Irene is one crazy party girl, let me tell you. If the Hurricane-turned-tropical-storm were a person, she’d be one of those celebrities of fleeting fame who makes most of her TV time by arriving in places like ‘Toga, partying hard, and leaving a mess behind.
Believe me, I would know. As a resident of Saratoga, I’ve seen this starlet’s destructive habits from close up.
Though Hurricane Irene’s power wilted as she crept up the coast (as does the popularity of so many upstart celebs) and she was downgraded to a tropical storm, she was still a powerful force in Saratoga.
For the first time in five years, NYRA declared that the Saratoga Racetrack would be completely closed on Sunday, just one day after the much-anticipated Travers Stakes Race.
(The upside to this is that today admission is free to the Track to anyone who can prove residency in Saratoga County).
The Track itself suffered little damage, aside from three downed trees, one of which fell a little too close for comfort around trainer Todd Pletcher’s stables near the Oklahoma Track.
According to my brother, who works at the track and enjoyed a rare Sunday off during the storm, most racehorses left before the storm on Sunday, both to avoid Irene and because it’s customary to leave after Travers weekend.
Irene started strong in the early morning hours, even before dawn. The rain got in any open windows, and the wind rattled and slammed doors.
The power was out for most of the morning – ours was one of several houses who lost power – making it family reading time at my house. In the afternoon the power returned, and stayed despite a few flickers in the evening.
At 11am Mayor Scott Johnson declared a state of emergency and restricted traffic to keep roads clear for emergency personnel (this didn’t stop Dad from going for donuts that night).
Today during my morning run through Spa Park, I got a chance to see a lot of the aftermath of Irene’s visit, and the a.m. cleanup crew arriving.
There were scattered tree limbs littered everywhere, mostly small sticks, with a few medium-sized branches that occasionally got in the way of paths.
The roads were all clear of significant debris, though the Hall of Springs Road was closed off to be cleaned. The golf course seemed unscathed, the river was high but not overflowing, and I only found one large fallen tree, in the woods far behind Peerless Pool.
In all, I’d say Irene enjoyed her time in Saratoga (most visitors do), perhaps a little too much. She was worn out by dinner-time, and was on to the next thing before Monday morning.
How did you do during the Tropical Storm Irene? Did you see floods, fallen trees, or any other aftereffects? Let us know.