The prognosticators and religious nuts and the "hype mongers" had another field day. The East Coast was for sure heading for an overwhelming disaster. God was finally going to "get" them. "Them" being anyone of a contrary opinion to that of the minister, prognosticator, etc.
Irene has gone her merry way northeast and will finally rain itself out over the North Atlantic. New York survived just fine. There was some damage, of course, all along its path, but much less than all the doom and gloom prophesied led one to believe was in the offing.
Hurricanes don't take that route very often, but they do once in awhile. When they do, they usually lose a lot of zip by the time they hit those colder waters around New York and New Jersey and the rest of New England.
It was just a "tropical storm" when it finally arrived at the "Big Apple." Lots of rain. Lots of wind. Some storm surge. That certainly causes a lot of problems, but I really think the "snowpocalypse" (it also had to be sensationalized someway for ratings sake) New York experienced last winter was worse. Most people have forgotten it already. At this writing, Irene was responsible for only 18 known deaths. In a path that took it all the way from North Carolina to southern Canada!
Earth and its inhabitants experience weather. Hurricanes and tropical storms, blizzards, droughts, tornados, etc. are all weather. If there's something you don't like about the weather today, just wait a while and it will change.
I spent about a year and a half in Flushing, New York from late 1960 to early 1962. They had a drought while I was there, and I never even experienced one of those famous New York thunderstorms. I did hear about the remnants of a hurricane that happened a few years earlier and made quite an impression on the local gentry. Was "god" upset that I was there and witheld the rain? I really don't think so.
Nor do I think he was mad at the nation as a whole because the mythical guy doesn't exist. There's no one "up there" to get mad. Did you ever take a look at the maps of the cosmos that have been published lately? Take a good look at one. Then, try to define "up there" for me. Over thirteen billion years worth of "up there" in all directions! And, you think earth and the solar system are something great? What's so far been discovered "up there" makes us look like a fly speck on the Great Wall of China!
"God" seems to get judgmental and punishing every so often, the way a lot of superstitious people view it. They'll figure out something they don't like that their "god" is also upset about. Since they created him in their images, it follows that he has to be mad about the same things they're mad about.
Instant explanation for the "disaster!"
Earthquakes and volcanos are also a constant on this earth. Go to any center where there are seismographs and you will see the evidence of hundreds of tremors, some volcanic, most unfelt and unnoticed, taking place all over the earth every day. Earth looks solid and stable but it's constantly in motion and once in awhile those motions get downright noticeable.
Because such "disasters" are intermittent and usually years go by with very little in the way of outstanding events in any local region, the religious nuts and sensationalizers have a field day when the usual norm is breached. They have their moment in the sun and revel that their insane shouting gets noticed and taken seriously -- at least momentarily. The credulous just never seem to learn and will listen again next time around and get all excited all over again.
Hype, hype, hype. There's no end to it.