As you may have heard, Hurricane Irene swept the East Coast this weekend. In my experience, D.C. does not handle weather crises well.
Two years, we were hit by a pretty major snowstorm, affectionately remembered as Snowmageddon, the Snowpocalypse, or snOMG. 2-3 feet of snow fell in just a few days. In normal cities, this would have led to maybe a few snow days from school. Or in Alaska, it would have been considered an average week. But in D.C. it meant the entire city shut down for a week. I witnessed people trying to dig their cars out with rowboat paddles (it didn’t work well, if you’re wondering). Snowplows got stuck in the roads. Bars gave discounts for every inch of snow that fell (that part was fun!).
So naturally, with the prediction of an epic hurricane to end all hurricanes, D.C. residents prepared for Irene with their usual cool, calm, collected attitudes. That is to say everyone went batshit crazy. News crews filmed from grocery stores, where people emptied out the shelves as if stocking up for the end of days. Windows were boarded up with plywood. Stores closed early. Free sand bags were handed out to better barricade homes.
I prepared for the hurricane by having lunch with a friend at the Cheesecake Factory, followed by wine shopping at World Market. After all, if I’m going to get soaked/blown out to sea/stuck without power for weeks, I’d like to at least be full of wine and cheesecake. Then I hunkered down with The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and a variety of snack food to await the storm.
And then, it rained. For a couple of hours. And it was a little windy. Oh the HORROR. By Sunday morning, it was dry and sunny. The sky was blue, there was a pleasant breeze, and everyone discovered we’d survived. At least until the next “major” weather event…