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East Coast Disaster Aftermath

Natural disaster struck twice last month on the east coast of the United States: first, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake rattled windows from Atlanta to Boston, and then a waning hurricane whirled all the way to New York City and on to Canada as a tropical storm. The temblor caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, but the storm caused billions, and killed dozens of people. Sharon Astyk provides a firsthand view of the damage in upstate New York, where the storm turned her farm into a swamp, her creek into a raging torrent, and her locust trees into goat fodder and firewood. She implores, “please remember and help your local farmers anyway you can – most of them will struggle to rebuild after this disaster and to go forward.” On The Pump Handle, Liz Borkowski writes “hurricane Irene wasn’t nearly as bad as it could’ve been. [...] Many of the New Yorkers who ignored Mayor Bloomberg’s orders to evacuate are probably feeling smug.” But she says Irene only proved that hurricanes can be unpredictable, and encourages us to always be prepared. And on Thoughts from Kansas, Josh Rosenau calculates just how unlikely it was to have the proverbial lightning strike twice. He states the odds as 1 in 1,500,000. If an asteroid hits Philly tomorrow, we’ll start worrying about Armageddon.