Present Newark residents will of course know how trivial the damage from hurricane/"tropical" storm Irene was, but for the information of people of the Newark diaspora who now live far away, let me just mention how inconsequential the storm was to most people in Newark. I don't think it was even classed as a hurricane by the time it got to this area, because this entire month has been extremely subnormally cold for August, so the waters of the Atlantic were much cooler than they would usually be, robbing Irene of the energy it would have needed to maintain its hurricane status. And of course, Newark is not in the tropics alas so whatever Irene was, it was assuredly no longer a tropical storm.
Mind you, the Passaic River basin received so much rain that the river is flooding low-lying areas in places like Paterson. The Great Falls of the Passaic, in Paterson, are likely to be spectacular in the next several days. But by the time the Passaic reaches Newark, it is a broad estuary (an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean), so flooding is not a problem.
I took the fotos above and below early this evening to show the two largest fallen branches in my yard, which is in the westernmost (and therefore most-inland) area of Newark. There were also a lot of fallen deadwood twigs, leaves, and live twigs with leaves. And that's about it.
I have very large trees, perhaps 70' tall, on two sides of my house, so had to be concerned about high winds. But no tree toppled, nor did any limb of size fall onto either my house or car. Joe from Belleville experienced the same trivial effects on his trees.
The only sign that a hurricane-like storm had hit was this shopping-cart-return shelter in the parking lot of the East Orange ShopRite, which had only recently been put in place, parallel to the lines that mark the parking spaces. I wonder how long it will take ShopRite to put it back into place. It may not be rigid enuf to be pushed or pulled intact. Perhaps one of its two long sides will have to be pushed while the other is pulled at the same time and rate of speed, to put it back in alignment. Or perhaps it will have to be disassembled, realigned, and reassembled. That's no big deal, however, which is what 'hurricane' or "tropical" storm Irene turned out to be in Newark.