People expected the worst. What they got with Hurricane Irene, around New England at least, was a somewhat anti-climactic storm.
Driving through downtown Stoneham Sunday afternoon, Irene had already been downgraded to a tropical storm. All that remained of Irene was some strong winds, a few downed branches, leaves and debris all over the road, a little biting rain and completely overcast skies.
“It's New England, people get worked up over nothing,” a patron at the said.
Even though it appears Irene will largely be considered much ado about nothing, Stoneham's downtown area was desolate Sunday with some stores closing up shop.
“A lot of people bought ice, but business didn't change that much,” an employee at on Main Street said.
“People have been buying a lot of soda and candy,” explained an employee at down the street, another one of the few stores that remained open throughout the storm. “It was a little slower than usual, but that's about it.”
Some Stoneham residents did experience power loss Sunday afternoon. Nick and Joy, a pair of Stoneham residents who live near Main Street, said, “We have no power right now. It's been out for at least two hours.”
Other troubles people have experienced concerned fallen tree branches. Stoneham resident Michael Boyd said, “I had two big trees down in my backyard […] Although, the rain coming home from work [Saturday] around [4:30 or 5 p.m.] was worse than anything today.”
It seems that for Stoneham, the hurricane turned out to be just a small storm. Despite the fact that for many New Englanders, last week was spent hyping the possible destruction by Irene, it's safe to say Stoneham can give a collective sigh of relief that damages were relatively mild.
Check out our photo gallery from around town during the storm.