Posted by: mckenzie68 | August 28, 2011

Day 11 – WPFG Adventure – Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Goodnight Irene!

Well, I was rudely awakened by my windows shaking violently, and I knew it was Mr Dark Cloud’s spouse Irene calling!  I turned on the TV and quickly learned that the eye of the Hurricane was about 32 miles south of NYC.  I jumped out of bed, got dressed and headed to the main floor of the hotel.  Although it was windy and raining I decided that it was not too bad, and took a calculated risk heading out onto the streets.

The wind was diminished in some areas and increased in others due to Bernoulli’s principle and I avoided the heavy winds pretty easily.  I eventually made my way to Times Square, the streets were pretty much deserted, except for NYPD, FDNY and EMT personnel.   Then the wind died right off, and I knew the eye of the hurricane was over top of me!

In my hurry to go outside I had forgot my umbrella, not that it would have helped much…I noticed many inside out umbrellas littering the streets!  Without my H2O re-director I was pretty much soaked after about 10 minutes, but it was nice warm rain, quite refreshing and awakening really.

As I walked around Midtown Manhattan, I noticed that the damage was not too bad considering the size of the storm, some flooding, downed trees, knocked down newspaper bins, fences, etc.  The water from the east river had obviously overflowed the riverbanks, but had receded quickly, and I watched a very large pool of water draining away which was captivating for some reason.

The thrill eventually wore off and I returned to the hotel to get out of my wet clothes, and have a nice hot shower!   Aaaaahhhh HOT water!

Although I felt pretty good about Hurricane Irene leaving, I knew that there were a lot of people suffering from her wrath.  My thoughts and prayers are with them.

I also learned that a Firefighter had been seriously injured trying to save someone who had put themselves in a dangerous position in a raging river…that is what makes emergency services personnel different, we risk our lives to save even those who needlessly put themselves and others in harms way.

I eventually contacted Raz and Pete and we met a while later in Times Square once the wind and rain had died down after the eye of the storm had moved north.  We walked the midtown Manhattan area, picked up some souvenirs, and headed over to the Rockefeller Center.  The crowds and cabs had returned to NYC streets, and it was hugely entertaining to see so many people out and about.  We walked aimlessly taking pictures as we went along, and clowning around, and it sure made the afternoon fly by!

Raz I have to say is very artistic, especially when it comes to taking photographs and it was so fun watching him “creating” good shots!  With his help I can now say I have photographic proof that I am taller than the Empire State Building!  LOL

As we explored some of the side streets, we ran into a lady with a super tiny dog, who looked like he had a personal visit by Hurricane Irene!  He was so cute I had to take a picture of him, and we all talked to him like he was a little baby.  Funny how a cute little animal can make grown men act like babbling idiots!  LOL

We also discovered a parking lot where they stack the cars on top of one another…a very efficient use of space in my humble opinion.  We felt a need to go and chit chat with the attendant to find out the process for getting your car if yours was the top one!  It was an easy thing to figure out, but we want to talk to him and that seemed like a reasonable question!  =D

As we walked back to my hotel, Raz and I noticed 3 large rats, sauntering towards a storm drain…they were the size of a small cat!  They also did not seem too afraid of people…and only fled down the sewer when we got really close, it was very creepy.

I called it a night, while Pete and Raz went to have some beverages with some Toronto Police Service friends.  Yeah I know I am lame, but hey I am pooped out from all the walking!

Our Police Action Pistol event has been cut short, due to the hurricane which is very disappointing, but when I feel down about it, I redirect my thoughts to those who are suffering with no power, damaged homes, damaged cars, injuries, and those who lost their lives.  That paradigm shift in thought process put life back into proper perspective and helped me feel better about things, and how fortunate I am.  All in all a really good day for me!

“Life is an adventure to be lived, not being fearful while hiding from that which scares us. Live life, do not fear…”

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