Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Predicting the Unpredictable

The challenges of anticipating and responding to disasters were painfully clear in reviewing the events before and during Hurricane Irene.  Everyone knew it was coming, and what the possible threats were, but could only guess at precisely where it would strike and how severe the impact would be.  New York City battened down the hatches, but New Jersey and Vermont took the hardest hits.  Rain and not storm surge turned out to have the most significant impact.  Power outages, road closures and flooding are ongoing.  The question of who will pay for the recovery, and where the money will come from, is unanswered.  These and other issues will be discussed in the ABATIPS teleconference series in September.  For more information about the TIPS Disaster Initiative, please click here.

1 comment:

  1. What's interesting is that the same neighborhoods had different outcomes from Irene. In my area (East Rockaway, NY), we were fine, very little flooding, no real damage, but literally around the corner and down a few blocks, trees were down, power was out, and areas were flooded (rain not storm surge). The forecasters had the path dead on (it literally went over my house), but the composition of the storm was less predictable. Most of the fury was north west of the eye, so while the south shore of Western Nassau County was covered by the eye, the real wind and water showed up in NJ and further north in NY.