Caterpilla took this photograph of the hurricane's damage in Chinatown

Sure, the Fire Department has been rescuing dozens of people from homes flooded with five feet of water, but now that Irene is starting to veer away from the NYC region as a Tropical Storm, it's not too early for everyone to weigh in on whether the city's decision to evacuate residents in low-lying areas as well as the state's decision to shut down the MTA were overreaction (heck, people have been debating that since Friday). What do you think:

And from the peanut/Twitter gallery:

  • "NYC on #HurricaneIrene = biggest overreaction to a storm ever. And I 'survived' DC's Snowmaggedon." @emilyamerel
  • "Wow they evacuated NYC because of rain. Is there a way to charge weather forecasters for putting millions of people in panic #overreaction" @jeremychaput
  • "Woke up to find hurricane Irene is now a tropical storm. Way to overreact NYC. Bloody marys anyone?" @nickperold
  • "Epic #overreaction by the NYC government to #Irene. This was a medium thunderstorm at best." @eck34
  • And from yesterday "Trending (in 36 hours): Bloomberg overreaction #MAIrene" @johnakeith

Mayor Bloomberg's position has been that the city had to prepare for the worst. The MTA may have been motivated by the events of August 2007, when a tornado's rain caused flooding that shut down the system during the morning rush hour.