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What will Hurricane Irene leave behind?

By Ron Allen, NBC News Correspondent

FALMOUTH, MA. – Let me say right up front, I don't expect any sympathy. But I was supposed to be on a boat to Martha's Vineyard this morning to start a vacation with the family. Instead, I've spent the day with a crew at the Falmouth Marina, gazing across the sound at Martha's Vineyard. So close, yet so far. I often tell people the island is my favorite place in the world, and I've done a few laps around the globe over the years.  

Cj Gunther / EPA

A passenger on the Martha's Vineyard Ferry looks out towards the clouds and sunrise while departing Vineyard Haven Harbour off the coast of Tisbury, Massachusetts, USA, August 27 2011.

A colleague said something like, "Oh, well, the president had a vacation cut short there too." Didn't make me feel any better. Duty called, as it often does. Frankly, I would be sick if I wasn't out here in the storm. Many reporters are just made that way. What's more this is the second year in a row something like this has happened. Last year, you'll recall, Earl stormed in. This year, its Irene. Last year we were on the island and left when the storm was closing in.

For the first time in my life, I was an evacuee. Can you believe it. I was with my young daughter. You look at the world differently when you're a dad. I've spent much of my previous life running into disasters all over the world. It probably was time for a change. I've always believed that journalists running into war zones and disasters only get so many chances. You never know when that's going to run out. 

More from Ron Allen: Staying put on Cape Cod

Anyway, back to the vacation that wasn't, and again, I expect no sympathy. As a matter of fact, we'll probably get some time away when all of this is over. And of course, we have no idea what this storm is going to leave behind. The moral of the story, be leary of planning holidays on the Cape and Islands for the last week of August. Earl, Irene, who's next, next year?

We're leaving Falmouth shortly to get over the Bourne Bridge before it closes. This part of the state will get a big storm surge, but the wind and rain is expected to be worse to the west, inland. See you on TV soon from somewhere, probably getting drenched and blown out. Be prepared and stay safe!