What ever happened to wait-and-see? State, Suffolk, and local governments announced closings in advance of a winter storm that was supposed to cover the region on Tuesday. When the expected snowfall did not, in fact, pile up, they and the schools that had followed in announcing they would not open appeared a little hasty. Officials might have been forgiven, since the television news was dominated as the week began with apocalyptic weather warnings. Pre-emptive panic, however, was contagious, and, on eastern Long Island at least, the surprise day off made little sense by hindsight.
If one took the time to look away from the TV screen, though, more level heads were saying on Monday afternoon that the storm would not be all that bad. Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Upton said they expected the East End would experience mostly rain and wind. As it turned out, they were correct. Schools most certainly could have held classes. Libraries could have opened. Banks could have operated. Government functions could have gone on. If President Trump really wanted to make America great again, he could have started by insisting that the East Hampton Post Office remain open, for crying out loud.
Certainly there is a degree of risk when winds are high. Just before lunch on Tuesday the wind took down a tree, blocking Main Street near the East Hampton Presbyterian Church. Roads were impassable elsewhere for a time, thanks to fallen limbs. Gerard Drive in Springs was flooded in the usual places. Electricity was interrupted in some locations. Downtown Montauk’s already thin ocean beach took yet another pounding. End of the world it was not. But there is something to be said for staying home on a nasty day with a cup of tea by one’s side and a cat on the lap.