew!

The Brooklyn Paper

Boy, Hurricane Irene really blew!

Brooklynites went toe-to-toe with the storm of a generation on Sunday, but emerged with nothing to show for their efforts after the massive tempest fizzled into a late-summer downpour — leaving evacuated and trasit-stranded residents feeling peeved that Mother Nature didn’t ruin their weekend enough.

“It was much ado about nothing,” said Moe Maloney, of Park Slope. “I thought it would be worse.”

The storm caused some flooding in Red Hook and Greenpoint, but the resulting devastation paled in comparison to last September’s tornado — or even, for that matter, to the December blizzard that paralyzed the borough and snowed-in Mayor Bloomberg’s reputation for handling natural disasters.

No one was killed by the gale, which experts predicted would be the region’s first hurricane since Gloria slammed into Long Island in 1985, but was downgraded to a less terrifying-sounding tropical storm before hitting Coney Island at 9:30 am.

By 3 pm, residents of low-lying areas who had been ordered to leave their homes were allowed to return. And transit service — which was shut down at noon on Saturday — was largely restored by Monday afternoon.

It was the first time ever, except during strikes, that the city did not have full transit service for such a long period of time.

The return of service came 48 hours after a somber-faced Mayor Bloomberg — who appeared determined to get out in front of Irene — took the unprecedented step of ordering a mandatory evacuation of 150,000 Brooklynites in danger zones of Williamsburg, DUMBO and the Columbia Street Waterfont District.

“We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t think the storm had the potential to be very serious,” Bloomberg warned. “The best outcome would be if the storm veers off to the east and doesn’t hit us, or doesn’t hit us hard, but we can’t depend on Mother Nature being so kind.”

Residents were given until 5 pm on Saturday to clear out.

Many bunked with family or friends. Thousands bedded down at city-provided shelters.

But the bulk of residents in the danger zone hunkered down at home and made light of a hurricane that never came.

“Yo Irene,” read a sign on a Red Hook storefront, capturing the mood of the neighborhood. “Bring it, bee-yotch!”

Carroll Gardens resident Lillian Auld said she spent the night brushing up on her baking skills.

“I made a hurricane cake,” Auld said. “Then I went to a hurricane party.”

Meanwhile, at Eammon’s on Montague Street, people drank Hurricanes, a popular cocktail in New Orleans, which is constantly under attack by cyclones.

Jeff Dehler, a car designer from Boerum Hill, said the experience taught him to take extreme weather warnings with a grain of salt.

“The storm was ridiculous,” Dehler said. “The next time I’m going to stay right where I am.”

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

JS from PH says:
I think this story is a sad statement on human nature. All you have to do it read the news about Irene's impact in VT, MA, NJ, and upstate NY to see these storms can be deadly and very destructive. I am not a fan of bloomberg but the government did the right thing here. Better to get a ahead of the storm than fight your way out of it... If the lesson you take away from this storm is that they are nothing to worry, please remember the gulf coast has "false alarms" all the time....
Aug. 30, 2011, 3:41 pm
Michael from Park Slope says:
Hurricane Irene forced Mayor Bloomberg to take extraordinary precautions. Imagine the outcry if the worst had occurred? Everyone, more or less, tends to be a Monday morning quarterback (myself included); but, as JS suggested above, we need only to observe the destruction this storm caused elsewhere to understand what could have happened here.
Aug. 30, 2011, 3:52 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Solid proof that the "average New Yorker" is a dumb-ass. People should be thanking their lucky stars that we were largely spared; instead, they're ——ing. You might not be so lucky next time, idiots.
Aug. 30, 2011, 6:37 pm
Drew from Sunset Park says:
Couldn't agree with more with the other comments. Take your head out of your backside NYers! Stupid.
Aug. 31, 2011, 6:08 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.