Saturday, October 27, 2012

Frankenstorm !!!!!

The old Boris Karloff Frankenstein remains my favorite of all the monsters.

A "perfect storm" event may hit New York Sunday PM or Monday AM.   Hurricane Sandy is supposed to collide with a huge winter storm coming out of the west and create massive havoc.  Last I heard, the weather experts were predicting wind gusts of up to 90 mph here in New York on Monday and Tuesday, along with massive flooding from the storm surge together with high tide.

Michael and I are stocked up on food, water, batteries, flashlights, etc.  The whole thing may be a big fizzle, but ya never know.

Irene, last year was a fizzle here in New York (well sorta; knowledgeable people tell me that if the storm surge from Irene had been only slightly higher, it would have been a major disaster for the city, topping berms and flooding subway and railroad tunnels).  But it was a major disaster inland; very unlike a hurricane.

For Irene last year we had long lines at grocery stores which quickly ran out of supplies.  This year, lines of delivery trucks parked outside neighborhood supermarkets to stock up, and on a Saturday.  And it's a good thing they did, because the markets were crowded all day today.  The MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) said that buses and subways would shut down if winds topped 39 mph.  So far, there are no evacuations planned, though people living in flood prone areas are being asked to leave.  I may be taking yet another school holiday in a semester already ridden with ill-timed days off.

Who knows what will happen after Sunday.  It may be a little wind and rain, or it may be a major disaster.  We'll find out.  Michael and I are prepared to ride out the storm if necessary.


The MTA will shut down the subways at 7PM and the buses at 9PM.  The city is now divided up into evacuation zones and ordered zone A evacuated. 


How Brooklyn!  The lines of last minute hoarders outside at Trader Joe's in Brooklyn; photo from Dan Sloan; in Florida they'd be lining up for batteries and duct tape.

My college will officially close tomorrow.  No point in opening if all the public transport is suspended.

Bridges will close if and when the winds get above 60 mph. 




Michael and I are ready for this thing.  We're stocked up on food, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, etc.  Both cats are present and accounted for.  We're mindful that this storm has already killed scores of people in the Caribbean, but we're hoping that the worst we see is some wind and rain with some downed tree branches tomorrow along with a lot of grousing about all the fuss.


Well this is reassuring:


On the other hand, this was the Jersey shore earlier today, and the storm is still 24 hours away:

They're talking about a 12 foot storm surge down around the Battery by tomorrow evening (the storm surge for Irene was 4 feet).   The flood barriers there are 9 feet high.  There's speculation that Wall Street could be flooded out by the evening.


On schedule for today, Monday:


It's 10:45AM, and this is Red Hook, Brooklyn right now (photo from Dan Sloan, though I don't think he's the photographer).  The long low building is a dock in the harbor.  Where the fence and the building meet in the middle distance is where I've exhibited paintings on a number of occasions.  The building is an old maritime warehouse from the 1850s.

The Holland Tunnel is now closed.

Part of the Verrazano Bridge is now closed.

Part of the FDR Drive in Manhattan is closed due to flooding.

I'm hearing that part of the Boardwalk in Atlantic City is destroyed.

I now hear that the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn is overflowing its banks.

My friend Mary O'Shaughnesy who works for the Red Cross sends this picture of very busy Red Cross dispatchers.


It's about 11:30 AM, and things are relatively quiet where we are.  The Brooklyn Queens Expressway is very quiet for a Monday.  The winds are picking up ever more so by the hour.  There is almost no one outdoors, and I am spending the day at home.  We are just outside all the evacuation zones, but we are on an island surrounded by them.

I'm hearing news reports that most of Atlantic City is now underwater.

The National Hurricane Center says that Sandy now has sustained winds of 90 mph; that's sustained winds, not gusts.  The storm is strengthening and still far out to sea.




The peak of the storm surge is expected at the Battery and Brooklyn at about 6PM.  The storm surge peak is not expected for the Bronx until 10PM.


There is now flooding at both of the city's airports.



 Michael and I are preparing for power outages, probably tonight.  So the updates may end after tonight.


And the overpaid professionally pious nutcases are already blaming the whole thing on Teh Gays.  I'm not posting any links.  You can find them for yourselves.  I counted about 4 so far.

Meanwhile, here is a genuinely selfless friend to humanity, my friend Mary O'Shaughnesy working her post today at the Red Cross, doing her duty and helping people indiscriminately.

Almost everyone in the area appears to be hunkered down in their homes or in shelters, and so I'm hoping that we will emerge from this storm with a very low casualty rate.


A sound I haven't heard since I left the Midwest, the wind whistling through window frames.

The News says that we can expect the worst of the storm here at about 8PM.

WNYC AM is warning that they might go off the air because of rising water in their transmission station.

Michael and I still have power, though the wind is really picking up.

Local Facebook pals are complaining about internet connections getting dodgy.

As if things aren't exciting enough, there was a partial crane collapse on a huge construction site on 57th street.  No injuries are reported so far.  The boom of the crane dangles dangerously 90 floors up on what is supposed to be the world's tallest luxury housing tower when it is finished (just what New York needs so desperately, more luxury housing).

Here's a picture from about an hour ago, courtesy of the local NBC affiliate.

Here's a closer view of the collapsed crane, which is expected to fall.

The unbuilt penthouse of this building already sold for $90 million, the most ever paid for a residence in New York.  I wonder if the buyer will want a refund?

And now I hear a chain saw from somewhere across the BQE out my south window.  I'm not surprised.

My favorite faked photo of Ms. Liberty so far today:



The storm surge in New York Harbor is now 11 feet and still rising.  Battery Park is flooded.  Downtown Jersey City is flooding.

Con Edison did a preemptive power shut down in the Lower East Side.

There was a partial building collapse in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.  The front fell off a 4 story walk-up.  No one injured, thank heaven.

We may have flooded subway and utility tunnels here in New York, but I think the worst damage will be down on the New Jersey shore around Atlantic City.  They appear to have taken the brunt of the wind and rain.

We are fine and still have power.  The cats are asleep.  But the wind is really gusting and howling through the window frames sometimes.  We had a few gusts that shook the building.


Grandmère Mimi said...

Strange weather, indeed...a hurricane at the end of October colliding with a winter storm in the Northeast.

Take care. I hope this one's a fizzle, too.

susan s. said...

I just hope it doesn't hang around for 5 days like it did in Haiti!

JCF said...

May you, Michael and the kitties stay High&Dry!

Ciss B said...

I certainly pray this storm fizzles too, Mimi!

Sid said...

Stay safe. This sounds worse than Irene.

JCF said...

Please tell John B Thompson's "Sandy" that I am in pants!

(Just keepin' things light)

SRSLY, sounds SRSLY scary. Please stay safe you guys!