pictures of the carnage at the hands of Hurricane Irene

Three weeks ago, Hurricane Irene hit the North Carolina and Virginia coast. Although Hurricane Irene was quickly demoted to a tropical storm, the rain and wind caused massive power outages in the Richmond area. Most of the power outages and road closures were caused by trees that were uprooted during the storm (all of the power lines in the area are wbove ground, and it is very wooded in the area). Here are a few pictures that I took after the storm.

Hurricane Irene

A tree falls on power lines outside of Richmond, VA. Carnage like this was *everywhere* Many tall trees are right next to the power lines, which makes the Richmond area vulnerable to power outages. More on that later.

Hurricane Irene

Mature trees like this one were generally uprooted like this. It was incredibly sad to lose so many trees.

Hurricane Irene

Another massive uprooted tree.

Hurricane Irene

Most trees fell in wooded areas, in the streets, on houses, or on fences (like this one). Stacks of branches and logs line every street in the area.

Hurricane Irene

There were 200 road closures in the county where I live immediately after the storm. Amazingly, 90% of these roads were reopened within hours of the storm by chainsaw-wielding police officers. Almost every road was lined with tree trunks.

Hurricane Irene

This tree was uprooted and was propped against a building. It stayed this way for weeks. This was not exactly safe. However, the fact that trees were left propped against buildings where they could easily fall on pedestrians highlights how limited the recovery resources really were.

Hurricane Irene

I love this picture. A power line goes through a group of trees. Public services are really good about trimming trees near power lines to avoid branches downing a power line during a storm. You can see a a that the power line goes through a hole where the trees were trimmed around the power line. This keeps our power on during normal storms but not when we get real wind gusts. This in part explains why we had so many power outages here in Richmond when we are so far from the coast.

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