Saturday, August 27, 2011

Observations on Irene 8.27

12:00PM - We have the weirdest sky now, all dark and swirly, something I don't associate with a hurricane. More like a twister movie sky.

Electric shutdown, “If a shutdown of those substations did become necessary, the affected area would be the southeastern tip of Manhattan, bordered by the Brooklyn Bridge on the north, Broadway on the west and the East River on the south and east, said Chris Olert, a spokesman for Con Ed.” Well that's bad for them but good for me.

1:00PM – The bar is open and the Phillies are going to try and play. I hope I didn't make a mistake leaving the alcohol with the VQs though. I could get back to a storm shelter for theatre types and that isn't how I want to spend my hurricane. Forget this as the Phillies game was called when the outer bands of Irene arrived over Citizens Bank Park. That means the Phillies now have no days off until the end of the season, 33 games in 33 days. Not good at all.

Hurricane Irene Makes Landfall in North Carolina6:00PM - Made one last check on Foxy and did my usual weekly engine running routine while I called my dad to check-in. It's getting breezy there but not raining much yet which is good because they already had over a foot of rain this month. For the first time I'm glad my parking space is on the third floor, she should be fine.

I'm starting to get a slightly depressed feeling as the storm tracks up the coast. I love the shore, I always have, and one by one some of my favorite places are being trashed. Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks went first and will soon to be followed by Ocean City and Rehoboth. When Irene hits Stone Harbor later tonight I might just cry. Supposedly 95% of Cape May County, which includes Stone Harbor, has been evacuated. It will be days till I know how the house made out.

11:00PM - Heavy rain started falling not long ago and with it came the first sounds of thunder. The winds are gusting to about 30 mph now but should rise to 50 mph by midnight according to NY1. The latest predictions have us getting wind speeds up to 90 mph and a six to eight foot storm surge by early morning. When Anderson Cooper goes live at 6AM I don't think he will be standing in Battery Park where he was Friday night. The street below is pretty much deserted now, honestly I think I saw more activity out there during the blizzards this past winter.

More useless hurricane trivia. On October 16, 1955 Hurricane Katie was born with winds of 115 mph. It lasted three days, caused $250,000 damage (1955 dollars), and left seven deaths in its wake.

And now the first lightning. I have the feeling it's going to be a long night.

Observations on Irene 8.26

I thought maybe I would take some early morning photos so I rode an empty subway train down to the soon to be forbidden zone of Battery Park. Truth be told I didn't take much of anything because it was just a cloudy dreary humid morning and on top of that the Starbucks was closed. If this is the calm before the storm I think I'll pass.

Irene came ashore in North Carolina around 7AM as a category 1 storm. The weakening doesn't change the situation much here as the problem is how long the storm will batter the city and how much water will be pushed into the harbor, the rivers, and down the street. Later today ConEd will decide if it is going to shutdown the power to lower Manhattan. Because the cables are all underground they are vulnerable to saltwater if they are in use but not if they aren't in use. Now I understand why there are no batteries to be found in the Village.

Everybody says be prepared so we stocked up with the following....

One case of Corona, one case of Corona Light, and two bags of ice in the freezer. Multiple bottles of red and white wine because Ash can't decide which is the right one for a hurricane and one must follow the wine rules at all times.
A bag of limes and one bottle of Jose Cuervo Black Medallion tequila because one shouldn't ride out a big storm with cheap tequila.
One carton of Misty Menthol Ultra Lights otherwise known as Misty Silver under the theory that people think ultra-light smoke is healthy and will think silver isn't.
One carton of Marlboro Menthol 100s because Chloe isn't a lite weight like me and smokes a real cigarette, or so I am told.
New lighter to light those above named cigarettes.
Two camera and two laptop batteries charged. A camping lantern and flashlights along with a jumbo pack of priceless D size batteries. The latter I am tempted to sell on the street because, well, they really are priceless right now.
My older digital camera packed in a towel and zip-lock bag. Don't ask on this one because I'm not going to tell.

Shit I forgot to get food.

A bit of worthless hurricane trivia that doesn't seem so worthless now. If the storm is a category 1 at ground level it is a category 2 ten stories up. I can hear the glass raining down already.

No subways running down below and it just started raining in the Village. I suppose this really is the calm before the storm.

Let the games begin.

Neil Young - Like A Hurricane, Berlin 1982

update - Due to some concern I would like to add that we have cookies, coffee, and two cases of bottled water too.