Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene is heading my way--though I have to wonder if it will still officially be a hurricane when it gets here. According to, the highest windspeed predicted for my zipcode is only 47mph.

I'm certainly not evacuating. While New York City has ordered everyone out of the lowest-lying areas, "Zone 1," I'm not even close to the highest evacuation zone--"Zone 3." I'm sure I'll be quite safe right at home.

I did get some extra cash, and filled up a bathtub with water, just in case the electricity goes out. (You read that right--buildings over a certain height here need water tanks on the roof to supply water to the higher floors, and the tanks are filled by electric pumps. So, no electricity, no water, at least not after the tank empties.) I know I have plenty of batteries and some candles, and an emergency radio I can power with a hand crank.

I also checked the emergency food supply my wife put together a while ago. I was a bit shocked to find what was in there. I don't care how many cans of peaches and green beans there are, I think I want more than a 1.3oz can of tuna each day in the protein department. So I went to the supermarket (an hour before it closed), and got some cans of chunky soup.

They shut down the entire NYC mass transit system at noon today--which I think was a bit early. While I realize it can take 6 to 8 hours to move all of the trains to safe locations, I don't see anything in the weather forecast that would interfere with the trains very much before at least midnight. Mayor Bloomberg and company are being over-cautious, after the major criticism they received about the city's poor response to a snow storm last winter. I also have to wonder if Bloomberg realizes that many people do actually go to work on Saturday, and had no way to get home this afternoon.

It did start to rain a half an hour or so ago, not terribly hard from what I hear through the window--though they have added a tornado watch to the things people have to worry about. The rain seems to have tapered off. The forecast says there's a 100% chance of it continuing for the next 9 hours or so, before the probability starts to decrease. But then the winds will pick up, with the maximum 47mpg at 8:00am, and remaining near that until noon. We'll see how good the prediction is.

UPDATE 1:22am Sunday, 9/25: It looks like the website is having problems, and the wind is going to be much heavier than it says. Accuweather now says 68mph on the front side at 10am, 71mph on the backside at 2pm. This storm is going to be worse than I thought.

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