Hurricane Irene’s mixed bag leaves some underwhelmed

Hurricane Irene did leave a big wet mark on Philadelphia, submerging Manayunk’s Main Street yesterday as well as some areas of Center City along a swollen Schuylkill River.

Michael Nutter warned that flooded roads would continue to make travel risky in some sections of the city through this morning. SEPTA, meanwhile, also hoped to have its whole system back up and

running by today’s early rush hour.

But in most neighborhoods farther from the river, a sense of relief seemed more often the reaction in the aftermath of a storm thought early on to be potentially historic in the damage it could bring.

“I was disappointed,” Pennsport resident Mark Moore said yesterday. “It was all hyped up. I expected my roof to blow off.”

Downed tree branches could be seen in some neighborhood parks, but no locals in some parts of South Philadelphia reported power outages or flooding.

“I stayed up until four in the morning watching the news for no reason,” said massage therapist Krista Sorensen. “Saying this was a hurricane is ridiculous. It was really just a rainstorm.”

Apple tree no more

The apple tree was having a good year. Maybe its best year. Thirty years after my parents planted it in their Northeast backyard — too close to their house, too close to the neighbors’ houses, just right if you’re hiding from someone in the kitchen — it was finally producing the kind of apples you might

consider eating.

And so yesterday morning, as it lay against their bathroom window, it seemed important to use its last apples. These weren’t perfect apples, and these weren’t apples without the occasional fuzzy worm or missing nibble, but these were better apples than it had ever offered up before.

Here’s the problem with downed apple trees: They make a lot of apples. And pies only need about five apples. -MONICA WEYMOUTH/Metro

Spotty power outages

The wrath of Irene bypassed East Oak Lane with the exception of a few brief power outages overnight Saturday and some uprooted trees in residential neighborhoods.

The deluge of rain caused the Tacony Creek to swell, rising to the level of a pedestrian bridge near Adams Avenue early Sunday. Much of the water receded by the afternoon, but the creek remained covered with debris and downed branches.

The torrential downpour, while persistent, did not seem to cause much damage to power lines or homes. Tree removal crews did have to lift away a few trees that were knocked down by the gusty winds, but it was better than expected given the forecast. SEPTA resumed by the afternoon. -SOLOMON D. LEACH/Metro

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