Monday, October 29, 2012

Observations on Sandy 10.29.1

9:15AM - The first major kink in my storm plans. With an 11' high tide expected tonight there is talk of shutting off the power to lower Manhattan because that much water could flood the subway and turn off the power the hard way so I now need to get ice for my beer. Of course they aren't saying how long said power would be off if they turn it off. To complete the weirdness it's now snowing in West Virginia.

1:25PM - Starting to have a gut feeling that this is going to be nasty, I don't know why, but it's so bad so soon. Wind is picking up, rain too, and the river was as high as Irene with a good 24 hours or so of storm to go. Really not a good feeling at all. LaGuardia and JFK airports are both starting to flood. Wind gusts are 60 mph now in the city. South Jersey looks like the hardest hit so far with everything from Atlantic City to Cape May flooded and Sandy still 100 miles away. Not a battery or loaf of bread to be had in my immediate area but I did find ice for the beer, one never knows. Inside, The Weather Channel keeps playing music that reminds me more of a "Halloween" movie than a storm.

4:30PM - The NWS forecast for Central Park now lists 'wind gusts to 80mph' for tonight, the term "ghost town" is being thrown around a lot and it fits. I don't know where everybody is hiding but they aren't outside at all. The tide is on the way in now, water is rising in Battery Park, and a crane is dangling on 57th Street. The last bridges will be closed at 7 PM which means for all practical purposes Manhattan will be cut off, that is a new one but still no word from ConEd on turning off the power. For now I'm going to try and get some more pics before it gets dark and worry about the power after that. The proverbial sky isn't falling yet but it's looking pretty damn bleak around here. Meanwhile my brother is working in western Pennsylvania and it's snowing. One last thought, what does one have to do wrong to be the reporter CNN sends into Atlantic City?

8:50PM - I was just up on the roof and to our south is an amazing sight, looking towards Battery Park is a black hole where ConEd turned off one of the power grids. So far we have power but it flickers on and off, sometimes for five minutes. Gawker, BuzzFeed, and other sites are down so I have a theory that the internet runs off the New York power grid. The water level at Battery park is 2' above the record and rising, streets flooded everywhere in the East Village, haven't heard anything about water in the subways yet. If that happens the city is screwed for some time.  Now I just saw there are fires in at least one subway tunnel and seawater is flowing into the Battery Tunnel. Over 3 million in the NE without power, Ash wants to know why I keep tweeting if nobody can read it, good question, I'll worry about that tomorrow.

9:05PM - Water is now rushing into the subway tunnels. For all practical purposes lower Manhattan is f*cked.

10:25PM - Probably my last post for the night as we lost power about 30 minutes ago and I'm on battery power now. Power out in all of lower Manhattan, subways flooded, Brooklyn Battery Tunnel flooded, streets flooded all over, not pretty at all. The water peaked at I think two feet over the record but don't hold me to that. NYU hospital is being evacuated because their backup generators failed and on and on.

To end on a lighter note I think I invented a new word today, the yell text. It's what you get from your best friend when you are wandering around outside in a storm such as this. In said texts she calls you an idiot and other colorful terms that you can probably guess. Looking at three sets of wet clothes hanging around an apartment with no power I may have to agree with her.

Take care and be safe people.

Observations on Sandy 10.29

After this post I'm probably going to do like I did with Irene and just keep updating the same one or two posts unless something drastic comes up. I have no idea what would be drastic in this situation.

To catch up last night's last projections had sandy coming ashore just about on top of Stone Harbor, New Jersey, the beach house, and Fred's. Unlike Irene this storm is going to drive straight into the shore and not run parallel to it. I don't think Stone Harbor has ever received a direst hit. Some video I saw on Philly news yesterday already looked bad, I hope the house survives.

In the Village the first hard rain fell just after 1 AM last night. About an hour before that I went for a walk and the streets were just dead, empty, I know it was one in the morning but this is New York. The streets were nowhere near as dead before Irene. Also it was deathly quiet without the subways running. The only major event was what I swear was bird flying into the window while I sat chatting. Scared the crap out of me.

One thing I noticed during my first look today was the sky. So reminiscent of a blizzard and not at the churning nasty sky of a hurricane. Found a small coffee shop just inside Zone A that the owner said will remain open for the duration. Nice to know for later but I wont name it for obvious reasons. Not that anybody reads this but why take the chance? I may need a place to dry off later. For the record I live in Zone B, about a block from Zone A which was evacuated yesterday (375,000 people live in Zone A).

For the science geeks, that would be you Sean, Central Park already set a record for low pressure this morning. At 7 AM the pressure was at 946mb, the record low was 961mb on March 1, 1914. Sounds impressive but I have no idea what it means. Right now it's two hours away from high tide and the storm surge in the harbor is only one foot below Irene's worst. I know what that means and that isn't good at all. High tide tonight includes the full effects of the full moon.

The National Weather Service in New York just called Sandy "a worst case scenario" for the city. Going to be interesting to say the least.