Long Island Over-prepared for Irene

Local stores, like this one in Bellport, NY, boarded windows while keeping a sense of humor in preparation for Hurricane Irene.

By Kiera Osborn

While Hurricane Irene was rummaging her way up the east coast, supermarkets were sabotaged by paranoid New York residents.

Bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries and candles were the first to go. Anyone who waited until Saturday to stock up on supplies was left in the dust. With 90mph winds and a 500 mile long hurricane on its way, no one here in Suffolk County was taking any chances.

Irene’s outer-bands touched landfall here on Long Island at 9pm Saturday night. Although it was a powerful hurricane, many residents want to know if it was worth all the hype. 450,000 people were without power, some for more than 5 days. But it could’ve been much worse. Was it necessary to stock pile on everything the supermarkets were cleared out of?

“Honestly, my mother probably spent $200 at Stop and Shop and we only used about $20 worth of it”, said Jessica Carrieri, a photography major at SCCC. “Everyone got all crazy and bought everything they thought they would need and now they’re stuck with an over-abundance of crap.”

Erin King, a history major at SCCC stated “I bought all AA batteries for my flashlights. When I got home to put them in, I realized flashlights only take C or D batteries! It was already too late to go buy new ones so I had to stick with candles. I couldn’t even return the $30 pack of batteries because I already opened it. Funny thing is, my power never went out.”

Many residents felt they wasted their time and money preparing for Irene. Raymond Marciano, an employee from Stop and Shop stated “No matter which way you look at it, people would be complaining. I was working the two nights before the storm and the lines were all the way at the back of the store. Of course people were upset about how long they had to wait. I bet you if the news didn’t warn us of the worst to come, those same people would be complaining if they didn’t have a surplus of Fiji water. They just always need someone to blame.”

Now that Irene is gone and we’ve experienced our first hurricane in over 20 years, will we know how to better prepare for the next one? “I think this was a huge wake up call for everyone. Now we know which things are absolutely necessary in a storm and which we won’t ever use” King stated. “Was it a life or death situation? No. People were acting like we were getting ready to embrace the apocalypse. I think the storm was a blessing in disguise. Next time we won’t have to get worked up over something that’s clearly not life threatening.”

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