Congratulations New York. You can really weather a storm. First this week there was an earthquake, registering 5.8 on the scale. That rattled some nerves, but the city, calmly, came out just fine. Today, Hurricane Irene cut a path to the city, but just before 10 a.m., the worst has passed, the sun is peaking out and the rain has let up to a trickle.
There is some flooding in the area, but it is minor compared to what Philadelphia, North Carolina and Virginia experienced, and what New York expected.
Walkers, and even some joggers, are already back out on the streets and sidewalks, with glistening last rain drops lightly falling upon them.
Beyond minor damage, all in the city appears to be fine as Irene weakened and the city's preparations avoided what could have been historic disaster. From the shores of New Jersey, looking across the river to Midtown Manhattan, waters have risen, but they didn't breach boundaries for the most part, meaning the city can likely return to its bustling ways sooner than expected.
No announcement has been made as of yet on when transit lines, including New York's subway system that moves about five million people a day, but the major damage feared has apparently been avoided.
The worst of Hurricane Irene to hit the city was in the early morning hours, between four a.m. and five a.m., when Brooklyn and Queens heard tornado warning sirens sound amid whipping wind of 40 to 50 miles per hour at times. Trees but, windows rattled and heavy rains fell, but New York City stood tall and strong.
Hurricane strikes are rare for New York, despite the city's approximation to the Atlantic. Colder waters this far north help out in that regard. Those same cold waters did the trick again, muting powerful Irene as she made her way north.
Similarly, earthquakes are rare for the city. But that's what happened Tuesday when the quake, originating in northern Virginia, gave New York a mighty shake. But while earthquakes and hurricanes are rare, extremes for New York are not. The city has endured a terrible terrorist attack and a crippling 100 year blizzard in the past decade, so residents have seen it all.
They hope. In New York, one never knows, but mark Hurricane Irene and the earthquake that shook the city this week as two more extremes on the list that have been averted with poise, and without massive destruction and damage.