For too many of us here in the United States, 2011 was the Year of the Bad Weather. From flooding to drought, millions of people suffered under the lash of Mother Nature, and millions more suffered in other countries. Especially Japan, where suffering will be long term.
For all of us, 2011 was the year we would rather forget.
Our relatively snowless winter doesn't begin to make up for our year of weather. In upstate NY, in Vermont, in New Jersey, in many other parts, flooding ruled.
One of my cousins was evacuated twice from his home on Long Island.
Irene and Lee did their work in upstate NY in August and early September. A good friend's mother lives near the village of Margaretville. She lives on a hill but the main village was hit by flash flooding. The CVS was destroyed. As of right now, they still don't have a supermarket and she (well, her caretakers as she can no longer drive) must travel 21 miles to the nearest supermarket. A Family Dollar (against zoning but the local officials thankfully have decided not to notiee) is selling basic food necessities.
A friend of mine visiting Prattsville (even more hard hit), where her mother had once lived, witnessed the damage and it was almost beyond belief. I even saw photos from that disaster in an English newspaper.
And as for us here in the Binghamton/Johnson City area, I've written about our flood over and over again. The flooding, the aftermath, in a neighborhood where I was one of the lucky ones (I didn't lose my home).
This is my neighborhood and the immediate area around it flooding. This photo, also near my house, may spell the end of 1300 jobs in my area.
That employer, BAE, left a parting gift: a diesel spill.
Now, FEMA is finally agreeing to a buyout but portions of my neighborhood are destroyed. Some other areas: Twin Orchards, the South Side of Binghamton, Owego. were hit even harder. And my story is just one of the millions of weather related stories this year.
Yes, all of us would just rather forget 2011.
Ring in the New Year! May 2012 be kinder to our world.