What we ask ourselves now, just past the one-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, is how far, or perhaps how long, is the vanishing point from that fateful day? Where is that vanishing point, where memory begins to fade and the storm becomes more legend than painful recollection?
Not now, that’s for certain. As much as many would like to see Irene in the rearview mirror, the reality is there is still much to be done.
Many are still waiting to a return to normalcy: Businesses yet to reopen; families still without permanent homes, waiting for approval of a buyout or a new mortgage; individuals coping with personal loss; and towns waiting to find out how big the repair bills will be. What we have discovered over the past few weeks, as we have been researching and writing our series of articles around Irene’s first anniversary, is just how much remains to be done. Roads and bridges still need repair, families still need help, and relief agencies and funds still need cash.
It will take years, and perhaps generations, to reach that vanishing point for Irene. That not necessarily a bad thing. The wounds are still raw in many places. We can’t just walk away from those in need and say it’s over. There is still much to be done. For those who were unaffected, we encourage them to help out, either by volunteering or contributing to a relief fund.
There is still much need out there. To see that need is simply a matter of perspective.