Earthquake and hurricane in the same week…nothing outside the realm of normal probabilities but the mind does drift to the imposition of retribution for mistakes in the eyes of higher powers, like turning to austerity measures too soon.
Our northeastern infrastructure—buildings, in particular–performed well in the earthquake, and that was a quake of real magnitude. The slow, lumbering Irene dumped so much water in some places that flooding is to be expected, but a great, long-term infrastructure project in this country would be to move electrical lines underground. We actually did pretty well in Northern VA, but the average sustained winds were in the 20s, I believe.
Generally speaking, we’ve got a grid that’s way too fragile, and I believe that’s the case for the whole Northeast. When we think of repairing our public infrastructure, this one–the grid–should be right up there with roads, bridges, and schools.
That’s particularly the case because of the linkage between warmer climates, warmer oceans, and the associated increase in the quantity and strength of hurricanes.