Weather forecasters predicted that Hurricane Irene would devastate the New England area. Luckily, the storm had weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm by the time it reached us and the damage to the Public Garden, Boston Common and Commonwealth Avenue Mall was minimal. The winds and rains that we faced yesterday were not nearly as bad as they could have been, “We’re fortunate that Irene had weakened some before it got to Massachusetts,’’ said Governor Deval Patrick in a telephone interview yesterday.
The aftermath of Irene left the Public Garden with only 2 trees down. Many more lost limbs, but in most cases the trees have remained intact. Three trees were damaged in the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. These are in the process of being assessed to determine whether or not they can be salvaged. Many thanks to Boston Park & Recreation Department for their prompt response! The biggest loss was an elm on the Common near Charles/Beacon. The Parks Department began clean-up as quickly as they could and the paths through the Garden and Common were usable early this morning.
Park Department’s workers have done their best to clear pathways and destruction caused by the storm is hardly noticeable. “Looks like as if the storm did not even touch this area.” commented one couple as they entered the park this morning. Half of dozen workers were actively spotted on the scene gathering tree branches, but did not have much left to do.
For the most part, it seems to be a perfectly normal summer day with Swan Boats packed with tourists and toddlers chasing after the ducks of the pond. Aside from the few fallen branches, the park makes for an great escape from Irene’s destruction.