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east coast states
hurricane irene
tropical storms
hurricane season
Another Year
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Another Year

The fifth season is about to come upon us. Recently I was asked how many seasons there are during the year and I responded four. To my surprise, I was informed that I should not forget that the period between May and November makes our fifth season. Hurricane season. It is time to prepare for the class of 2013.

No longer are the Carolinas, Florida, Louisiana and the coastal states the punching bags of extremely strong gale force winds and heavy rains. Tropical depressions and storms have moved inland leaving billions of dollars worth of damages in cities and states on the east coast.

East coast states such as New York and New Jersey experienced the wrath and fury of two recent tropical storms Irene and Sandy within the past two years causing approximately $70 billion in damages and destruction. In August 2011 Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane in the Atlantic for that year, touched down in New York city and moved on to New England leaving a trail of destruction in her path. Bridges were washed away, roads destroyed in many areas. Uprooted trees snapped electrical lines causing many to spend days without electrical power as emergency crews worked feverishly to restore power.

Fast forward a year and two months later, Hurricane Sandy is described as one of the deadliest, costly and destructive hurricanes destroying homes and businesses while washing away natural barriers, shorelines and beachfront properties. For example, several of New York city's subway systems and underground facilities, hospitals, building basements and road tunnels were flooded. Electrical wiring and mechanical equipment became corroded from salt, sand and silt. As storm waters rose, lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens became a rampaging river.

Neighboring New Jersey also had her share of Sandy's rage. The resulting destruction changed the shoreline contributing to major economic and residential losses as well. Childhood and vacation memories washed away. It was sad to watch and to hear the heart wrenching stories of lives and properties lost.

Along the eastern seaboard and reaching as far as the Appalachians and Wisconsin Sandy made her presence known. Will we have a repeat of Irene and Sandy again Maybe! Maybe not! The question is, are we on the eastern seaboard prepared to deal with another hurricane, flash floodings, power outages, gas shortages, the financial losses? Do we have sufficient shelters and safe havens for those who would become displaced? Are state and local government prepared?

Almost a year after Sandy, many are still struggling to rebuild past lives and past dreams. Several have given up hope and would rather walk away. The pain is still etched in their voices, their faces and body language. Monetary funds seem to trickle down only to a certain few. Where are the insurance payments, business loans to rebuild, to recoup losses or promised federal and state emergency aid ? We can rebuild lost communities, boardwalks, shore up barrier islands, sand dunes and beach fronts.? But I ask, can we rebuild a broken human spirit?

The fifth season has started. Hello Andrea.


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