Hurricane Irene
August 25, 2011 12:34 PM   Subscribe

This might seem a little early but Hurricane Irene is looking set to be a potentially very damaging storm. All folks on the east coast who may be affected need to pay attention to the forecasts and advisories, and plan accordingly. Please don't leave things until the last minute.

According to the National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center:
The latest numerical guidance continues to adjust westward as has the last several NHC track forecasts which now have eye of Irene coming thru the North Carolina lower outer banks late Saturday before grazing the Delmarva and New Jersey then moving into the northeast on Sunday. This potentially could be extremely destructive with massive disruptions to society and commerce along its entire track with very high winds/storm surge/ocean overwash/beach erosion/sound and bay side coastal flooding and extreme tide potential. Widespread heavy rains in the 6-10 inch range will be common with greatly increased inland flood potential. Refer to the NHC for the latest forecast of Irene along with local NWS warnings/statements and advisories from NC into New England.
New Jersey has already issued a voluntary evacuation for the coast.

A lot of the plots have the eye hitting land over New York/Long Island.

Info at the National Hurricane Center.

I like following the FLHurricane forums.

I hope this appropriate for Metatalk, not jumping the gun, etc. (otherwise, please delete, etc.). I figured someone had to post this. I'm kinda worried about this. Hopefully I will be proved wrong, but this will come on top of the wettest month (not wettest August) on record here in Philly (courtesy of a kink in the jetstream). If the winds kick up and the rains come, there will be floods/trees down/power outages everywhere.
posted by carter to MetaFilter-Related at 12:34 PM (2229 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

NOT EXCITED ABOUT THIS. Boo on you, Irene, BOOOOOOOOOOO.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:39 PM on August 25, 2011


It turns out that my apartment is JUST outside the New York City flood evacuation zones -- by only about two hundred feet.

But eh, I have lived through other hurricanes and a blackout. I'm not concerned.

If the shit really hits the fan, I know how to get into my friend's rental property up in the Catskills, too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2011


A lot of the plots have the eye hitting land over New York/Long Island.

Looks like the path goes right over the rental house I should be moving into next Thursday. Hope it's still there when I show up.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2011


extremely destructive with massive disruptions to society and commerce

*stripping down, placing dagger between bared teeth, calling upon Bear Spirit to lend me his strength*
posted by Greg Nog at 12:43 PM on August 25, 2011 [58 favorites]


That's kinda hot, Greg.
posted by Mister_A at 12:45 PM on August 25, 2011 [45 favorites]


Huh, according to the plot, the hurricane stops at 91st Street.

Those uptown bastards built a weather control machine! Lyndon LaRouche was right!
posted by griphus at 12:46 PM on August 25, 2011 [17 favorites]


I live near DC (10 minutes away from Chesapeake Bay), and I'm not looking forward to seeing how well the temporary patch that got put on my roof because there was leaking the last big storm we had is going to hold up. Looks like it's going to be an interesting weekend.
posted by Kimberly at 12:47 PM on August 25, 2011


calling upon Bear Spirit to lend me his strength*


Bravestarr? Is that you?
posted by ian1977 at 12:49 PM on August 25, 2011


Check out Stormpulse, really high-tech slick-looking mapping tool.
posted by Perplexity at 12:51 PM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, I'LL PUT THE EMERGENCY KIT TOGETHER. YOU CAN STOP DROPPING YOUR TEN-TON HINTS NOW, MOTHER NATURE. Please?
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:53 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a little concerned about our stuff in the basement. When our area got hit by lots of rain and flooding last time we didn't even have a damp spot down there, but it looks like we're in a flood plain and we have lots of cardboard boxes.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:56 PM on August 25, 2011


All set, got a carton of smokes and 10 cans of hormel chili with beans. Come at me bro!
posted by Ad hominem at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2011 [15 favorites]


For once I'm on the right coast of Florida. By which I mean the left coast of Florida.
posted by Gator at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


I guess I'm just glad the siding on my house was ripped off in the wind storms we had in the late winter (they also ripped down the National Christmas tree), instead of during a hurricane. I suppose?
posted by skynxnex at 12:59 PM on August 25, 2011


Yeah, I'm not super psyched about this. They've tracked the storm west of us now, which should weaken it but also puts us right into the eastern wind hell zone once it does reach New England.

I'm a disaster services volunteer, so it could be a long weekend/week.
posted by rollbiz at 12:59 PM on August 25, 2011


One possibly important thing to note: A lot of the coastal counties in North Carolina are starting to ban alcohol sales during the state of emergency. GO GET YOUR BEER NOW.
posted by something something at 1:00 PM on August 25, 2011 [21 favorites]


Wife and son are off camping in Acadia, NP for the week. They were smart enough to grab a hotel for Sunday night though.

Hurricane party at my house! I've got two boxes of Katrina-surplus MREs I can share.
posted by bondcliff at 1:00 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


One possibly important thing to note: A lot of the coastal counties in North Carolina are starting to ban alcohol sales during the state of emergency. GO GET YOUR BEER NOW.

OH SHIT. After years of being an under 18 year old living in Eastern NC being all boring and sober during hurricanes, I have a chance to be drunk in my house in DC during one. So long as it's only a glancing blow, this is a genius plan.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:02 PM on August 25, 2011


A lot of the coastal counties in North Carolina are starting to ban alcohol sales during the state of emergency.

Huh? You're stuck at home, bored, not driving, but you still can't drink? Doesn't make sense.
posted by Melismata at 1:03 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Possibly they're worried about people getting all crazy and looting with nothing to do? With forced evacuations, a lot of homes and businesses would be sitting empty and unprotected.
posted by something something at 1:05 PM on August 25, 2011


Huh? You're stuck at home, bored, not driving, but you still can't drink? Doesn't make sense.

Well being drunk is not the best state of affairs if you're need to respond to a crisis; people who don't evacuate and then need to in the middle of the storm are better off being sober. Two, this is North Carolina, any excuse to ban the sale of alcohol is good enough for the powers-that-be: hurricanes, Sunday, it being after 8 PM, anything.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:08 PM on August 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


If anyone is in the NYC area and needs to arrange for a place to stay in case of flooding, let me know.

You would have to bring your own food and water because I am thirsty and pregnant.

If you know how to catch babies and have a little pitocin for third stage labor management you are especially welcome.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:11 PM on August 25, 2011 [19 favorites]


Please be safe. I almost died in one of these a while back.
posted by cashman at 1:12 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was planning on spending tomorrow taping up windows and such, but apparantly, that is a waste of time.

Yay.

But it was good to realize I have to secure the garage doors much better than they are.

Tomorrow is going to be a big cleanup day in the yard around the Rich household!
posted by rich at 1:18 PM on August 25, 2011


Several plastic storage tubs filled with water got us through a recent hurricane when the water pressure went dead. That was in addition to having bottled drinking water. Having wash water on hand in addition to emergency supplies is super plus good. If you're going shopping at a big box store, maybe pick up a few plastic bins while you're at it.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:23 PM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm very thankful to be dodging this one. I realize the following makes me sound like a Debbie Downer and otherwise No Fun. Sorry.

Alcohol generally makes a crisis worse. Slowing your reaction time, your healing time, hampering your critical thinking, and increasing your susceptibility to things like peer pressure and frostbite (which isn't such a big deal in August, but in an October Hurricane would be a bigger deal). In addition to those, it also lowers inhibition. Which is very bad in a hurricane. You don't want people mucking about in puddles, because some of those puddles have downed (LIVE!) power lines in them. You don't want people breaking into grocery stores, or houses. You generally don't want people driving. You don't want people standing on their rooftops for a better view.

All of this is true in the time right after a hurricane, but it's doubly (or maybe even quadruply) during the "eye" of the storm. Because during the eye, you have a pretty good idea of when the other side is going to come around. But shit happens. You lose track of time (alcohol does that too). The storm speeds up, or shifts a little. A flood springs up.

In the slightly longer term, even moderate alcohol consumption increases your need for fresh water. If your local water is contaminated you may be days without a go ahead to use it. How many bottles do you have on hand?

Now. Of course there are lots of people who are seasoned hurricane survivors, but most of the population does not fit that description. Better to set a good example for the uninformed among us, if you know what I'm saying, than to have them follow our stocking-up-on-six-packs lead and find themselves needing an emergency room that isn't open.

My personal piece of hurricane advice is that those lawn chairs, enormous clay planters, and other yard knick-knacks have got to go into the garage, or they will likely become airborne. Also, for paperwork, I hear that a FoodSaver makes things pretty watertight.
posted by bilabial at 1:25 PM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


.....Oh, alright. I'll get some gallon bottles of water for myself. (Already have the flashlight and the first aid kit from camping and the tomatoes I canned myself anyway.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:25 PM on August 25, 2011


Oh Yay! I live right in Hurricane Evacuation Zone "A" - seeing as I live on the Erie Basin, that makes sense. I cannot wait to see this one.
posted by jivadravya at 1:26 PM on August 25, 2011


Isn't there a rooftop meet up scheduled for NYC this weekend? That one could be fun.
posted by The Potate at 1:28 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Boston French Toast Alert System has been updated to include hurricanes; substitute hurricane for blizzard and all of Harvey Leonard's overenthusiasm still applies. (Because after you panic and go out and buy too much milk, eggs, and bread, you are then stuck making lots of French toast.)
posted by Melismata at 1:32 PM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think our plan is to make a mess of chili and a few loaves of bread on Saturday. That way, if we lose power on Sunday, we have chili to eat. And if we don't lose power, there's chili to eat all week. It's sort of a win-win situation.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:34 PM on August 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


Serious Question: Since one of the plots has the eye like - over my apartment - should I be taping windows or moving into the least-windowful room in the house or something? In a brick apartment building, upper upper floors.

Other Question: Effective tributes to Neptune, the master of storms and the terrible hand of the sea?
posted by The Whelk at 1:34 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ugh, does this mean I have to go grocery shopping? How dreadfully inconvenient.
posted by Eideteker at 1:34 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Got a six pack of beer and a box of Twinkies. Good to go here.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:36 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't there a rooftop meet up scheduled for NYC this weekend? That one could be fun.

I am playing a show on Saturday night in NYC (at Cake Shop), band was planning to drive back afterwards... but now we dont know what to do! Guess I'll hit up every person I know there to see if a group of broke rockers can crouch under their tarp...
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:42 PM on August 25, 2011


Be safe, everyone.
posted by cooker girl at 1:50 PM on August 25, 2011


Well at least the earthquake happened before the hurricane hit, because an earth quake with wet earth is scary.
posted by empath at 1:51 PM on August 25, 2011


I'm not sure this is what Metatalk is for. Are we going to have a thread every time there is a potentially bad hurricane? Snowstorm? Seems only very, very tangentially related to Metafilter.
posted by Justinian at 1:51 PM on August 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


I don't think there's anything wrong with expressing concern over a serious threat to a region that normally doesn't see these kinds of storms.

I'd much rather see the good natured joking with hopes that everything turns out fine, then another grar protest that the mods closed or deleted some post.
posted by royalsong at 1:56 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


"I'm not sure this is what Metatalk is for. Are we going to have a thread every time there is a potentially bad hurricane? Snowstorm? Seems only very, very tangentially related to Metafilter."

Well, technically true, but a huge population of the US will be potentially affected, and a significant number of MeFites are USAians, so one would think there'd be *somewhere* on MeFi to talk about it.

As a matter of fact, about two minutes ago I had the exact same thought, and lo and behold, here's a thread about it.
posted by digitalprimate at 1:58 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are we going to have a thread every time there is a potentially bad hurricane?

Would it be so awful if that happened? It's not as if there are a limited number of threads or bytes or whatever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:00 PM on August 25, 2011 [27 favorites]


Also, the usually fairly serene Jeff Masters at Weather Underground is unusually concerned, FWIW.
posted by digitalprimate at 2:00 PM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm confident Justinian was just riffing on that other user (whose name I won't invoke) who expressed his concern that MeTa was not the place to discuss the Mineral earthquake. Who got jeered. Right?

Right?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:01 PM on August 25, 2011


Well, technically true, but a huge population of the US will be potentially affected...

55 million people live in the storm's direct path, I read this afternoon.
posted by something something at 2:02 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Right?

Not really. Metatalk seems to be suffering from a bad case of mission creep.

Well, technically true

Which is another way of saying "true".
posted by Justinian at 2:04 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, someone could start flaming out. Would that make it better?
posted by dismas at 2:05 PM on August 25, 2011


Is this post for reals? What do you think we did before you started posting to Metatalk? Jesus. Are you saying I should cancel my surfing lessons?
posted by yerfatma at 2:07 PM on August 25, 2011


Well, someone could start flaming out. Would that make it better?

I'M TIRED OF YOU PEOPLE CARING ABOUT ME AND MY INTERNET FRIENDS!! WHEN WILL IT END??


Does that work?
posted by Kimberly at 2:08 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


and a significant number of MeFites are USAians

No. Precisely nobody anywhere is a "USAian." For the love of god people stop using that fucking word. Otherwise, I'm in agreement with you, digitalprimate.

Having lived through a few of these, really the best preparedness advice is simple. If they're telling you to evacuate, do so if at all possible. If they're not telling you to evacuate, then really you're looking at just a really rainy weekend. Stock up on stuff now, stay indoors, keep from driving if at all possible. Hang with friends, really. Make the most fun out of it.

The experience, not surprisingly, is all about how much you're freaking out about it. (Unless you're really in the disaster zone, in which case, yeah, get out if you can, get to a basement or something otherwise.)
posted by Navelgazer at 2:08 PM on August 25, 2011 [18 favorites]


Well, someone could start flaming out. Would that make it better?

It wouldn't make it better but it might make it more appropriate for MetaTalk!

Something can be important and good and still not MetaTalk relevant.
posted by Justinian at 2:09 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


But this is where we go when we need hugs!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:17 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


If it comes to it - your NYC Evacuation map
posted by The Whelk at 2:18 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


In all seriousness, I don't know who you're talking to. If there are people unaware of the upcoming weather fun, that's a Darwin issue. And it only applies south of New England anyway. South of NYC, really. Even as a Red Sox fan, I have complete faith and confidence that if the hurricane hits NYC, NYC will hit back harder.

I've been through two of these in New England and they haven't been interesting. There certainly have been interesting hurricanes around here: I'm currently at my parents, overlooking Common Fence Point in Portsmouth, RI, which was once a very nice amusement park. And then after 1938, was a wet strip of empty land with a Ferris wheel disappearing over the horizon. But this isn't looking like that. The only thing I remember about Gloria was how to flush a toilet manually (fill your tub in advance and dump a lot of water in at once), we got a day off school and my parents had to make that day's coffee on the grill. Wow.

Bob was a little more fun in that I stayed at my aunt's and as soon as the storm passed over we went out. There were waves rolling backwards off the Cliff Walk at Easton's Beach (and surfers with garbage bags enjoying them) and giant trees down on Bellevue.

I live on the coast of New Hampshire now. If some sorry-ass liberal storm (who lets a woman leave the house as a storm?) tries it, we'll Live Free or Die her ass right back into the freezing Atlantic (the water was 64 at the beach in Maine last week) where she will turn into some lame-ass tropical storm that floods the driveway.
posted by yerfatma at 2:20 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metatalk seems to be suffering from a bad case of mission creep.

Yes, everyone remember THE MISSION. Practice your training, do your drills. BE PREPARED.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:26 PM on August 25, 2011 [10 favorites]


If it comes to it - your NYC Evacuation map

I never thought I'd say "good thing my grandparents live in the projects." At least you can't get flooded on the 13th floor.
posted by griphus at 2:28 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since I live in Maine, where we may get Big Wind-n-Weather, but probably not Terrifyingly Huge Wind-n-Weather, I will stocking up on some beer, which is bottled and I can drink it, so that's all good. I have an emergency kit, and a nice batch of pot roast, oil lamps, plenty of books, and a companionable dog. For those of you in areas that may get hit hard, be safe.
posted by theora55 at 2:29 PM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, technically true

A friend once had an argument with a high school teacher over some factual or scientific issue, and after some back and forth was forced to admit, "Well, that's technically true."

"No," the teacher said, "it's actually true. It's the way things actually are. There's nothing technical about it."
posted by Dasein at 2:36 PM on August 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


At least you can't get flooded on the 13th floor.

It's like you're completely unfamiliar with the entirety of Roland Emmerich's oeuvre.
posted by elizardbits at 2:40 PM on August 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


Also, I'm not sure when MetaTalk became the place to say, "Hey, a natural disaster just happened, is everyone okay?" (which strikes me as really odd since if someone is not okay, they're not going to be posting to MetaTalk about it) or alternatively "Hey, there's an impending disaster, let's all be okay!" (which just seems like chatting for the sake of chatting). MetaChat would be a better place to have these discussions.
posted by Dasein at 2:40 PM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes, Dasein, that's technically true.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:50 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Technically, we're talking about a serious issue! Not just chatting about some nonsense. QED, MetaTalk is the proper place for this discussion, and not MetaChat.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:55 PM on August 25, 2011


All set, got a carton of smokes and 10 cans of hormel chili with beans. Come at me bro!

Come at you with what? A fire extinguisher? Man, you keep that up for a few days and you're going to be a fuel-air explosive with a delay fuse.
posted by loquacious at 2:59 PM on August 25, 2011 [25 favorites]


It's like you're completely unfamiliar with the entirety of Roland Emmerich's oeuvre.

I thought I was the only person who liked that movie
posted by griphus at 2:59 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


We're right in the line of fire (yay earthquakes, fire in the Dismal Swamp, now, Irene.) We have lots of bottled water, plenty of food, and of course, wine and beer. We have lived through many a hurricane and as long as the town remains standing we will hurricane party as the only other thing you can do is worry.
posted by SuzySmith at 3:02 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would rather have major incident updates here on MetaTalk, not on a third-party site.

Really, this is one of the stated functions of MetaFilter. It's a community blog.

Stay safe and dry, folks.
posted by loquacious at 3:04 PM on August 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


I made the questionable decision to read about megatsunamis on wikipedia and now want large supplies of alcohol and cake.
posted by elizardbits at 3:13 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


A site dedicated to talking about interesting things has a subsite dedicated to talking about the first site itself, and a then conversation arises about a rhetorical flourish (is there another kind of flourish nowadays?) within the subsite talking about the site itself that talks about other things

...if the spin created by the recursive power of this isn't actually powerful enough to fight off a hurricane, perhaps technically it is.

Who needs HAARP? (actual fact: people at some other sites are saying this is all a gumbmint plot using the array...seriously)
posted by digitalprimate at 3:19 PM on August 25, 2011


"... But eh, I have lived through other hurricanes and a blackout. I'm not concerned.

If the shit really hits the fan, I know how to get into my friend's rental property up in the Catskills, too."

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:42 PM

You can always tell a New Yorker, but you can't tell 'em much.
posted by paulsc at 3:25 PM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yes, I agree, this is a bit of mission creep for MetaTalk. That said, it's not a huge terrible problem and it is a "hey, checking in with the community thing" that doesn't require a ton of mod attention and we're okay with it. If it becomes a thing that people do all the time, we'll probably ask people to dial it back some. That said, this post is here, it's staying here and if folks could keep the performace art out of it, that would be delightful for me personally as the only mod who is actually in the Northeast.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:29 PM on August 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


10 PRINT "Hey New Yorkers, I just want to make a quick post reminding everyone to breath in!"
20 PRINT "Hey New Yorkers, I just want to make a quick post reminding everyone to breath out!"
30 GOTO 10
posted by nathancaswell at 3:32 PM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


Apologies, Jessamyn, and thanks for staying the hammer ...
posted by carter at 3:33 PM on August 25, 2011


It's like you're completely unfamiliar with the entirety of Roland Emmerich's oeuvre.

I thought I was the only person who liked that movie

Are you kidding? The Day After Tomorrow is the best NYC-destruction porn there is. The eye candy isn't as impressive as in Independence Day, as there's nothing quite like Jeff Goldblum saving the world with a computer virus. Dennis Quaid isn't so easy on the eyes, I admit. But a tsunami wave followed by a crazy ice-nine incident is pretty much the best thing. If we New Yorkers ever go out, we'll do it big. Ice-nine big.

What I'm saying, griphus, is everyone loves that movie. Most people are just too embarrassed to admit it.

But let's not talk about that other one with John Cusack. We'll pretend it never happened.
posted by brina at 3:48 PM on August 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


Also, the Second Fleet bugged out of Norfolk earlier today.
posted by digitalprimate at 3:52 PM on August 25, 2011


Now I feel like we should have an NYC disaster movie hurricane weekend meetup, dammit.
posted by elizardbits at 3:54 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


...ideally on high ground somewhere.
posted by elizardbits at 3:54 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm on very high ground in Westchester, which is great, except for these now incredibly sinister looking, very tall tree surrounding me, my house, my car....
posted by digitalprimate at 4:14 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


...and if folks could keep the performace art out of it, that would be delightful for me personally as the only mod who is actually in the Northeast.

KEEP OUT THE PERFORMANCE ART!?!

WHAT THE HKELL!?!? !!

METAFILTER WITHOUT THE PERFORMANCE ART IS LIKE A PB&J SANDWICH WITHOUT THE FREAKING PB OR EVEN THE FREAKING J !
posted by Skygazer at 4:18 PM on August 25, 2011


I was hoping never to have to be in a hurricane again. Glad to see this thread because I now know my apartment building is in an evacuation zone.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 4:24 PM on August 25, 2011


I live in Maine. I hope it gets exciting, but not too exciting.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:43 PM on August 25, 2011


I lived in Florida for two years and dealt with a few storms accordingly. The city administration is panicking, but if they close down public transport into manhattan on saturday, I'll happily take the day off.
posted by jonmc at 4:52 PM on August 25, 2011


I see we have tornado warnings for Raleigh. Not great news because I have an evil sweet gum tree that exists solely to drop enormous branches on our roof. I can't tell you how many times we have had to patch that dang roof. As soon as we have an extra 2000 dollars we will chop that motherfucker down. Until then....

Guess I better get to the ABC store tomorrow to get my birthday booze.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:57 PM on August 25, 2011


Thanks jessamyn!
posted by Justinian at 5:20 PM on August 25, 2011


Are you kidding? The Day After Tomorrow is the best NYC-destruction porn there is.

You've never seen Escape From New York, I presume.
posted by jonmc at 5:21 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


 MEFITES COME OUT TO PLAY 
posted by The Whelk at 5:25 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's The Warriors, dude.

*unleashes the Baseball Furies*
posted by jonmc at 5:28 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dang this thing. It's coming in right at me. I much prefer the more easterly track out over the ocean. I'm heading down to Wilmington rather than stay here. Don't laugh if it decides to follow me and come ashore there instead.
posted by mightshould at 5:29 PM on August 25, 2011


*unleashes the Baseball Furies*

You're telling me the city didn't look like it had just had a huge natural disaster in that movie?
posted by The Whelk at 5:32 PM on August 25, 2011


I liked that StormPulse link above but for those who want to get their storn tracks directly from NOAA here's the link.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:39 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're telling me the city didn't look like it had just had a huge natural disaster in that movie?

It had, Hurricane The 70's.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:40 PM on August 25, 2011 [17 favorites]


This is a pretty good site. Kind of busy but I like it.
posted by govtdrone at 5:44 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm in the city, housesitting in my old Brooklyn area, and working, so I'll be out in it. I'll try to report on how nutty it gets. I hope it gets nutty. Call me crazy, I love hurricanes.
posted by vrakatar at 5:53 PM on August 25, 2011


My guess it is going to turn hard right witht the Gulf Stream, and mostly miss us.
posted by vrakatar at 5:55 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hurricanes have really become a but of a joke up here in CT/NYC. It takes a very particular set of circumstances for it to be a direct hit. Otherwise it comes ashore further south and dies out, or it gies further east and nothing. Heck, in a miss we often don't even have very bad weather. I'll prepare a but, but won't be surprised if this is no worse than a bag thunderstorm.
posted by smackfu at 5:57 PM on August 25, 2011


Look, this is as good a place as any for me to say, that for you up north, PLEASE take this stuff seriously. Stock up on water and nonperishables and don't buy a ton of stuff for the freezer in case the power goes out.

I hope this turns out to be nothing-for ALL of us-but in the case it turns out to be something, it's a definite Thing.

As for us, we're stocked up because one wibble instead of a wobble and we have hurricane Fran 2.0. And that was no joke, whether we were inland or not. As it is Saturday is gonna be one wet and windy day here.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:10 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll think about you all while I'm sitting safe in Kansas. Good luck all and be safe!
posted by Sweetmag at 6:14 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


FWIW ... NOAA wind speed predictions are currently (for the NY area ) only 20-30 % chance of 60mph winds and only 5-10% chance of actual hurricane force winds in that same area. Even the coast of North Carolina is currently predicting only a 30-40% chance of hurricane force winds. Of course anything can change in the next few days but those links give you the current NOAA wind force predictions. As of today NOAA isn't predicting a great chance of high winds hitting anywhere.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 6:35 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aw, man. And I just stocked up on water and blowguns.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:39 PM on August 25, 2011


As a survivor of over a dozen hurricanes, let me just say this: keep your beer ice and your cocktail ice separate.
posted by ColdChef at 6:40 PM on August 25, 2011 [27 favorites]


I have flavored ice cubes for cocktails so this advice really speaks to me
posted by The Whelk at 6:42 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


NOAA wind speed predictions are currently (for the NY area ) only 20-30 % chance of 60mph winds and only 5-10% chance of actual hurricane force winds in that same area.

Not sure if this is the first time you've tracked a hurricane on NOAA, but these numbers will increase as the storm draws closer.
posted by rollbiz at 6:46 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


They'll increase for somewhere, but NYC is a pretty damn small target.
posted by smackfu at 6:50 PM on August 25, 2011


Also, a 10% chance of hurricaine speed winds is a decent chance. If there were a lottery I won 10% of the time, I'd be buying a ticket every day.

The hospital where my OB has privileges is getting evacuated tomorrow. ARRGH
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:51 PM on August 25, 2011


My boss (who is actually an expert in such things) is concerned that the wet weather leading up to this storm will make it easier for wind to knock trees over.

I'm hoping that it just fizzles out as quickly as possible.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:57 PM on August 25, 2011


1st, an earthquake in Virginia gets everybody all shook up, now a hurricane bears down on the East Coast. Can't wait to see what's next. The newscasters are in a complete, utter tizz.
posted by theora55 at 7:10 PM on August 25, 2011


Everyone in the office here in CT was freaking the fuck out about Irene this morning. Hearing our project managers yammer on about it just brings out my contrarian.

I sit next to a business continuity planner and got to hear her on calls about the hurricane most of the day. The last hour she was frantically calling scores of company brass and technical folks to gather personal email addresses. I guess that might be useful if our CT datacenter gets obliterated and our midwestern hot site has a problem - but it seemed oddly panicked, if that is a threat it could've been addressed already.

My wife's aunt called and begged us to evacuate and said she was staying in a hotel this weekend. Not sure why; they live in Woburn, MA.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:12 PM on August 25, 2011


My boss (who is actually an expert in such things) is concerned that the wet weather leading up to this storm will make it easier for wind to knock trees over.

I've been worried about the same, we've had a healthy amount of rain here with another line of storms on the way.
posted by rollbiz at 7:13 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


All set, got a carton of smokes and 10 cans of hormel chili with beans. Come at me bro!


Without reading the usernames I thought this was jonmc.
posted by slogger at 7:18 PM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Joy. First, an earthquake from SF followed me to the East Coast. Now my first hurricane. I'm hoping these things are not omens for my upcoming school year.
posted by smirkette at 7:25 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


To make this Metatalk appropriate, just add to the post a bit of worry about where the site is backed up (oh, and if all the mods are safely out of range...).

I'm worried about everything from a family place in coastal NC to an elderly relative in a low-lying, harbor-facing assisted-living in NYC. Now I have to worry about people on the internet too?
posted by Mngo at 7:25 PM on August 25, 2011


I quit smoking 2 years ago.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 PM on August 25, 2011 [18 favorites]


Looks like Philly is going to get pretty rocked too. I'll be in Baltimore (which seems to be relatively safe), but my folks are just a little bit outside Philadelphia. Already sort of worried for them.
posted by codacorolla at 7:32 PM on August 25, 2011


keep your beer ice and your cocktail ice separate.

I just put tangerine popsicles directly into my vodka. win-win.
posted by elizardbits at 7:41 PM on August 25, 2011 [16 favorites]


So, for the record and whatnot, my former housemate/bass player/songwriter is now the chief disaster mitigation expert for Blackrock Properties (the googles will help you), and they flew him to Virginia Beach to oversee the preparedness and mitigation for Irene today. He does this for a living: cleaning up after hurricanes. He's also a bit of an alarmist (on 9/11 he and I were both downtown and he told me the towers were going to literally fall on me in SoHo, so grain of salt and al that).

Anyway, he gives this storm a 75% chance of matching up with high tide in the NYC area and causing water outages plus major electric outages plus mass transit outages in the NYC metro area lasting a week. Again, despite his high flautin' title, NOAA, Weather Underground, et al. say he's wrong.
posted by digitalprimate at 7:41 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I live in Maine. I hope it gets exciting, but not too exciting

Dunkadunc, I grew up somewhere similar to Maine and now live in NYC and that's how I feel about everything, all of the time!!
posted by bquarters at 7:45 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


just add to the post a bit of worry about where the site is backed up (oh, and if all the mods are safely out of range...)

I am in Texas, where we are all bitter that Irene isn't a Gulf Coast hurricane headed straight west. We need the rain, dammit!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:50 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


an elderly relative in a low-lying, harbor-facing assisted-living in NYC

FYI nursing homes and senior centers in low-lying areas are all being evac'd starting tomorrow at 8am.
posted by elizardbits at 7:52 PM on August 25, 2011


My wife's aunt called and begged us to evacuate and said she was staying in a hotel this weekend. Not sure why; they live in Woburn, MA.

Heh. Woburn's the place we're planning on going to if things look ugly (we live right across the street from the ocean, and things tend to get a little flooded even during rainy high tides).
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:52 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


digitalprimate, depends where you are in Westchester, but Floyd in '99 washed out some roads for 6-8 weeks, thousands of trees down, et cetera. And I am assuming you have seen the photos of people in Mamaroneck in canoes -- think it was 2006 when there was more than 4' of water in the streets.
posted by mlis at 7:53 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm on very high ground in Westchester, which is great, except for these now incredibly sinister looking, very tall tree surrounding me, my house, my car....

I was running on the Old Croton Aqueduct trail in Tarrytown a week ago on a beautiful day and a falling 6" diameter branch missed me by about 5 feet. Those trees, man, they're sneaky bastards.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:55 PM on August 25, 2011


All of which is to say, you and smackfu may be right and this storm amounts to nothing, but me, I have enough bottled water and food to last a few days. And chainsaws. Tuned up and ready to go.
posted by mlis at 7:56 PM on August 25, 2011


restless nomad: if it was up to this Virginian, I'd gladly give you the whole shebang.....
posted by easily confused at 7:56 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


if all the mods are safely out of range

I'm in a treehouse, so water should not be a problem. Wind on the other hand...

Actually I have many local sensible options including a neighbor friend who posted an open house invite on facebook including the details that she had four cases of Yuengling. I will be fine.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:57 PM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


My parents are moving on monday, and my dad had to cancel his gathering of all his old friends who were to see him off on sunday in NY. It's a little poignant, because they probably won't see each other in their lifetimes again. I know there is some lovely buddhist principle about being able to let things go, but I'd really like to kick irene in her windy kneecaps right now.

Don't be chicken little about it, but stock up on water and other key supplies, people. Imagine you're doing it so you can share with your silly neighbors, who are treating this like it's no big thing right now, but might get thirsty later.
posted by anitanita at 8:06 PM on August 25, 2011


Well I was supposed to move into my new apartment this weekend. Doesn't look like that will be happeneing, good news is if anything really hits the fan here all my stuff is already packed up in plastic tubs.

I don't think its been posted yet but MSNBC has a pretty decent Hurricane Tracker, with all current storms and all past storms. Seems theres already another storm out in the Atlantic, lets how that stays out to sea.
posted by lilkeith07 at 8:08 PM on August 25, 2011


I'll be in Baltimore (which seems to be relatively safe)

That's what we thought about Hurricane Isabel. In fact, in northern Baltimore (high ground), we thought it was a glorified thunderstorm when it came through. Then we woke up the next morning, turned on the news, and saw the effects of the storm surge. My office downtown was shut for days, and Inner Harbor and Fells Point businesses took a huge hit. There was serious damage as far upriver as Havre de Grace, from what I recall. The risk of a storm surge shouldn't be taken lightly.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:11 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm ending my vacation on the southeast North Carolina coast early tomorrow and heading back to the landlocked safety of Tennessee. We had a beautiful day today but the surf picked up a lot this afternoon and the tide was high. I hope Irene spares lovely Holden Beach, we've been coming for 12 years and I don't think it's ever taken a direct hit in that time. The dunes on some parts of the island are looking pretty eroded, I think a big storm surge will take out some houses.
posted by ghharr at 8:12 PM on August 25, 2011


That's what we thought about Hurricane Isabel. In fact, in northern Baltimore (high ground), we thought it was a glorified thunderstorm when it came through. Then we woke up the next morning, turned on the news, and saw the effects of the storm surge. My office downtown was shut for days, and Inner Harbor and Fells Point businesses took a huge hit. There was serious damage as far upriver as Havre de Grace, from what I recall. The risk of a storm surge shouldn't be taken lightly.

Thanks for the perspective. I don't know that I really have a choice on whether or not to be there, but I'll try to park on as high ground as I possibly can...
posted by codacorolla at 8:26 PM on August 25, 2011


I think one of the worst things about Northeast storms is that there is a certain degree of dismissiveness that people get after many storms have missed us. IT's true that most storms miss us. And yet it's also true that we've had some of the last century's most devastating and deadly storms. I do think it's worth taking seriously, and considering the different sets of threats - high winds and wind damage, difficulty traveling, flooding, power outages, road washouts, and regular services being shut down - that could play out regardless of whether your house is right on the beach or in the path of a direct hit. It probably puts us at greater risk individually that we've developed a "eh, so what" culture about storm predictions.

I grew up close to the shore and have not lived far from salt water at any point in my adult life, and I'm as blase as the rest of them, but I don't think it means 'don't be prepared, blow off the reports.' Most of us will be fine. But we should be ready to make good decisions before it becomes a crisis.

My family is all in coastal NJ, and I wasn't particularly concerned until I heard tonight that the governor of the state is asking for all the barrier islands to be voluntarily evacuated as of tomorrow, and he is asking people to plan not to come to the Shore until the storm has passed. And to put that in perspective, this is the last full week of the summer tourist season on the Jersey shore. Tourism contributes almost 10% of the state's tax revenue and accounts for a big chunk of the state's economy. In this last week of the season, ordering an evacuation is guaranteeing a loss of many millions of dollars to resorts, restaurants, hotels, rental homeowners, and service businesses who need every penny of summer income to stretch through the off season. Making that call is no small deal.

What that says to me is that the storm models and direct-hit damage estimates Governor Christie is being shown by his weather advisors and disaster planners actually scares him worse than throwing away all this potential small-business revenue and facing another state budget shortfall scares him, and that's worth paying attention to.
posted by Miko at 8:27 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hope everyone stays safe and dry. It's been a weird week for weather and natural disasters. We were under a tornado warning last night, which is kind of bizarre to me living now in the Greater Toronto Area, having lived on the west coast for the last 15 years but spending the first 15 years of my life here and I don't recall ever having a tornado warning.

Anyway, it got pretty stormy so we huddled in my basement and I was really glad that I had made my mother buy certain emergency preparedness stuff, like crank-powered radios, extra food and water in the cold cellar (including MREs and some freeze-dried camping food), collapsible water jugs for backup washing water, etc. It was actually a really good drill for us; the moment we got the warning, I filled up the water jug, got the dog downstairs, turned on my ham radio and listened to the CANWARN net, and strategically placed some flashlights and LED lanterns. Fortunately, there was absolutely no damage in our area, though it appears that there may have been a touchdown in a nearby city (damn nature, you scary!).

It never hurts to be prepared. Hopefully this will all pass and most of you (I pray all of you) won't be affected, but please don't be that cocky person who ends up wishing they had made even the smallest steps for emergency preparations. "Worst" case scenario (i.e. best case scenario, it passes by you without harm), you have some extra bottles of water and some cans of chili or whatnot to enjoy.

Be safe <3
posted by 1000monkeys at 8:29 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


As for us, we're stocked up because one wibble instead of a wobble and we have hurricane Fran 2.0. And that was no joke, whether we were inland or not. As it is Saturday is gonna be one wet and windy day here.

I was living in Greensboro when Fran hit. And yes, it was no joke. Hurricanes are very high on the list of "things I never want to experience again, ever". So stock up and be safe.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 8:33 PM on August 25, 2011


If I lived in Woburn, I'd evacuate hurricane or not.
posted by spitbull at 8:36 PM on August 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


I just got a job at a big box store somewhere between Providence and Boston (yay economy!) and I am scheduled for register training tomorrow evening. It's going to be like having your first day on Back Friday, only everyone is fighting over water and bread instead of Tickle Me Elmo.

Stay safe, everyone.
posted by Biblio at 8:57 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


codacorolla, I can't find it right now from my phone, but I was looking at predictive maps online earlier today that should give you a fairly good picture of the areas potentially at risk. Downtown, the terrain starts to slope upward pretty quickly. As I remember it, it was only maybe 3-4 blocks up from the Harbor that flooded, but the flooding extended a fair bit further in Fells.
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:00 PM on August 25, 2011


Central NJ here, in an area that was CNN's lead story for a day after Floyd came through. I actually did storm prep other than making sure I had some extra food - extra flashlight and batteries, non-perishable food, bottled water. After Floyd, our local water treatment facility was flooded and we were under a boil water alert for 8 days. Thank goodness for stockpots... the local supermarket, Costco and WalMart were cleaned out of bottled water.

Hoping we hold on to our water this time, and I don't lose all the food I spent last weekend cooking and freezing...
posted by booksherpa at 9:18 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am living on the edge of zone A, less than a hundred yards from the sewage treatment plant. Stocking up on water, incense, and shrooms.
posted by hermitosis at 9:31 PM on August 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


There's a pretty crazy video from the International Space Station of Irene, from above. Shorter version of video. Uh, It's big. Good luck East Coast!
posted by grapesaresour at 9:38 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think ya'll are going to be fine up there, as it looks to me like this hurricane is taking a turn toward the West, and honestly I can't believe they closed Busch Gardens in Tampa down today. Very wimpy. In my day, they kept the park open DURING the hurricane, and I had to work it.

But, just in case:

If this thing seems like it is going to hit, fill up your bathtubs with water. I know you are all going to have bottled water set aside to drink, but you will want water you can use to rinse off a bit and manually flush the toilet and such.

Have high-protein, non-perishable or at least long-lasting food around. Peanut butter is a good choice. You can eat it right out of the jar if you have to.

Got all your prescriptions filled? Pet food to last several days, too?

If you are facing really high-force winds, like triple digits, you can put plywood up over the windows. Tape isn't worth the effort. You might want to reinforce your garage door, as that's going to be a weak spot.

Lastly, here's what to drink during a hurricane party.
posted by misha at 9:47 PM on August 25, 2011


Not to belittle the imminent danger, but having sat through about a dozen or so hurricanes and tropical storms, there is something amazing about watching one approach. The outer bands sweep in and out while the skies are still relatively clear (if it's during daylight hours) and you can get a sense of the rotation of the storm. It's quite beautiful, actually.

Then the not so fun part comes a few hours later. If you have some tarps and buckets available have them ready, along with a charged up drill or some fasteners. If you have a sudden leak it will be good to have something to quickly patch or mitigate it. I've had to make an impromptu shield when our bathroom skylight flew off (thanks, lazy roofers for not reattaching it well!) and that was not fun scrambling for materials when there is rain pouring down.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:48 PM on August 25, 2011


If folks do end up getting evacuated, maybe we could set up some sort of unofficial MeFi couch-surfing thing. My apartment is a disaster, but I'd welcome anyone who gets displaced so long as they'll help me hunt squirrels.

At this moment the whole idea of real actual evacuation sounds like silly talk, but if Shit Does Go Down, we can't have everyone here sleeping in high school gymnasiums. Also, I can't think of any other way to get hermitosis to share his shrooms.

(FYI: OS X Lion's stupid autocorrect feature changes "hermitosis" to "her mitosis.")
posted by brina at 9:49 PM on August 25, 2011


Many of us have lived through a bunch of strong hurricanes. I'll be surprised if the NYC area has a significant event though. But then again... who thought we'd have damage from an earthquake either? You never know I guess, but I'm not real worried.
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:54 PM on August 25, 2011


all i know is this

i've seen thunderstorms race through michigan with hurricane force winds - the idea of them going on for 24 hours instead of 1 or 2 seems a bit much

a couple or so years ago, what little was left of hurricane gustav went through s w michigan - the power went out, it rained like hell - nothing like i'd ever seen in my life and portions of kalamazoo were flooded and impassible for days

my conclusion is that hurricanes are nothing to fuck with and i'm sure as hell grateful that we don't have them here
posted by pyramid termite at 9:54 PM on August 25, 2011


I need some hugs...and advice. I'm precisely here and they have mandated evacuation of a couple of the surrounding cities. We have absolutely no food or candles or even flashlights.

Should we head out? It's my first hurricane ever, and I'm kinda freaked out.
posted by Tarumba at 10:02 PM on August 25, 2011


Tarumba, that link didn't work. Where are you?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:07 PM on August 25, 2011


Newport News, VA
posted by Tarumba at 10:09 PM on August 25, 2011


YEEEHAAA!
In total denial here!
Lemme tell you this: one would think that the hospitals/ER would be quiet, but nope! It's been bananas here. Everyone's going bananas here, with people going bananas over staying overnight tomorrow and Saturday, beds for staff, water, food, etc.

I dunno. People are flipping out. Mandatory evacuation for areas around me. Local weather dood sez: it's gonna be like Isabel. Man, if so, no sweat. Only cuz I live in a different part of town, now.

Don't flip out. Stay calm. Stay strong. Gonna post some useful info in a bit-- gotta finish my cup o' noodles first.
posted by herrdoktor at 10:11 PM on August 25, 2011


I'm a little bit nervous about the hurricane now. I'm in downtown richmond, what should i be doing?
posted by empath at 10:19 PM on August 25, 2011


empath, we are thinking about going to Richmond. It looks like it will just be a bad storm over there. Most of the people here are actually going there.
posted by Tarumba at 10:23 PM on August 25, 2011


This is where we are right now. You can also try and drive West, the traffic won't be so bad for you!
posted by Tarumba at 10:26 PM on August 25, 2011


It's going to be that bad? Really? My sister just got back from Philly, and a friend is headed out to Boston tomorrow morning and will be there all weekend. She knows it's going to be bad, but she has to be there for a friend.

Stay safe, guys.
posted by maudlin at 10:43 PM on August 25, 2011


I think there's a tad tinge of hysteria just from all the over-preparedness and warnings from the different states in the path of this thing, especially NJ and NY, and I really really doubt this thing will be anything stronger than a tropical storm (sub category 1, winds 30 to 70 MPH), once it gets north of NY and into New England.

The next 8 to 12 hours are going to make things a lot clearer, although it doesn't hurt to stock up on batteries, bottled water, a safety kit, flashlights, dry food, extra house keys, medicine (daily Rx's) and a bag with all that stuff that also has insurance papers.

Other than that, everyone should read a good book and get some sleep.
posted by Skygazer at 10:51 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tend to dig a crazy rainstorm, but my mom back in NJ is in a predicted flood zone with no flood insurance and it's giving me hell of anxiety. I guess I have to switch over to hoping for a gentle mist.
posted by troublewithwolves at 10:58 PM on August 25, 2011


FWIW: I live in the Hampton Roads, VA area. That's basically right above the big "H" dot for 8pm Saturday on this forecast as of now.

The local weather dood, who kinda looks like a vampire, says Irene is going to be like Isabel on his blog. I've heard other people say that this is going to be like Isabel, but worse.

Isabel wasn't that bad around here in terms of wind, but there was a pretty significant storm surge. Very short version: I was in denial, woke up to an ocean of a parking lot, made last-minute sandbags out of textbooks and trash bags, and found the top half of my Smokey Joe grill a few blocks away at a museum. Right now, it looks like the surge isn't going to be as bad, as indicated here, but they're still calling for a mandatory evacuation of parts of Norfolk.

I don't know if I'm in denial myself, or if people are just flipping out for the sake of flipping out, or if people are just flipping out more than usual because while they were flipping out and preparing for this weekend, they experienced their very first earthquake, but I feel pretty okay with the hurricane. I guess I just kind of feel resigned-- I'm at work now, I don't have to work this weekend, and I know that as soon as I go home tomorrow I'm gonna pass out. Gotta stick around cuz I'll be too tired to drive, and I gotta stick around for duty to king and country.

Anyway, enough subjective crap. Here are my recommendations if you live in the Hampton Roads area, or are looking for advice which might seem silly, but has come in useful in my experience:

- DO NOT PANIC. If you find yourself panicking, make a list and execute to keep yourself busy. The more you panic, the more likely you'll forget things you've gotta do, like not panicking. You'll also make other people flip out, which is never good.
- DON'T DRIVE IN WATER. That water is a lot deeper than you think. Your SUV really isn't that much higher off the ground than most sedans. You'll flood your exhaust, or your interior, or suck up water into your engine and hydrolock. It ain't worth it.
- WATCH TV. LISTEN TO RADIO. LOOK AT COMPUTER. But make yourself take breaks. You'll need breaks to do stuff to avoid flipping out, and to make lists, and remember to do things other than staying glued to the TV or radio.
- FILL TUB. BUT CLEAN IT FIRST. USE SARAN WRAP. Extra water can't hurt, but hell, if you're gonna need to use the water, might as well clean your tub first. Doing so will keep you busy, and being busy means you're less likely to panic and flip out. Get some cling film and fold up a square and block the drain: even if your drain doesn't sound like it's leaking, believe me, it's leaking. The water in the tub will keep the Saran wrap in place.
- STAY CONNECTED. By this I mean stay in touch with friends and family. Make calls, text, e-mail, check MeFi, etc. It'll make you feel better and less isolated.
- UNPLUG STUFF. You know, lightning n shit. Fried electronics, etc. Plus, if you've got an uninterruptible power supply, you can use it to charge your cell phone, which will be useless if the towers and power for the area is out, but handy if you wanna play Angry Birds while taking a dump.
- GET A REAL GODDAMN FLASHLIGHT. That Flashlight app for your phone is shit and will drain your battery real fast. If you can't find a flashlight tomorrow, find some candles. If you can't find any candles, DO NOT PANIC. There are plenty of sources of light. Use your iPod, or phone screen (not the damn Flashlight app), or just wing it: if the wind isn't terrible, and you can safely draw the curtains n stuff, you'll probably have enough light to make your way around.
- HOARD SHIT INTO A PILE. This sounds dumb, but believe me, when it's dark as fuck and the wind's howling and you're flipping out despite trying as hard as you can not to flip out, you're gonna want a pile. In this pile you should have a towel, food, water, gadgets, small bags of crap like medicine and cat food n stuff. When you start flipping out, go to your pile. It will comfort you.
- HELP PEOPLE. Help people stay calm by being calm. Help people move. Help walk around your neighborhood when the hurricane has passed and clean up damage. If you've got a chainsaw, help break down fallen trees. Offer to drive people around. Bring a rucksack and share food and water n stuff, because sharing is caring.


I've got three final pieces of advice:
- Don't be a hero. If you've got that feeling in the pit of your gut like you've gotta get the hell outta town, and everyone and everything is saying "MANDATORY EVACUATION" or "ABANDON SHIT," by all means, abandon shit. Even now, there are areas of my town that the Folks In Charge have classified as mandatory evacuation zones. Just get out, man. But stay calm. As of now or six hours from now, you've got plenty of time to drive up and to the left.
- Don't give up on water. Everyone buys so much damned bottle water, it's ridiculous. Protip: go to the wine store. While everyone is looking for bottled water, you can buy boxes of Pellegrino or Gerolsteiner.
- Stay clean, if you can. I hope you've got a lot of soap. Use a washcloth and tubwater. Not only will to stay sexy fresh, but you'll feel a LOT better when everything's going to hell. No washcloth? Go to your pile. You did remember to pile your towel, right?
posted by herrdoktor at 11:02 PM on August 25, 2011 [108 favorites]


Thank you herrdoktor...we've packed and we'll be leaving tomorrow morning, or should I say, later today. I have no sand bags and just managed to put our old valuables on a high place.

Good luck to you. :)
posted by Tarumba at 11:09 PM on August 25, 2011


For anybody in IT, a reminder that it's not too late to make a backup.

Hurricane Irene: Checklist for protecting your technology, Tom Henderson, IT World, August 25, 2011
posted by ob1quixote at 11:24 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh, i actually work for a big ISP in Richmond/NoVa/Norfolk, etc, but i'm not on call this weekend so yay.
posted by empath at 11:26 PM on August 25, 2011


Herrdoktor: - Don't be a hero. If you've got that feeling in the pit of your gut like you've gotta get the hell outta town, and everyone and everything is saying "MANDATORY EVACUATION" or "ABANDON SHIT," by all means, abandon shit. Even now, there are areas of my town that the Folks In Charge have classified as mandatory evacuation zones. Just get out, man. But stay calm. As of now or six hours from now, you've got plenty of time to drive up and to the left.

Great comment.

I just want to amend that my comment was for people in NY/NJ and parts north.

Folks in VA and NC, especially NC, it would seem, from the latest (3:30AM) need to make serious motions towards evacuating by Friday morning/mid-morning if that becomes mandatory or they live in a high risk area. Like Herrdoktor said: Don't be a hero.
posted by Skygazer at 12:32 AM on August 26, 2011


I sit next to a business continuity planner and got to hear her on calls about the hurricane most of the day. The last hour she was frantically calling scores of company brass and technical folks to gather personal email addresses.

Hilarious. My response to this sort of thing is usually pretty scathing. It's like, "Hey, if an earthquake destroyed Wellington we need for your number on priority to be to get back online so you can make sure business continuity is happening!"

"No, my number one priority will be finding out how much of my family survived and keeping them alive, and if don't understand that you're a fucking idiot."

"But..."

"If you try to interfere with that plan I will skullfuck you to death and keep my family alive with your roasted flesh."

(One of my colleagues drove the point home by, during a regular DR drill, having the entire team reply "We are either dead, missing, or with our family" any time someone running the drill tried to ask them to do anything or answer questions.)
posted by rodgerd at 1:12 AM on August 26, 2011 [11 favorites]


Well. This might be and ask.me of it's own, but it's hurricane related.

My 80+ year old grandmother is in a city in Virginia that rhymes with Molasses (this is my real name attached to this account, allow me a smudge of google obfuscation.)

If you follow me here, you might correctly guess that I'm not her biggest fan, however I don't know that anyone else can get it together to check on her, and while she may be heartless, I'm not.

My Virginia geography is bad to begin with and I'm fretting about this on an iPhone. Surely there will be much more information tomorrow, and I know that from where is sit getting to her house would take some serious driving time.

Any advice from the Internet? Plan to go? Keep myself here with school and safety and folks who demonstrate that they care for me?
posted by bilabial at 1:26 AM on August 26, 2011


bilabial: "Any advice from the Internet? Plan to go? Keep myself here with school and safety and folks who demonstrate that they care for me?"

If we're speaking of the 'Molasses' that's the site of a famous skirmish from 150 years ago and lies west-southwest of L'Enfant's best known work, the way I interpret the current forecast map is that there'll be some wind and rain there, but there won't be any coastal type flooding, i.e. no storm surge.

I can't answer whether or not it's worth a 20+ hour drive for you, but I would say it's too late to leave now in any case. The direct route will be experiencing tropical storm conditions for the next 24 hours or so, so you'd have to detour west. By the time you got there tomorrow you'd be right in the thick of it. Perhaps you could call the non-emergency number of the 'Molasses' Police and ask them to check on your grandmother? (Search for "molasses police non-emergency" and click on the first result for the number.)
posted by ob1quixote at 2:14 AM on August 26, 2011


Keep yourself here with school and safety and folks who demonstrate that they care for you.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:23 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The worst thing about this hurricane is that I can't get Come On Irene out of my head.
posted by Maisie at 4:25 AM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Come on Eileen?
Goodnight Irene!
posted by sciencegeek at 4:29 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


here's a little tune I just wrote for the occasion:

gonna get windy in New York
wind whippin' round the Empire State
wind whippin' round the Chrysler Building
man it's gonna be great
gonna blow, blow, blow
it's gonna blow like ol' New York ain't never seen
but New York's gonna be alright, man
won't be turned 'round by no Irene

Irene's gonna try real hard
to make New York a mess
but she'll only uproot a tree or two
that'd be my guess
New York won't take no bullshit
New York's smarter than that
the worst that ol' Irene's gonna do
is blow off someone's hat

goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene,
i'll see you in my dreams
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:32 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


i know it's late notice, but anyone who's been putting off a new orleans vacation & needs a place to stay, i can sleep up to 4 adults if you don't mind cats & cramped quarters.
posted by msconduct at 4:38 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone who thinks this will be great fun, and a fine excuse to get wasted, is in for an unpleasant surprise....if you live in a heavily affected area, get ready for a week or more with no power, no drinkable tap water, and no grocery stores. It kind of sucks, after a day or two.
posted by thelonius at 4:39 AM on August 26, 2011


lbilabial, the current National Weather Service is calling for winds between 31 and 36 mph and a couple inches of rain (maybe over two). The storm will go east of her.

The main thing to do would be to make sure she's stocked up on stuff in case she loses power for a couple days. I'm voting for "Keep myself here with school and safety and folks who demonstrate that they care for me?"

(To see the forecast for that area, go here, click the map, then find her city and click on it.)
posted by nangar at 4:42 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The worst thing about this hurricane is that I can't get Come On Irene out of my head.

That was the song in my head Tuesday. Yesterday it was the chorus of Kenny Roger's "Lucille" (you picked a fine time to leave me, Irene).

I'm in Richmond and other than putting things up this afternoon, I'm not so worried for myself given I'm not near the river, there are no drainage ponds in my neighborhood to fill up, I don't have a basement, and the house is a half a floor up thanks to the crawl space. I am happy I did do a shopping spree during Hurricane Preparedness Weekend though. I'm more concerned about my my friends and family in Norfolk & Virginia Beach (esp since my best friend's area floods when there's a downpour -- gotta love Norfolk's sewer system; at least my family are 1/2 hour away from the beach). I haven't gotten any calls so I assume they're staying put.

This is the first big hurricane since I moved back to VA and I kind of missed all of this when I was in Ohio.
posted by bluesapphires at 5:43 AM on August 26, 2011


A friend here in Maine saw someone buying cases of water at the grocery store yesterday. I really don't think that we're going in that direction here, but I send my support to those of you further south.

I'm just hoping a tree branch doesn't fall on my car and smash the windshield. I think I might park on the street (fewer trees, more electrical lines... hmmm).

Conveniently, I live by a hospital so we rarely lose power.
posted by miss tea at 6:04 AM on August 26, 2011


I'd been meaning to buy a chainsaw the past couple of years, because we occasionally have use for a small one. So last night on my way home I figured this would be a fine opportunity to get one, in case we lost some trees. After looking around at Home Depot I decided I'd get an electric one, since I didn't need a real big one and I figured electric would be nice and quiet and not smelly and all that.

It was only when I got home that I realized it would be useless if we lost power. *sigh*
posted by bondcliff at 6:21 AM on August 26, 2011


I was living in Greensboro when Fran hit. And yes, it was no joke. Hurricanes are very high on the list of "things I never want to experience again, ever". So stock up and be safe.

I've been through a few hurricanes, and Fran was the absolute worst, despite the fact that I was a hundred miles further inland than I was when I lived through the others. The combination of already wet ground and the giant oak trees that surrounded my house meant a lot of falling trees that just weren't there to fall when I was in New Bern
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:27 AM on August 26, 2011


Isn't it Moving Day this weekend in Boston? Hope everybody gets their stuff out of trucks before all the rain.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:31 AM on August 26, 2011


Also, after Hurricane Fran, I had to sit through this horribly insipid WRAL piece about the REAL Hurricane Fran, who was some sort of local secretary who worked really fast. Other than the tree that took the deck off my house and being without power for almost a week, that was the worst thing about storm.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:47 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was in Charlotte, NC, 200 miles inland and 250 miles from landfall, when Hugo passed through. My parents' house is in the middle of the woods, and ended up with 7 trees on the roof, and hundreds more down along their road. What I remember most were the leaves. We're all used to seeing brown leaves on the ground, sure, but all the leaves were blown off the trees, big piles of green leaves everywhere. It was estimated that the Charlotte area lost 1/3 of its trees--every street had a house that'd been smashed, most streets were impassable, every--every--traffic light was out. No power or water for 10 days. Take the warnings seriously, folks.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:51 AM on August 26, 2011


Yeah, bondcliff, there is still a pretty good case for gas-powered tools. Have run into that myself. Independently powered things are good.
posted by fake at 6:56 AM on August 26, 2011


I'm incredibly thankful Irene turned North, since we just bought a house on the marsh overlooking the Ashley River, just off the Charleston harbor. We're still slated to get tropical storm-force winds here, and a storm surge. The tides were pretty high when I left this morning (just after high tide) and I'm starting to worry about there being some tidal flooding. I haven't been through a storm here yet, and I'm mainly worried about my car since it will be on ground level in the driveway. Sadly there isn't exactly any high ground in the general area, so I'm just going to have to hope.

Good luck to everybody up North. Take this seriously. People down here who are hurricane veterans were getting worried about this one, so it's definitely not a sleeper.
posted by This Guy at 6:56 AM on August 26, 2011


Dog and I were out on Atlantic and Neptune beaches this morning, around 6 a.m. Red dawn, heavy, gusty northerly winds (maybe 30-35 mph), high surf (5-6 feet that we saw) w/big whitecaps, and some heavy rain bands; about 250 miles west of the eye, and you could really tell Something Nasty was going on out in the ocean. We got about 1/2 inch of rain in 30 minutes from one rain band moving through. Likely to be some beach erosion here, if the waves keep up another day; bound to be big rip tides, but a few fools were wading and playing in the surf anyway.

Wind was so strong, I fell once, and dog was not having fun, so we came back early. High wind measured at Jacksonville Beach pier was 52 mph at 8:00 a.m. this morning.

Y'all up North, duck and cover and lotsa luck. Summaya goin' need it.
posted by paulsc at 7:08 AM on August 26, 2011


I was in Summerville (just outside of Charleston) when Hugo came through. I was 10 years old and I still remember the sound of it like it was yesterday. It seriously sounded like a train was coming through my granny's living room. The devastation was unreal. We didn't have power or running water for a couple weeks. Complicating that was the fact that my granny had just had open heart surgery after a heart attack, and they sent her home right before the storm because she was not on life sustaining machines, so they figured she'd be more comfortable at home. And my submariner dad was out to sea. My mom packed everything important into grocery bags and shoved them into the car, so we could stay at granny's because we lived closer to the ocean. Take this shit seriously and get the hell out of dodge, folks.
posted by chiababe at 7:16 AM on August 26, 2011


I'm more annoyed by the fact that Bloomberg is shutting down the entire MTA on Saturday night. But it looks like the current projected path has Irene giving NYC a glancing blow, so I'm expecting just a hell of a lot of wind and rain, while I curl up in my apartment spending the whole day reading, knitting, and doing a second draft of a story I just wrote.

Brooklyn's had two tornadoes within the past year and they were pretty minor, all things being equal, so I'm more worried about "will the MTA be back up and running on Monday so I can get to work."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:16 AM on August 26, 2011


I am really, really glad I just moved out of Delaware, which in addition to its coastal nature is basically one big (okay, small) flood plain.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:24 AM on August 26, 2011


Yeah, bondcliff, there is still a pretty good case for gas-powered tools. Have run into that myself. Independently powered things are good.

I do have a small generator, so worst case I run an electric saw off a gas generator. That's efficient!
posted by bondcliff at 7:31 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm more annoyed by the fact that Bloomberg is shutting down the entire MTA on Saturday night.

I think they are worried about the storm surge since the hurricane is coming at the high tide for the month, and Manhattan is pretty low and the subways are even lower.
posted by smackfu at 7:35 AM on August 26, 2011


Why is the news' favorite new story to find some wedding displaced by hurricane Irene?
posted by cashman at 7:35 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


If bondcliff or anyone else in the Boston Metro area needs help getting trees or other crap off their houses and/or driveways, let me know. I know my way around a chainsaw and would be happy to help any MeFite in need on Sunday or early next week.
posted by Aizkolari at 7:36 AM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yesterday afternoon NPR interviewed some people who are staying in the Outer Banks despite the evacuation. I can't help but be frustrated by the time and attention paid to, literally, insane people. We're talking an island that's maybe five feet above sea level. Storm surge could wipe it clean. I'm curious about how the show found the people, if they're just well-known for their willingness to disregard clear, obvious threats, or if they cold-call everyone on the island and just throw them on the air when they pick up.
posted by odinsdream at 7:36 AM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


The problem isn't the storm, so much, as the effects. The wind might not be so bad by the time the hurricane reaches NYC, but the storm surge and the flooding is what is going to cause trouble. Your house isn't going to go all Wizard of Oz on you, but you are likely going to be out of power for a while.

The MTA is shutting down because you don't want trains to get trapped in the tunnels. If the tunnels are clear, you can pump them out, scoop up all the rat carcasses and fire it back up. One traincar gets stuck in a tunnel, however, and there is a whole 'nother level of logistics trying to get the thing out.

Yeah, Brooklyn had a couple of tornados. They were minor, weak and short lived. Imagine that storm happening for 12 hours straight. That's the problem with hurricanes. They just keep going and going.

60 mph wind isn't so bad. It's a lot worse when it keeps going, and picks up a lot of debris, and the debris is what causes trouble. We see it during the coverage of the Florida hurricanes all the time. The weatherman is strapped to the light pole on the beach, and everything is going along just fine. Then a shed roof or a piece of deck furniture whips by 10 feet past their heads and Shit. Just. Got. Real.

Further troubling is that a hurricane's wind strength increases as you go up. That's fine in most hurricane areas, because there isn't much stuff up. But in NYC and Brooklyn, there are tons of buildings. If the hurricane is a cat 2 by the time it gets there, it's a cat 3 40 stories up. It's a cat 4 80 stories up. That is, potentially, a lot of flying glass.

Please be careful.

(I'm a little worried, because my sister lives there and is being sort of "whatevs" about it. And my brother just flew in to try and go to a beachside wedding on Long Island. I am terrified they are going to say "oh wow, the eye of the storm, what a great wedding idea!" (which it is) and get swept out to sea.)
posted by gjc at 7:36 AM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the storm surge is what did the real damage in Katrina.
posted by carter at 7:38 AM on August 26, 2011


Dude, I'm not going to be out on my bike in the middle of the storm or anything. And I know why the subway's getting shut down, that doesn't mean I can't be annoyed about it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess that's what I don't get: how is it annoying that people are doing the right thing and taking steps to minimize the inconvenience? I didn't mean that as a personal call-out.
posted by gjc at 7:43 AM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


I guess that's what I don't get: how is it annoying that people are doing the right thing and taking steps to minimize the inconvenience?

For people who don't have a car and are going to be trying to get home in advance of the hurricane, shutting down the transit system is going to be maximizing the inconvenience.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:48 AM on August 26, 2011


Is it confirmed that the MTA is closing for sure Saturday night? What I found said (nyt):
The MTA is activating its hurricane plan this weekend, which means if the winds reach speeds of at least 39 miles per hour, the entire system will shut down, meaning no subway or bus service whatsoever.
(I'd planned to go to Manhattan tomorrow afternoon and am calculating the chances of getting stranded. I take NJTransit, but other folks meeting me there take the subway.)
posted by Karmakaze at 7:49 AM on August 26, 2011


nyc.gov has been down all morning and mta.info is not particularly helpful right now, sigh. I have been on hold for an awfully long time at 311 and am considering calling back to speak to someone in Spanish instead, as that line is somehow usually faster.
posted by elizardbits at 7:54 AM on August 26, 2011


...you can pump them out, scoop up all the rat carcasses and fire it back up.

I predict the city will do two of these things.
posted by griphus at 7:56 AM on August 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


The MTA plans to stop service late tomorrow, if necessary, since it takes at least eight hours to halt the country's largest transit system. [...] The massive systemwide closing would likely leave service suspended at least through the Monday-morning commute.

Granted, it's the Post, and they could be overexaggerating a bit. But I wouldn't be surprised at an earlier shutdown "just to be safe."

....I'm kind of thinking about taking my bike to work on Monday if things really are shut down. If the subway's out, then lots of other people will be also thrown for a loop too, and they won't care so much if I'm an hour late and wearing jeans.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 AM on August 26, 2011


WNYC is also reporting 8 hours. You gotta figure it's 8 hours on either end, and assuming landfall late afternoon on Sunday, I wouldn't expect any kind of service Monday morning.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:58 AM on August 26, 2011


People keep saying "take this seriously!" What does that mean for those of us far enough inland not to have to worry about storm surge? Just buying a lot of nonperishable food and water and batteries and flashlights?
posted by amro at 8:00 AM on August 26, 2011


Hm, it turns out they are probably evcacuating my grandparents' building. Which means that worst case scenario my 1.5 bedroom apartment will be holding: me, my girlfriend, her brother, his wife, two 8-year-old women and my mother's husband.

Any tips?
posted by griphus at 8:01 AM on August 26, 2011


80-year-old women, that is.
posted by griphus at 8:01 AM on August 26, 2011


311 says that there is no confirmed shut-down time for the subway right now, and that currently there are no plans to unilaterally shut down the entire system, although both things are obvsly subject to change as the storm moves towards us.
posted by elizardbits at 8:02 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gjc, I read your comment and was in total agreement especially about debris flying by..but when you said cat 2 turning into cat 3 40 into cat 4 80, I thought you were describing the increasing problems caused by a falling cat that many stories...2, 340, 480, like a penny falling from the empire state building. It's tough being literal sometimes!! (And thankfully having very little hurricane-background). Now to force myself to buy a flashlight...
posted by bquarters at 8:04 AM on August 26, 2011


...my 1.5 bedroom apartment will be holding: me, my girlfriend, her brother, his wife, two 8-year-old women and my mother's husband.

Any tips?


Make them a pallet on the floor.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:07 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


...my 1.5 bedroom apartment will be holding: me, my girlfriend, her brother, his wife, two 8-year-old women and my mother's husband.

Any tips?


Hammocks for everyone, and then set up your living room like a ship of the line.
posted by elizardbits at 8:09 AM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's a WNYC mirror of the flood zone map which someone linked to upthread.

Our new apartment is in Zone C. :(
posted by TrishaLynn at 8:12 AM on August 26, 2011


Blanket forts for everyone!

(but on a serious note, stay safe!)
posted by Sophie1 at 8:12 AM on August 26, 2011


Our new apartment is in Zone C. :(

Yeah, I'm on the zone C border too, right on the border of that little U-shape. The grandparents are in zone A, however.
posted by griphus at 8:14 AM on August 26, 2011


So, I live in Brooklyn, in what may be Evacuation Zone C or No Zone (the street isnt named) and would really appreciate some advice.

We're on the 4th/top floor. We have large windows with only paper shades. Do windows just "blow in"? Should we rearrange the furniture so as to be away from the windows? I mean we probably will, but how concerned should we be about that.
posted by Brainy at 8:14 AM on August 26, 2011


This is where I live. I just hope the power stays on long enough to watch all the Premier League soccer matches on Saturday. It's gonna be close. Good luck to everyone behind me in the path, especially those of you unaccustomed to this. Don't panic. Everything's going to be fine.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:23 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a survivor of over a dozen hurricanes, let me just say this: keep your beer ice and your cocktail ice separate.

Yes. Everybody please watch your ice.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:35 AM on August 26, 2011


Any tips?

Charades gets old fast. Also, old ladies can drink you under the table. Be careful out there.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:39 AM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is where I live. I just hope the power stays on long enough to watch all the Premier League soccer matches on Saturday.

I'm not sure what's more surprising to me, that there's a Metafilter user in Atlantic, NC or that there's a Premier League fan there.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:39 AM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


The NPR newscast (national, not the local WNYC) keeps saying that the Mayor will decide whether to shutdown the subway system, but I'm pretty sure that's not correct. While I'm sure they'll consult, the MTA Chairman and CEO Jay Walder is a state official and not under the Mayor's jurisdiction.
posted by Jahaza at 8:48 AM on August 26, 2011


GET A REAL GODDAMN FLASHLIGHT.

I feel like this is a axiom I should have embroidered onto pillows and send to all of my friends and family.

Even if you aren't in the path of an oncoming hurricane, you should always have a good flashlight on hand. Nowadays, you can get a good LED light with lithium batteries that will store for 10 or so years for less than $20.

There is absolutely no good reason for people to not have flashlights at several strategic locations in their lives.

The only thing worse than being in a high stress situation is being in a high stress situation, and not being able to see.

So go and get yourself a real goddamn flashlight.
posted by quin at 8:50 AM on August 26, 2011 [8 favorites]


So go and get yourself a real goddamn flashlight.

I have a nerdy assortment of headlamps for hands-free apocalypse management.
posted by elizardbits at 8:54 AM on August 26, 2011 [10 favorites]


My tip is that if get fed up with a power-out house, you can always go sit in your car, turn on the radio, and feel normal.
posted by smackfu at 8:55 AM on August 26, 2011


So go and get yourself a real goddamn flashlight.

Recommendations, please?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:56 AM on August 26, 2011


and everyone and everything is saying "MANDATORY EVACUATION" or "ABANDON SHIT," by all means, abandon shit.

It's not that kind of evacuation.

posted by ceribus peribus at 8:59 AM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


Seems only very, very tangentially related to Metafilter.

Yeah, what does Metafilter have to do with writing comments and posting links in an attempt to help out other Mefites who might have a serious problem? Why not have a whole subsite where Mefites can help other Mefites with their problems, while we're at it?
posted by John Cohen at 9:00 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is your opinion.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:01 AM on August 26, 2011


Completely honestly, if this thread doesn't belong on Metafilter, I thought that's what MetaChat was for. In fact, I loaded up MetaChat before coming to MeTa because that's where I thought such a thread would be.

*goes to start thread*
posted by TrishaLynn at 9:04 AM on August 26, 2011


I thought you were describing the increasing problems caused by a falling cat that many stories...

Shark Week is nothing compared to a flying cat.
posted by gjc at 9:11 AM on August 26, 2011


I'm going to Utica for the weekend, then driving home on the Massachusetts Turnpike Sunday afternoon. Woo-hoo!
posted by Melismata at 9:12 AM on August 26, 2011


I was a bit surprised the MetaFilter DC earthquake thread was closed and replaced with the MetaTalk one, so there was no MeFi thread on it at all. That seems like an odd choice, and maybe spurred this thread on.
posted by smackfu at 9:14 AM on August 26, 2011


So go and get yourself a real goddamn flashlight.

Recommendations, please?


We lose power all the time where I'm at. I recommend having a variety, for different situations. At a minimum, I'd recommend at least one good sized Maglite style for when you really have to see; one small, personal-sized LED clip-on, headlamp, keychain, or lanyard-style, to carry around with you at all times (at least during incipient disasters); and at least one good wind-up dynamo generator LED flashlight or personal-sized lantern (for when you want a little light, but you don't want to waste your batteries). We also have small LED Maglights (with fresh batteries) in all of our vehicles, and plug-in emergency nightlights, that only come on when power is interrupted. So you can find your flashlights in the dark.

Be sure you have extra batteries, and change your batteries regularly (we change ours at Daylight Savings Time change-overs, along with the batteries in our smoke detectors).

Also - please have carbon monoxide detectors in your homes, and be aware of what is safe to burn inside.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:16 AM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


Recommendations, please?

There are lots of really fantastic ones out there, but for fast, good, and cheap, I highly recommend the Energizer flashlights you can get at Target.

Good (check out the Trailfinder Triple beam)

Better

Really good. (also not usually available in Target, these you normally need to go to a sporting goods store, and they'll probably be pretty pricey compared to the others listed.)

Whatever you get, make sure it is water resistant, if not water proof, and uses regular AA batteries. (AAA in a pinch, but AA is better; they last longer, are more common, and easier to insert in the dark.) Cheap. C and D powered flashlights are also good for longer term lighting, but tend to be bigger, heavier and more likely to no be grabbed in an emergency as a result.
posted by quin at 9:18 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The little LED flashlights are good with battery longevity and maybe some up close work, or reading. But their light beam tends to be pretty focused and might not be the greatest for looking for a hammer in the garage.

What I'd do is equip everyone with their own little LED light and then have one or two of those old-school night-watchman 4 @ D batteries lamps for when you need to find the cat.
posted by gjc at 9:20 AM on August 26, 2011


If it comes down to it, we have an old oil hurricane lamp that generates a fair amount of light...
posted by Karmakaze at 9:21 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you plan on using some kind of non-electric light source like an oil lamp, you should most definitely familiarize yourself with lighting it and operating it before an emergency situation is underway.
posted by elizardbits at 9:23 AM on August 26, 2011


Oh yeah, LED lanterns are also pretty useful. They don't let off nearly as much light as oil or propane lanterns, but they also don't emit any heat or fumes, so you can safely use them in completely enclosed spaces. As an added bonus, they are typically fairly inexpensive.
posted by quin at 9:24 AM on August 26, 2011


Headlamps like this are great.
posted by mareli at 9:28 AM on August 26, 2011


I'm on the zone C border too

Smack-dab in Zone B here! Hopefully I won't lose water-access, but one of the nice things about homebrewing is that I have several five-gallon containers on hand for water-storage, in addition to my distilled water supplies. I also just bought a 3000-piece jigsaw puzzle, so if the power goes out and I can't use my laptop, the cats still have something to walk all over in order to irritate me.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:29 AM on August 26, 2011 [31 favorites]


You can use the cats as floatation devices.
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 AM on August 26, 2011


After a struggle, yes.
posted by gjc at 9:36 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I submit that being chapped about a shutdown inconveniencing your Monday morning commute right now is looking at this the wrong way.

Hope you have a job to go to on Tuesday or Wednesday, by backstroke even.
posted by spitbull at 9:37 AM on August 26, 2011


Does anybody in NYC know how bad the grocery stores are? I was planning on heading out after work, but should I try and get the rest of the day off to get there ASAP?
posted by Brainy at 9:39 AM on August 26, 2011


My girlfriend says the usually packed-to-the-brim shops on 86th St. are starting to run out of Important Stuff. I'm going to go by the CVS near where I work in little while and see how things are there.
posted by griphus at 9:40 AM on August 26, 2011


So I just spoke with my grandmother. Apparently my other grandmother's home attendant will be taking her somewhere that the home care agency is rounding up all their old people to an evacuation center w/ medical help. Can I assume this is a better idea than having her stay with me? This is considering she's diabetic and cognitively impaired because of the stroke.
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on August 26, 2011


IMO you can't go wrong with Coast. This little guy is my favorite. It's sturdy, small and very bright, with the right switch in the right place. I run mine on rechargeable so I always have a fresh battery but I've had it for 9 months and I think I've only run the battery down 4 or 5 times. Obviously it won't run for days but it's the perfect pocket light.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:45 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Er, will be rounding up. Her apartment is literally on the beach at Coney Island.
posted by griphus at 9:46 AM on August 26, 2011


My genteel yup mart was low on the bottled water but everything else was fine.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 AM on August 26, 2011


Hope you have a job to go to on Tuesday or Wednesday, by backstroke even.

Why....wouldn't I? I'm sincerely not sure what your point is.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:47 AM on August 26, 2011


Does anybody in NYC know how bad the grocery stores are?

I went to the Key Food in Greenpoint last night, and there were maybe fifteen gallon jugs of water left among the barren shelves. I imagine they're straight-up empty now. All other food/drink seemed plentiful, though.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:47 AM on August 26, 2011


griphus, here is a tip!

Get plastic or paper plates, forks, cups/water bottles. They are really handy when you only have dishes for 2 people and end up with 38498 people.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:47 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anybody in NYC know how bad the grocery stores are?

Fresh Direct is out of water and there are no delivery slots til Thursday. /firstworldproblems
posted by elizardbits at 9:50 AM on August 26, 2011


griphus: Speaking as one who currently is working as a temp in an elder care facility, I say that your grandma would be better off there because they have the equipment, meds, and health care professionals there in the event of a real emergency. This is important if your area becomes impassible by ambulance and something drastic does happen.

I'm typing up notes from the hurricane preparedness meeting we had this morning and if the other facilities are as on the ball as these guys are, your grandma should be fine.
posted by TrishaLynn at 9:52 AM on August 26, 2011


Fresh Direct is out of water and there are no delivery slots til Thursday. /firstworldproblems

What about the parbaked chocolate croissants? Those are so good, and I would require them to get me through any natural disaster.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:53 AM on August 26, 2011


How's everybody doing on hurricane chow?
posted by Gator at 9:54 AM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Greg Nog that was exactly the supermarket I was going to.
posted by Brainy at 9:59 AM on August 26, 2011


I just fried up 2 packs of bacon and I suggest you all do the same.

This has nothing to do with the hurricane, btw.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:59 AM on August 26, 2011 [16 favorites]


Does anybody in NYC know how bad the grocery stores are?

I just had a very uncivilized West Side Market experience, and most people aren't even out of work yet.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:00 AM on August 26, 2011


Has anyone seen my cats?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:01 AM on August 26, 2011


In the advent if a hurricane cats grow wings to reach higher ground
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come for the earthquake, stay for the hurricane.
posted by exogenous at 10:07 AM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


HERE IN.

DUCK BURG.
posted by griphus at 10:10 AM on August 26, 2011 [13 favorites]


Whoa west side market uncivilized? Say it ain't so. Was just about to head over to stock up on Kobe roast beef and smoked salmon. We should have a mefi meetup in that secret back area where they have the paper goods.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:10 AM on August 26, 2011


Video of a tree hitting my house during Hurricane Gustav.
posted by ColdChef at 10:12 AM on August 26, 2011


Dammit, out of Kobe roast beef, had to get Kobe brisket. FML
posted by Ad hominem at 10:14 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just had a very uncivilized West Side Market experience, and most people aren't even out of work yet.

Uptown or downtown?
posted by elizardbits at 10:14 AM on August 26, 2011


HERE IN.

DUCK BURG.


Is this storm powerful enough to solve a mystery? Or rewrite history?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:16 AM on August 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


Uptown or downtown?

Morningside Heights. Wall-to-wall carts. Still plenty of food, though (and all the cheese is on sale).
posted by oinopaponton at 10:17 AM on August 26, 2011


Or rewrite history?

Need I remind you of the connection between lighting and time travel?
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM on August 26, 2011


Got 4 lbs of smoked Gouda, now I have to find my fondu set. Mmm hurricane fondu, in a pinch I can drink the sterno.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:21 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have high hopes for avoiding unnecessary fisticuffs at the WM on 14th street later, not that Chelsea is particularly civilized on any given Friday afternoon.
posted by elizardbits at 10:21 AM on August 26, 2011


Need I remind you of the connection between lighting and time travel?

So what combination of Giant Clock/DeLorean/Flux Capacitor/Chuck Berry do I need to get Crispin Glover to act like Crispin Glover again?

Seriously, I watched all of Alice in Wonderland having no idea who that utterly generic actor was. What the fuck?
posted by griphus at 10:21 AM on August 26, 2011


Just went down to the Chesapeake Bay to watch the animals retreating from the incoming storm. It's a duckblur
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:25 AM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


And a photo of my crushed shed.
posted by ColdChef at 10:25 AM on August 26, 2011


Cold " no shed " Chef
posted by The Whelk at 10:28 AM on August 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


Morningside Heights. Wall-to-wall carts. Still plenty of food, though (and all the cheese is on sale).

Great... now I have to resist the temptation to take an hour long subway ride in from Queens for cheap cheese.
posted by Jahaza at 10:28 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine was just offered D-cell batteries from a secret stash while buying a sandwich at 7-11. He bought 8.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:29 AM on August 26, 2011


Jahaza, if it helps, West Side Market cheese on sale is pretty much just regular-priced cheese.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:29 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


And just for fun: my Hurricane Katrina set.
posted by ColdChef at 10:30 AM on August 26, 2011


oinopaponton, true, and I'd probably get the same price at half the distance by going to Astoria and paying the regular prices there.
posted by Jahaza at 10:33 AM on August 26, 2011


DH has had two nightmarish experiences at Fairway (74th) so far today, and is now home for the duration.

FYI, the MTA shutdown will be at NOON tomorrow, not tomorrow night.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:38 AM on August 26, 2011


transit shutdown information via CNN's liveblog:
[1:32 p.m. ET] The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority will begin a systemwide shutdown beginning at noon Saturday, the New York governor's office says.

[1:23 p.m. ET] The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will halt all service beginning at 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says. It is the first time ever for such an event.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says New Jersey Transit will suspend service beginning at noon Saturday
posted by Vibrissa at 10:39 AM on August 26, 2011


Hope you have a job to go to on Tuesday or Wednesday, by backstroke even.

Why....wouldn't I? I'm sincerely not sure what your point is.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:47 AM on August 26 [+] [!]


Hurricanes are powerful and cause a lot of trouble. I mean, just at my work in a leafy suburb of Chicago, power was out for nearly a week while they tried to untangle the wires from the trees and replace transformers and such. There were something like 90,000 customers out of power for nearly a week, if memory serves. And that was just a thunderstorm, with no flooding.

With some flooded out electrical and communications vaults, it could take a very long time to get parts of the city running again.

The odds say that everything will probably be just fine for most people. But this is already a pretty unusual storm, and unusual/bad things may occur. Unless the storm magically peters out (which it probably won't, given the water temperatures), there IS going to be some damage. The question is just how widespread and dangerous it will be.
posted by gjc at 10:41 AM on August 26, 2011


I just got word that New Hampshire is closing the White Mountain National Forest at 6:00 PM Saturday through Sunday.

They're closing a forest. In New Hampshire.
posted by bondcliff at 10:43 AM on August 26, 2011 [23 favorites]


My poor sister was in Japan for the earthquake and now she's in New York City for Irene. Let's see if we can just get her to stay home forever, shall we?
posted by padraigin at 10:43 AM on August 26, 2011


Meh, here in Charleston it's just going to flood. Like it does every time we get more than 2 inches of rain.

School got canceled today because of buses and their inability to go over bridges. There's a chance my wife's trailer will get messed up and they'll have to move the class inside the building they're sharing a campus with.

We'll see how things go at work for me. Daniel Island people are weird. There's a good chance they won't want to cook at home so they'll come to the restaurant. But there's also the chance that they won't want to leave their home. Of course, we do have a few people that always eat out so we'll definitely see them.
posted by theichibun at 10:45 AM on August 26, 2011



They're closing a forest. In New Hampshire.

ALL YOU ADORABLE SINGING WOODLAND CREATURES GET OUT!
posted by The Whelk at 10:45 AM on August 26, 2011 [12 favorites]


I just heard our show in New York is cancelled in case anyones keeping score. So no driving for us tomorrow. Thank heavens.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:51 AM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


ALL YOU ADORABLE SINGING WOODLAND CREATURES GET OUT!

That's Vermont, dude. New Hampshire just has semi-crazy woodland creatures that yell at Massholes all day long. 'cept for the ones in Nashua, who commute to the forests around Boston.
posted by bondcliff at 10:52 AM on August 26, 2011 [10 favorites]


If public transit shuts in NYC at noon tomorrow, what if they have to evacuate after all?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:54 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


State of emergency now declared in MA. West of Springfield, the primary threat will be massive rain. East of Springfield (where I am), the primary threat is wind. South Coast will be most vulnerable to storm surge and erosion. Horseneck Beach is already closed. All state parks close tomorrow.
posted by rollbiz at 10:57 AM on August 26, 2011


Well, if we hear about the evac call at 8 am tomorrow, I'm assuming that they hope we'll have had the four hours or so to pack, secure our domiciles, and get to the nearest shelters. I'm also reasonably sure that everywhere there are shelters, they're planning like mad to be ready for an influx of people.

But I'm sure people thought that during Katrina as well... *bites fingernails*
posted by TrishaLynn at 10:59 AM on August 26, 2011


If public transit shuts in NYC at noon tomorrow, what if they have to evacuate after all?

a) If the transit shutdown is to start at noon, service may continue for some time after that (but don't bet on it!) as it is supposed to take eight hours to shutdown the system.

b) The mandatory evacuation call is to be made at 8 A.M. tomorrow, but the city is already urging people in zone A to evacuate voluntarily now and moving hospital patients.
posted by Jahaza at 11:01 AM on August 26, 2011


Bondcliff, thats the windiest place in the states, there is a wind observatory at top. its infamous for dangerous changeable weather any time of year, hikers are always going missing and getting blown off the mountain (ok, not that exactly...)
posted by supermedusa at 11:03 AM on August 26, 2011


Um

We will evacuate by PONY MAGIC

Naw, I think they'd probably use buses. Subways shut down because they're highly vulnerable to flooding and a stuck train is very bad, I think bus service is at least partly shut down so they can be used for evacuation (and some of the routes will be flooded).

Also, there's plenty of higher ground within short walking/busing distance of the flood areas so if flooding is the major issue, they can just evacuate people to...well, wherever it is they'll fit.

I was shocked at how quickly some of the BK buses were up and running after blizzard Part II.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:04 AM on August 26, 2011


For anyone in or near midtown Manhattan looking to stuck up on foods that need to be neither refrigerated nor cooked, I was just at Westerly Natural on 54th and 8th and it was surprisingly uncrowded. Looked like everyone was at the Gristedes across the street. WN has a lot of bulk foods like nuts and dried fruits, and they sell jerky as well as bottled water (had tons of that). The bulk foods are a decent price too.
posted by wondermouse at 11:04 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nevermind. WNYC says they've just made the zone A evacuations mandatory as of 5 PM today.
posted by Jahaza at 11:05 AM on August 26, 2011


And they're saying that the last transit runs will begin at noon. So no, you pretty much won't be able to move after that.
posted by Jahaza at 11:06 AM on August 26, 2011


But I'm sure people thought that during Katrina as well... *bites fingernails*

This will not be like Katrina. I can't speak for every little municipality, but I've been on a couple of conference calls that included folks from DHS and FEMA, and they're on this big time. They are on the ground and ready, their supplies are on the ground and ready. It's totally different.

Disaster ops rarely go off without a hitch, but I wouldn't worry too much about being left completely in the lurch.
posted by rollbiz at 11:12 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Live stream of the NYC conference
posted by griphus at 11:14 AM on August 26, 2011


Buses will be shutting down too, but it's going to go a little bit longer than noon.
posted by griphus at 11:15 AM on August 26, 2011


I ain't going anywhere. I'd invite some of the Zone As over but it smells like homeless people in here already and I am down to 7 cans of chili.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:16 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have really tall windows in an apartment building. Boarding them up is not really an option. What should I do?
posted by Brainy at 11:17 AM on August 26, 2011


Put masking tape Xs on them so glass doesn't fly inward.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:21 AM on August 26, 2011


Stay away from them during the high winds. Find a place in your apartment away from them and that might mean a hallway.
posted by Skygazer at 11:22 AM on August 26, 2011


I heard taping windows was a waste of time.
posted by Brainy at 11:23 AM on August 26, 2011


Hurricane Irene: Listen Live Online to First Responders Throughout Entire Storm Area
posted by cashman at 11:23 AM on August 26, 2011


I am in Bushwick outside of the evacuation area and I am supposed to fly home to Toronto on Wednesday from Newark. I hope wifi and electricity doesn't go out and am assuming it will.
posted by radiocontrolled at 11:25 AM on August 26, 2011


griphus:

(1) Get some cash out of the ATM, and keep it on your person at all times.
(2) Find water, lots of it, and toilet paper.
(3) I don't know if this will happen in New York/the northeast, but the first thing we lose in New Orleans (after power) is water service. You have to be able to flush the toilet. Fill up the tub(s), and get a wide-mouthed pitcher.
(4) Non-perishable food, but I'm sure you know that already.
(5) Pillows and blankets galore.
(6) Make sure everybody has some sort of ID, just in case you get separated.
(7) I don't know what to say about your grandmother; I guess it depends on how much faith you have in the elderly care center. Make sure you have their phone number, and some of the nurses'/aides' cell phone numbers if you can get them.
(8) Flashlights, batteries and a radio that can pick up a local station are a necessity.

Good luck; I'll be sending good thoughts to all of you getting ready for Irene.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 11:27 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, get a deck of cards if you don't have one already.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 11:28 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looks like my man might get his dream weekend out of this.




ALL MAGIC: THE GATHERING, ALL THE TIME
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:29 AM on August 26, 2011 [13 favorites]


Fill the bathtub with water, but not for drinking. Use plastic tubs or gallon jugs or anything with a lid for that. The tub water can be used for washing - but more importantly, if you lose water pressure, you can use it to flush the toilet. Maybe it's just me, but OMG STORM generally means OMG NEED TOILET. It's good to be able to flush.

Taping windows doesn't protect the glass, but if it makes you feel better and keeps you busy, go ahead and do it. It doesn't hurt anything, either. You can make fancy little patterns or spell out IRENE GO FUCK YOURSELF which might get you on the local news.

If you're in a mandatory evac zone: do it. If there's anything you have to leave at home that you're worried about, wrap it in plastic trash bags (save some tape from the windows and use that to close it up) and put it somewhere high and enclosed like a shelf in a closet. This will not be helpful if your house splinters into matchsticks, but if there's a little damage from flooding or blown windows, your stash of things oughta stay put.

Know where the important things are: medications, money, ID, light sources, items to keep you/pets/kids busy, and your deodorant. When you have to evacuate and you realize you forgot your deodorant, it is not pleasant. I have done that. It sucked.

It's loud and boring. Be sure you have something that will keep you occupied that does not require electricity. Might want earplugs too, if you're like me and storms make you sleepy.

The pressure is going to drop. Your ears will feel it. Keep some gum around if you have problems with that on airplanes.

If you have a car, top it up; you can dash out there to charge your gadgets and get a refreshing blast of cold air. Car-as-charging-station is a very useful tool, even if you're not using it to go anywhere.

Sending dry and safe thoughts from, like Gator says, the right (left) side of Florida... you guys be careful out there.
posted by cmyk at 11:33 AM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


They're closing a forest. In New Hampshire.

That's the least of it. All across northern New England, they've ordered mandatory shutdown of all emotional responses. Citizens are urged to keep to the bare minimum of quiet nodding and the occasional brow-furrow. All demeanors are to be closed and unapproachable until further notice.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:33 AM on August 26, 2011 [39 favorites]


What's the etiquette for asking your evacuee guests to help out with food and booze rations?
posted by oinopaponton at 11:34 AM on August 26, 2011


If you don't have a bathtub or just want to keep more non-potable water, you can use trashcans and/or plastic storage bins.

If anyone wants the inside scoop on a store in Windsor Terrace/Kensington that has plenty of supplies, let me know.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:34 AM on August 26, 2011


What's the etiquette for asking your evacuee guests to help out with food and booze rations?

If they don't, they're the first to get cannibalized. NO EXCEPTIONS
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:36 AM on August 26, 2011 [18 favorites]


Wow, they're closing mass transport in NY tomorrow at noon? That's less than 24 hours from now, which, assuming they need at least 24 hours to get it all shut down I *guess* makes sense, but really seems like overkill.

I'm only seeing sustained winds in the 80's predicted, and at two days away the storm could head out to the ocean or change course completely in the meantime; I'd say just get away from the coast and you'd be fine, but they've got lots of mandatory evacuations, too.

Huh.

Well, better safe than sorry. But don't panic, everyone. Just be prepared to sit out a long rainstorm.
posted by misha at 11:37 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


misha, it takes 8 hours to shut NYC transit down. So technically, it'll be 8pm tomorrow.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:39 AM on August 26, 2011


Stay away from them during the high winds. Find a place in your apartment away from them and that might mean a hallway.

Me and my two roomates will be hanging out in the tiny bathroom then.
posted by Brainy at 11:40 AM on August 26, 2011


Cannibalism is more work than you think. Be sure you have a good selection of strong cordage, sharp knives, a sharpening stone, and maybe a hatchet. Eat as much as you can, then smoke and dry the remainder. And don't be squeamish about the sweatbreads. Waste not, want not. Use the brains to brain tan the hides.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:41 AM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


OKAY GUYS.

Everyone keeps telling me to fill up the tub to flush the toilet when all the water goes kablooey. Well, I'm not some kind of toilet scientist like all of you apparently are, and my cursory Google was unhelpful as fuck. Would someone care to briefly explain (you can use text abbreviations to save time! and be rude! It's fine! I deserve it!) how a person uses the water over here to flush the toilet over here?
posted by superfluousm at 11:43 AM on August 26, 2011 [23 favorites]


Oh I just remembered some of my grandfather's brilliance! It seems like I should have thought of it, but never did: if you are concerned about food spoiling in the freezer/fridge, put everything in the fridge in a trash bag inside the fridge. Same for the freezer. If you don't lose power for very long, just take it out of the bag and put it back where it belongs in the fridge/freezer. If you do lose power for very long, you can take that bag full of dead-animal-smell straight out to the trash can. Cleaning up melted ketchup is disgusting.

And it ruined the fridge I had for Katrina. The smell just wouldn't go away.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 11:43 AM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


how a person uses the water over here to flush the toilet over here?

You fill up a bucket with water, and then you dump it in the toilet over your #2.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:44 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


So how blowable is a heavy metal patio chair and table set? Does that need actual hurricane force winds to do something? (Because I think we actually put it together on the patio, so... not sure what our options are.)
posted by smackfu at 11:44 AM on August 26, 2011


Fill up the pitcher with water after you have done your business in the bathroom, and empty the pitcher in the bowl.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 11:44 AM on August 26, 2011


how a person uses the water over here to flush the toilet over here?

BUKKIT.
posted by elizardbits at 11:45 AM on August 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


IT CAN'T BE THAT SIMPLE.

(I'm aware I'm going to be the first to die. I also contemplated my Sonicare for an embarrassingly long time this morning, wondering out loud, "How will I brush my teeth when the power goes out?")
posted by superfluousm at 11:45 AM on August 26, 2011 [19 favorites]


No worries, superfluousm. I once stood in front of a door without a doorbell for 5 minutes until it occurred to me that I could just knock.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:46 AM on August 26, 2011 [15 favorites]


Completely that simple.

The sonicare will last for several days; it does have a battery, right?
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 11:46 AM on August 26, 2011


How to flush a toilet with a bucket of water SLYT
posted by smackfu at 11:47 AM on August 26, 2011


The sonicare will last for several days; it does have a battery, right?

Mine lasted for ~25 days in china on a full charge the day before I left nyc.
posted by elizardbits at 11:48 AM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you aren't sure whether you're going to evacuate by car or not, go fill up now. The last place you want to see that warning light is when you're in a slow-moving line of cars and the gas stations have "out of gas" signs. Also, flashlights in cars.

Be safe, y'all.
posted by catlet at 11:50 AM on August 26, 2011


It does have a battery, and more importantly it will just turn into a regular toothbrush when the battery goes tits up. I only realized this after thinking, "Hey, this is like the setup to that Mitch Hedburg joke about the escalator."

Thank you to everyone for your prompt toilet assistance. I would say I'm off to eat some fiber and do a test run but how crude that would be for this Family Website.
posted by superfluousm at 11:51 AM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow, they're closing mass transport in NY tomorrow at noon? That's less than 24 hours from now, which, assuming they need at least 24 hours to get it all shut down I *guess* makes sense, but really seems like overkill.

According to the representatives at the press conference, an orderly shutdown of the transit system takes 8 hours, which will begin at noon tomorrow (ie. the last train runs from one side of the system to the other will begin around that time). They also need some additional time in order to move equipment out of the storage yards which are in the evacuation zone. As several of their largest yards are affected, they have arranged to store trains and cars on sections of regular right-of-way lines, which therefore have to be cleared of traffic well in advance.
posted by ceribus peribus at 11:52 AM on August 26, 2011


smackfu: "So how blowable is a heavy metal patio chair and table set? Does that need actual hurricane force winds to do something? (Because I think we actually put it together on the patio, so... not sure what our options are.)"

I'm going to go with very blowable. If you can't take it inside or someplace where it will be out of the wind, perhaps you can lash it all together with strong rope and then lash the bundle to a railing?
posted by ob1quixote at 11:54 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Consider the toilet. It has a receptacle, or bowl, for waste products, and a big tank with a lever over that. When you pull the lever, what happens? Water from the top tank dumps down into the bowl, causing the bowl contents to disappear down into Hell. Then, the top tank refills with water, and becomes ready for the next use.

So, all you need to do, to flush a toilet, is dump water into the bowl. THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY DOING, except without having to haul buckets of water around.

I was over 30 before I learned this, which is kind of amazing. I'm not sure how I thought that toilets worked, before that. Magic?
posted by thelonius at 11:55 AM on August 26, 2011 [12 favorites]


I can't remember the trains being shut down before "in an orderly manner". I guess they are taking no chances. Wouldn't help me get across town anyway once the looting starts, I guess I'll have to cab it across the park.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:57 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


So how blowable is a heavy metal patio chair and table set? Does that need actual hurricane force winds to do something? (Because I think we actually put it together on the patio, so... not sure what our options are.)

At the very least, flip the table upside down and put the chairs on top of it so the surface of the table doesn't act like a big sail in the wind.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:00 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


mitzyjalapeno, I have a friend who, it looks to be, is going to get hit with the eye of the storm. I passed on your list of things to have. She wants to know why blankets are a necessity.
posted by royalsong at 12:02 PM on August 26, 2011


Okay, only 8 hours to close, but they need time to move things off of tracks and such. I guess that makes sense, but it's still pretty early to shut it all down at noon tomorrow, because right now I'm seeing that Irene, if it even hits NY, is not going to get there for forty-something hours.

Carolina, you should be stocking up now, though.
posted by misha at 12:02 PM on August 26, 2011


I have the option of camping out in my first-floor apartment in a rowhouse in Philadelphia, or going to my boyfriend's place in [url=http://g.co/maps/rvcs]West Chester, PA[/url]. His place is farther away from the shore. But it's also on the second floor, has more exposed windows, and it's around a LOT of trees--branches fall even during regular thunderstorms. I have to go to classes in Philadelphia on Monday so I'd rather not get stuck up there. Anyone have suggestions?
posted by schroedinger at 12:05 PM on August 26, 2011


misha, @nycmayorsoffice says "#Irene’s ground speed has accelerated. Gale forces winds of 40mph now expected to reach NYC by 9 pm Saturday." So I think they want to have everything done by then.
posted by Brainy at 12:05 PM on August 26, 2011


Er, that should be West Chester, PA.
posted by schroedinger at 12:05 PM on August 26, 2011


About using reserved water to flush: Only use it for poo. And maybe only every second or third time if there are a bunch of people in the house. The idea is to flush often enough to keep it from getting stinky. I know that sounds gross, but otherwise you'll run out of water quickly and that would be grosser.
posted by nangar at 12:06 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, my very angry sister is turning around and driving back to her home in Rhode Island before the storm hits, even though only one of the three baseball games she went to New York to attend is being cancelled (so far), because she is staying on Staten Island and she's afraid she'll get stuck there if they close down mass transit. She's so pissed off she could barely speak when I talked to her on the phone. I think she'd be a lot angrier if she got stranded though.
posted by padraigin at 12:07 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Blankets and pillows make for comfy, comfy beds when you have extra people over, which tends to happen during a hurricane, at least in my neck of the woods. We all huddle together, with five adults, eight children, and somewhere between 6 - 8 pets in a 3 bedroom house. You gotta sleep somewhere. I'd recommend an air mattress, but they're useless.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 12:09 PM on August 26, 2011


I've been through a couple of hurricanes. In my opinion, I would concentrate on the basics in this order:

1) Water. Get way more than you think you need. You need some to drink, some to flush your toilets, some to wash your hands, some to shower with. Fill up any plastic tubs you have for grey water, and fill up any potable containers for, uh, potable water.

2) Non-perishable, durable food. Forget milk and eggs. Get powdered milk, or Parmalat, canned anything, and a can opener, and maybe bananas and oranges or any sort of fruit that has peelable skin. Protein bars, candy bars, anything calorically dense so you're not hauling a heavy bag in case you have to move.

3) Energy. Fuel and fire. Fill up your gas tanks, charge your electronics, fill up some gas cans and get some lighter fluid and charcoal in case you are without power, buy extra lighters, waterproof matches.

4) Communications. Try to find that hand crank weather radio your grandmother got for you. Tell people where you are, and where you plan on going if there is an evacuation. Print out the map to get there, and put it in a waterproof plastic bag.

5) Tools. Pile things like a hatchets, axes, or hammers in one spot in your house in case you need to break down a door, get through branches, or bust out a window to escape. Get a multi-tool with pliers and a knife and keep it with you at all times.

6) Be ready to move. Have towels, a change of clothes, rain gear, and necessary meds in one single bag labeled "Emergency Move Bag" or something obvious that you always keep with you. If you have to abandon your "safe" spot, your brain is going to be in bad shape for decision making. Make it easy, and fast, to get the hell out.

7) Backup your really important files tonight offsite.

8) As others have mentioned, do not panic. Do not rush into a situation without planning your own exit. Don't try to help people unless you can secure yourself while doing so. My family has lost a few friends who drowned while trying to save others who were drowning.

Everything you depend on to communicate and move around will probably not work in the days that follow the storm. Always keep that in mind.

Be safe. I'll be riding it out in the Hampton Inn near JFK. They've got a generator, and if we need it, I hope it will work.
posted by notion at 12:11 PM on August 26, 2011 [14 favorites]


Ah, okay, thanks!

She's a single person in a tiny second floor apartment. I suspect if she's going to stay with people, it won't be at her place.
posted by royalsong at 12:12 PM on August 26, 2011


royalsong: she does know to stay away from the windows if they're not boarded, right?
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 12:15 PM on August 26, 2011


Just got email from the Red Cross with a couple of resources that I hope nobody will need: Safe and Well is a central registry for people to note that they are safe and for those looking for people they can't contact, and the National Shelter System uses Google Maps to indicate locations where the Red Cross has opened shelters.

Do we have a disaster resource page on the wiki?
posted by catlet at 12:18 PM on August 26, 2011


I will let her know. I'm sure her news stations are going nuts about preparing details. She said she had everything on your list already except a radio.

I'm just being a worry wart because she's my best friend and she's 600 miles away. All I can do for her is give her information.
posted by royalsong at 12:18 PM on August 26, 2011


Sorry, clicked Post too quickly.

National Shelter System
posted by catlet at 12:19 PM on August 26, 2011


I sound like I'm kidding, but I'm not. Duct tape. It's really worth the space in your "go bag" if you are putting one together. Useful in injuries and keeping dry if you have tears in clothing or rain gear and a whole host of other things.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:21 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


You're not being a worrywart, you're being an awesome friend.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 12:22 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Awl provides advice for New Yorkers unaccustomed to dealing with tropical cyclones both eminently practical (e.g. Turn your refrigerator to the highest setting. If you bought ice, put it in the freezer.) and funny-because-it's-true snarky (e.g. Move your hard drives up to the second floor. What if you lost all your early design work from RISD?).
posted by ob1quixote at 12:22 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


grocery report: Manhattan.

Dear god you'd think it was happening tonight. Total gridlock, apparently the West Side Highway is a parking lot. Still very well stocked - although running low on cereals and hamburger meat. Found flashlights, batteries, candles etc, very easily. Every store has palettes of bottle water in front.
posted by The Whelk at 12:23 PM on August 26, 2011


Floating cat carrier that doubles as baby transport: awesome.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 12:24 PM on August 26, 2011


Does anyone have any suggestions for keeping a very curious and naughty kitten away from the window while we sleep? Should I lock her in the bathroom and face her wrath in the morning?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:24 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey Guys, I'm not prepared. I'm not apathetic enough. Really, I think I could be more apathetic, but I'm not sure how to do it. I was thinking maybe going tubing off the Jersey Shore this weekend with a bottle of Jim Bean and a toaster, but I don't know if that's enough
posted by hellojed at 12:25 PM on August 26, 2011


That kitten needs to hang out in the bathroom, if there's no window.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 12:27 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brainy: "misha, @nycmayorsoffice says "#Irene’s ground speed has accelerated. Gale forces winds of 40mph now expected to reach NYC by 9 pm Saturday." So I think they want to have everything done by then."

Thanks, Brainy! I was just watching CNN's coverage of Irene, but I missed that. Now it makes a lot more sense!
posted by misha at 12:31 PM on August 26, 2011


Just let the kitteh nap directly on top of your head as the god of kittehs intended.
posted by elizardbits at 12:31 PM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm not prepared either, and I'm not in the slightest bit worried. Ever since Hurricane Belle in 1976, which did not strike New England despite my camp consellors' enthralling tales of what was going to happen when it did, every. single. hurricane that has come this way has been a total dud. The newsmen are bananas: IT'S COMING, IT'S COMING, IT'S COMING!!!! oh, no, wait, no it isn't. Unless someone tells me that my neighborhood is in danger, I'm not doing anything, not stocking up on anything, and not wasting any energy on worrying. Nothing is going to happen.

Yeah, sorry, I guess this is something that I would have to actually experience a hurricane to understand. (I totally get that people in danger zones should worry, and be amply prepared.)
posted by Melismata at 12:32 PM on August 26, 2011


Kitty is normally pretty clingly, and really only goes near the window when the birds start flying by and harassing her. But bathroom it is.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:33 PM on August 26, 2011


running low on cereals and hamburger meat

I am confused and concerned as to exactly what NYCers think they are going to do with all that meat this weekend. WORST COOKOUT EVER.
posted by elizardbits at 12:34 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


elizardbits, we plan on cooking the meat on our stove.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:35 PM on August 26, 2011


Mess. Of. Chili.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:36 PM on August 26, 2011


I've heard that some people have special rooms in which to cook meat. Inside their own homes! I've never seen one of these rooms myself.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:36 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


In the Boston area, Harvey is saying it's going to be as bad, if not worse, than Gloria was in the 1980s. I remember Gloria, and it was a lot of downed branches. Lots of picking up to do.
posted by bondcliff at 12:37 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


YES YES KITCHENS but ... if there is no power? So then you have 30lbs of slowly rotting meat in your apartment? I just.
posted by elizardbits at 12:38 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most of us have gas stoves.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:39 PM on August 26, 2011


Hurricanes are powerful and cause a lot of trouble. I mean, just at my work in a leafy suburb of Chicago, power was out for nearly a week while they tried to untangle the wires from the trees and replace transformers and such. There were something like 90,000 customers out of power for nearly a week, if memory serves. And that was just a thunderstorm, with no flooding.

Okay -- let me get the disclaimer out that I'm not trying to say that it will be nothing. But I think anticipating a city-wide blackout spanning a week is really expecting the worst, honestly. I've lived here for 20 years now, and seen 1 other hurricane, 2 tropical storms, 26 blizzards, a transit strike, 2 tornadoes, a blackout that covered the entire northeast corner of the United States, and a terrorist strike; and in all cases, Midtown Manhattan was up and running again within three days at most. Yeah, the outer boroughs were fucked, but Midtown Manhattan got plowed/pumped/rewired/cleaned up right quick.

In addition, I've also lived through Hurricane Gloria, which was similar to Irene in many ways; that did leave me without power for a week, but that was because I was living in a residential street out in the middle of the woods so far out on the very edge of a podunk town in Eastern Connecticut that we didn't even get wired for cable television until 1984. The infrastructure of New York City, even when damaged, is somewhat larger than that.

I'm not saying it could never ever ever happen in life, just that from what I understand of the power of this storm, and what I know of this city, a total system meltdown lasting more than a couple days seems to be a really unlikely thing to me, and hence, yes, I am confident that my current place of employ will be standing on Monday morning.

...Being prepared is all well and good, but we're not facing imminent Zombie Hordes here or anything.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:39 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a freezer full of lamb parts; should power fail, I'm gonna be making one BIG-ASS vat of confit!

I just went to Bed Bath and Beyond, where it was a total damn madhouse, to get backup batteries. "You don't have any D batteries, do you?" I asked. The man said, "Oh, we literally just got a shipment in." I followed him to the side of the store, where another employee had just opened up a cardboard box of them, and was handing them out like he was Santa Claus.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:39 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Most of us have gas stoves.

And ... gas powered fridges?
posted by elizardbits at 12:40 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


YES YES KITCHENS but ... if there is no power?

Many (most?) New Yorkers have gas stoves that work even if the electricity goes out. And if the gas mains break, they'll have bigger problems than rotting meat.
posted by Jahaza at 12:40 PM on August 26, 2011


Unless someone tells me that my neighborhood is in danger, I'm not doing anything, not stocking up on anything, and not wasting any energy on worrying. Nothing is going to happen.

Two things: 1. If you're at the stage where some authority figure is standing in your neighborhood, you're way, way beyond the point where you can prepare for anything. 2. Being prepared for disasters of any type isn't something you should do in response to news reporters freaking out. It's something you should do as a matter of course in how you live your life.
posted by odinsdream at 12:41 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


sigh.
posted by elizardbits at 12:41 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, good point. No. If the fridge goes out, I will be feasting on meat.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:41 PM on August 26, 2011


Melismata, I understand reaching the hurricane saturation point. I was born in FL and lived through tons of storms where the newsmen were all death and destruction and dire warnings about Not Being Prepared, and had the same attitude you did because every one had been a dud, and here I was in my thirties and nothing really bad had happened to us.

And then we had 4 hurricanes in six weeks that devastated the state. If we had not had excellent evacuation plans, the President on speed-dial because his brother was our Governor, and FEMA ready to go, it would have been even worse. My family's home was without power for about ten days, but that was nothing. We went to my Mom's on the other coast, and when we came home we got a backup generator and made it through the worst of the 90+ degrees heat, the flooding and the mosquitoes. But I know people who were without homes for months because of Charlie, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne, who had blue FEMA tarpaulins where roofs used to be, and it *sucks*.

So keeping a few extra bottles of water, an emergency first aid kit and a good flashlight at least is not that tough a chore, and worth it in the long run, even if Irene is a "dud".
posted by misha at 12:42 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amen, EmpressCallipygos!
posted by Melismata at 12:44 PM on August 26, 2011


misha, I think melismata's point is that there's a difference between "being prepared" by making sure you've got water, a flashlight, and a first aid kit, and "being prepared" by packing the entire house into two small bags and fleeing for the top of a mountain because you're afraid that otherwise you'd be stuck in your house for two weeks living on pocket lint.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:45 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


So keeping a few extra bottles of water, an emergency first aid kit and a good flashlight at least is not that tough a chore, and worth it in the long run, even if Irene is a "dud".

Hell, that's my normal state of affairs and I don't even live in hurricane country. Having some basic emergency supplies is just good practice. Because I don't think there is anywhere in the world where you don't have to worry about some kind of potential weather/ seismic/ fire/ alien invasion sort of emergency affecting you.

I'd also add "pocket-knife" or "multitool" to the list. There are just too many times I've found having one on hand really useful, even if it's just to open up food in the dark of a power failure without having to hunt around for a pair of scissors.
posted by quin at 12:48 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The stores have already run out of pocket lint.
posted by bondcliff at 12:48 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


No, her point was that she's doing nothing to prepare. That's exactly what she said, and that is foolish.
posted by rollbiz at 12:49 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I cleared out my freezer so I don't loose too much if the power fails (and I needed to do that ANYWAY) and I picked up a french press cause I needed to ANYWAY and I got some matches for lighting my (wonderful wonderful) gas stove. I am pret.

Also, Evac order or Zone A? Huh.
posted by The Whelk at 12:49 PM on August 26, 2011


EmpressCallipygos: " I'm not saying it could never ever ever happen in life, just that from what I understand of the power of this storm, and what I know of this city, a total system meltdown lasting more than a couple days seems to be a really unlikely thing to me, and hence, yes, I am confident that my current place of employ will be standing on Monday morning."

Mine too. The question I have is whether those of us who lived in those "fucked" boroughs will be able to reach it.
posted by zarq at 12:50 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The stores have already run out of pocket lint.

As long as they still have Chef Boyardee and Cap'n Crunch.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:50 PM on August 26, 2011


In Baltimore, not doing anything special. But that is because I always have water, a couple weeks of preserved food, a camp stove, weather radio, flashlights everywhere, etc. Maybe I'm paranoid, but it is easier and cheaper to gather this stuff ahead of time.

The person upthread who had the advice including the pile had a bunch of gems.
posted by QIbHom at 12:51 PM on August 26, 2011


I am also doing nothing to prepare for this storm. But I live in California so there's that.
posted by Justinian at 12:52 PM on August 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


Time to panic. My dealer is dry.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:52 PM on August 26, 2011 [11 favorites]


Just got off the phone with my parents, who live in Morehead City, NC, and apparently evacuated yesterday. It was good to hear, but I find their choice to evacuate in their travel trailer to be a little less than encouraging; they're going to be in Greensboro, so they should be fine, but I'd really rather they not be in a "building" that an F-150 can drag down the road.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:53 PM on August 26, 2011


This is very important - we might not have internet access for almost half a day

I fear for my people
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on August 26, 2011 [12 favorites]


Time to panic. My dealer is dry.

Can you imagine how busy they are right now?
posted by The Whelk at 12:54 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


NOOOO NOOOOO ANYTHIIIIING BUT THAAAAAAAAAAAAT
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:54 PM on August 26, 2011


The question I have is whether those of us who lived in those "fucked" boroughs will be able to reach it.

Which is precisely why I was grumbling about the subway system being out on Monday, which is what prompted spitbull to opine that I should be more worried whether I had a job to go to on Monday or even Tuesday or Wednesday in the first place. Which I think is where you came in.

Ta-dah!

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:54 PM on August 26, 2011


Gee, maybe we should have buried the power lines.
posted by smackfu at 12:54 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


It has just occurred to me that any potential power outages might prevent me from watching True Blood this weekend.

brb panic and cry.
posted by elizardbits at 12:54 PM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


but we're not facing imminent Zombie Hordes here or anything.

Maybe not this time, but if anybody needs training for this, there is some upcoming in Maryland in October.
posted by cashman at 12:54 PM on August 26, 2011


Speaking of important things in NYC, I have tix to the US Open on Monday night.
posted by smackfu at 12:55 PM on August 26, 2011



It has just occurred to me that any potential power outages might prevent me from watching True Blood this weekend.


THE HURRICANE IS PUNISHMENT FOR THAT LAST EPISODE WHAT IS THIS THE WOMAN KING SHIT?
posted by The Whelk at 12:55 PM on August 26, 2011


Candy is non perishable and so is bourbon so I'm in a good place right now.
posted by The Whelk at 12:56 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


The exact conversation went like this. "Sup bro, I need six tickets" "It be till after 5 mang" "ummm ok after 5 is good" "This guy , he no call me back. Let me call and see whats up, I give you call"
posted by Ad hominem at 12:57 PM on August 26, 2011


I just went to Bed Bath and Beyond, where it was a total damn madhouse, to get backup batteries. "You don't have any D batteries, do you?" I asked. The man said, "Oh, we literally just got a shipment in." I followed him to the side of the store, where another employee had just opened up a cardboard box of them, and was handing them out like he was Santa Claus.

Ironically they were buying the D batteries to throw at a guy dressed up like Santa Claus. HAPPY FOOTBALL SEASON, EVERYONE!
posted by mintcake! at 12:59 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The question I have is whether those of us who lived in those "fucked" boroughs will be able to reach it.

The upside to living in Greenpoint is that there will be literally no discernible difference between post-hurricane unpowered wasteland and how the G train normally runs
posted by Greg Nog at 12:59 PM on August 26, 2011 [16 favorites]


I have family in Portsmouth RI that do not seem worried. They are being stupid, right? Any RI people on here?
posted by futz at 1:00 PM on August 26, 2011


psst, the G train is an urban legend.
posted by The Whelk at 1:00 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


6 tickets for after 5? Shit, I can get you a baker's dozen season passes for noon, sharp!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:01 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: " Which is precisely why I was grumbling about the subway system being out on Monday, which is what prompted spitbull to opine that I should be more worried whether I had a job to go to on Monday or even Tuesday or Wednesday in the first place. Which I think is where you came in."

Ah! I missed that. Thanks. :)

People done lost their damned minds at Duane Reade on 6th and 56th. I went in for a bottle of juice a few minutes ago and was nearly knocked down.
posted by zarq at 1:01 PM on August 26, 2011


Does anyone know if Crumbs still has provisions?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:02 PM on August 26, 2011


Grocery Report from Washington Heights

Lots of water has been sold but most of the jugs are gone (from the few stores I checked). Most of the flashlights are gone from the big stores. Batteries are running low, as well as shipping tape and tub stoppers. Lines aren't too bad in grocery stores but are pretty long in drug stores.
posted by Stynxno at 1:03 PM on August 26, 2011


elizardbits: "running low on cereals and hamburger meat

I am confused and concerned as to exactly what NYCers think they are going to do with all that meat this weekend. WORST COOKOUT EVER.
"

I will note for the record that my Old Man grilled hamburgers and hot dogs on the front porch of our home facing Raritan Bay in tropical storm conditions. On a hibachi. A tropical storm means no cookout? On my kid's birthday? Bull—shit! (With apologies to Patton Oswalt [NSFW])

I still call him when I grill in adverse weather conditions, Hiya, Dad. Yeah, it's a blizzard. You're god damned right I'm grilling burgers.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:04 PM on August 26, 2011 [19 favorites]


Lines aren't too bad in grocery stores but are pretty long in drug stores.

So normal for NYC drug stores! Ba-dump-CHING
posted by Jahaza at 1:06 PM on August 26, 2011


So, isn't NYC's water fed by a natural aquifer? Why the mad rush for water specifically?
posted by odinsdream at 1:06 PM on August 26, 2011


hmm... that could have been better punctuated.
posted by Jahaza at 1:07 PM on August 26, 2011


Google Crisis Response
posted by The Whelk at 1:07 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Zarq, that's a block away from me and I kept going in there this morning, thinking of picking some stuff up and then re-thinking about it after considering lugging it all the way home on the subway. It was calm all morning.
posted by Brainy at 1:07 PM on August 26, 2011


So, isn't NYC's water fed by a natural aquifer? Why the mad rush for water specifically?

If you live above the fifth floor (and lots of people in NYC do), your water is fed by an electric pump. No electricity... no water.
posted by Jahaza at 1:08 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


People where told to stock up on Bottled water so everyone is getting JUGS of ir. Me? I'm filling up my pots and pans. I had a pantry full of canned goods to begin with and 4 gallons jugs I keep around JUST FOR THIS SITUATION. Also to mix stuff in.
posted by The Whelk at 1:09 PM on August 26, 2011


I literally forgot I had a number of 7-gallon food-grade buckets in the basement until Greg Nog mentioned homebrewing. So, thanks for that. I am going to fill them with water. Although I might mix cocktails in the bottling bucket.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:10 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


So glad I have one of these! Filling it up tonight!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:11 PM on August 26, 2011


I wish I could remember if we lost our water in 2003 when we lost power for 48 hours during Isabel. I remember we couldn't drink it for a week...I'm just concerned about the flushing. THE FLUSHING. (Yes, I'm stockpiling water. Borrowed two empty water cooler jugs from work, contemplating taking another, going to fill the tub.)
posted by JoanArkham at 1:11 PM on August 26, 2011


KITCHEN WIZARDS LAUGH AT YOUR PURCHASING OF POLAND SPRING.
posted by The Whelk at 1:11 PM on August 26, 2011


It's times like these when people with slight hoarding tendencies really shine. *goes to kitchen, strokes jars and jugs full of tap water*
posted by oinopaponton at 1:13 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is where me being the laziest recycler comes in handy as I have about half a dozen empty gallon water jugs next to the fridge.
posted by elizardbits at 1:13 PM on August 26, 2011


I have family in Portsmouth RI that do not seem worried. They are being stupid, right?

Quite possibly. Some nearby areas (North Kingstown east of rt. 1, for example) have just had mandatory evac orders issued. Not a lot of land in Portsmouth, and nowhere to go if things do get hairy. You can find some info here.

I'm sure Newport will open a shelter if they haven't already...
posted by rollbiz at 1:15 PM on August 26, 2011


I skipped the water and bought every bottle of unsweetened gold peak tea the store had.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:16 PM on August 26, 2011


Thank you rollbiz...I know you must be busy!
posted by futz at 1:17 PM on August 26, 2011


Nice map, Whelk. Man, I'm really worried about friends on Hatteras now--it looks like the predicted track is going to plow right up the sound and wash everything out to sea. I read the FPP post on the blue about tsunami danger on the west coast just to feel better.
posted by Mngo at 1:19 PM on August 26, 2011


Brainy: "Zarq, that's a block away from me and I kept going in there this morning, thinking of picking some stuff up and then re-thinking about it after considering lugging it all the way home on the subway. It was calm all morning."

Well, it seems to have been taken over by freaked-out people this afternoon. At least while I was there.

Person who tried to shove past me on that little one-person-wide escalator got quite an earful.
posted by zarq at 1:19 PM on August 26, 2011


I skipped the water and bought every bottle of unsweetened gold peak tea the store had.

What a horribly wasteful way to manually flush your No. 2's. Some people just roll mad large, I guess.
posted by jbickers at 1:20 PM on August 26, 2011 [13 favorites]


So glad I have one of these! Filling it up tonight!

....You've just reminded me that I have a ten-gallon capacity camping shower that I"m sure I could repurpose for drinking water storage. Perfect!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:23 PM on August 26, 2011


rather then all this focus on bucket flushing maybe we should all take this time to have a nice long 48-hour fast.
posted by The Whelk at 1:23 PM on August 26, 2011


Not that I'm worried about losing water (town water, stored in a big-ass tank on the highest point in town) but about four years ago, during the post-Katrina "prepare for emergencies" thing, I put together an emergency kit with a couple weeks food and a couple cases of bottled water. Any idea how long bottled water lasts? Obviously it's not going to go bad but will the plastic have leeched into the water by now, turning me into some sort of Hulk/Human superhero should I drink it?
posted by bondcliff at 1:30 PM on August 26, 2011


I wouldn't worry about the old bottled water. No need to make it a habit, though.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:31 PM on August 26, 2011


Actually, let me recommend reading that tsunami thread simultaneously with this one. Some of it is technical discussion of faults and basins and stuff (a lot less than we're talking about storm surge and barometric pressure), but there's a significant theme on disaster preparedness, "go bags" and the usual--but the tone is completely different. Hypothetical vs. getting realer. (And east coast vs. west coast, as if the US population of Mefi split; what thread are midwesterners in today?)
posted by Mngo at 1:33 PM on August 26, 2011


If you're concerned about being able to flush your toilet after the storm strikes, then you can prepare ahead of time by filling up one of the bathtubs in your house with water, and drawing from that with a bucket. No need to buy extra containers, or waste potable water on it (not that tub water isn't potable, but I don't really know how often you clean your tub).
posted by codacorolla at 1:35 PM on August 26, 2011


There is absolutely no good reason for people to not have flashlights at several strategic locations in their lives.

I try, but I think my wife eats them or something. Torches go into the house and then vanish.
posted by rodgerd at 1:37 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


what thread are midwesterners in today

They're being spun around in a torando of cream of mushroom soup-based hot dishes.
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also one of my flashlights is an LED sonic screwdriver so one part of me really wants the power to go out.
posted by The Whelk at 1:38 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


What's the etiquette for asking your evacuee guests to help out with food and booze rations?
posted by oinopaponton at 2:34 PM on August 26 [+] [!]

"Dearest friends, you are welcome to join us for this event. We do need you to bring your own water/snacks/games/bedding, because we were not expecting company. Thanks!"

smackfu: "So how blowable is a heavy metal patio chair and table set? Does that need actual hurricane force winds to do something? (Because I think we actually put it together on the patio, so... not sure what our options are.)"


Very blowable. And because they're heavy they break things on impact. Now would be a very good time, please, to start disassembling that patio set. When it becomes airborne (in even "light" tropical storm winds), best case scenario is it lands on someone's car. Slightly worse, it goes through a patio door. Much worse, it goes through a patio door and into the person standing in the living room.

At the very least, flip the table upside down and put the chairs on top of it so the surface of the table doesn't act like a big sail in the wind.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:00 PM on August 26 [4 favorites +] [!]

For Christ's sake, do not do this. The wind will pick the chairs up one by one, and then grab the table. That's 5 missiles. Get it all in the house. If you're lucky and you have a pool, you can dump it all in there, but I promise you'll be refinishing the pool bottom (ask me how I know...I dare you.)
posted by bilabial at 1:43 PM on August 26, 2011


Think I'll be stuck riding this one out on Long Island. I'll keep y'alls posted, as long as I still have power. (Just so long as I can catch the new Doctor Who before the power goes out! My priorities, they are wrong.)
posted by pemberkins at 1:43 PM on August 26, 2011


I'm in Middle Tennessee, so I'm out of the way of both hypothetical tsunamis and very real hurricanes (if it misses can we call it a hurr-durricane?), so I have to say, if someone could start a thread on the New Madrid Seismic Zone I would feel a lot more included.

No, really. Stay safe everyone. Please, please, please listen to your better instincts: keep water and lights handy, and buddy up with friends. I'm holding all my East Coast Mefites in the light.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:50 PM on August 26, 2011


I am kind of freaking out here because my grandmother and several relatives live in South Jersey. Is there a map of the evacuation areas?
posted by bq at 1:53 PM on August 26, 2011


It's really difficult to cook by flashlight, so those of you buying meat and planning to cook it on your gas stoves might be sorely disappointed in the results. Get soup, that's hard to fuck up.
posted by desjardins at 1:55 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Headlamps are key. Everyone should own one.
posted by bondcliff at 1:55 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


bq, no map but here's a list.
posted by rollbiz at 1:56 PM on August 26, 2011


Current NOAA projections (8 am EST today) for the New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey area and above still indicating less than a 10% chance of hurricane force winds for the next 5 days and less than 30% chance they will hit 58 mph in the next 5 days. Irene is now category 2 and NOAA is forecasting that Irene will weaken after it moves along the North Carolina coast this Saturday.

So it looks currently like North Carolina and Virginia are likely to get a lot of wind but above that , not too much really. Coastal flooding in low lying areas will probably be the worst of it in those regions. Weather is always subject to change of course but right now those are the forecasts.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:59 PM on August 26, 2011


thankfully MY kitchen is covered in biolumeniscent mushrooms.
posted by The Whelk at 2:01 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poet_Lariat, those predictions have changed dramatically since 8am.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:01 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lines aren't too bad in grocery stores but are pretty long in drug stores.

Fuck. I remembered to buy everything EXCEPT face moisturizer.
posted by hermitosis at 2:01 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


what thread are midwesterners in today

We're here, keeping our fingers crossed for our families back east. Very glad Grandma left the Buzzard's Bay house this past weekend.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:02 PM on August 26, 2011


bq: "I am kind of freaking out here because my grandmother and several relatives live in South Jersey. Is there a map of the evacuation areas?"

It's already been linked several times, but Google's 2011 Hurricane Season Crisis App has added several useful features including links to Red Cross evacuation centers with live counts of capacity and current residents.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:03 PM on August 26, 2011


From Twitter:

BREAKING: @NY1weather now reporting that if rain from a hurricane touches your skin, then YOU become a hurricane. #staysafe #Irene
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on August 26, 2011 [11 favorites]


Current NOAA projections (8 am EST today) for the New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey area and above still indicating less than a 10% chance of hurricane force winds for the next 5 days and less than 30% chance they will hit 58 mph in the next 5 days.

This is going to make me sound like a total jerk (and I don't even want to!), but don't try to read NOAA projections unless you know what you're doing, and definitely don't use them to convince others not to prepare. Please pay attention to the Watches and Warnings, they are meant for more general consumption.
posted by j.edwards at 2:06 PM on August 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


rollbiz, thanks! They are not in the danger zone.
posted by bq at 2:09 PM on August 26, 2011


Apparently, nobody in New York has a two-day supply of food in their apartments.
posted by The Whelk at 2:12 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: "In addition, I've also lived through Hurricane Gloria, which was similar to Irene in many ways; that did leave me without power for a week, but that was because I was living in a residential street out in the middle of the woods so far out on the very edge of a podunk town in Eastern Connecticut that we didn't even get wired for cable television until 1984."

Again, I've already said I don't think anyone should panic, just be prepared. Newspeople tend to go overboard on their dire predictions.

But just for a little reality check: when Gloria hit Connecticut, it was low tide so the storm surge was not really a factor, there was a moderate precipitation rate of only about 6 inches, and the winds peaked at 83 miles an hour, which is nothing, really; at that point it was basically a Category 1 hurricane.

And yet you lost power for a week and, though you downplay that, apparently so did 699,000 other Connecticut residents. From what was, honestly, a wimpy storm as far as hurricanes go, you ended up with 7 dead in Connecticut.

The only season I've really considered a bad one in Florida was the one I mentioned before, in 2004, in which we had 4 hurricanes hit us within just 6 weeks. Three of those four hurricanes had at least 115 mph sustained winds.

So, with all due respect, you really don't have any experience with what a serious hurricane could do.
posted by misha at 2:13 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


roomthreeseventeen:Poet_Lariat, those predictions have changed dramatically since 8am.
posted by


No, they haven't changed since then. Those were the latest predictions at the time that I wrote the post from NOAA. I am now looking at the 2pm predictions and they are essentially the same.

You can use the link in my post and look for yourself if you wish to. I prefer to get my weather from NOAA because, as a commercially rated pilot of 25 years I know that there is no better or more up to date source for such things.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:18 PM on August 26, 2011


Oh, and it is outdated now but still gorgeous: Hurricane Irene picture from the International Space Station (August 22nd).
posted by misha at 2:19 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Time to panic. My dealer is dry.

Call me, I got the latest X-Men and Avengers at good prices.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:23 PM on August 26, 2011


Poet_Lariat, I have no clue where you are getting that from. Here is NOAA's Public Advisory on Hurricane Irene. Issued at 5:00.
posted by misha at 2:24 PM on August 26, 2011


Poet_Lariat: " No, they haven't changed since then. Those were the latest predictions at the time that I wrote the post from NOAA. I am now looking at the 2pm predictions and they are essentially the same."

But not the 5pm ones. Emphasis mine:

000
WTNT34 KNHC 262047
TCPAT4

BULLETIN
HURRICANE IRENE ADVISORY NUMBER 26
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092011
500 PM EDT FRI AUG 26 2011

...LARGE HURRICANE IRENE HEADING TOWARD THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES...HURRICANE WARNING EXTENDED NORTHWARD INTO SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND....


SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...31.7N 77.4W
ABOUT 265 MI...425 KM SSW OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH...160 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...951 MB...28.08 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES IN WATCHES AND WARNINGS WITH THIS ADVISORY...

A HURRICANE WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM NORTH OF SANDY HOOK TO
SAGAMORE BEACH MASSACHUSETTS...INCLUDING NEW YORK CITY...LONG
ISLAND...LONG ISLAND SOUND...COASTAL CONNECTICUT AND RHODE ISLAND...
BLOCK ISLAND...MARTHAS VINEYARD AND NANTUCKET.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM NORTH OF SAGAMORE
BEACH TO THE MOUTH OF THE MERRIMACK RIVER.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM THE MOUTH OF THE
MERRIMACK RIVER TO EASTPORT MAINE.


SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* LITTLE RIVER INLET NORTH CAROLINA NORTHWARD TO SAGAMORE BEACH
MASSACHUSETTS...INCLUDING THE PAMLICO...ALBEMARLE...AND CURRITUCK
SOUNDS...DELAWARE BAY...CHESAPEAKE BAY SOUTH OF DRUM POINT...NEW
YORK CITY...LONG ISLAND...LONG ISLAND SOUND...COASTAL CONNECTICUT
AND RHODE ISLAND...BLOCK ISLAND...MARTHAS VINEYARD AND NANTUCKET.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* NORTH OF EDISTO BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA TO LITTLE RIVER INLET
* CHESAPEAKE BAY FROM DRUM POINT NORTHWARD AND THE TIDAL POTOMAC
* NORTH OF SAGAMORE BEACH TO MERRIMACK RIVER

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* MERRIMACK RIVER TO EASTPORT MAINE

INTERESTS IN SOUTHEASTERN CANADA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF
IRENE.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY
YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE IRENE WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 31.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 77.4 WEST. IRENE IS MOVING
TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/H. A TURN TOWARD THE
NORTH-NORTHEAST IS EXPECTED TONIGHT OR EARLY SATURDAY. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK...THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE WILL APPROACH THE COAST
OF NORTH CAROLINA TONIGHT AND PASS NEAR OR OVER THE NORTH CAROLINA
COAST ON SATURDAY. THE HURRICANE IS FORECAST TO MOVE NEAR OR OVER
THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST SATURDAY NIGHT AND MOVE OVER SOUTHERN NEW
ENGLAND ON SUNDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 100 MPH...160 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. IRENE IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
HURRICANE WIND SCALE. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST BEFORE
IRENE REACHES THE COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA. SOME WEAKENING IS
EXPECTED AFTER THAT...BUT IRENE IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN A HURRICANE
AS IT MOVES ALONG THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST ON SUNDAY.


IRENE IS A LARGE TROPICAL CYCLONE. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND
OUTWARD UP TO 90 MILES...150 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL
STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 290 MILES...465 KM. NOAA
BUOY 41013 LOCATED ABOUT 40 MILES SOUTHEAST OF SOUTHPORT NORTH
CAROLINA RECENTLY REPORTED A SUSTAINED WIND OF 46 MPH...75 KM/H...
AND A GUST TO 60 MPH...96 KM/H.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 951 MB...28.08 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS WILL SPREAD OVER THE SOUTHERN
PORTION OF THE WARNING AREA DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS. HURRICANE
FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO FIRST REACH THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA
OVERNIGHT TONIGHT. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN
ALONG THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST OVERNIGHT WITH HURRICANE CONDITIONS
EXPECTED BY SATURDAY AFTERNOON. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED TO REACH SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND SATURDAY NIGHT WITH
HURRICANE CONDITIONS EXPECTED ON SUNDAY.

STORM SURGE...AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER
LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 6 TO 11 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL IN THE
HURRICANE WARNING AREA IN NORTH CAROLINA...INCLUDING THE ALBEMARLE
AND PAMLICO SOUNDS. STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH
AS 4 TO 8 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA
FROM THE NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER NORTHWARD TO CAPE COD
INCLUDING SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND ITS
TRIBUTARIES. NEAR THE COAST...THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY
LARGE...DESTRUCTIVE...AND LIFE-THREATENING WAVES. STORM SURGE
VALUES ARE VERY LOCATION-SPECIFIC...AND USERS ARE URGED TO CONSULT
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY THEIR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES.

RAINFALL...IRENE IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF
6 TO 10 INCHES...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES...FROM
EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA NORTHWARD THROUGH THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES
INTO NEW ENGLAND THROUGH MONDAY MORNING. THESE RAINS COULD
CAUSE WIDESPREAD FLOODING AND LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS.


SURF...LARGE SWELLS GENERATED BY IRENE ARE AFFECTING PORTIONS OF THE
COAST OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. THESE SWELLS WILL CAUSE
LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENT CONDITIONS.

TORNADOES...ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER EXTREME EASTERN
NORTH CAROLINA LATE TONIGHT AND SATURDAY.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...800 PM EDT.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 PM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/CANGIALOSI


Hurricanes are unpredictable. Suggest you don't try to give anyone a sense of security, false or otherwise. Better they prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised that they've survived.
posted by zarq at 2:25 PM on August 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


*waves to Misha*
posted by zarq at 2:25 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


*grins at zarq*
posted by misha at 2:26 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


misha:Poet_Lariat, I have no clue where you are getting that from. Here is NOAA's Public Advisory on Hurricane Irene.

Misha - Did you actually look at the two links I posted? If so then you would know that I am getting that info directly from NOAA's national Hurricane Center. The links go to charts and the charts are pretty simple and give wind projections for the next 1 to 5 days. Pretty simple to read and they are much more specific than the general Hurricane watch warnings.

Check out the links in my post :)

zarq: We're talking apples and oranges here. I am simply pointing you to the NOAA charts that indicate projected winds speeds over various areas. You are taking about a completely different product.

And to whoever it was that mentioned that I shouldn't be interpreting charts because I'm apparently not being scary enough all I can say is that the charts are out there and frankly should be easily understood by anyone. As for myself , I am a commercially rated pilot and have been trained and tested in interpreting various NOAA products as well as basic weather interpretation and forecasting - as is every pilot. Commercial pilots get additional instruction and testing. But you don;t need any of that to interpret the charts that I linked to . It's just a basic wind speed forecast map color coded over various areas. All one has to do is click and look .
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:35 PM on August 26, 2011


We're gonna need a longer boat...
posted by Mngo at 2:36 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]



Call me, I got the latest X-Men and Avengers at good prices.

Those new strands will fuck. you. up.
posted by The Whelk at 2:41 PM on August 26, 2011


Hurricanes are unpredictable.

Actually the NWS predicts them quite well. This isn't a Ouija board - it's science. With that said things can always change which is why NWS and NOAA update their predictions every few hours as of right now - these are the windspeed predictions from NOAA for 74mph winds and 58 mph winds over the next 5 days. North Carolina and Virginia are still predicted to take the bulk and everything N.J. and above aren't likely to see any Hurricane force wind action. That's what NOAA is currently saying.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:42 PM on August 26, 2011


oh my god, westside market was like the sack of constantinople. a toddler punched me in the face and made my nose bleed and when I screamed OW FUCK the toddler's kid brother bit me on the knee and yelled INSIDE VOICES.
posted by elizardbits at 2:43 PM on August 26, 2011 [49 favorites]


Eh, you never can be sure about these things. When Hurricane Rita was on track to hit my town everyone was pretty paranoid after Katrina. There was a mass exodus out of the city, with horrible hundred mile long traffic jams (more people died in the evacuation than the actual storm).

My wife and I said to heck with that noise and just stayed at home, cooked a lot of the perishable food, and made a pillow fort in the hall. Rita took a right turn just before landfall. While some small towns got hit pretty hard, the city was spared and the worst that happened was our welcome mat got blown into the street and the cable TV was off for like two minutes.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:44 PM on August 26, 2011


hyperbole elizardbits?
posted by Brainy at 2:46 PM on August 26, 2011


NOT EVEN A LITTLE
posted by elizardbits at 2:46 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Apparently old UWS women are just orcs in disguise.
posted by The Whelk at 2:46 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thats what I was afraid of!
posted by Brainy at 2:47 PM on August 26, 2011


Oh This is an interesting product as well for those who are worried about storm surges. NOAA Storm Surge predictions for the next 3 days . You can zoom right in on your area (google maps) and see that the surge forecast is for different feet of surge. Again, always best to check in on such a product every 12 hours because predictions change .
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:47 PM on August 26, 2011


Plenty of supplies on 86th St. in Bensonhurst, guys. I just stocked up: crank radio, water, food, flashlights, batteries.
posted by griphus at 2:48 PM on August 26, 2011


Did we already establish whether this is the 14th street Westside Market or the one by Columbia?

14th St. used to be my local. I'd see Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon in there. Those were good days.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:48 PM on August 26, 2011


It's just a basic wind speed forecast map color coded over various areas. All one has to do is click and look .

Do you really believe that there's a literally zero percent chance of New England receiving hurricane-force winds in the next 120 hours?

The map represents the probability of such winds at each individual point of the map -- imagine throwing darts at a board. The odds of hitting any individual point are low, but the odds of hitting the dartboard itself are quite good (unless you're me).

Regardless, it doesn't matter, because decisions about how to prepare and behave should not be made using the wind speed probability maps.

North Carolina and Virginia are still predicted to take the bulk and everything N.J. and above aren't likely to see any Hurricane force wind action. That's what NOAA is currently saying.

No, it's not, because they've issued a Hurricane Warning for a much larger region including New York, Long Island and Long Island Sound, and much of coastal southern New England.
posted by j.edwards at 2:50 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Poet_Lariat: " zarq: We're talking apples and oranges here. I am simply pointing you to the NOAA charts that indicate projected winds speeds over various areas. You are taking about a completely different product."

Windspeed projections are not going to warn anyone about potential flooding, damage, potential power outages or anything else. Thanks, but I'll take the more in depth prediction, which actually tells me the things I need to know to protect my family.
posted by zarq at 2:50 PM on August 26, 2011


j.edwards: " Regardless, it doesn't matter, because decisions about how to prepare and behave should not be made using the wind speed probability maps. "

Yes exactly.
posted by zarq at 2:50 PM on August 26, 2011


the savage toddler westside market is indeed the 14th & 7th one. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

voldemort goes to my gym, but alas never in his death eater robes
posted by elizardbits at 2:51 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Columbia one was exactly like that, except it was old people instead of toddlers.
posted by oinopaponton at 2:53 PM on August 26, 2011


Do you really believe that there's a literally zero percent chance of New England receiving hurricane-force winds in the next 120 hours?

Doesn't matter what I believe or you believe. It maters what NOAA/NWS meteorologists forecast. Those are the guys that I trust . Every time I go flying I put my life in their hands and so far it;s been a good bet.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:54 PM on August 26, 2011


I kinda wish there were more non-New Yorkers on this thread. It's lonely, being a Virginian on MeFi.
posted by Tarumba at 2:56 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Of the flight instruments listed below, which could be affected by a vacuum failure? (Assume no back-up systems.)
a. Altimeter
b. Airspeed indicator
c. Heading indicator
d. Both b and c
posted by clavdivs at 2:56 PM on August 26, 2011


Doesn't matter what I believe or you believe. It maters what NOAA/NWS meteorologists forecast. Those are the guys that I trust . Every time I go flying I put my life in their hands and so far it;s been a good bet.

It matters what you believe because your beliefs are causing you to draw incorrect conclusions from the data. The NOAA meteorologists, however, have drawn the conclusion from the data that a Hurricane Warning is necessary in New York. I'm on their side.
posted by j.edwards at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: "the savage toddler westside market is indeed the 14th & 7th one. PROCEED WITH CAUTION. "

This is what every market manager needs. Bands of crazed toddlers roaming the place, demanding blankies, sippy cups with juice, toys, cookies and biting anyone who gets in their way.

UNLEASH THE TODDLERS!
posted by zarq at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Doesn't matter what I believe or you believe

Whatever, but as long as they're not panicking people shouldn't be discouraged from precaution.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


And yet all the professionals in charge of making sure that no one dies, who have access to the same exact info you have, are being far more cautious with their warnings. Surely you can understand that their words are going to carry a lot more weight with everyone.
posted by elizardbits at 2:58 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Poet_Lariat: " It maters what NOAA/NWS meteorologists forecast. "

Apparently not, because you're dismissing their forecast in favor of your own interpretation of the data.
posted by zarq at 3:00 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


It matters what you believe because your beliefs are causing you to draw incorrect conclusions from the data.

There are no conclusions to be drawn. It's what NOAA is saying. NOAA is (currently) predicting less tan a 10% chance of Hurricane force winds anywhere above the tip of New Jersey. After looking at that chart , please tell me why you believe that NOAAs forecast is wrong and perhaps I will understand your position better.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:02 PM on August 26, 2011


If you're not overreacting, you're not really living, man.
posted by oinopaponton at 3:04 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poet_Lariat: From your link, I note that it says:

"It is important for users to realize that wind speed probabilities that might seem relatively small at their location might still be quite significant, since they indicate that there is a chance that a damaging or even extreme event could occur that warrants preparations to protect lives and property."
posted by adrianhon at 3:05 PM on August 26, 2011


please tell me why you believe that NOAAs forecast is wrong and perhaps I will understand your position better.

Because it is a FUCKING FORECAST, not a time machine.
posted by clavdivs at 3:09 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


adrianhon: of course :) I'm just talking about one single thing at the moment: wind speed forecasts. I've lived in Tahoe where 80-100mph thunderstorms occurred pretty much every summer and nothing happened and I've lived in Santa Cruz mountains where 50mph shut down everyone;s electricity for several days (downed lines). Of course it's all relative.

But the storm surge forecast and wind speed forecasts, in context with everything else, help you to make reasonable decisions for your area .
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:11 PM on August 26, 2011


Yeah, and as the owner of a time machine, let me tell you all; the storm is not something you want to ignore. (Though the real damage is going to come in about two weeks when the parkor penguin army that used the hurricane as cover to sneak ashore finally reveals itself.)
posted by quin at 3:12 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just stocked up: crank radio

I'm glad you're prepared now, but in the future, you should try to keep at least 7-8 episodes of Coast To Coast AM on-hand at all times.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:14 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


I have this reoccurring image of a family sound dead after the power goes out and all they have are scented candles and they die cause all the oxygen has been replaced with Peace Vanilla Orchard Surprise.
posted by The Whelk at 3:14 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Because it is a FUCKING FORECAST, not a time machine.

LOL ... I think that I know where you are coming from. You should be aware that the foecast provided by NWS/NOAA products is a substantially different animal than the "forecast" from your local news station where the weatherperson is (almost always) neither a meteorologist, trained in interpreting NWS products nor has access to super-computers and PhD level scientists who create NOAA/NWS forecasts and models

The general public learns to distrust forecasts because of local news knobs ... pilots and mariners learn to rely on NWS/NOAA forecasts for their lives. Two different animals :)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:17 PM on August 26, 2011


I kinda wish there were more non-New Yorkers on this thread. It's lonely, being a Virginian on MeFi.
posted by Tarumba at 5:56 PM on August 26 [+] [!]


This Virginian is busy getting ready. Gotta have bacon and french toast and bacon-topped pork chops to eat. Plus it's entertaining to hear about the NY hordes since I don't have to be out in it :o)
posted by bluesapphires at 3:22 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's lonely, being a Virginian on MeFi.

Don't worry, you'll find someone special someday!
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:23 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I checked on my elderly relatives in NJ and Long Island, they seem to be set. This isn't their first hurricane but they're not kids anymore.
posted by tommasz at 3:23 PM on August 26, 2011


What are the odds of businesses in Brooklyn (Cobble Hill / Park Slope / etc.) being open tomorrow? I'd assume that a lot of stores will be closed just due to the early MTA shutdown, but wondered if some local businesses will probably be open tomorrow morning. Read: I'd love to buy some discounted fancy cheese or some other perishable goods and stretch my Hurricane Irene dollars

Also, what's the best hour-by-hour forecast? I'd be interested to know what the window might be for being out and about tomorrow.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 3:23 PM on August 26, 2011


What? Local yokels usually use NWS forecasts as the basis for their information.

It may be SCIENCE!, but modeling also involves a whole lot of guesswork. I may not be a commercial pilot but I was a Meteorology major FOR A WHOLE SEMESTER so I think I know what I'm talking about.
posted by Big_B at 3:24 PM on August 26, 2011


A picture from space.
posted by mareli at 3:24 PM on August 26, 2011


One of the finest resources on the web for panic-less Hurricane info is the Houston Chronicle's Eric Berger. He made an important point this morning about the accumulated rainfall the East Coast has seen in the last 30 days and the 3 day rainfall probability. (The chart on his blog has since been updated - here's the latest showing 14 inches of rain over New Jersey.)

As he says on his blog "For these reasons I believe the flooding damage from Irene will be far more significant than the damage from winds".

I went through T.S. Allison in Houston. Relatively minor winds and a shitload of rain. People died by doing stupid things - riding the elevator into the basement of the parking garage to get to their car or driving into standing water. Be sensible, stay safe, good luck.
posted by IanMorr at 3:25 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, what's the best hour-by-hour forecast?

This one comes direct from NOAA and is updated every 6 (??) hours or so. Forecasts don't get updated hourly from NWS. Every weather service or local news weather that you have ever heard takes it's feed from NWS products more or less.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:30 PM on August 26, 2011


Poet_Lariat: “The general public learns to distrust forecasts because of local news knobs ... pilots and mariners learn to rely on NWS/NOAA forecasts for their lives. Two different animals :)”

Weather in the sky and weather on the ground are very, very, very different things, particularly where oceans are involved. The NWS/NOAA was able to predict a lot of things (and should have been watched closer) but they were not able to predict the fact that the levees were topped during Katrina. Nor should they have; it's not their job.

Windspeed says a lot, but it's very, very hard to say how weather + ocean + cities of 60 million people will interact. That's why people are encouraging a certain level of caution; because, whereas the NWS/NOAA has indeed made great strides in weather prediction, to the point where pilots can put their lives in the hands of those services, there is simply no way to predict how this will impact the coast, what kind of damage it will cause, what will happen to the ocean, et cetera.
posted by koeselitz at 3:31 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I clicked through on the MSNBC link in the post, and found that the westernmost edge of the shading is currently running SW to NE right through the middle of Fairfax County, where I grew up. Everybody in Fairfax City, drive one exit west on 66 if you want to live!*

*Yes, I know this is not how hurricanes actually work.
posted by jocelmeow at 3:32 PM on August 26, 2011


This has surely been suggested somewhere upthread, but if not... FILL UP YOUR BATHTUB WITH WATER. For flushing the toilet and such.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:33 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


there is simply no way to predict how this will impact the coast, what kind of damage it will cause, what will happen to the ocean, et cetera.

I agree with a lot of what you are saying except for the above and the bit about weather in the sky and on the ground not being related. They are directly related and NOAA serves mariners who very much want to know what things will be like on the ground.

Of course no one knows what damage will happen in a given person's house or if a tree will fall on someone riding in a care somewhere but the NOAA storm surge prediction links I gave before can really give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of possible flooding. Is it likely going to be a 2 foot surge in your area or a 15 foot surge? NOAA can tell you that pretty accurately so you can make appropriate decisions.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:37 PM on August 26, 2011


RE: The Flushing - Wouldn't putting the water into the tank and then flushing work better to keep things "clean" versus just pouring it into the bowl? Would use more water I guess?

Just remembering back to a not-really-hilarious moment in Mexico when I first experienced the effects of bad water only to find that the nearest toilet was really more of a toilet sitting on the ground(on top of who knows what) with a big tank of water next to it and an assortment of buckets. On a pole behind the toilet there were pictograms describing how to put one bucket of water into the tank to flush. Good times. The ceviche was excellent however.
posted by Big_B at 3:40 PM on August 26, 2011


Does anyone happen to know a commercially rated pilot?
posted by joe lisboa at 3:41 PM on August 26, 2011 [10 favorites]


If there is a 10% chance of hurricane force winds, there is an even greater chance of almost-hurricane winds. It isn't binary, it's not hurricane or beautiful day. It doesn't mean there is a 90% chance everything will be fine.
posted by gjc at 3:42 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]




Does anyone happen to know a commercially rated pilot?
posted by joe lisboa at 3:41 PM on August 26 [+] [!]


Why?
posted by gjc at 3:45 PM on August 26, 2011


gjc: If you actually click on those links you will discover the 5 day forecast for 58 mph winds and 38mph winds as well.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:46 PM on August 26, 2011


for the lulz.
posted by elizardbits at 3:46 PM on August 26, 2011


I was just listening to some science guy or other on NPR talking about how, yes, they can certainly predict the track of these things with a much better degree of certainty than they could a decade ago. However, they still are admittedly blind about how the local conditions will be. So, wind, storm surge, rain, damage, apocalypse, dogs and cats marrying, etc is still a guessing game so it's maybe better to err on the side of precaution.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:48 PM on August 26, 2011


Ignore what I am about to write, because it's better to be safe than sorry. But having gone through a number of these, the current animations make me think it's going to go out to see farther than they forecasted. Their modeling never seemed to be too good at predicting the winding (like watching a curve ball move through the air). I remember a time when they said "the hurricane is going to location Y, not location X" and looking at the animation you could see the path developing that baseball curve and indeed going to location X. I started preparing, and sure enough, a couple days later they were all agog because here it came toward location x.

The dire warnings and service shutdowns may get made fun of and these people who stay in their places might trot that out and try to act like they are bad asses for staying, but just remember it is better to be safe than sorry. I do think this is going to be a lot less cataclysmic than expected, but that is a good thing. (as Horselover Phattie just said)
posted by cashman at 3:52 PM on August 26, 2011


It could rain cats and dogs or maybe just exotic tropical birds who got sucked into the eye of the storm and transported hundreds of miles. It supposedly does happen, some Audubon guy said so on NPR.
posted by mareli at 3:53 PM on August 26, 2011


out to see = out to sea

a sailor went to see see see to see what he could see see see but all that he could see see see was the bottom of the ocean sea sea sea
posted by cashman at 3:54 PM on August 26, 2011


gjc: If you actually click on those links you will discover the 5 day forecast for 58 mph winds and 38mph winds as well.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:46 PM on August 26 [+] [!]


Your sarcasm is not appreciated or helpful.
posted by gjc at 3:54 PM on August 26, 2011


dogs and cats marrying

I believe that is legal in New York now?
posted by desjardins at 3:55 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


The general public learns to distrust forecasts because of local news knobs ... pilots and mariners learn to rely on NWS/NOAA forecasts for their lives. Two different animals :)

My local paper and NOAA are buddies, they are rarely far off from another.

your full of $%^%, LOL.
posted by clavdivs at 3:58 PM on August 26, 2011


Hi, Tarumba! Greetings from Alexandria!
posted by easily confused at 4:10 PM on August 26, 2011

Jeffrey Rose, a clinical hypnotist strolling the beach dipping onion rings into guacamole,
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:15 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flashlights and batteries are good emergency preparations, as far they go. But older folk who live in hurricane country tend to keep a couple of hurricane lamps or railroad lanterns, and the oil and wicks for them, handy. They burn a long time on a little oil, they can be seen miles away for signaling purposes, and they cast a wide pool of usable light. If you can't get batteries in quantity to keep your flashlights burning 48 hours (about 6 nights worth of survival light), consider candles, or homemade vegtable oil lamps for general lighting, as it's a little late for folks in urban centers to be running down hurricane style oil lamps and petroleum or coal oil, for this emergency. A semi-modern analog, that is pretty good, is the white gasoline operated Coleman lantern, or the more modern variant, the propane operated lantern. Have extra silk mantles on hand for either of the latter, as a new set of silk mantles will burn about 16 hours, at a low setting, before burning through.

FWIW, a disaster preparedness class I attended a few years ago advised trying to identify unique, but central physical elements of your business structure, on the theory that those elements, and their interaction with natural elements of a disaster, might govern your ability to recover afterwards. With that advice in mind, what sticks out to me, for our friends in NYC, is that Manhattan is unusually dependent on elevators, subways, sidewalks, buses and taxi cabs, as well as a densely wired, mostly underground power grid. Thinking that 3 to 4 feet of storm surge and 8 inches or more of rain might happen in a 24 hour period, with attendant flooding, I'm thinking that a lot of NYC, above the 10th floor or so (or whatever the practical limit of energetic legs and hearts on staircases), might be hard to get to, for more than a few days after the storm goes through. We just don't have a lot of data about powerful cyclonic storms interacting directly with the kind of infrastructure that defines NYC.

But we've seen what can happen to less vertical, less dense urban environments with Andrew and Katrina, both of which were physically much smaller, if locally more intense storms. Here's hoping the Capital of the World dodges Irene's worst hypotheticals.
posted by paulsc at 4:18 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


In case anyone was wondering, the highest point of NYC is up in Washington Heights at Bennett Park, and not the NYPL in Bryant Park as certain dirty fibber filmmakers would have you believe.
posted by elizardbits at 4:21 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Snopes link from early in the thread provides this advice:

One last caution: If you stay in your home during a hurricane and the power goes out, do not light candles or gas or oil lanterns because of the potential for gas leaks from storm-damaged lines. Instead, use only flashlights or battery-powered lanterns during and after a storm until power is safely restored and all gas lines are checked.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:22 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


We just don't have a lot of data about powerful cyclonic storms interacting directly with the kind of infrastructure that defines NYC.

Wikipedia to the rescue!
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:23 PM on August 26, 2011


alas, but the link 'tis borked.
posted by elizardbits at 4:24 PM on August 26, 2011


Wikipedia to the rescue! (fixed)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:27 PM on August 26, 2011


Washington Heights at Bennett Park

That's why Washington built his fort there. We're enjoying the no-evac thing over there.
posted by Stynxno at 4:29 PM on August 26, 2011


hurricane party at Stynxno's house you guys!

BYOB
posted by elizardbits at 4:31 PM on August 26, 2011


BYO duct tape, blanket, water, flashlight, pillow, and toilet paper!
posted by Sophie1 at 4:34 PM on August 26, 2011


I like lanterns too, but the potential for fire if one is knocked over (do you have kids? pets?) is huge. The only thing worse than being stuck in your house in a flood might be being stuck in your house on fire in a flood.
posted by Miko at 4:38 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The charts poet_lariat has linked to show the low probability of Irene's being hurricane force when it hits NYC (sustained winds over 75mph). NOAA gives a 60-70% chance that Irene will be tropical storm-force when it reaches here, however. That's bad enough. Also, I assume the local forecasts (WNYC is saying winds 75-95 mph on Sunday) are talking about gusts, not sustained wind. It's all a bit confusing, though. I do find it strange that NYC is now off the color-coded part of the map completely for hurricane-level wind (0%? how can they say that?).

I'm a block from the East River in Astoria, zone B but not expecting evacuation. Grocery stores sure are a zoo, though.
posted by torticat at 4:44 PM on August 26, 2011


So, with all due respect, you really don't have any experience with what a serious hurricane could do.

And if this were a "serious" hurricane, I'd be more concerned.

It is not. It is category 2 right now. It will slow down even more by the time it hits New York, possibly to the point that it's a Category 1. Still a hurricane, still not cause to have a picnic in Central Park, but not like Katrina The Sequel here.

I've studied the city's surge map, identified what zone I'm in, and see no reason to worry beyond the point that the situation warrants. I never have seen the reason for worrying beyond the point that evidence suggests I should.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:47 PM on August 26, 2011


Fooey. House-sitting gig cancelled, and with no subways Sunday, no real way to get into work, so now I have very little reason to walk around in it. And I doubt it is going to break hard right now.

Guess I'll just have to drink bourbon and ride it out.
posted by vrakatar at 4:51 PM on August 26, 2011


at this point the hurricane will be no bigger than a Chihuahua's head.
posted by The Whelk at 5:00 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Katrina was only a category 3.

All hurricanes are serious. Otherwise they wouldn't be hurricanes.

A category 2 hurricane is like an F1 tornado. For 12 hours.
posted by gjc at 5:00 PM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


In case anyone was wondering, the highest point of NYC is up in Washington Heights at Bennett Park, and not the NYPL in Bryant Park...
posted by elizardbits


Are you sure about that?
NYC is more than just Manhattan and Fieldston Hill in the Bronx is higher anyway, I believe.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:02 PM on August 26, 2011


SEPTA in Philly to shut down HISTORY IS MADE
posted by angrycat at 5:02 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


um. katrina was a 5, dude.
posted by elizardbits at 5:03 PM on August 26, 2011


"... One last caution: If you stay in your home during a hurricane and the power goes out, do not light candles or gas or oil lanterns because of the potential for gas leaks from storm-damaged lines. Instead, use only flashlights or battery-powered lanterns during and after a storm until power is safely restored and all gas lines are checked. ..."
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:22 PM on August 26

T-butyl mercaptan is added to all North American gas delivered to domestic customers, to serve as a human detectable leak indicator. It's unlikely a gas leak of dangerous proportions would exist, from sources serving densely occupied residential premises, without people noticing. But, far be it from me to argue with safety information being dispensed for the public good by responsible sources. And yet, not every address in even Manhattan is connected to the gas utilities.

"I like lanterns too, but the potential for fire if one is knocked over (do you have kids? pets?) is huge. The only thing worse than being stuck in your house in a flood might be being stuck in your house on fire in a flood."
posted by Miko at 7:38 PM on August 26

Eh, the last time any dog I've owned ever knocked something over was, oh, 1971. Kids (and grandkids)? 1973, if memory serves. But +1 to you for the counter-hypothetical, especially for people who have neither.
posted by paulsc at 5:04 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


not when it made landfall
also, my concern right now is what my cats will do when my windows blow in.
posted by angrycat at 5:04 PM on August 26, 2011


Are you sure about that?

yes yes, I meant manhattan, sry. It's not like anyone is going to get on a ferry and flee to SI, though.
posted by elizardbits at 5:06 PM on August 26, 2011


poet_lariat, This is a huge storm. TWC is saying that the effects for each city along the coast may be felt for up to 20 hours each. It may weaken but it is going to pack a punch.
posted by futz at 5:06 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


"um. katrina was a 5, dude."
posted by elizardbits at 8:03 PM on August 26

Not when it made landfall.
posted by paulsc at 5:07 PM on August 26, 2011


REMEMBER PEOPLE, THE "COTTAGE RULES": IF IT'S YELLOW, LET IT MELLOW; IF IT'S BROWN, FLUSH IT DOWN.
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:07 PM on August 26, 2011


um. katrina was a 5, dude.
posted by elizardbits at 5:03 PM on August 26 [+] [!]


Um, no. It was a 3. Might have been a 5 at some point, but it was a 3 when it hit Louisiana. On August 29, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana with 125 mph (205 km/h) winds, as a strong Category 3 storm.
posted by gjc at 5:07 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


hay guys I heard I was wrong and it was a 3. can anyone confirm that for me?
posted by elizardbits at 5:08 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


The charts poet_lariat has linked to show the low probability of Irene's being hurricane force when it hits NYC (sustained winds over 75mph). NOAA gives a 60-70% chance that Irene will be tropical storm-force when it reaches here, however.

Yes, but keep in mind that trop force winds are defined as being 38 mph or above ... so expecting a 38mph wind for a minute is actually pretty mild - FYI.

I do find it strange that NYC is now off the color-coded part of the map completely for hurricane-level wind (0%? how can they say that?)

Great question really! NOAA says that because (currently) that's what their best supercomputer models and human forecasters are telling them . Things can change. I'll bet you;re really asking about how NOAA can make such a prediction in light of what you may be hearing in the news and from local government. So here is my take on that: Local governments can be voted out of they get it wrong. Local news stations can conceivable be sued if they get it wrong. NOAA can neither be sued nor voted out of office. So local news stations and local governments err on the side of caution. I'm sure that there are other reasons (like local news stations wanting to keep an audience and local governments knowing that it's easier to evac the ill or elderly two days before rather than 6 hours before).

Things can always change. Forecasts can always change. Today's forecast might be very different from tomorrows so it's best to keep appraised as things change. The only stake that NWS and NOAA has in their forecasts is that they want to get it as right as they can - this means not forecasting disaster when there is none (that costs a lot of people money) and being able to accurately predict where trouble may arise. Your local news stations and local governments are probably well aware of what the NWS predicts but have other things to consider.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:08 PM on August 26, 2011


futz: This is a huge storm. TWC is saying that the effects for each city along the coast may be felt for up to 20 hours each. It may weaken but it is going to pack a punch.

Actually it is currently a Category II storm and is predicted to lower to Category I, the lowest level of hurricane, when it makes landfall tomorrow.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:10 PM on August 26, 2011


After spending a day moving plants inside, into sheltered areas, or tying them down, I walked home, bought groceries at the Kosher bodega (fairly quiet but completely out of bread - which is too bad because they have excellent baguettes, pita and rye bread), and am now considering what containers to fill with water, which things to charge, and how to cover my windows.

Despite our preparations, I'm more than somewhat terrified of what a hurricane/tropical storm can do to a botanical garden. I have no idea what kind of damage I'll be seeing on Monday.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:12 PM on August 26, 2011


poet_lariat, duh.
posted by futz at 5:14 PM on August 26, 2011


elizardbits:hay guys I heard I was wrong and it was a 3. can anyone confirm that for me?
posted


On August 29, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana with 125 mph (205 km/h) winds, as a strong Category 3 storm.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:14 PM on August 26, 2011


*facepalm*
posted by elizardbits at 5:16 PM on August 26, 2011 [21 favorites]


All hurricanes are serious. Otherwise they wouldn't be hurricanes.

With all due respect, I never said it wasn't cause for concern. Just that there is a point at which one may be worrying too much.

But just for a little reality check: when Gloria hit Connecticut, it was low tide so the storm surge was not really a factor, there was a moderate precipitation rate of only about 6 inches, and the winds peaked at 83 miles an hour, which is nothing, really; at that point it was basically a Category 1 hurricane. And yet you lost power for a week and, though you downplay that, apparently so did 699,000 other Connecticut residents. From what was, honestly, a wimpy storm as far as hurricanes go, you ended up with 7 dead in Connecticut.

With all due respect, I attributed the power loss lasting a week to the poor infrastructure in my hometown. That was the only thing I was speaking of -- comparing the infrastructure in Willimantic, Connecticut in 1985 to the infrastructure of New York City in 2011.

With all due respect, those two infrastructures are vastly different.

The only season I've really considered a bad one in Florida was the one I mentioned before, in 2004, in which we had 4 hurricanes hit us within just 6 weeks. Three of those four hurricanes had at least 115 mph sustained winds. So, with all due respect, you really don't have any experience with what a serious hurricane could do.

And with all due respect, I'm not sure why you're talking about a category 4 hurricane when we've only got a category 2 one going on here.

And with all due respect, I'm not saying to do nothing. I'm only saying that there is a point at which you may be preparing for a greater disaster than the one you actually may be facing, and that doesn't do you any favors either. It is realistic to expect a storm surge -- it is not realistic to expect New York City is going to sink into the god-damned SEA is all I'm saying.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:16 PM on August 26, 2011


Is this the part of the story where somebody fills up the bathtub with water and somebody sez what you're taking a bath now and the other person is like no.

That is Cormac MacCarthy via Bill and Ted. Thanks, will be here until the power goes out.
posted by angrycat at 5:17 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's really heartwarming to me to see that in times of crisis, the folks on MetaTalk pull together as one to focus on what's really important: petty bickering about who knows more than whom.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:17 PM on August 26, 2011 [38 favorites]


Things were going fine until...
posted by futz at 5:20 PM on August 26, 2011


Yeah, a storm with winds of 40-50 miles here in the Midwest is termed a severe thunderstorm, and they are fucking scary even for just an hour or two. I really can't imagine sitting in one for half a day or more if I could avoid it. Certainly, it's unwise and unhelpful to panic in any extreme weather situation, but trivializing a day of heavy sustained winds and possible massive flooding as if it's nothing and acting as if people who worry are histrionic babies is also unhelpful.

I would much rather that officials and weatherfolk somewhat overstated the case for the sake of safety than the alternative. These people with a house on Rockaway Beach talking about staying to "see the waves" are just plain nuts, and I have to wonder if they saw any footage of the water pouring into New Orleans or the water pouring into eastern Japan or if they are so used to living on the ocean that they've forgotten it can rise up and kill them at pretty much any moment.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:21 PM on August 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


er, 40-50 miles per hour
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:21 PM on August 26, 2011


but trivializing a day of heavy sustained winds and possible massive flooding as if it's nothing and acting as if people who worry are histrionic babies is also unhelpful.

Especially when the system with which everyone gets around town is below the ground.
posted by edbles at 5:22 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


via a friend on Facebook:

Went to a Walmart. The woman in front of me was buying 40 rolls of toilet paper and several dozen gallons of distilled water. I bought 3 cases of Mexican beer and one of those big Gordon Freeman no fucking around crowbars. Our eyes met, and I realized we were both thinking the same thing: "My hurricane preparation shopping list was incomplete."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:23 PM on August 26, 2011 [76 favorites]


Screw Washington Heights, my massive intellect is the highest point in NYC. Also, the scale used to measure the power of hurricanes is massively flawed, by my own more accurate scale Katrina was a -2.97.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:25 PM on August 26, 2011


I think part of the fear from NYC'ers is that most of us live in our homes in short spans, say, fewer than five years at a time, and so we arent really sure what our buildings/neighborhoods can withstand. A place where this kind of thing happens rarely is way more likely to encounter huge unforeseen problems, even from a lesser storm.
posted by hermitosis at 5:27 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


ALSO FYI magnolia on bleecker will be closed saturday and sunday so if you need Emergency Cupcakes you should RUN THERE NOW.
posted by elizardbits at 5:27 PM on August 26, 2011


I really can't imagine sitting in one for half a day or more if I could avoid it. Certainly, it's unwise and unhelpful to panic in any extreme weather situation, but trivializing a day of heavy sustained winds and possible massive flooding as if it's nothing and acting as if people who worry are histrionic babies is also unhelpful.

Who's trivializing it? I think what you're seeing as "trivializing" is just people saying "don't panic".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:28 PM on August 26, 2011


I think part of the fear from NYC'ers is that most of us live in our homes in short spans, say, fewer than five years at a time, and so we arent really sure what our buildings/neighborhoods can withstand. A place where this kind of thing happens rarely is way more likely to encounter huge unforeseen problems, even from a lesser storm.

Also no one has storm shutters. Or trucks to go buy OSB. Or ladders to get to the level of apartment building your windows are on and your landlord already high tailed it to Florida to ride out the storm.
posted by edbles at 5:30 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


So here's how good I am at surviving: I nearly broke my camping lantern trying to put the batteries in. It was quite a relief to discover that it's designed to be collapsible, and I didn't actually just crush it.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:30 PM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


N.J. and above aren't likely to see any Hurricane force wind action. That's what NOAA is currently saying.

Not anymore. NOAA NYC metro and Westchester upgraded to Warning at the 1700 update. Weather Underground uses three additional models, all of which are showing different things at present ranging from minor tropical storm to Cat 1 landfall.

Just in case any peeps need a place, I'm on high ground and barring Tree Attack, relatively safe in South Westchester. My family is in the Netherlands, so if you need a (very messy mid-move) place to crash, memail me. I have six bedrooms and plenty of refried beans and chips. And booze. (Oh, ok, and a solar generator and surelights and a bunch of other survival stuff too embarrassing to mention.)
posted by digitalprimate at 5:30 PM on August 26, 2011


NO CUPCAKES AH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THE HUMANITY
posted by angrycat at 5:30 PM on August 26, 2011


Sure, y'all think it's all jokes now, but wait until you suffer the effects of the Earthquakicane!
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:31 PM on August 26, 2011


what about zombie repellent?
posted by elizardbits at 5:32 PM on August 26, 2011


Can zombies float?
posted by edbles at 5:32 PM on August 26, 2011


(but memail me tonight as it is one long-ass walk from Manhattan to here, as I found out on 9/11)
posted by digitalprimate at 5:32 PM on August 26, 2011


Can zombies float?

If my experience in Minecraft is any indication: yes.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:33 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who's trivializing it?

Sorry, I was referring to stuff like the comment up a ways that called 38 mph (minimum) sustained winds "pretty mild.".
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:34 PM on August 26, 2011


Not anymore. NOAA NYC metro and Westchester upgraded to Warning at the 1700 update

No. A Hurricane warning is a different thing from the wind forecast that I linked to. Those forecasts have not changed at all. Also Weather Underground does not create forecast or "have models" because they do not have supercomputers - they are just a website that pulls stuff in form other sources. Everything originates from NWS/NOAA .
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:35 PM on August 26, 2011


" Actually it is currently a Category II storm and is predicted to lower to Category I, the lowest level of hurricane, when it makes landfall tomorrow."
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:10 PM on August 26

Speaking as a man brought to his knees once today on a Florida beach by winds generated from a storm whose "eye" was 240 miles or more to the east of him, I humbly and truly hope your optimism is warranted. This thing has a big (500 mile+ diameter) wind field, if not, yet, an historically low central pressure, or the tight organization characteristic of storms with lower central pressure. Clearly, its development is going to be affected by land crossing in North Carolina, and interaction with the Virginia and New Jersey coast lines, along with energy losses to northern water, mitigated by energy support from the Gulf Stream.

For the sake of NYC and points north, I'm hoping it gets a taste of Atlantic City, and recoils in horror, straight east, towards the Azores and Portugal.
posted by paulsc at 5:37 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Speaking water, in addition to filling your bathtub, put as many bottles/jugs of water as you can fit in your fridge and freezer while the power is still on. The cold thermal mass will help to keep things cool a little longer when the lights go out.
posted by islander at 5:38 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm in Maine. On a hill. My front door tends to leak if the wind is right (I haz a bucket). Close to the ocean but not too close. We get Nor'easters here and t-storms once in a while. Also, mice. I tend to scream about the mice, despite two cats, don't ask me why.

Lived in the Midwest for years and we had threats of tornados and lots of t-storms. Trees down in the backyard, wind a-blowing sideways. I thought I'd be safe here from earthquakes and tornados.

Pretty much, these storms go past us and hopefully, people won't be standing on water's edge looking at the waves and thinking they won't harm them. But if they do, be warned. The ocean is not a thing to be fucked with. It can and it will take you out.

I wish all those in the path of this storm safety. At the same time, jesus h christ on a stick, the media is playing this up to the hilt.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:38 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I was referring to stuff like the comment up a ways that called 38 mph (minimum) sustained winds "pretty mild.".

Fair enough. I was coming from the other direction and talking about things like warnings that I "may not have a job to go to" for a full week after the storm "unless you can do the backstroke".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:39 PM on August 26, 2011


No. A Hurricane warning is a different thing from the wind forecast that I linked to.

Very true; my apologies, I was imprecise and mixing terms. What I should have said is that terms like tropical storm or hurricane are largely irrelevant to the potential damage, and the NOAA Warning is an indicator of how serious that particular organization is taking the damage potential.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:40 PM on August 26, 2011


I just stopped at Key Food on the way home to stock up just in case. It was something of a panic scene. Well, no harm in preparing for the worst.
posted by jonmc at 5:42 PM on August 26, 2011


But also this: Everything originates from NWS/NOAA

Is not true. I mean, it's true at Wunderland, but I have contacts at Cargill, Gavilon, etc who do have supercomputers and a host of meteorologists to inform their weather futures trades.

They, um, did not answer my emails or calls today.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:45 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think part of the fear from NYC'ers is that most of us live in our homes in short spans

Also there is no doubt in my mind that we will begin to murder each other the moment things start to seem apocalyptic.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:47 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'M A SURFER
posted by griphus at 5:47 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


They, um, did not answer my emails or calls today.

That's only because you didn't offer them any frijoles.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:47 PM on August 26, 2011


During the blackout in 2003, I think only one building was vandalized -- the McDonalds in the East Village. I think we've mellowed out a lot about the apocalypse. We just want to survive to actually see it happen and then blog about it later.
posted by hermitosis at 5:52 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I cannot picture a dingie on Pearl st.

or Griphus tailhooking a TV copter on his surfboard pulling a hard left from Snyder onto E. 32nd.
posted by clavdivs at 5:52 PM on August 26, 2011


If you can make it to L.A. I haz cupcakes.

How is it that in every recent meta thread I end up offering cupcakes?
posted by Sophie1 at 5:54 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know anything about hurricanes, so this might be a completely stupid question but... am I going to be able to take my dog out to pee? Or should I listen to my occasionally not very sensible but nonetheless lovely boyfriend and buy some pee pads?

Our storm preparation consisted of buying water, beer, and raspberry newtons. Priorities, people!
posted by rosethorn at 5:55 PM on August 26, 2011


I should possibly add that I'm not in NYC but up in the Hudson Valley, and it isn't supposed to be quite as bad here (I think).
posted by rosethorn at 5:57 PM on August 26, 2011


During the blackout in 2003, I think only one building was vandalized

For all intents and purposes my apartment was vandalized. We bought bodega dinner and played monopoly by candlelight and drank all night. In the morning, when the sun came out, it looked like a homeless man had been squatting there for a week.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:59 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The pee pads sound like a fine back-up plan. My dogs often refuse to go out or, ahem, perform in regular heavy rain, preferring to hold it until it's over, which could become difficult. Even if the wind isn't strong enough to, like, blow the dog away, it can detach a retina, blow debris onto the both of you, etc.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:59 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


rosethorn, if wherever you are actually experiences 60mph+ winds, you do not at all want to be outside for the duration of the storm. Even if you think "oh, it slowed down some", you could be in between bands of the storm and another one can be upon you any moment. I have no experience with pets in hurricanes, but I think your boyfriend may have a reasonable idea ... ?
posted by cavalier at 6:00 PM on August 26, 2011


Hell, I don't have a dog and I'm thinking about using puppy pads myself.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:01 PM on August 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


it is my experience that holding dogs over the toilet and squeezing them gently is largely ineffective.
posted by elizardbits at 6:02 PM on August 26, 2011 [13 favorites]


bondcliff: "I just got word that New Hampshire is closing the White Mountain National Forest at 6:00 PM Saturday through Sunday.

They're closing a forest. In New Hampshire.
"

Honest to god. We were going camping there and it wasn't until I heard about this that I stopped being pissed off about missing out on Storyland with my kids!
posted by theredpen at 6:02 PM on August 26, 2011


rosethorn, my experience with storms and dogs peeing suggests you want the pee pads. You can't guarantee the dog will even be willing to go outside in the calm(er) parts of the storm.

Dogs are smart like that. As cavalier just said, the bands can come back at you pretty quickly.
posted by bilabial at 6:02 PM on August 26, 2011


Gloria and the Blackout in 77 were fucking terrifying. 2003 was fun as hell all the bars were open and and running by candlelight, people outside playing dominos and drinking in the streets. But 77 was sheer terror, my parents , who are not native new yorkers thought we might get dragged out of our apartment and killed by a mob at any moment.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:05 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


pee pads are good. If not available, take an old towel and put a garbage bag underneth, if a leash is a trigger for potty put it near there. Dogs will hold it but when they, ya. They seem to understand which is helpful after the second time. Pull bag string and wash. Last part may be the hardest logistically.
posted by clavdivs at 6:07 PM on August 26, 2011


Drat, now I'm going to have to tell him that metafilter agrees with him!

Off to the store I go. She gets scared in regular thunderstorms, so I was starting to think he was probably right anyway. +1 to the boy.
posted by rosethorn at 6:09 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


2003 was fun as hell

Unless you only had $2 in your pocket and had to drag your ass from Hudson Street to northeastern Queens. Then it wasn't a fucking Mardi Gras.
posted by jonmc at 6:09 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry to hear that, I got lost somewhere around 120 th and lenox after drinking my way across town. I had to wait until it started to get light out to find my way home. I think we should have a blackout every year.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:13 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


well, at least it wasn't a drag in Queens.
hey now, a clan member has a 4 man raft in Manhatten ready to go with air canister.It has michigan state colors but I don't hold that against him. yell 'metafilter' thats the password.
posted by clavdivs at 6:15 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]



In the Houston St. station of the 1/9 (IRT to old folks) are some mosaic murals depicting the station as it would look flooded, with giant leatherback turtles and other sea animals swimming through the station. I'm afraid it won't be that pretty: filthy water no animals would want to be in.

All the station art here.

From the site and most of my experience, the underground subway permanent art is executed in materials that can take getting wet (mosaic, glass, pottery, metal).
posted by bad grammar at 6:15 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


I always forget I was in nyc for the blackout in 03, probably because I was extremely high the entire fortnight I was unluckily home visiting.

Now that I think about it, we had no problem with water in anyone's house I was at, including the illegal loft conversion I sublet above Pianos. hm.
posted by elizardbits at 6:18 PM on August 26, 2011


I keep submitting proposals to chain otters wearing swimming goggles and yellow galoshes deep in the bowels of 34th st / Penn station but it always gets rejected.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:19 PM on August 26, 2011


The Target at Queens Center was stripped of bread and most canned staples when we went earlier this afternoon. There were also lots of people complaining about the MTA suspending service tomorrow. On the other hand, the Associated Supermarket on 21st and Broadway in Astoria still had plenty of liters of Smart Water and Poland Spring, as well as Wonder Bread and a good selection of soup. There were long lines, but most people were chill.
posted by blueskiesinside at 6:19 PM on August 26, 2011


Hey, I hope nobody minds me asking -- I'm dredging the internet because I get conflicting opinions. Do you think I need to bring inside a window A/C unit in an apartment in Cambridge, MA?

TIA. I can't believe I burnt my weekly question on a whim yesterday.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:20 PM on August 26, 2011


Yes, but keep in mind that trop force winds are defined as being 38 mph or above ... so expecting a 38mph wind for a minute is actually pretty mild - FYI.

That's kind of an irrelevant point. The "sustained for a minute" thing is just for distinguishing from gusts, as I'm sure you know. We're not talking about one minute though, but many hours.

From TWS for the New York area:
... WINDS... AS HURRICANE IRENE APPROACHES... SUSTAINED TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN LATE SATURDAY EVENING. MAXIMUM WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BE IN THE 50 TO 70 MPH RANGE WITH GUSTS TO 85 MPH.

... STORM SURGE AND STORM TIDE... IT IS STILL TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE THE EXACT HEIGHTS OF COMBINED STORM SURGE AND TIDE WATERS FOR SPECIFIC LOCATIONS WITHIN THE FORECAST AREA TO BE CAUSED BY HURRICANE IRENE. MUCH DEPENDS ON THE PRECISE SIZE... INTENSITY AND TRACK OF THE SYSTEM AS IT APPROACHES THE COAST. BASED ON THE FORECAST TRACK OF IRENE THERE IS POTENTIAL FOR 4 TO 8 FEET OF SURGE... WITH THE HIGHEST VALUES POSSIBLE IN WESTERN LONG ISLAND SOUND... AND NEW YORK HARBOR. THESE TIDAL CONDITIONS WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE... DESTRUCTIVE... AND LIFE THREATENING WAVES.

and then of course:
WHEN MAKING DECISIONS... DO NOT FOCUS ON THE EXACT FORECAST TRACK... AS THE IMPACTS OF THE HURRICANE WILL BE FELT OVER A LARGE AREA DUE TO THE SIZE OF THE STORM.

I guess I don't see the point in downplaying the threat. Not a single person in this thread has expressed panic, so that's not a problem. TWS is not saying this stuff because it's afraid of being sued, but to help with preparedness.

Alright that's the end of my petty bickering.
posted by torticat at 6:21 PM on August 26, 2011


Great link to Platform Diving by Deborah Brown (1994), bad grammar.
posted by paulsc at 6:22 PM on August 26, 2011


Do you think I need to bring inside a window A/C unit in an apartment in Cambridge, MA?

the mayor's speech this morning here in NYC addressed that, actually, and said it would likely be more trouble than help, since people would maybe drop them out the windows or on to themselves. ymmv, I guess?
posted by elizardbits at 6:23 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


"... Do you think I need to bring inside a window A/C unit in an apartment in Cambridge, MA? ..."

Your location in Cambridge, MA, having a different aesthetic sense than NYC, could reasonably draw suggestions to pull that puppy in, on grounds of simple style. Not that I would endorse such.
posted by paulsc at 6:27 PM on August 26, 2011


Now that I think about it, we had no problem with water in anyone's house I was at, including the illegal loft conversion I sublet above Pianos. hm.

Well a lot of buildings over 6 stories have a rooftop water tank, I know mine does so I'm not anticipating problems getting water in the short term. It was required by law for many years. Check this out.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:27 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not downplaying things torticat....just repeating what the NWH says. You focus in on "LARGE... DESTRUCTIVE... AND LIFE THREATENING WAVES" and I see the words.... "IT IS STILL TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE..." and "THERE IS POTENTIAL FOR ". The truth of what will actually play out is likely somewhere between the two. But I do see that it is a Cat 2 forcast to be Cat 1 long before it hits NY/NJ. I think if I were in the Virginia or South Carolina coast I would be a lot more worried than if I were living in central NJ or NY.

But the new wind and surge forecasts come out later this evening so we'll see what they say. At the moment it's still a small sized hurricane who's impact looks largely to be felt along the coast South of D.C.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 6:28 PM on August 26, 2011


I got water, beer, canned food and snax. I'll survive.
posted by jonmc at 6:30 PM on August 26, 2011


Well a lot of buildings over 6 stories have a rooftop water tank

we barely had a roof, that building was hella rundown. maybe it was the aforementioned PONY MAGICS.
posted by elizardbits at 6:30 PM on August 26, 2011


Watching satellite imagery and it looks like outer bands starting to creep into Philadelphia. Is anyone getting rain yet?
posted by Sophie1 at 6:31 PM on August 26, 2011


Who even knows what would be in a rooftop water tank in an illegal sublet. Probably semi-precious paintings and horrors unknown.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:32 PM on August 26, 2011


our emergency exit fire door went right into the second floor of the bar next door. BEST EMERGENCY EVER.
posted by elizardbits at 6:34 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sophie1: We got rain earlier this afternoon down here in NC. I expect we'll be seeing more by Saturday.
posted by Telpethoron at 6:35 PM on August 26, 2011


"it's still a small sized hurricane who's impact looks largely to be felt along the coast South of D.C."
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:28 PM on August 26

At this hour, by NOAA observations and NWS forecast, it's a Cat 2 hurricane, with a minimum central pressure at 8:00 p.m. EDT of 950 millibars, and a tropical storm level wind field more than 500 miles in diameter.

Are we watching the same storm?
posted by paulsc at 6:35 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah but there is a bar in the building, that uses water, and isn't the bar owned by Tim Robbins or someone like that? Whatever, I'm pretty sure mine has rust and guppies but probably works.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:37 PM on August 26, 2011


Yes paulc - cat 2 and projected to be cat 1 by tomorrow when it hits the coast. You can't go lower than Cat 1 without it being no longer a hurricane hence it is small as hurricanes go. We are watching the same storm.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 6:38 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


the movie "dark water" ruined me forever


SPOILER: it was gross
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:38 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well it doesn't matter how big or small the hurricane is, we've already called off work and we're shutting down the city so SHUT UP AND DONT RUIN OUR FUN. If the power goes out we're going to have to eat all of this ice cream.
posted by fuq at 6:40 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sorry to hear that,

That's just luck of the draw man. I heard stories from bar buddies about people guzzling forties and girls dancing naked in Washington Square park...and if I'd've taken $20 out before the disaster hit, I'd probably have hung out, but that's the way it goes.
posted by jonmc at 6:42 PM on August 26, 2011


Southern Long Island (Long Beach) checking in here pre-evac. The city had us in voluntary evac for a day, now the county is telling us mandatory by 5pm tomorrow. I think I'm out of here late tonight.

If anyone staying in LB, Lido, Atlantic Beach, Point Lookout or any of the Rockaways or Broadchannel or knows someone who is staying behind or otherwise finds out what the storm surge levels are, please post here. Or MeMail or regular mail.

Catch you all Monday when its nice and dry.
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:45 PM on August 26, 2011


we've already called off work and we're shutting down the city so SHUT UP AND DONT RUIN OUR FUN.

Yes! For the love of Christ, don't tell me I bought all these beer and Tostitos for what turns out to be a bruisingly regular goddamn weekend.

An earthquake and a hurricane in the same week? This is our moment, by God. We'll show you all how irritating we can be in the face of total societal breakdown. Concrete jungle that dreams are made of etc etc
posted by superfluousm at 6:46 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


"... You can't go lower than Cat 1 without it being no longer a hurricane hence it is small as hurricanes go. ..."
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:38 PM on August 26

Projected central wind speed, or even central pressure, is a poor measure of total storm energy, Poet_Lariat. This is a big, windy, rain filled storm, whose development can't be exactly scientifically modeled, much to the chagrin of the Weather Channel. But you know, I hope your optimism is justified, and my fears are for naught. No sane person roots for the discomfort of millions.
posted by paulsc at 6:46 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll be really amazed if we have major damage and disruption here in the city. The coastal areas might get hammered, but the city as a whole should be fine.
posted by vrakatar at 6:47 PM on August 26, 2011


Upper West Side in the house! The Godiva Chocolate three blocks away is going out of business. I have my hurricane chocolate. The man of the house made a grocery run yesterday, he's so smart. Yeah... I didn't feel like lugging bottles of water home, we've just filled up lots of container (knew that collection of antique thermoses would come in handy). I'm mostly worried about shit blowing into our windows and roof leaks

This is my second hurricane; the first was in DE in 2000. Our road got flooded out at both ends and that sucked. We had not prepared particularly well. Lesson learned.
posted by kimdog at 6:48 PM on August 26, 2011


"All these beer." I'm already dipping into the supply, sorry. Got no willpower for rationing.
posted by superfluousm at 6:50 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just want people on Facebook to stop quoting the song as "Come On Irene, Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ry-yay...."

IT'S COME ON EILEEN FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PEOPLE
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 PM on August 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


Already ate my hurricane guacamole and now I'm drinking some hurricane wine.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:51 PM on August 26, 2011


*rocks you like a hurricane*
posted by jonmc at 6:54 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just hope in the midst of closing the Garden State Parkway and shutting down the Jersey shore, someone remembers to waterproof and batten down Bruce.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:54 PM on August 26, 2011 [11 favorites]


FELLINIBLANK I'M CLICKING SO HARD AND I STILL CAN'T FAVORITE THAT HARD ENOUGH
posted by superfluousm at 6:56 PM on August 26, 2011


paulsc:But you know, I hope your optimism is justified, and my fears are for naught. No sane person roots for the discomfort of millions.

Paul, I'd really thank you to keep your histrionics to yourself when it comes to incorrectly attributing motivations to me which were never expressed by me and exist only in your own mind. Please.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 6:56 PM on August 26, 2011


Bruce's house is pretty well inland and on a hill. If things get ugly he can retreat to the apartment above the carriage house. I think he'll be AOK.
posted by Miko at 6:56 PM on August 26, 2011


IT'S COME ON EILEEN FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PEOPLE

Yes...even the Hulk knows this: STUPID IRENE! SONG GO COME ON EILEEN! NO IRENE!

Apparently even he decides to get drunk now and then. Banner must have REALLY driven him over the edge this time.
posted by Telpethoron at 6:57 PM on August 26, 2011


We should all be prepared for the "good night Irene" jokes on Sunday and Monday.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:59 PM on August 26, 2011


BUt once you move on from "Come on Eileen" you're stuck with "Good Night Irene," which is undergoing quite the resurgence on FB.
posted by Miko at 6:59 PM on August 26, 2011


Increasingly the meteorologists on television are making it clear that the storm is weakening and it's not going to be as bad as once thought. A lot of "but still just be on the safe side" type talk.

Which is awesome.
posted by cashman at 7:01 PM on August 26, 2011


Still, Miko, can someone tell Bruce he's invited to my house if he needs to evacuate? I have alllllll these Tostitos.
posted by superfluousm at 7:02 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


My prediction: both bottles of hurricane rye will be consumed before the three bags of hurricane pretzels I inexplicably procured.

I don't even like pretzels. Whatever, it was mayhem out there.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:02 PM on August 26, 2011


29 million people are now living under a Hurricane warning. 2 million have been ordered to leave their homes. New York City is assuming this will be a natural disaster, and is shutting down the MTA all weekend.
New York City ordered more than 300,000 people who live in flood-prone areas to leave, including Battery Park City at the southern tip of Manhattan, Coney Island and the beachfront Rockaways. But it was not clear how many would do it, how they would get out or where they would go. Most New Yorkers don't have a car.

On top of that, the city said it would shut down the subways and buses at noon Saturday, only a few hours after the first rain is expected to fall. The transit system carries about 5 million people on an average weekday, fewer on weekends. It has been shut down several times before, including during a transit workers' strike in 2005 and after the Sept. 11 attacks a decade ago, but never for weather.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was little authorities could do to force people to leave.

"We do not have the manpower to go door-to-door and drag people out of their homes," he said. "Nobody's going to get fined. Nobody's going to go to jail. But if you don't follow this, people may die."

Shelters were opening Friday afternoon, and the city was placed under its first hurricane warning since 1985.

Transit systems in New Jersey and Philadelphia also announced plans to shut down, and Washington declared a state of emergency. Boisterous New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie demanded people "get the hell off the beach" in Asbury Park and said: "You're done. Do not waste any more time working on your tan."

posted by zarq at 7:02 PM on August 26, 2011


"Come on Eileen"

One of my college girlfreinds (this would be the late 80's) was named Eileen. She fucking hated that song.
posted by jonmc at 7:03 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


you can tell by my extreme spamminess earlier that i was high on hurricane cupcakes

sry
posted by elizardbits at 7:04 PM on August 26, 2011


IT'S COME ON EILEEN FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PEOPLE

Actually, here in Japan, it's interchangeable..
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:04 PM on August 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


"... Paul, I'd really thank you to keep your histrionics to yourself when it comes to incorrectly attributing motivations to me which were never expressed by me and exist only in your own mind. Please."
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:56 PM on August 26

This isn't personal, Poet_Lariat. Irene is just a big, billions of horsepower natural phenomenon, that kind of knocked me down this morning, and that seems headed your way. Truly, I hope your optimism about the outcome is justified.

I'm as humbled as I kneed to get.
posted by paulsc at 7:04 PM on August 26, 2011


"... You can't go lower than Cat 1 without it being no longer a hurricane hence it is small as hurricanes go. ..."

This is so mind-bogglingly wrongheaded I don't even know where to begin. The danger to coastal areas is not from the wind (which is what Category strength measures). It's from storm surge, and Irene is an unusually large storm which will produce a much larger surge than a "typical" category one storm.

This is going to be my last post in the thread, but Poet_Lariat, despite your qualifications you don't know how to read a NOAA wind probability chart, you shouldn't be advising people on what preparations they should take for this storm, and you've consistently ignored valid points to the contrary throughout this thread. You're putting people in danger with your "advice" and I wish you could be held responsible.

To everyone else, listen to your local municipality's recommendations and NOAA's Watch and Warning products. Don't follow the advice of people online regarding the best preparations for extreme weather.
posted by j.edwards at 7:05 PM on August 26, 2011 [14 favorites]


Water towers are good, but they aren't going to stay full very long if the power is out.

I don't think anyone is saying "you'll die if you don't fill the bathtub and have a week's worth of food". I think what we are saying is that it is a good idea to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. And that you are going to be a lot less uncomfortable if you have flashlights and food if the power goes out for a while. Which is a definite possibility. It is likely a certainty for some people. The problem is you don't know whether it will be you or not.

Also, don't come crying to me, and get off my lawn.

"It isn't a certainty" is not sufficient reason not to prepare. If it is a certainty, you aren't preparing anymore, you are reacting. Snotty skepticism is no more warranted than over-reacting.
posted by gjc at 7:05 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Subway shutdown from flooding during torrential rains in August 2007 and during Hurricane Frances (2004)

Not sure if this video is from the 2007 rainstorm, or is from a local water main break, but it dates from around that time.

Massive amount of information about subway flooding during the 2007 storm here (PDF), including discussion of the impact of a projected Category 3 hurricane.

You NYers are familiar with this stuff, of course, but people from out of town might not be.
posted by bad grammar at 7:06 PM on August 26, 2011


Truly, I hope your optimism about the outcome is justified.

Paulsc, I have expressed neither optimism nor pessimism regarding the hurricane. I simply reported current surge and wind strength data taken direct from the NWS. This is neither optimistic nor pessimistic. They are facts. You may not like those facts and you may well disagree with them . That is your right. But you may not attribute bad motivations to me for relaying them. I hope I have made that very clear.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 7:10 PM on August 26, 2011


This is going to be my last post in the thread, but Poet_Lariat, despite your qualifications you don't know how to read a NOAA wind probability chart, you shouldn't be advising people on what preparations they should take for this storm, and you've consistently ignored valid points to the contrary throughout this thread. You're putting people in danger with your "advice" and I wish you could be held responsible.

Perhaps the mods should step in. Misinformation and half-baked information are the last things this thread needs.
posted by gerryblog at 7:12 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh yeah, by all means be prepared, just because I am a dumb ass doesn't mean you should be one too.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:12 PM on August 26, 2011


Increasingly the meteorologists on television are making it clear that the storm is weakening and it's not going to be as bad as once thought. A lot of "but still just be on the safe side" type talk.

Which is awesome.
posted by cashman at 7:01 PM on August 26 [+] [!]


I'm not privy to the modeling, but normally hurricanes weaken as they hit land and regain strength as the hit water again. I don't know of those tv people are taking that into account or not. But it will naturally weaken as it crosses North Carolina. It may strengthen again if the waters off of MD, DE and NJ are warm enough.
posted by gjc at 7:12 PM on August 26, 2011


I think what we are saying is that it is a good idea to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

posted by gjc


That is what I've been thinking, all the way through this not-very-nice-at-times thread: 'tis better to be pessimistic and pleasantly surprised, than optimistic and disappointed (or injured or dead).

From the other side of the planet, I'm hoping you all are prepared, stay safe, and are pleasantly surprised if Irene loses her enthusiasm for destruction.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 7:12 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


For cry-eye, I think all the "let's stay calm" people are trying to say is "yeah, it'll be bad, but it won't be like Miami 2017 is going to come true."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:15 PM on August 26, 2011


In addition to the points that have already been mentioned, much of the East Coast has a high population density compared to the Nevada desert or mountains of New Mexico. Tornadoes touch down here, cause a lot of damage and large disruptions. Much more than if the same size twisters had touched down in most sections of Tornado Alley. I lived in the Texas panhandle, and remember sitting in my living room and watching tornadoes in the distance. They were frequent, but rarely hit populated areas. Storms do not have to be sustained to cause terrible damage in NJ, New York and New England.

Long Island's infrastructure in particular is not designed to withstand hurricanes and blizzards. After even moderately powered storms hit, we usually wind up with tens of thousands of people without power. The history of the region shows its vulnerability.

If you're not familiar with the region, our history and how we are usually affected by storms, please keep in mind that your experiences living in other areas of the US may not apply.
posted by zarq at 7:17 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Perhaps the mods should step in. Misinformation and half-baked information are the last things this thread needs.

The answer to misinformation on this site in general is for someone to counter it with better information, which people are doing a good job of here in a civil and constructive fashion. I'm not qualified to judge who's right or wrong, nor is it really within my purview. If tempers get out of hand, one of us may step in at that point, but that's about it.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:17 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you, malibustacey9999. :)
posted by zarq at 7:18 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not privy to the modeling

They seem to be. I've seen them on a few channels and they are dialing it back notably. Let's see what the 11pm update brings though. The wind (heh) seems to have gone out of their sails.

I don't think anyone in here is giving dangerous advice that needs to be deleted. I don't think anyone is saying go about your day. Rather, "maybe this won't be as bad as we once thought". Let's see what 11pm brings.
posted by cashman at 7:19 PM on August 26, 2011


Now that I think about it, we had no problem with water in anyone's house I was at, including the illegal loft conversion I sublet above Pianos. hm.

Oh hey, I'm sorry about that one show.
posted by mintcake! at 7:20 PM on August 26, 2011


Paulsc, I have expressed neither optimism nor pessimism regarding the hurricane. I simply reported current surge and wind strength data taken direct from the NWS. This is neither optimistic nor pessimistic. They are facts. You may not like those facts and you may well disagree with them . That is your right. But you may not attribute bad motivations to me for relaying them. I hope I have made that very clear.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 7:10 PM on August 26 [+] [!]


See, there is the problem. They aren't facts, they are best guesses.

And your tone throughout has been, in essence, "pfft, don't worry about it." You might end up being right, but not for any good reason. Striking an authoritative tone about something that is more or less unpredictable is not helpful. Further, being able to predict the storm surge height, even if they are accurate, does not in any way purport to predict what the effects will be.

There are 7-8 million people packed onto Long Island, 5 million of which are packed like sardines into Brooklyn and Queens. Things go weird in a hurry when that many people are more or less trapped on an island.
posted by gjc at 7:20 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


You don't need kids or pets to accidentally knock over a lantern. I would just consider those as definite counterindications for many people on MeFi who I know have one or both.

Drinking, for instance, might cause a mishap.

Simple clumsiness might. Falling asleep might, as well. It's a risk to have flame around a reservoir of liquid fuel, and though it's certainly possible to use a lantern in normal conditions with safety, it's not a risk I recommend taking if you can't keep a constant, fully alert watch over the device, or may have trouble getting emergency help because outdoor conditions are unhospitable. Or if anything, anything at all, might elevate your risk for this device getting fumbled.
posted by Miko at 7:21 PM on August 26, 2011


Now that I think about it, we had no problem with water in anyone's house I was at, including the illegal loft conversion I sublet above Pianos. hm.

I lost water where I was living, in midtown. It wasn't pretty. That was an 8th floor place, FWIW.

Anyway, I don't think we're being too cautious about this. It's easy to live in the city without really thinking about disaster preparation, because natural disasters happen here so infrequently, and most apartments are insulated fairly well from the elements. Watching huge thunderstorms out the window is kind of like watching a movie and (at least for me) doesn't inspire the same fear as it does when you're living in a house out in the suburbs, where trees might fall all over it, and you worry about the power going out every time the wind is blowing kind of hard.

So this sort of thing is sort of an abstract thought for a lot of the people living here. We don't get direct hits from hurricanes very often. I experienced Gloria in 1985 also, and my house (in central CT suburbia) lost power for a week too. Hurricanes suck there too, but there's a certain sort of suckage to be expected. We don't know what a direct hit from a hurricane, even a relatively weak one, will do here, especially with the potential for a storm surge.
posted by wondermouse at 7:22 PM on August 26, 2011


I just want to clarify here in case the miscommunication is based on wind strength: Even if its wind speed is denoted at Category 1 or even as a strong Tropical Storm, Irene is a large storm system. Hurricane force winds span approximately 55-60 miles out from the center as of the last NOAA forecast. Then your tropical force winds go out another 50ish or so from that.

So, yes, by the time it gets to, say, New Jersey, there is the possibility that it will be a weaker Cat 1 storm in terms of windspeed. That's great. Less destruction and less waves.

But with Hurricane Warnings issued for everything up the coast past New York, it wouldn't be prudent to dismiss her as spent once she has past NC.
posted by cavalier at 7:22 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


"... I simply reported current surge and wind strength data taken direct from the NWS. .."
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:10 PM on August 26

No, you didn't. You posted summations of forecasts of Cat 1 level intensity at possible NYC/Long Island landfall, and you expressed opinions about the "size" of this hurricane, relative to others. At least, be honest in your self-declarations.

Let's not make differences in our opinions become differences based on facts and opinions expressed in thread.
posted by paulsc at 7:23 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are 7-8 million people packed onto Long Island, 5 million of which are packed like sardines into Brooklyn and Queens. Things go weird in a hurry when that many people are more or less trapped on an island.

Which is why the city is evacuating them as we speak.

Seriously, no one in here is saying that we're going to do nothing, or that we are doing nothing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:24 PM on August 26, 2011


So yeah, I'm happy about all the warnings, even if we're all able to go back to work on Monday as if nothing happened. At least now I'm better prepared for next time, and I know I'm not alone in that.
posted by wondermouse at 7:26 PM on August 26, 2011


"... Or if anything, anything at all, might elevate your risk for this device getting fumbled."
posted by Miko at 10:21 PM on August 26

Fine then. Let no person, sitting alone in darkness in days to come, so much as light a candle, on the collected wisdom of MeFi.
posted by paulsc at 7:26 PM on August 26, 2011


My apologies -- okay, one person is saying they're "not doing anything," but I will confess I took that as "not doing anything aside from staying indoors during the storm". Which may be foolish, but...not cause to believe that that person is a) recommending that no one else do anything either, or b) cause to believe that that person is facing imminent death as a result.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:27 PM on August 26, 2011


Seriously, no one in here is saying that we're going to do nothing, or that we are doing nothing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:24 PM on August 26 [+] [!]


No, people here are getting annoyed by the preparations and being cavalier about those other people who say they should prepare.
posted by gjc at 7:29 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, easy now paul, easy now.
posted by cavalier at 7:29 PM on August 26, 2011


The answer to misinformation on this site in general is for someone to counter it with better information, which people are doing a good job of here in a civil and constructive fashion.

At some point, when it's not about a current, contentious issue, it might be a good idea to have a sitewide discussion about this. There are a handful of very active posters who frequently post wildly incorrect information, often from conspiracy websites, inevitably derailing threads into arguments about their sources (about which they refuse to ever concede an inch). Even if fact-neutral is the least worst option for moderation -- and it might be, though I doubt it -- it's really not a good situation for the site.

A few times I've been tempted to start a MetaTalk about it, but instead I've always just shut the thread and walked away.
posted by gerryblog at 7:29 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, people here are getting annoyed by the preparations and being cavalier about those other people who say they should prepare.

For example?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:30 PM on August 26, 2011


EmpressCallipygos: " Which is why the city is evacuating them as we speak."

Correction: the city is not evacuating them. The city has announced evacuation areas throughout New York City, that affect about 300,000 people. Without telling people where they can go as an alternative, or helping them leave. Out of 8.1 million people in the 5 boroughs. And in Manhattan, many people do not have cars. The city has no way of forcing anyone to leave their homes. All they can do is suggest they leave and hope no one is stubborn, stays and dies.

The only evacuation zones that I'm aware of in Queens are in the Rockaways. The rest of my borough is not being told to evacuate.
posted by zarq at 7:30 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait - what am I being now?

zing
posted by cavalier at 7:30 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I AM HELPING THIS THREAD BY PISSING INTO THE WIND.

Will report whether the spray is category one or two.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:30 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The weather channel just reported: All New York airports will be closing at noon on Saturday.
posted by zarq at 7:31 PM on August 26, 2011


Now I'm more stressed out by the stormy winds blowing in this thread than I am about the impending hurricane.
posted by argonauta at 7:31 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm more annoyed by the fact that Bloomberg is shutting down the entire MTA on Saturday night. [...]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:16 AM on August 26 [+] [!]

posted by gjc at 7:33 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was in high school we always looked forward to massive psychedelic mushrooms in the cow pastures near our neighborhood after a tropical storm came through.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:34 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


This thread just jumped the shark
posted by nathancaswell at 7:34 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oops. Nope, I stand corrected. This is a PDF of the evacuation zones. It's more than just the Rockaways. However, according to the weather channel, only 370,000 people in all 5 boros will be affected.

MTA, Metro North and LIRR will now be shut down at noon. Not just the MTA.
posted by zarq at 7:34 PM on August 26, 2011


Before we start posting recipes, can we talk about recipes easily produced with no electricity or running water?

Say it with me now..

SPAM SAMMICH
posted by cavalier at 7:35 PM on August 26, 2011


inevitably derailing threads into arguments about their sources (about which they refuse to ever concede an inch)

Yeah, it's incredibly frustrating to attempt reasonable discourse with people who are more concerned with being right than they are with helping others or making a well-thought-out argument, and even more frustrating when they're called on their misinformation and refuse to respond to the callout comments. Very tooth-grindy.
posted by elizardbits at 7:36 PM on August 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


gjc, that's me saying that it's annoying to face an inconvenience, that's not belittling the storm prep.

Because it is annoying. Hell, the hurricane is annoying. Buying up extra water is annoying. Having my regular kayak trip get rained out is annoying.

But saying something's "annoying" is VASTLY different from saying that the city shouldn't do it nevertheless. All saying "that's annoying" means is....it's a bummer, man.

Or am I not allowed to express that particular opinion?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like most folks, ol' Jerry Lee Lewis is gonna SEE Irene in his dreams. Leadebelly, he's gonna KISS her. And Van Morrison? Heh. He's gonna GET Irene in his dreams.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:39 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I LOVE recipes!

Here's mine, for a Hurricane BLT:

3 slices whole wheat bread
16 strips pre-cooked bacon
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 thin slice of ripe, heritage tomato
4 leafs of red leaf lettuce, washed in hurricane rain

Assemble ingredients into a balanced 3 layer Dagwood configuration.

Eat with plenty of your available booze. And chips, if still dry.
posted by paulsc at 7:40 PM on August 26, 2011


If you turn to the weather channel right now, looks like they've got two guys DJing the hurricane.
posted by cashman at 7:41 PM on August 26, 2011


Dr.Enormous: "I AM HELPING THIS THREAD BY PISSING INTO THE WIND.

Will report whether the spray is category one or two.
"

Eponyhorrifying?
posted by zarq at 7:43 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


...looks like they've got two guys DJing the hurricane.

Two turntables and a HURRICANE!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:44 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


the collected wisdom of MeFi.

Oh, it's not just MeFi, it's kind of everybody who has to deal with the aftermath of badly managed disasters: CDC, most state and local departments of emergency managements, and most fire departments. Google it up; too many to link.

By all means, use flame if you feel you can maintain full alertness. O the whole, though, it seems that to manage the already higher level of risk to person and property in the situation, the use of flame should be minimized and battery power should be preferred whenever possible.
posted by Miko at 7:44 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh my, AskMe is starting to look like this classic Ian A.T. comment:

-Where in central PA/NY might be unboring to wait out a hurricane?
-What is worth stocking up on?
-Must I boil water to make pasta/rice?
-Storm preparation: if we lose power, can we use a match to ignite a top burner on a gas stove?
-How concerned should I be for my family in New York City?
posted by lalex at 7:45 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


I asked about hurricane recipes on MeCha and these came up: make a big pot of chili in advance; similarly, casseroles; hummus, crackers, and veggies; fresh fruit.

A French press is a great thing for making coffee, if you can heat water. I have a gas stove, so that's taken care of. A camping stove would work too, if you stay by it, of course.
posted by Miko at 7:46 PM on August 26, 2011


"... the use of flame should be minimized and battery power should be preferred whenever possible."
posted by Miko at 10:44 PM on August 26

So, would that be until all a person's AA's run down? Or, until their Cs and Ds, even in their vibrators, are no longer delivering charge? Because if anybody struck a match, flicked a BIC, or puffed a cig, or lighted a doobie, or, in case their lights still worked, turned an electric burner to "HIGH,", or pushed in the cigarette lighter in their car, or generated a spark while tap dancing, in the whole of hurricane devasted NYC, unadvised otherwise, not to mention directly lighting a candle, or a vegetable oil lantern, I'm guessing the FDNY and all civilized people left in the world would be aghast at their stupidity.

Folks, you have been warned. Thank you, Miko, for the lifesaving advice.
posted by paulsc at 7:57 PM on August 26, 2011


Recipes for surviving a hurricane.

Thank you, Miko, for the lifesaving advice

Hey, you're welcome, any time.
posted by Miko at 7:58 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Let's all get real sarcastic about well-intentioned advisories concerning safety! Yeah! That'll be productive!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:59 PM on August 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


wtf, paulsc?
posted by lalex at 7:59 PM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


paulsc: " Folks, you have been warned. Thank you, Miko, for the lifesaving advice."

Respectfully, could we please try to keep this thread civil? People are understandably concerned, and indulging in sarcastic hyperbole isn't gonna help anything.
posted by zarq at 8:00 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never saw the point of passive aggression. At least have the balls to tell someone off straightforwardly, ffs.
posted by elizardbits at 8:00 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poet_Lariat, this isn't you not doing due diligence when quoting Thomas Jefferson, multiple times. That was funny. This is a major storm that's about to impact an area you don't live within 1000 miles of, disaster forecasting you have no window into, and you're here straight busting out links you don't seem to know how to read or understand. It isn't funny at all.

You have said a mind-boggling number of things that lead me to strongly believe you have no idea how to interpret the data you're looking at. That's fine, but stop pretending you can, and stop offering advice based on your amateur interpretations.

I guarantee you my training and experience with this sort of thing is vastly superior to yours, commercial pilot training or not, and you will not see me here interpreting forecasts. Why? Because I'm not a forecaster. NEITHER ARE YOU. For starters, NOAA percentages include all sorts of crazy modeling of turns in the storm and such that are not going to happen, and that's just the start of why you don't know what you're talking about.

I'm worried people are going to listen to you and not prepare. YOU should be worried people are going to listen to you and not prepare. Please stop. Please.
posted by rollbiz at 8:00 PM on August 26, 2011 [30 favorites]


They should really take the time to clean out the subways while the system is shut down. Flush it with disinfectant, rat-b-gone and deodorizer or something.
posted by zarq at 8:06 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or, until their Cs and Ds, even in their vibrators, are no longer delivering charge?

My Magic Wand plugs into the wall...

:(
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:08 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jesus, paulsc. Take some deep breaths. It's just a hurricane.
posted by mediareport at 8:09 PM on August 26, 2011


paulsc, are you griefing Miko

That's rich. Acting like an ass to one of the most respected and well liked members of this community who is in fact giving THE RIGHT ADVICE.


Chill out FFS. Or go burn your house down and see who cares.
posted by spitbull at 8:09 PM on August 26, 2011


Just to amplify rollbiz's argument, in coastal NC, where I used to live (and rode out a cheery cat 1 hurricane in a pretty much glass house) the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 should have established that the name "hurricane" is not required to do serious damage. If you live in a flood zone, the warnings represent a synthesis of data about the likelihood of danger--don't panic, but listen and plan.
posted by Mngo at 8:09 PM on August 26, 2011


11PM advisory kept intensity the same and moved the track east about 5-10 miles, by the way.

That shift could easily be considered noise, but at this stage is probably at least worth mentioning as it could make a big difference witha a coast-hugging storm.
posted by rollbiz at 8:09 PM on August 26, 2011


The 11pm update has the track ever so slightly more east right now, and then closer to PA/NJ/NYC, significantly east, but not radically. It's still basically headed the same way according to their models. They have it hurricane strength right up until it hits (presumably) NYC.

I'm guessing tomorrow it will shift even further east, but we'll see. Stay safe and take precautions. And even if it turns out to be one of those "10 inches of snow!....oops...none" moments, then good, people were still prepared.

They should really take the time to clean out the subways while the system is shut down. Flush it with disinfectant, rat-b-gone and deodorizer or something.

I was just thinking that this is kind of nature's way of cleaning up. And that the beach will have tons of treasures on it. I wonder what the term is for when people go running in after a hurricane to gather newly displaced things from the sand, and items brought in from sea. That would make for a good documentary.
posted by cashman at 8:11 PM on August 26, 2011


OK, normally I loathe NJ Governor Chris Christie, but this is fairly hilarious:

Mr. Christie, for his part, sounded annoyed that they had not followed his instructions when he said at a late-afternoon briefing that he had seen television coverage of “people sitting on the beach in Asbury Park.”

"Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out — you’re done,” he said. “You’ve maximized your tan. Get off the beach. Get in your cars, and get out of those areas. You know, it amazes me that you have responsible elected officials from North Carolina north through Massachusetts, along with National Weather Service folks, telling you this is going to be an enormous storm and something for New Jersey that we haven’t seen in over 60 years. Do not waste any more time working on your tan."

posted by lalex at 8:13 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm from NJ, and I heard that statement from Christie. It's great and all - he's right in that people need to get away from the shore area - but it's really likely that the people on the beach in AP today are people who live around there. Some will need to retreat inland, and some already live inland, but I don't think it's reasonable to think they're all from Pennsylvania or the NY suburbs and need to head home. And it's a beautiful day. If I lived down there, like my parents do, I'd be planning, like them, to get up in the morning and drive an hour west and take a hotel room. But if I were off today, I might have gone to AP to. There's no storm today.
posted by Miko at 8:16 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


She's weakening.
posted by vrakatar at 8:16 PM on August 26, 2011


I wonder what the term is for when people go running in after a hurricane to gather newly displaced things from the sand, and items brought in from sea. That would make for a good documentar

I think the term is shipwrecking.
posted by Skygazer at 8:17 PM on August 26, 2011


All I know is that the ground is soooo saturated from all the rain we've had here in the northeast that whether or not its a cat 1 or cat 2, it's a 100 year storm and bringing a helluva lot of water with it. And with all that water having nowhere to go, yeah, I'm concerned. Plus with the ground so wet, it's not going to take a ton of wind to fell some trees and cause more trouble.

Am I clutching at my pearls and praying to my deity? No. I'm taking reasonable precautions, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. I think it's great there's a thread here in metatalk for peeps to chat about it and that our "hurricane preparedness" askme database is growing for future askers. I have no idea why that bothers other people.
posted by NoraCharles at 8:18 PM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Another one, unamed, of Cape Verde.
posted by vrakatar at 8:18 PM on August 26, 2011


And even if it turns out to be one of those "10 inches of snow!....oops...none" moments, then good, people were still prepared.

Right. Let me repeat for emphasis, please: If you prep for this storm and it totally fizzles in your area, that is totally awesome and you're still awesome for preparing.

Last year, I got deployed to the Cape for Hurricane Earl. We got some rain, a little wind, and then a beautiful sunny day. Even some of my fellow volunteers were kind of pissed at the money the Red Cross spent bringing people in from around the country. Well, what was the alternative? The alternative was that we didn't send anyone out to help the Cape and Islands chapter, Earl took a wobble to the west, and the bridges were rendered impassable and there was no one to help them. I was fine with getting shipped out for what turned out to be nothing.

A robust disaster plan and response for a disaster that fizzles is not a failure. Personal preparation for even a low probability disaster is not something you should ever be ashamed of.
posted by rollbiz at 8:20 PM on August 26, 2011 [21 favorites]


Hello, 700-comment MetaTalk thread!

Was out of town and chose this evening to return to eve-of-the-disaster NYC. I guess it says something that this is the first place I turn to get reasonable advice when weather.com has been blaring the same fire engine red disaster banner for days.

So, can anyone say with any sort of authority what the odds are of power outages in the five boroughs and/or what the likely extent of them will be? I have read varying things: our transformers and electrical equipment are underground (bad) but we don't have many overhead power lines (good), but nobody seems willing to express an opinion about whether it is or isn't probably going to happen.

FWIW, either way I am planning on filling up lots of water bottles (I don't get all this "buying water" – I've got probably five gallons worth of Nalgenes and stuff lying around), grabbing a flashlight if any are still fucking for sale anywhere, stocking up on canned goods, and replacing my beer with booze that will be more agreeable at room temperature, so I'm really just curious about what to expect on the power front.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 8:20 PM on August 26, 2011


The subway is a closed ecosystem, the rats keep the mutant insect population down, the cats keep the rat population down, the mole people keep the cat population down and the C.H.U.D.S. keep the mole people population down. We remove the rats and we destroy the the balance.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:24 PM on August 26, 2011 [15 favorites]


I think the term is shipwrecking.

Also salvaging, beachcombing, or in shady situations mooncussing.
posted by Miko at 8:26 PM on August 26, 2011


Power out? Only a fool would give that less than 50%, I'll go as high as 70%, but I am not your weather bookie. Big rains 99%.
posted by vrakatar at 8:26 PM on August 26, 2011


the beach will have tons of treasures on it.

i went down to the beach
just after the storm
to see what the winds offered up
i found a peso, a plantain, a Panama hat
and a Miami Vice coffee cup
an old record by Eddie Palmieri
a bit of coral from a coral reef
but best of all, lyin' there on the sand
i found a big ol' Jamaican spleef!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:30 PM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


that is totally awesome and you're still awesome for preparing.

Yeah I'm taking this as my every-four-years -kick-in-the-pants to replace batteries and such. I'm expecting a Tropical Storm with Maybe a power outage.
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


And the surge could be strong so it is great everyone is taking all these precautions cause how often does this happen? Better safe then sorry.
posted by The Whelk at 8:36 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wacky hijinx? 100.4%
posted by vrakatar at 8:36 PM on August 26, 2011


Also, hurricane area people: As the storm hits, be mindful of radar if you continue to have the ability to monitor it, keep track of the WX band on your weather band powered radio, or at least find a good local radio news source to listen to on your battery/crank powered radio (you have one, right?). Whoever described this as a bad thunderstorm for 12 hours was right on the money, and that includes things like potential tornadoes. Multiple tornado watches and warnings have already happened or are happening in N.C., and I've gotten reports of at least one tornado touchdown.
posted by rollbiz at 8:36 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Waterproof the boombox, blast Rock You Like a Hurricane at 2pm Sunday out the window
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I-40 today was any indication all of Middle-America's arsenal of bucket trucks, heavy-duty generators, and disaster recovery service trucks are already headed East to assist in cleanup, so you've got that going for you.
posted by ghharr at 8:37 PM on August 26, 2011


All I know is that the ground is soooo saturated from all the rain we've had here in the northeast that whether or not its a cat 1 or cat 2, it's a 100 year storm and bringing a helluva lot of water with it.

Yup. I'm right on the Passaic River in one of the NJ towns that gets hammered with water - we had news crews crawling our place in the spring when the crazy flooding went down. We mainly watched it from way up in our very tall building, but good neighbors were scooting around in canoes and such, trying to forget that everything they owned got totalled. Christie signed on to quickly lower reservoir levels by a few feet in our area this morning, but it probably would've been a better idea a few days ago.
posted by mintcake! at 8:38 PM on August 26, 2011


Waterproof the boombox, blast Rock You Like a Hurricane at 2pm Sunday out the window

It's going to be my wake-up song on Sunday, if I'm not already deployed...!
posted by rollbiz at 8:39 PM on August 26, 2011


I think the idea is that if it touches down as a CAT 1 you are getting power outages somewhere with in the 100 MILE radius. So it may have to stay vague.
posted by edbles at 8:41 PM on August 26, 2011



In defense of Poet_Lariat I did not hear him poo poo this storm. It seemed to me he was pointing out data easily found on the NOAA website, two clicks off the homepage.

If the general public hopelessly unable to understand the NOAA wind speed prediction maps why do you suppose they publish them on the web site, to mislead and confuse? Check out the forecast discussion too it can be pretty interesting.

Evidently NOAA issues hurricane warnings when there is a 10% or less chance of hurricane strength winds in your location.

The folks at NOAA may not be directly elected bureaucrats but there budgets are controlled by those same folks, they need to cover their asses too.

I suppose there is a time issue here too, what if the models show something different tomorrow morning and now you are issuing a warning with only 24 hours notice, not so easy for the public to make plans and take action.

And of course it is better to be safe then sorry.
posted by flummox at 8:43 PM on August 26, 2011


This seems like a balanced approach:

Hurricane Irene is probably at its strongest moment at this writing, as a Category Two hurricane, and will become weaker over time as she moves north. However, Irene is very large and will be moving very slowly. So, which is worse? Category Two hurricane winds passing quickly through an area or Tropical Storm force winds hanging around for a day?

[...]
Irene is very unlikely to be a hurricane by the time it reaches Long Island, but it will be a large, lumbering wet, windy tropical storm and will bring significant flooding to all those hilly areas in New England and eastern New York....Your best bet is to take Irene fairly seriously and hope to later say "Oh, that wasn't as bad as I expected." The alternative is to take reports of Irene's weakening to mean that you have nothing to worry about, and during the storm you go out to buy a pack of ciggs and drive through some water you didn't realize was that deep and be washed into the river and die. Up to you.

posted by mediareport at 8:44 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm expecting a power outage but not more than 24 hours. Less, really..

Part of my brain is going "I live in one of the richest zip codes in the US, if anything more than a minor annoyance happens here then it means everywhere else will have gone thunderdome and I have much, much bigger things to worry about." So I didn't really understand the frantic last-plane out of Saigon atmosphere of the stores around here, maybe a reflex nugget about not being prepared or a communal fear desire for suffering cause even the worst scenario I can think of puts my neighborhood as Slightly Inconvenienced For Possibly A Week.

Maybe Godzilla appearing would just be so much more interesting than going to work on Monday.
posted by The Whelk at 8:46 PM on August 26, 2011


Before we start posting recipes, can we talk about recipes easily produced with no electricity or running water?

Say it with me now..

SPAM SAMMICH


What, cold SPAM? That's nasty.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:46 PM on August 26, 2011


WNYC pumped out a Dark and Stormy Mixtape list appropriate for the occasion. A few of the songs have youtube links. The one I always think of is track 13.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:48 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is the link I meant to post.
posted by flummox at 8:49 PM on August 26, 2011


So go and get yourself a real goddamn flashlight.

Recommendations, please?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:56 AM on August 26 [+] [!]


Surefire, one in the briefcase, one in the car, one at home.
posted by mlis at 8:52 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Perhaps the mods should step in. Misinformation and half-baked information are the last things this thread needs.

Poet does this all the time and then blithely dances around the issue. Facts don't seem to matter.
posted by futz at 8:52 PM on August 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


Paulsc is talking sense. I'm pretty sure that is a sign we are doomed.
posted by humanfont at 8:52 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


man, I would be super excited if this shifts further east. My boyfriend has a follow-up appt with his surgeon in Springfield, MA on Monday and... it will really suck if we can't make it.

Also, the Weather Channel doesn't seem to think Vermont is part of the Northeast. :(
posted by Wuggie Norple at 8:54 PM on August 26, 2011


Hey, you're welcome, any time.
posted by Miko at 10:58 PM on August 26

Is it too late to say your CDC link is borked, but maybe you meant this or perhaps this, neither of which specifically mentions candles or lanterns? And that, out of the 16,700 links your loaded "Google" link provides, that some of the page 4 results have people recommending various alternative non-battery light sources for long term use?

Eh, what's the point of making sense? If the worst happens, some Yankees will sit, safe and scared, in the dark, some will dance and spark in romantic candle light regardless, and some, will still be checking MetaTalk for news.

"Paulsc is talking sense. I'm pretty sure that is a sign we are doomed."
posted by humanfont at 11:52 PM on August 26

I agree. God in Heaven, help the least of us.
posted by paulsc at 8:56 PM on August 26, 2011


Waterproof the boombox

Oh hell yes.
posted by mintcake! at 8:56 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "I'm expecting a power outage but not more than 24 hours. Less, really.."

I'd be happy with that. The last few big storms have knocked out our power for between 2 and 5 days. Very frustrating.
posted by zarq at 9:00 PM on August 26, 2011


What, cold SPAM? That's nasty.

No, no! Room temperature, mon ami. Same as a fine Belgian beer. Divine.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:03 PM on August 26, 2011


If the worst happens, some Yankees will sit, safe and scared, in the dark

Some Mets, too, no doubt.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:05 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


mlis: " Surefire, one in the briefcase, one in the car, one at home."

Seconding these. They're the best.

Home Depot also sells inexpensive small maglites that run on regular AA batteries and provide a nice, clean, bright white light. I keep one in every room of the house, just in case they're needed. You can stand them up, pointed at the ceiling of a room and give yourself nice illumination.
posted by zarq at 9:07 PM on August 26, 2011


I doubt Gloucester, MA will see too much, but I have battened down my chickens in advance. Gotta drive home from Allston at 2AM Sunday though :(
posted by kpht at 9:07 PM on August 26, 2011


I live 7 miles from downtown Houston and was without power for two weeks after Ike. Its going to depend why you lose power. Crews will focus in reconnecting as many people as possible, so if you have a small local issue or live in a spread out neighborhood you are way down the list
posted by IanMorr at 9:08 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually, humanfont, I don't share his sense of humor, and I am not sure if you are joking, but he did a great job countering Poet_Lariat, which was desperately needed.

Also, whatever you think of him, paulsc has been a prolific contributor to the community:

On an over bounded problem.

On how to make your sheets softer.

On designing shoes and taking the right measurement.

I know he has written some great stuff on weapons systems and defense contractors from an engineer's perspective and also some very helpful information about cookware but I can not find those at the moment.
posted by mlis at 9:10 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


"... Some Mets, too, no doubt."
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:05 AM on August 27

But no Red Sox; for they who call Fenway home, lead charmed lives, and fear no fate.
posted by paulsc at 9:10 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Friend of mine told me that a big treat her parents made her as a young girl was spam and queso dip. They used a blender to mix queso and room temperature spam. She said this was considered really classy in Puerto Rico. I thought she was just pulling my leg, but check out this awesome hurricane recipe.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:13 PM on August 26, 2011


futz Poet does this all the time and then blithely dances around the issue. Facts don't seem to matter.

Yep. And restless_nomad's response reminds me of Krugman's line about W. during the 2004 election: "If W. said the world was flat, the headlines the next day would read, 'Shape of the world, views differ.'"

I don't mean to get on r_n's case, but maybe a senior mod could send Poet a message letting her know that posting incorrect information in a thread devoted at least partially to preparing for a disaster is not ok.
posted by mlis at 9:21 PM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


When the target audience has relatively little experience with hurricane prep, we really don't need people who've spent years of their lives watching hurricanes whiz by being shouted down by people who haven't.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:35 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is getting pretty annoying. A hurricane warning does not mean you will experience a hurricane. It doesn't mean you shouldn't be concerned either.

The current National Weather Service forecast for NYC is calling for winds between 50 to 70 mph on Sunday, with gusts up to 80 mph, and 8 inches of rain or better possible between Saturday night and Sunday. That's not quite a hurricane, but it is a pretty bad tropical storm, and that's still a lot of rain.

What actually happens will depend on the course the storm takes and whether it weakens or doesn't or how much. The warning means that if their predictions are a bit off you could still be dealing with an actual hurricane. Otherwise it'll just be pretty bad.

People outside of the areas that will definitely experience hurricane conditions are still legitimately worried about flooding and loss of power. It doesn't make any sense to make fun of people for stocking up on non-perishable food and water and buying flashlights.

You can go here to get forecasts for other areas.
posted by nangar at 9:39 PM on August 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


"... Some Mets, too, no doubt."
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:05 AM on August 27

But no Red Sox; for they who call Fenway home, lead charmed lives, and fear no fate.


Anyway, it isn't Irene that New York is afraid of.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:42 PM on August 26, 2011


"Anyway, it isn't Irene that New York is afraid of."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:42 AM on August 27

Philly has had a remarkable year, haven't they? And you know what? I'm not one to take away any of it, on sour puss ruminations. What happens in ballparks, needn't stay in ballparks. Nay, it should inform us all.
posted by paulsc at 9:46 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Another question, for Brooklyn folks, since it looks like I'm stuck within reasonable biking/walking distance tomorrow: Any leads on flashlights in the greater Prospect Heights vicinity?
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 9:47 PM on August 26, 2011


If ever the note under the text box was more important...

This is a good and useful community that means quite a lot to me and not a few others. The general theme of:

"stay safe. We care about you. And we want you to have the most information possible so that we can be assured of seeing you on the other side of this thing."

Is being obscured by I don't know what. Call me a pollyanna or a conflict avoidant personality, but honestly, could we be civil, please?
posted by Sophie1 at 9:54 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yep. And restless_nomad's response reminds me of Krugman's line about W. during the 2004 election: "If W. said the world was flat, the headlines the next day would read, 'Shape of the world, views differ.'"

Yeah, I take exception to this viewpoint as well. The answer to meteorological amateur hour isn't for other amateurs to counter it in a counter meteorological amateur hour. The answer is to say "I don't know, and you don't know, so let's listen to the folks that do and prepare for the worst and if things are much less bad than that, let's be OK with that".

Also, just to express a sentiment that was better expressed by someone else on a call I was on earlier: Your trees do not care if this storm makes New England landfall as a weak Category 1 or a strong tropical storm. Your trees do not see much difference between 76mph sustained winds and 72mph sustained winds, especially over 12+ hours. If they are prone to fall down, your trees will fall down in either scenario.
posted by rollbiz at 10:03 PM on August 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


The current National Weather Service forecast for NYC is calling for winds between 50 to 70 mph on Sunday, with gusts up to 80 mph, and 8 inches of rain or better possible between Saturday night and Sunday. That's not quite a hurricane, but it is a pretty bad tropical storm, and that's still a lot of rain.

Here in Eastern Queens, we've got a slightly more intense forecast that says "Sunday: Hurricane conditions expected. Rain, mainly before 4pm. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 78. North wind 55 to 75 mph decreasing to between 45 and 55 mph. Winds could gust as high as 85 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 3 and 4 inches possible."
posted by Jahaza at 10:13 PM on August 26, 2011


I'm currently in north Baltimore, and am not expecting much but have still stockpiled water and non-perishable snacks. And bourbon, of course.

I'm really worried about my apartment in Western Massachusetts. I'm on the edge of a state forest/mountain, the basement has already flooded several times this year, and there is a huge crack in the basement wall, on the uphill side and on the side out of which most of the flood water comes. These rain and wind projections have me really nervous! I guess I'll find out what happens when I go home next week. Anyone have tips on how to stop worrying about things you can't control?
posted by apricot at 10:30 PM on August 26, 2011


Lots of bile in this thread! Chillax! There are a lot of valid reasons why people should be flipping out or otherwise overestimating the danger Irene poses, despite whatever the weather reports may say. The thing I like about the pooflinging in this thread is that it's pooflinging: there is no total or near-total agreement that it's going to be the end of civilization on the east coast as we know it.

I mean: bickering over whether or not the thing is going to weaken, is class 2 or 3, or whatever, is a hell of a lot better than everyone yelling "NC RESIDENTS: HURRRCANE CLASS 5. WE ALL BONED." So at least we have that. Which is not to say that Irene isn't capable of causing death and a lot of damage. It's just that we've got a lot of information saying that it's not the worst it could be, which is something.

And the noise:signal is pretty decent. We've got a lot of information, and pretty graphs, and supercomputers modeling things into relative agreement. We'll be getting first-hand accounts of what's going down. So it's not like we're totally in the dark here.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm just glad that it's not as bad as it could be. I can live without power, or water, or food, or with flooding, and lightning, and structural damage to buildings. I don't want to deal with deaths. Major and minor inconveniences > death and dying.


And this is where I think a lot of people have good reason to be worried. Because major and minor inconveniences are a pain in the ass. I think the reason why I'm so sedate about this is because I'm holding on to belief, however foolish it may be, that the hurricane will not cause large loss of life. And maybe I feel better about this because of other people who've flipped out and disaster prepped up the wazoo, and now feel comfortable that we have, at the worst, overprepared for the hurricane.

But after doing as much as you can to prepare, take a step back and try to stay calm. People may be looking to you for guidance and advice, or as a role model. You might not be able to afford to go bananas for the sake of other folks.

Just remember that there are things that are in your control, and things that are completely out of your control. Dedicate your energy and resources to the things you have control over. Mamet wrote, clunkily, in "Heist:" "Worrying is like paying interest on a debt that never comes due." I think the trick is to attenuate the amount of worrying you do to spur you to engage in action which might be helpful, like getting food, filling tubs, and, yes, keeping calm. Remember: if you flip out, you're more likely to forget things. Important things. Like taking a break from the computer. And brushing your teeth.

UPDATE as of 0052EST:
For the Hampton Roads, VA area: light rain, mild wind. My flipometer is registering near zero. Storm surge has been estimated at just under 7ft. For comparison, Hurricane Isabel's surge here was 7.9ft.

And I've got a perfect pile in mind:
- two sets of flashlights, knives, and keys, braided together. One for me, one for a friend. The flashlights are small SureFires that put out 5/200 lumens based on mode. Why knives? Because they make me feel badass. And feeling badass is better than feeling helpless. Also: if I come across any apples, I can peel them and eat them for sustenance
- whisky. Glenmorangie 10. My standard for the warmer seasons. Not that I'm going to drink it, but just in case there's an altercation, and I can offer some to my opponent to make friends. Also, if we cannot make friends, the booze will slow me down enough as I remember: "the slow blade penetrates the shield."
- a bottle of San Pellegrino
- one small saucepan. Cause the knives are kinda small. And besides, getting hit with a pot that goes "PWANG!" is really, really demoralizing
- 12-count pack of Spicy Beef Cup o' Noodles. Bought a bunch of food for the folks in my group staying overnight at the hospital, but took the cup noodles home because the bag kind you can crush against a wall and pour the spice packet in and shake it and have a delicious meal. Can't do it with cup noodles. Also: I figure I can bind the box to my back and have a Spicy Beef Cup o' Noodles flotation device. At least my body will be easily identifiable should I perish
- chopsticks. Somehow I have a 48-pack of wooden chopsticks in my possession. With some effort, I can picture myself a total wilderness badass and see myself making a fire bow, or guns
- Towel. Large. White. Clean
- A bar of soap from St Regis in San Francisco, which I smell to recall my trips there. Which I rub upon my body to smell fresh and clean in case the whisky isn't enough to calm things down during an altercation and I have to resort to my masculine wiles.

I'm prepared for a worst case scenario: being accosted by someone who has no such resources, who wants what I have. I offer the person some whisky. She declines. She gets upset. I offer her some food, she accepts. Our nerves cool. I use my knife to whittle the chopsticks down to make a small fire bow, and make a small fire using other chopsticks whittled down as tinder and fuel. I boil some Pellegrino in the pot and pour it into some cup noodles for the gentleman, telling her to wait three minutes for full flavor. We eat quietly in the drumming rain. The wind picks up, and she turns to me and whispers, "you smell good." There is an awkward pause. And I wait for the right moment.

It comes: lightning strikes, blinding her momentarily! I reach for my chopstick guns and fire off 10 rounds of high-velocity rubber projectiles, screaming: "YOU'LL NOT USE ME FOR MY BODY, HEAAATHHHEEENNNNAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"

I use the towel to wipe the spittle off my mouth, smiling, knowing that that my chances of meeting someone who loves me for my mind has increased incrementally.


Anyway, look guys, don't be dicks. People are stressed out. Some more than others. Be kind.
posted by herrdoktor at 10:33 PM on August 26, 2011 [26 favorites]


Please be safe, y'all.
posted by rtha at 10:47 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone have tips on how to stop worrying about things you can't control?

Bourbon. You got that covered, so have at it.
posted by rtha at 10:49 PM on August 26, 2011


quin writes "So go and get yourself a real goddamn flashlight."

Besides having a couple good flashlights hanging around I find it nice to have a bunch of cheap flashlights spread around. You can buy a bag full of these for less than the cost of a case of beer. Not for this obviously but for next time.

mitzyjalapeno writes "Fill up the pitcher with water after you have done your business in the bathroom, and empty the pitcher in the bowl."

Why not pour the water in the tank? Less risk of icky splash that way and you won't over flush.

bondcliff writes "Any idea how long bottled water lasts? Obviously it's not going to go bad but will the plastic have leeched into the water by now, turning me into some sort of Hulk/Human superhero should I drink it?"

It essentially doesn't expire. When I was stocking vending machines our water had best before days 3-4 years in the future.

flummox writes "If the general public hopelessly unable to understand the NOAA wind speed prediction maps why do you suppose they publish them on the web site, to mislead and confuse?"

Even if 99% of the public can't understand the data that leaves 31 million Americans (AKA 1 Canada) who can make good use of the data.
posted by Mitheral at 11:00 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


never disclose your full stockpile, heerdocktor
query:
is there an increase in commerical trucks coming into or out of NYC.

posted by clavdivs at 11:13 PM on August 26, 2011


TWC just talked about how the storm cant really strengthen now, and how drier air is going into the storm. Great news. Weaken, Damnit!
posted by cashman at 11:13 PM on August 26, 2011


Meanwhile, headline on weather.com:

HURRICANE IRENE: 2 Million Ordered to Leave Along East Coast

The bastards are really just loving this.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 11:21 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jumping way upthread to a comment from misha: I was born in FL and lived through tons of storms where the newsmen were all death and destruction and dire warnings about Not Being Prepared, and had the same attitude you did because every one had been a dud, and here I was in my thirties and nothing really bad had happened to us. And then we had 4 hurricanes in six weeks that devastated the state.

It only takes one to change your mind on these things, and that year we got four. Over here on the left coast we only got the shredded remnants of everything - except for Charley, which was supposed to flatten my home, until it dodged right at the last moment and slammed Fat End instead.

Some of my earliest memories are from evacuating for Elena in 1985, which proceeded to park its miserable butt for a few days, dumping enough rain to get Gilgamesh excited. I was three years old, and my family evacuated to a college, where the psych and education students had a lot of fun keeping us kids busy. I think that's why I take this stuff seriously. An evac of three days or so is not big in the grand scheme of things, but it's sort of a landmark when you're that small.

If you prepare for it, you're not overreacting. You're a hoopy frood who knows where her flashlights are, and that's always a good thing to be.

When I apply for asylum in Happy Nice Weather Country (wherever that is) I'm going to mark down the 04 tropical season as the reason they should let me in.

also, I love you all so very much for the WTFTOILET discussion. Bwee.
posted by cmyk at 12:16 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm a gonna tell a hurricane story, from some time ago, complete with stupid and hope and love, and maybe kindness from above.

I drove through Hurricane Gloria, in 1985, in a Lincoln Town Car of that year, along I-90, from Albany, NY, to Boston, with a 62 year old mechanical engineer named Marty, because his wife was sick and scared, in their home in Lincoln, MA, and because I was stupid. Marty and I had been in Rochester, NY on business, in the days leading up to the impingment of the storm on New England territory. Forecasts in those day were generally 24 hour affairs; the supercomputers, the mathematical models, and the long range satellite observations of today, based on polar orbiting satellites, simply didn't exist. But, boy, the East-West satellite photes of that storm, did.

Of course, we'd been individually watching Gloria come up the East Coast on our TVs in our rooms at the Rochester Holiday Inn, via East-West orbiting satellite photos for the previous couple of days, but hey, in those days, you didn't talk much about your family or your worries at breakfast, or at any other meal, on the road. But I could see, by the look on Marty's face at breakfast on Friday, September 27, that he was worried, and didn't want to go to any client sites. So, we talked about it, and I called the clients, and begged off, and Marty called the airlines and insisted.

We got as far East as Albany, NY, on US Air turboprops that day. Everything US Air was flying was going to ground by noon; so, about 11:00 a.m. on the 27th, Marty and I, after some bullshit bravado discussion, rented the last Lincoln Town Car that Budget Rent-A-Car had in Albany, that day. We told 'em it was for local use, and we took the extra insurance coverage.

And then, we started East.

As soon as we were on I-90, the clouds overhead looked like low, heavy, black tornado clouds, and the wind was pushing us, right, and sometimes backward, and then not pushing us, at all, so hard, I could hardly stay in lane. We pulled in under an overpass near the state line with Massachusetts, and I asked Marty whether we should try to keep going. With the Lincoln rocking in wind from both the hurricane, and a few east bound crazy trucks, Marty said he wanted to get home, to his wife, if we could. Well, in those pre-cell phone days, as Marty's manager, that was enough Mission for me.

I put the Lincoln in gear again, and we headed East, through the Berkshires, sometimes at 35 mph, sometimes at 25 mph, but on, and on, on I-90, not always knowing which lane we were traveling. The lightining came so hard the FM radio lost stations in static, and the rain came so hard the windshield wipers were useless. At the Mass state line, where we stopped to pickup a Mass Turnpike ticket, the ticket booth agent just shook his head, and handed us the ticket, and we didn't need to ask his opinion of our sanity, or the weather forecast. We stopped at every overpass, for a while, because we needed to breathe, and hope we weren't completely crazy, just a little. We crept on, overpass by overpass, to Springfield, MA, and just before the first exit for Springfield, the wind let up, the rain ceased, and we saw sunshine. We drove perhaps another 5 miles, and realized that we were in the eye of the storm.

It was awesome, and in remembrance of that day, I never use that word otherwise, even lightly. We could see the eye wall, all around us, but beaming down on us, was brilliant sunshine, and above us, nothing but blue sky. Not a cloud, not a breath of breeze, not a fault in a perfect fall New England day, except, all about us, in a perfect circle, angry grey clouds. And it was absolutely obvious that if we forged ahead, the wind wouldn't be pushing us toward the shoulder, it would be pushing us into the passing lane. But, by that point, neither Marty or I was as scared as we should have been, as scared as we were a little east of Albany, or as scared as we soon would be.

Driving through the eye of Gloria was blessed time; the Sun shown brightly, there wasn't any rain or wind, and we even saw flocks of confused birds taking to the sky. There was little MassPike traffic, we drove through the Springfield exits like royalty, and we didn't even see one Mass State Trooper. But we did watch the southern eye wall get closer, and eventually, we hit the eastern eye wall.

The rain came down again, like Niagara Falls. And the wind hit us, from the right. Oh (pick your emergency Deity of choice, but mine was a lapsed Lutheran's God, and Marty's was a Hebrew's version of the same), the WIND!!! At 15 MPH, that 2 ton Lincoln was a teacup. No way were we steering, no way did any action of ours, behind a 350 horsepower V8, mean anything. And yet, because there was no place to stop, no place to simply give up, we somehow made stupid progress. We each gave up, but not to each other. We'd have both shit our pants, if our clenched sphincters would have let us. We could have peed our pants, but our dry mouths were jealous of the fluid. We each prayed, I'm sure, so sincerely and privately that neither of us heard the other.

At some point, we passed the Sturbridge exit, where I-84 meets the Mass Pike, and where we saw maybe a 100 trucks, and would have maybe seen, if we could've seen that far, as many cars pulled over, on the shoulder, like we would have liked to have been. But there was no obvious place to quit and die, so we just kept inching along, sometimes on the shoulder, sometimes in lane, and the rain poured down like a waterfall, and the wind pushed us around, and all the radio would play was static.

It took us nearly 4 hours to progress from Springfield to Sturbridge, a drive that's never since taken me even 2 hours. And from Sturbridge to Worcester was another hard fought 2 hours, but we dumbly pressed on. By then, it was getting dark, and we pulled over, again, to consult, and again, Marty was eager to get to Boston, and I was somewhat encouraged by the obvious progess of the storm northward.

We didn't really factor in the trees, then, or the downed limbs, or the cars that clogged the Mass Pike, further east, because we simply didn't know about all that. But from Worcester, to the Route 128 exit of the Mass Pike, was most of a further nights work.

But, by the time we got to Rt. 128, we were on home ground, we thought, and the storm had abated, moving north in the night. We paid our Mass Pike toll to an astonished ticket taker, and we headed north on 128. But, at the first Waltham exit, there was a lake, wider than we ever thought, and many, many trucks pulled to the shoulder. We pulled in behind them, and watched carefully, as one by one, some adventurous truckers moved through the lake. But watching them, we didn't think we could make it, all the way, so we pulled off 128 at the exit, with water coming in our floorboards, and eventually went down Trapelo Road, to Lincoln, and Marty's home and wife, early Saturday morning, around dozens of downed trees and limbs, which made navigating Lincoln in our Lincoln an uncommon chore.

I got home, in Waltham, about 2:00 p.m. on that Saturday. My then-wife said, when I walked in "You're really late."

"No kidding." was the best I could muster.

And I turned that good Lincoln in at the Boston airport, with a full tank of gas and my best wishes, on a clear, fine New England fall Sunday. When I was asked about any problems I'd had with the car, I remember saying that it was fine, and probably wouldn't need a wash.

I could've been out of this world, so easily, in September of 1985, as could Marty. But here I am, and here you are, readers. I won't belabor you with metaphysics, if you won't belabor me with physics.
posted by paulsc at 12:26 AM on August 27, 2011 [55 favorites]


Two good hurricane trackers: Google, and New York Times
posted by crunchland at 3:39 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


So, I woke up this morning and looked out my window onto Broadway. And noticed (because the damn things are so ubiquitous that you forget they are there) that the entire block across the street is covered my a sidewalk shed. The next block over is half covered. I would guess in certain areas of the city, you get at least one block out of every six with these sheds. Which are basically steel pipes, wood planks, and/or corrugate metal and plywood.

Basically... I'm seeing a pile of projectiles. Can anyone vouch for how sturdy these things are? How much wind can they withstand?
posted by kimdog at 5:04 AM on August 27, 2011


crunchland, that Google tracker doesn't show the larger range of the storm's wind and rain at all.
posted by mediareport at 5:18 AM on August 27, 2011


Mediareport how is it in Raleigh? Here in Durham we have light rain and what I would categorize as a strong breeze/slight wind.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:22 AM on August 27, 2011


Is it too late to say your CDC link is borked

Oops, sorry. Here is the link. Relevant line:
CDC recommends that people make an emergency plan that includes a disaster supply kit. This kit should include enough water, dried and canned food, and emergency supplies (flashlights, batteries, first-aid supplies, prescription medicines, and a digital thermometer) to last at least 3 days. Use battery-powered flashlights and lanterns, rather than candles, gas lanterns, or torches (to minimize the risk of fire).
And that, out of the 16,700 links your loaded "Google" link provides, that some of the page 4 results have people recommending various alternative non-battery light sources for long term use?

I am not ruling them out entirely. I just think that one should be very careful in recommending them, especially to people who don't own them already and don't have any experience using them, and probably also to people in urban areas who live in multi-unit dwellings. You have to be careful with them, and if kids, pets, any kind of impairment, a wind gust, a falling shelf or whatever knocks one over, it's the fastest way for a house fire to begin you've ever seen.

Once you introduce the flame and fuel into the house you have introduced a risk. The risk of fire is at a certain level with lantern use in normal situations; in an emergency where fire and ambulance services may not be as quick to respond, that risk magnifies. It's possible to manage this risk by never leaving the lantern unattended and by securing it away from any of these threats and being fully sober and alert the entire time the flames are lit, but let's be sure people are aware that the risk of fire needs to be managed.
posted by Miko at 5:41 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


FEMA says the same: "Use a flashlight or battery-operated lantern. Do not use candles for emergency lighting. Candles and kerosene lanterns are fire hazards." There's a reason these warnings are included. House fires during hurricans are not all that uncommon a result of the storm. It makes sense to minimize the risk.
posted by Miko at 5:46 AM on August 27, 2011


The last few big storms have knocked out our power for between 2 and 5 days. Very frustrating.

What, really? But you're in Queens, right? I've never lost power in Manhattan due to a storm since maybe the early 90s, iirc.
posted by elizardbits at 5:55 AM on August 27, 2011


Sooooo -- how fucked is Philly? Any guesses? Hang tight NYC, you were always my first love.
posted by angrycat at 5:56 AM on August 27, 2011


"Several New York City boroughs have been evacuated." That's some cracker-jack reporting, CNN.
posted by griphus at 5:57 AM on August 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Nine AM Easter time - the new NWS forecasts came out. Irene has been reduced down to a Category 1, the weakest hurricane there is. Currently batterring North Carolina and expected be in the N.Y /Phila area by 8 am tomorrow. Rainfall expected to be only 6 to 10 incles in that NY area with isolated maxes to 15 inches. Irene is expected to weaken from this morning forward and be considered a tropical Storm by the time it gets to New England. Currently, it's expected to remain a CAT 1 hurricane as it enters the NY area. Storm surges of greater than 5 feet remain less than a 20% probability throughout the entire NY area. Interesting little news item w/video about landfall in N.C. here
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:58 AM on August 27, 2011


oh lord, here we go again.
posted by elizardbits at 6:05 AM on August 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


What I wouldn't give for a weather service that doesn't have secondary gain issues.
posted by amro at 6:06 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Breeze is starting to pick up here in Maryland.

CHARGE ALL THE THINGS!
posted by ChuqD at 6:08 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I forget who said it, but I concurr: Chris Christie may not be the most politically palatable guy in the world, but he seems like he is doing a great job as governor in an emergency situation.

Poet: "only 6 to 10 inches" is an oxymoron. That is a significant, guaranteed to cause problems for someone, amount of rain. Especially for heavily populated areas without much greenspace to absorb the volume of it.
posted by gjc at 6:09 AM on August 27, 2011


Poet: "only 6 to 10 inches" is an oxymoron. That is a significant, guaranteed to cause problems for someone, amount of rain. Especially for heavily populated areas without much greenspace to absorb the volume of it.

I don't believe I recall Poet saying otherwise.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:11 AM on August 27, 2011


stewriffic, it's the same here, but the wind kicks up regularly into something strong enough to seriously bend the trees in the backyard, and the rain, when it comes, is heavy. We're basically going to see on-off wind and rain corresponding to the bands at the edge of Irene all day.
posted by mediareport at 6:12 AM on August 27, 2011


Yeah, I noticed a nice stiff breeze when I took the dog out a few minutes ago here in the Maryland suburbs of DC. Cloudy, too. We're totally going to lose power.

I agree, too, with gjc, about the 6 to 10 inches of rain being a big deal. The Northeast is oversaturated right now from all the rain it got earlier this summer; dropping 6 to 10 inches on top of that is going to be bad. There wil likely be flooding. There will be trees falling, too, in lesser winds than might otherwise cause that kind of damage, just because of the over-saturated soil.

I'm still crossing my fingers for low amounts of storm surge for NYC. Anything that doesn't overtop the seawalls is good news in my book at this point.
posted by devinemissk at 6:13 AM on August 27, 2011


I don't believe I recall Poet saying otherwise.

It was the editorial "only."
posted by devinemissk at 6:14 AM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


OK, panic in Morningside Heights. NO MORE ARUGULA!
posted by thinkpiece at 6:17 AM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Lariat, your incessant need to be "win the internet" instead of acknowledging what other people in the thread have asked you to do is a very telling thing. I hope you can take a step back from the keyboard one day and recognize this. I'd MeMail you, but you've blocked me from doing that since we've had this sort of conversation before.

Short version: It's OKAY for people to prepare for the worst and hope for the best while you can still be the best smartest person ever on the internet. Can you please stop campaigning now?

Empresss: I don't believe I recall Poet saying otherwise.

It's the word "only". If you read up, she's repeatedly said this storm is nothing to fear. And as everyone else has said, even if there's a 10% chance of an emergency, it is not at all helpful for someone to downplay the risk of the emergency. It would be one thing if there was a panicked unruly mob running around the thread screaming the end was near, sure, fine, try to downplay it. Instead it's just been a frustrating parade of erroneous downplaying coupled with passive aggressive retorts.
posted by cavalier at 6:17 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, wind has picked up here, too. Bendy trees!
posted by Stewriffic at 6:17 AM on August 27, 2011


This looks really, really bad for Breezy Point.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:18 AM on August 27, 2011


oh lord, here we go again.
The eye of the thread has passed and we're in the shut once more.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:26 AM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


SHIT SHIT SHIT LEARN SHIT PHONE
posted by nathancaswell at 6:27 AM on August 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


Six to ten inches of rain is a huge deal. Four people died here in Pittsburgh last week from a summer thunderstorm that dumped three inches on the city. The rain caused a nine foot high wall of water to roll down a city street trapping people in their cars. So two to three times that much rain is pretty f-ing scary. Be safe folks.
posted by octothorpe at 6:28 AM on August 27, 2011


God, Nathan, I know ---exactly--- how you feel. Hugs. Lol
posted by cavalier at 6:29 AM on August 27, 2011


Bloomberg pressy on now. Biggest concern is storm surge. Sounds like wind speed hitting NYC is not particularly an issue. So it sounds like the sheds flying throgh Broadway is not as much a concern as flooding.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:33 AM on August 27, 2011


Bendy trees!

A friend on Twitter said we're going to get the best part of Irene on all counts: cool bendy trees, much-needed rain, no serious damage and gorgeous skies tomorrow.

Of course, 5 seconds ago multiple emergency vehicle sirens started sounding a block or so away.

*pause*

I hope he's right.
posted by mediareport at 6:38 AM on August 27, 2011


Ha ha I love it when Bloomberg speaks espanol.
posted by angrycat at 6:38 AM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, I just found out: long stretches of old ethernet cables make fantastic make-shift ropes. For tying inanimate things down, you perverts.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:40 AM on August 27, 2011


Um....the Philadelphia area does not need any more rain. Hear that God? No more rain.
Also bendy trees can crack and kill you.
posted by angrycat at 6:40 AM on August 27, 2011


Also, I just found out: long stretches of old ethernet cables make fantastic make-shift ropes.

Excellent idea!

For tying inanimate things down, you perverts.

...oh.


(For real, though, I think cables would be hard to cut through in an emergency so I don't recommend them for people-tying).
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:46 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

CHARGE ALL THE THINGS!
You know, that's the one thing I haven't done. I'll get right on it--thanks for the reminder.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:57 AM on August 27, 2011


Goddammit I forgot to get ice.
posted by swift at 7:03 AM on August 27, 2011


> Any idea how long bottled water lasts?

"As long as properly bottled water stays unopened, it should remain safe to drink."

"Bottled water is considered to have an indefinite safety shelf life."

Your four-year-old water should be safe to drink, although it might not taste so great. Add limes to your emergency shopping list!
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:06 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ha ha I love it when Bloomberg speaks espanol.

Hahah, yeah. It really threw me for a loop the first time I saw it during the H1N1 scare. Also, I think he's fluent -- he made a grammatical mistake and corrected himself.
posted by griphus at 7:06 AM on August 27, 2011


Any NYCers have any predictions on cab availability this afternoon around 2pm? I have to go shopping on 57th street (I know, I know, cry moar first world problems) and would prefer to not have to walk home afterwards.
posted by elizardbits at 7:07 AM on August 27, 2011


We made six cups of butter. Gonna be a good day.
posted by vrakatar at 7:09 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


If only hurricanes came with safe words.
posted by digitalprimate at 7:09 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


East or West side? Based on my Snowpocalypse experience, which is totally applicable here (except probably not), there were plenty of cabs on the UWS who were happy to drive around Manhattan but refused to go to the outer boroughs. Looking out on Amsterdam now, there are more cabs than is usual for a Saturday morning driving around.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:10 AM on August 27, 2011


West side, thx! I guess it's not really that long a walk home either way, though. *attempts bravery*
posted by elizardbits at 7:12 AM on August 27, 2011


Is it just me, or did anyone else immediately wonder what might happen if vrakatar and digitalprimate somehow got their six cups of butter and old ethernet cables together?
posted by argonauta at 7:12 AM on August 27, 2011


@argonauta I do not need any fantasy distractions right now! I'm tying down lawn furniture.

Or, um I am going to be as soon as I hit post.
posted by digitalprimate at 7:14 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


And I bet your lawn furniture has been VERY VERY NAUGHTY.
posted by argonauta at 7:15 AM on August 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


STATUS UPDATE 1000EST
Hampton Roads, VA

Decent, not torrential amounts of rain. A good, constant breeze with occasional gusts powerful enough to knock over a cardboard box in my garage. My flipometer has nudged itself up to 0.5mf.


STATUS UPDATE 1031EST
Hampton Roads, VA

Went out to give a ride to a friend. Small branches falling from trees, lots of leaves, some flooding of intersections. Local body of water rhyming with "plague" is flooding (as it easily does), with water encroaching upon the streets. Decent amount of wind. Can't estimate speed, but it's enough to make leaves whiz by at a decent clip.

I would avoid walking around outside, as I've just seen people do, lest you get leaf-slapped in the face.
posted by herrdoktor at 7:33 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The news caster on the beach in the 80mph winds phenomenon is just ridiculous. is that really necessary? This guy on the Weather Channel is barely standing. We get it. Wind = bad.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:36 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Because it is annoying. Hell, the hurricane is annoying.

I'm with the Empress on this one. I just got back from my penultimate trip out to get supplies. I now have all the batteries, candles, and various other things I am likely to need, barring serious problems like, say, my building collapsing (which is pretty unlikely). I'm not afraid, since I have done everything I can reasonably do at this point, and the things that can really mess me up are out of my hands. I am a little anxious, however, because all the speculation and media coverage and so on are playing on my anxieties, but, hey.

I am annoyed though. The storm is annoying. The media is annoying. The politicians making statements are annoying. The endless speculations are annoying. Basically, I am annoyed. I have a lot of other things I'd rather spend my time and energy on this weekend, and here I am, preparing to hunker down and ride out a nasty storm. I don't see this as a petty display of my own bad nature but justifiable irritation at the petty annoyances that we could do something about but don't, because it lets us feel like we're doing something once we have done all the things we can reasonably do. Since everyone talks about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:39 AM on August 27, 2011


Ah, yeah, you're going to be inundated with "meteorojournalists". They live for this stuff. I remember in Hurricane Andrew, Bryan Norcross parlayed his time rocking the airtime as a meteorologist/talking head for Andrew into a near national gig for a few years. And the reporters, oh, the poor, vapid, first year reporters that get sent out to the coast with a camera to report back with "YEP! SURE IS WET OUT HERE!"
posted by cavalier at 7:39 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


This has just escalated into genuine tragedy, you guys. Bergdorf Goodman and Saks are both closed until Monday.

i do believe i have the vapours.
posted by elizardbits at 7:40 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


NOOOOOOO

WHERE WILL I GET MY KIEHL'S AND MY GOYARD NOW

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:41 AM on August 27, 2011


Shopping trip cancelled, then? (sips tea with pinky out)
posted by cavalier at 7:41 AM on August 27, 2011


I have a black tie wedding next weekend to which I shall now be wearing pajamas, apparently. *weeps*
posted by elizardbits at 7:43 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I need Clutching Pearls!
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 AM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


NOOOOOOO

WHERE WILL I GET MY KIEHL'S AND MY GOYARD NOW

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:41 AM on August 27 [+] [!]

The gentleman survivalist always packs Clarins, as their plastic is less prone to cracking!
posted by herrdoktor at 7:44 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not the best graphic but interesting: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/specials/110826_irene_winds/?p1=News_links
posted by theredpen at 7:46 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Strange that the NYT tracker now has the storm at hurricane strength up to the Conn/Mass border. That's changed since a few hours ago (maybe just an error, but interesting).
posted by torticat at 7:49 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been finding WunderMap useful. Zoom out so you see most of the coast, then check the "Satellite" and "Hurricane" boxes on the right. And click the "Animate" button under the NEXRAD Radar setting. This gets you all the cloud cover, all the rain, animated, and the projected path along with the predicted transitions from hurricane to tropical storm. (You have to wait a few seconds for the map to update if you move or zoom in or out.)
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:51 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lots of N.Y.C. webcams to watch the storm as it blows through tomorrow.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 7:54 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


In New York City, low-lying areas of the city were called to evacuate. This is mainly because of the forecast coastal flooding which will take place due to a combination of Irene's surge and astronomical high tides. The city is also preparing for Irene with shutdowns of mass transit beginning on Saturday. The NY Mayor warned residents of the possibility that power will be turned off to areas of downtown in an effort to protect the lines from salt water.
posted by futz at 7:56 AM on August 27, 2011


Never too early for very specific hurricane humor.
posted by griphus at 8:00 AM on August 27, 2011


I've been finding WunderMap useful.

I love WunderMap, and Wunderground, and Jeff Masters' blog over there is really useful and informative - as are the comment threads, if you feel like slogging through them.
posted by devinemissk at 8:01 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to sleep through the whole thing.
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 AM on August 27, 2011


Strange that the NYT tracker now has the storm at hurricane strength up to the Conn/Mass border. That's changed since a few hours ago (maybe just an error, but interesting).

I was just watching this -- it's going to remain a Cat 1 because it's staying slightly over the water until it's final landfall in New England. Nothing in it's way to weaken it.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:02 AM on August 27, 2011


Hurricane themed cocktails to help you ride out the storm.
posted by crunchland at 8:03 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, Delaware County is SO FUCKED
10:45 a.m.: It appears Delco can't survive a hurricane without some doughnuts. The Dunkin Donuts in Drexel Hill and Springfield are nearly all picked over.

NO DONUTS I REPEAT NO DONUTS IN DELCO
posted by angrycat at 8:04 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


One of my favorite people in this world lives in Manhattan, and for years she has fussed over hurricane season, calling to check on me, sending care-packages of books to read and toys like slingshots and paddleballs and little plastic ball-bearing mazes to keep me entertained. (She knows me so well.)

We are both very confused with things all switched around backwards like this. I'm asking about things like mandatory evacs and flood zones and where is your girlfriend staying and do you have enough cat food, and it is very strange. Florida advising New York on a hurricane? That's just crazy talk.
posted by cmyk at 8:07 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just checked the path of the storm projection. Wow! Right through my neighborhood.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:07 AM on August 27, 2011


On a more serious note, WNYC reports some people in projects in East Village are not evacuating, despite the order.
posted by angrycat at 8:07 AM on August 27, 2011


It's a serious storm, and it's wide, so it will last quite a while, and it has a lot of energy. The morning shows, all based in NYC, were just going nuts. They all sounded slightly disappointed about the downgrade from 2 to 1(Wut, Whole World Not Ending? Then why am I standing in these waves with a microphone?). No need to be hysterical or panic or freak out, but a lot of us (I'm in Maine, and we'll get something) will lose power, have trees down, flooded streets, basements, etc., and a lot of heavy wind and rain that be just like the Energizer Bunny - still going. Coastal areas are scary in a hurricane. Be really careful about moving water, people lose their footing easily in an inch or 2 of water flowing down a road, and can be hurt or even drown. Really, don't use a flooded bridge.

A few good tips from the morning talk shows: turn the fridge/freezer to its coldest setting; it will stay colder longer. Also, fill it with bottles of water; a full fridge is more efficient, and stays colder longer. Make a note to return the fridge to regular settings after the power returns, so you don't waste money and electricity. Outdoor stuff - use the hose to "tie" it together. If you can add a cement block as an anchor, even better.

Oil lamps go in the center of a sturdy table or counter, same with candles. They use Fire, which is a useful resource, but requires common sense. Fire in the form of candles is terrific for making a dreary, windy, rainy event way more cheerful. A few of us were talking about how much fun it is to sing around a campfire. If you have a house full of refugees, and no power, I recommend a few tealights on a plate, show tunes, kids songs, and as many corny old songs as you can remember.

Oooh, nifty, APOD has a clip of Irene growing into a hurricane.

I just spoused herrdoktor.

Also, this thread is pretty awesome. Way upthread there was chat about whether it was appropriate to use metatalk for this, but, clearly, we are loving the opportunity to be a community - to talk, plan, complain, share, bitch , whine and argue. The thread would be entirely justified by the use of the term Toilet Scientists. It's fun hunkering down with y'all.
posted by theora55 at 8:10 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


We have rain signal.
posted by The Whelk at 8:15 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just got really dark and started pouring in Upper Manhattan.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:16 AM on August 27, 2011


The sleeper has awakened!
posted by zombieflanders at 8:16 AM on August 27, 2011


Nothing in Delco (slightly west of Phillly) although as per google maps we're in the path of it.
posted by angrycat at 8:17 AM on August 27, 2011


There is no hurricane only zuul
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 AM on August 27, 2011


Is it time to break out the gin?
posted by oinopaponton at 8:19 AM on August 27, 2011


There is never a negative answer to that question.
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think Philly's going to start getting rain in the next couple hours. I'm debating whether I should go out and get my rain boots now, try to find some extra batteries (because every place was sold out last night), pick up my pay check, go running before it rains, or stay home.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:20 AM on August 27, 2011


Mebbe Irene is pushing a buncha shit in front of her in terms of rain and whatnot.
posted by angrycat at 8:21 AM on August 27, 2011


Philly's kind of pleasant at the moment. A nice breeze. Lots of stuff moving in from the east.
posted by carter at 8:24 AM on August 27, 2011


Shit what a time to run out of catfood. Plenty of stale food in the bowl, but the cats hate it and me because of it.
posted by angrycat at 8:28 AM on August 27, 2011


I'm going to give myself a hurricane facial so I look relaxed and refreshed for the emergency crews.
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 AM on August 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


Looking pretty ominous in Baltimore. About to go on my last minute run to the liquor store.
posted by codacorolla at 8:32 AM on August 27, 2011


I'm just south of Baltimore and it's started raining lightly here with a bit of wind. No one seems terribly concerned.
posted by Lobster Garden at 8:33 AM on August 27, 2011


Shit what a time to run out of catfood. Plenty of stale food in the bowl, but the cats hate it and me because of it.
posted by angrycat


Too easy.
posted by cashman at 8:34 AM on August 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


Is it time to break out the gin?

Why, oh, why, is my first hurricane in YEARS hitting smack as I'm 6 months pregnant? The best part about sitting out a hurricane is the drinking, y'all. (Safely, of course, always safely.)
posted by devinemissk at 8:34 AM on August 27, 2011


Sanitation workers are removing city trashcans outside my building. Which is good, because I could do without one of those blowing through my window.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:34 AM on August 27, 2011


Angry, I am not your local emergency coordinator, but from the 11am maps I would assume you have enough time to get some cat food. Unless the hordes have already panicky decimated your local sources.
posted by cavalier at 8:36 AM on August 27, 2011


Auto correct destroyed that sentence, yet I am not sure where.
posted by cavalier at 8:37 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


There is a lovely breeze but some dark clouds in north Baltimore. I was going to run out to the Book Thing for reading provisions, but maybe not...
posted by apricot at 8:38 AM on August 27, 2011


We're getting a pretty steady rain here in Takoma Park. Wind is picking up.
posted by devinemissk at 8:39 AM on August 27, 2011


I was going to run out to the Book Thing for reading provisions, but maybe not...

I'm sure you have time. There is a light drizzle ~20 min south of Baltimore where I am.
posted by Lobster Garden at 8:41 AM on August 27, 2011


Takoma Park here as well (why oh why aren't we having a kick-ass hurricane meetup?) I might just have time to run to shop-rite and get some gin myself. Wish me luck, people!
posted by Navelgazer at 8:42 AM on August 27, 2011


Yup out the door for provisions nowish
posted by angrycat at 8:43 AM on August 27, 2011


The Whelk: "I'm going to give myself a hurricane facial so I look relaxed and refreshed for the emergency crews."

I put on a shit-ton of makeup today so that if anything should happen I will leave a smeary, raccoon-eyed, glamorous corpse.
posted by theredpen at 8:43 AM on August 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


As soon as the rain kicked in about 30 minutes ago, the west village apparently swooned as one and ran into the streets piddling themselves in terror. I went to take out the trash and saw a mass of people galloping towards D'Agostinos as though the entire Golden Horde was in pursuit.
posted by elizardbits at 8:43 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why, oh, why, is my first hurricane in YEARS hitting smack as I'm 6 months pregnant?

I am about a million months pregnant and I only can drink a teeny tiny bit. It is very sad.

When exactly is all the craziness supposed to hit NYC again? I am confused.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:45 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Panic early, panic often.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:45 AM on August 27, 2011


Later this evening, I think? Around 7ish?
posted by elizardbits at 8:47 AM on August 27, 2011


From what I saw in some graphic I can't find, things start picking up in NYC around 6 or 7 tonight and peak tomorrow at 10 a.m.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:48 AM on August 27, 2011


elizardbits: "What, really? But you're in Queens, right? I've never lost power in Manhattan due to a storm since maybe the early 90s, iirc."

I'm in northeast Queens. Infrastructure here is newer than areas like Astoria, since this area is only about 50-60 years old. However, it takes a hit every time we have a storm. We lost power a few weeks ago when a transformer blew out around the corner. Our landline phone service is particularly vulnerable to wet weather. We don't need tropical storm/hurricane conditions to lose phone service -- just a very wet, prolonged storm. If a tree goes down in the wrong place, we could lose cable tv/internet for days until our local company reaches us.

Queens is a weird mish-mosh. Some areas never lose power. Some lose it every time there's a stiff breeze. And in our experience, the borough is not necessarily high on the priority list. If we're able to get out past the flooding, we have friends we can and will escape to if things get bad. They live 2-5 miles away, but never seem to lose power or have other issues during storms.

On the other hand, we have popcorn, Winnie the Pooh movies, candles, flashlights, and lots of fresh water. So we're good. :D
posted by zarq at 8:50 AM on August 27, 2011


There is a twitter fight going on over who has the most obnoxiously bougoise hurricane supplies " Macaroons!" " Organic trail mix!" " Smoked Salmon!""A crate of champagne!"
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's that windspeed estimator timeline doohickey someone helpfully linked to above: here

Looks like the peak winds will hit NYC at 10am tomorrow morning, but it'll start getting pretty nasty by 9pm tonight.
posted by argonauta at 8:51 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"A go-bag full of Merrill Lynch quarterly reports!"
posted by elizardbits at 8:52 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just went to the grocery store and picked up a lot of ice cream, that way if power goes out I will be forced to spend my time eatting ice cream.
posted by lilkeith07 at 8:52 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes, that's the thing I was thinking of.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:53 AM on August 27, 2011


" scented bath oils with extra SPF protection!"
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on August 27, 2011


"a manually-fed bidet!"
posted by oinopaponton at 8:54 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"nanny"
posted by The Whelk at 8:55 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"crank-powered emergency vibrator"
posted by Lobster Garden at 8:57 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


"five gardeners"

No seriously someone on Urban Baby has five gardeners.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:57 AM on August 27, 2011


"manual crank charger for my iPad and a servant to turn the handle!"
posted by elizardbits at 8:57 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Downpour started in Philly a few minutes ago. Trees are swaying, but nothing serious for the time being.
posted by The Michael The at 8:59 AM on August 27, 2011


"crank-powered servant"
posted by Lobster Garden at 9:00 AM on August 27, 2011


"servent-powered crank"
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:02 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


" Artisinal crank"
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


theora55 writes "Also, fill it with bottles of water; a full fridge is more efficient, and stays colder longer. "

It's too late for this to be a good thing to do. The cooling units in domestic units are fairly small and you should avoid adding more than a few pounds of warm material every 24 hours so that the cooling unit can maintain the rest of the food at the right temperature while it cools the introduced material. If you have your owners manual it'll often specify how much and how often. You don't want your fridge to be full of warmish (>38F) water when the power goes out.
posted by Mitheral at 9:06 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was just the most Bourgeois guy in Shop-Rite liquors for needing directions to find Sake for hurricane supplies. There was amost a weird degree of attention and respect from the other customers that I was doing it out like that.

Now I just need to figure out how to warm up sake without cooking off the alcohol.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:08 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good sake doesn't need to be warmed, Navelgazer. Bad sake...well, if you're lucky enough to have a gas water heater, I'd say fill a pot with hot tap water and set the bottle in that. It won't get *hot* but it'll be better than nothing.
posted by devinemissk at 9:10 AM on August 27, 2011


Don't warm it. Chill it. Warming sake is for shitty sake. I'm guessing you bought the good stuff, right?
posted by Splunge at 9:12 AM on August 27, 2011


Jesus, 5-8 foot surge in LI sound and NY harbor with probably 10-15 foot waves breaking on top of that. Stay safe, folks. (the wave height is my own guess based on past hurricane watching)
posted by wierdo at 9:12 AM on August 27, 2011


no, I know it doesn't need to be hot, but I like hot sake for the warming sensation. That's why I picked it up.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:13 AM on August 27, 2011


Mitheral, I'm in Maine. Not too late at all.

On Sunday, when I'm all "rain and wind picking up" in this thread, nobody's going to care, are they.
posted by theora55 at 9:13 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah I saw ~8 feet on the news just recently.
posted by Splunge at 9:14 AM on August 27, 2011


Looks like despite the sprinkling here, Philly won't have steady rain or heavy wind until around 6pm.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:14 AM on August 27, 2011


I'm Hot
posted by clavdivs at 9:15 AM on August 27, 2011


Ron Paul: "We should be like 1900; we should be like 1940, 1950, 1960," Paul said. "I live on the Gulf Coast; we deal with hurricanes all the time. Galveston is in my district.

"There's no magic about FEMA. They're a great contribution to deficit financing and quite frankly they don't have a penny in the bank. We should be coordinated but coordinated voluntarily with the states," Paul told NBC News. "A state can decide. We don't need somebody in Washington.
"
posted by cashman at 9:15 AM on August 27, 2011


Things have picked up in Richmond, VA and my postal guy has just delivered mail. I so don't envy him being out in that mess.
posted by bluesapphires at 9:18 AM on August 27, 2011


On Sunday, when I'm all "rain and wind picking up" in this thread, nobody's going to care, are they.

You and me against the world, lady.

Except, since our power goes out whenever someone in the neighborhood sneezes, I'm preparing myself for the possibility of NO INTERNET ALL SUNDAY OH NOES.
posted by Elsa at 9:21 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


PauLove
posted by gjc at 9:22 AM on August 27, 2011


The news caster on the beach in the 80mph winds phenomenon is just ridiculous. is that really necessary? This guy on the Weather Channel is barely standing. We get it. Wind = bad.

He's still out there, crouching. They should erect a statue to make fun of him. Meanwhile the guy in Virginia Beach was mad at passing cars because he was trying to break concrete on the ground and point at small branches being blown down the street, and his whole "OMG" demeanor was destroyed by people driving by, and one car/suv that rolled down the windows and waved at the camera for a good 30 seconds, slowly backed up, and then drove away. He called them idiots. And then TWC tried to explain it by saying "Our guy knows what he's doing, he knows what he's getting himself into". A tree fell on a house and killed a guy. .
posted by cashman at 9:25 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


A sister of mind on the Outer Banks of NC has been reporting high wind/heavy rain conditions for the past couple hours; a nephew in Virginia Beach says a medium-sized tree has come down in his backyard (but at least it fell away from his house). I'm at work in Fairfax, Va. (just outside of Dulles Airport), winds are about medium-strenght, but definately stronger than a coupld hours ago, with a heavy overcast sky. A niece in Mass. says she's battened down the hatches, but no real sign of it yet.
posted by easily confused at 9:30 AM on August 27, 2011


Just lost power in Richmond, but for some reason 3G is working.
posted by empath at 9:34 AM on August 27, 2011


Hey there, bluesapphires and empath. Thinking of y'all. :)
posted by likeso at 9:35 AM on August 27, 2011


It's too late for this to be a good thing to do.

put the bottled water in the freezer first and then move it to the fridge
posted by pyramid termite at 9:42 AM on August 27, 2011


WEATHER RELATED ALL CANALS.

Hurricane Irene - Flooding and canal closures projected for Champlain Canal and eastern Erie Canal within 24 hours. Mariners are urged to seek safe harbor.

For updates and information monitor 1-800-4CANAL4 and www.canals.ny.gov/news/notices/index.shtml

Be aware of high water and debris. Some buoys may be off station. For updates and information monitor 1-800-4CANAL4 and www.canals.ny.gov.
12:17:16PM 8/27/11


From my Erie Canal E-mail Alert
posted by valkane at 9:46 AM on August 27, 2011


Theora55: I'll care. Which reminds me that I need to bring the plants in off the porch.
posted by anastasiav at 9:47 AM on August 27, 2011


Is your Erie Canal alerts listserve named 'Sal'? If not, it should be.
posted by Asparagirl at 9:49 AM on August 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Thanks likso :o) I have still power so things are pretty good here. Of course my lights just flickered so we shall see how it goes.
posted by bluesapphires at 9:49 AM on August 27, 2011


It was the editorial "only."

So....the objection is entirely semantic.

Fair enough.

I'm taking all the precautions -- I've been getting the odd gallon of water as I've gone about the week, I've checked and re-checked the evacuation maps and I'm still showing up as well out of the flood surge zones on all of them, and my CSA just gave me 5 pounds of peaches, a pound of tomatoes, and two cantaloupes today so that takes care of "food I don't have to either refrigerate or cook". I've also filled up a 10-liter camp shower I have to take care of "the power is out and I need to flush the toilet" needs, and rounding up all of the LED flashlight key chains my parents have given me for three straight Christmases (seriously, they give me one every year and always forget they'd given me one already). I also noticed that the city has been taking down dead branches from trees in my neighborhood, so they won't blow down during the storm.

I'm kind of miffed that CNN is forecasting doom-and-gloom scenarios that make it sound like we're going to have tsunamis ripping down Broadway or something; my best friend called me in a panic offering to drive four hours from Connecticut and rescue me if I needed it, because she'd been watching the CNN coverage. I told her what the evacuation zones were, where I was in relation to them, and what my likely fate was; really, my worst-case scenario right now is that I have to live on peaches, read instead of watch TV, and commute by bike for 2 days, and honestly, there are worse fates. When she heard that, and heard that my worst-case scenario was not having everything I owned being washed out to the North Atlantic, she just snorted and said, "fuck CNN, then, I'll put on Spongebob like my kid has been asking me to all day."

....So I'm safe, except I'm singing about pineapples under the sea.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:52 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I almost broke my arm leaving the subway with groceries at about 12:15 PM. The last Manhattan-bound trains were to leave the station at the end of the line (2 down the line from where I was) at 12:00, but it'll take almost 2 hours for the last train from Coney Island to arrive here in Queens. They'd brilliantly already blocked off the exit with surveyors tape and I tripped trying to duck under it. Be careful everyone, it's the dumb stuff that'll get you.
posted by Jahaza at 9:55 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't believe I recall Poet saying otherwise.

It was the editorial "only."
posted by devinemissk at 9:14 AM on August 27

Yes, as well as the (once again) dismissive clarification of what a Cat 1 is.
Poet: "Irene has been reduced down to a Category 1, the weakest hurricane there is."

Really? Cat 1 is the weakest?
Thank you captain obvious.

What is your problem with people being concerned and prepared? I just don't get your attitude here.
posted by NoraCharles at 10:02 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know how nasty the wind and rain are supposed to get tonight in NYC? Is there a good chance of power outages happening that soon?
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 10:02 AM on August 27, 2011


@joeyjojojr, Hopefully not, but you should prepare as if we are going to lose power at some point tonight.
posted by digitalprimate at 10:04 AM on August 27, 2011


If we could lose power right before we go to bed, that might be OK, because then the people next door wouldn't be able to pump up the bass all the night as they usually do on Saturdays :D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:04 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


TPS, they just want to rock you like a hurricane.
posted by Elsa at 10:09 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Riding out the weather alone in my little one bedroom makes me want to call up the ex. Luckily, I prepared for the hurricane by taking his number out of my phone and filling all available containers with episodes of The Sopranos.
posted by prefpara at 10:09 AM on August 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


Riding out the weather alone in my little one bedroom makes me want to call up the ex.

I feel the same way; this is the most profound danger I think we are currently facing. If there is a time not to be single it is in a hurricane.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 10:12 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Big wet clouds moving West across the sky.
posted by swift at 10:12 AM on August 27, 2011


ConEd's realtimish outage map.

Of course, if you don't have any power in the first place....
posted by digitalprimate at 10:14 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looks like Richmond is getting whacked hard, or about to be. I was hoping the whole "east of I-95" track would hold, but I can't tell if that's going to hold or not.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:15 AM on August 27, 2011


joeyjoejoejr -

The latest wind forecasts from the National Weather Service say winds will increase from 34-39 mph tonight to 37-47 mph. Gusts to 60. For tomorrow the NWS is saying 50-70 mph winds, with gusts to 80, diminishing to 45-55 mph by evening.

But, most of NYC's power lines are underground so wind won't affect them. The bigger problem is flooding and the worst of that is expected tomorrow afternoon when the storm surge hits.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:16 AM on August 27, 2011


From the Washington Post:

Women who are due to give birth in the next week or so may want to have their hospital bags packed a little early. The drop in barometric pressure associated with the hurricane could cause a woman’s water to break early, and some obstetricians have warned patients that they may end up going to the hospital sooner.

Hospital officials say they are aware that lowering of atmospheric pressure tends to result in a spike in births.



You folks- rider, d-fen, fuq....be ready for anything.
posted by vrakatar at 10:18 AM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


We have prepared for the hurricane with lots of nonperishable food and water and whatever window reinforcement we could find - our super insisted on putting some supports behind the spot where our double-hung windows join together, because we have huge fucking windows, but it seems like flooding is more of a concern than wind and flying debris at this point.

I also have a stack of books I've been meaning to read and plenty of lube and tequila if circumstances require them. If shit gets really real, I have rain boots and Ativan.
posted by bedhead at 10:20 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looks like Richmond is getting whacked hard, or about to be. I was hoping the whole "east of I-95" track would hold, but I can't tell if that's going to hold or not.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:15 PM on August 27 [+] [!]


It looks like the eye will stay east of I-95 but as my coworker friend keeps reminding me, it's the northwest side that gets slammed by the rain.
posted by bluesapphires at 10:20 AM on August 27, 2011


VA power outages (+ part of NC)
posted by nangar at 10:21 AM on August 27, 2011


Well, fuck. I think I hear the chime for beer o'clock.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:22 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


“The category of the storm does not tell the whole story,” Mr. Fugate (FEMA director) wrote Saturday morning on his Twitter feed, after Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a Category 1 storm. “Some of our Nation’s worst flooding came from tropical storms.”
posted by futz at 10:23 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, heyyyyy, digitalprimate. So, you're back, huh? Did you make that lawn furniture understand ONCE AND FOR ALL that you're the one in charge here... and then taunt it, just a little, for liking it so much when you did?
posted by argonauta at 10:25 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


“The category of the storm does not tell the whole story,” Mr. Fugate (FEMA director) wrote Saturday morning on his Twitter feed, after Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a Category 1 storm. “Some of our Nation’s worst flooding came from tropical storms.”

Word. I still remember the horrific flooding in Houston when Tropical Storm Allison decided to park herself right over the city for several days. The damage from Allison rivals the devastation from Ike last year. (And let's not forget that Ike was very similar to Irene - a very big, slow moving, Category 1-2 storm with large storm surge and lots and lots of rain.)
posted by devinemissk at 10:29 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


plenty of lube and tequila if circumstances require them. If shit gets really real, I have rain boots and Ativan.

I would advise against combining items from Column A and Column B. Although lube + rainboots is probably OK, if you're into that.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:30 AM on August 27, 2011


Still on Long Island. It's been raining on and off. I just popped out to the grocery store, having realized that I was out of toilet paper and I'd rather like to have some before I'm trapped in my house for an unknown length of time. Surprisingly, it was not a madhouse, there were no lines, and they hadn't yet sold out of bottled water. Stay strong, Long Island!
posted by pemberkins at 10:33 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Greetings from the outer edge of the storm. We've been on the outer edge for several hours now, I keep checking the satellite but it doesn't seem to be moving north all that fast. Not too much to report from Raleigh aside from several lost limbs from our evil sweet gum tree-- two very large branches were neatly stacked on the outer edge of our property and my husband actually thought I moved them since they were so far from the tree. We sat on the porch and watched for a couple of hours around 11:00 and I was surprised to see so many hummingbirds going about the serious business of feeding themselves; there was a fair amount of flying debris and I was fearful for the tiny creatures.

No loss of power here but 350,000 without power along the coast and at least one death reported so far.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:37 AM on August 27, 2011


Dear god the city smells like Wet Dog.

Everything is closed or closing or packed - big sign over Brother Jimmy's BBQ

NO FOOD - 3 DOLLAR HURRICANES
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 AM on August 27, 2011


So, the VA "OMG" Weather reporter I talked about earlier just got buzzed by a host of people making fun of him. First 4 or 5 guys came by. They were all bare chested, with swimming trunks on. The first one had a football and ran across behind the reporter (who has been stationed in this same area all day - there's some place called "Foxy's" behind him. So the guy comes running by with a football.

The next guy comes running by putting his hands in the air, gets to the right of the reporter, and then pulls his shorts down, mooning the camera with his farmer-tanned ass, then proceeds to turn around and he *flops* around, and then off camera.

Two more guys in trunks come by, one doing that mime-walk against the wind thing, and they run off.

A car comes by, right behind the reporter, who is exasperated and keeps bringing up the two deaths he has heard of. The person in the car takes pictures with a cell phone, and they drive off.

Then, people come wooooing by in the foreground, between the camera and the reporter, who just looks like a complete fool at this point.

Maybe if you want to make the point that people shouldn't be out, you shouldn't be out there. I'm sure all of this will appear on YouTube shortly.
posted by cashman at 10:38 AM on August 27, 2011 [21 favorites]


Surprisingly, it was not a madhouse, there were no lines, and they hadn't yet sold out of bottled water.

I had a similar experience yesterday in Manhattan. While the news was reporting insane lines at grocery stores, I waltzed right into our local store, which was fully stocked with everything except batteries, which were kinda running low-ish. No lines. Don't believe the hype! (Except at Trader Joes, which was a total madhouse all day yesterday.)
posted by bedhead at 10:38 AM on August 27, 2011


The Whelk, and anyone else in Manhattan, are there many cars on the road? Compared to an average Saturday, I mean. I have to shoot down to the UES.
posted by mlis at 10:40 AM on August 27, 2011


And by flops around, I mean waves his penis around like it was a contest.
posted by cashman at 10:40 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fewer cars, lots more cabs
posted by The Whelk at 10:44 AM on August 27, 2011


mlis, I was just out in our neighborhood (UWS, not east side, but still) and what little traffic was on the road was largely taxis. Lighter than usual, but it's not Mad Max-style yet.

Rite Aid was a minor nightmare, with a line stretching all through the store. The sniveling soon-to-be Columbia freshman behind me was on her phone, loudly complaining, "They have a line all through the store and only two people checking out, but there are plenty of people restocking the beer. What are they thinking?" I wanted to grab her sniveling shoulders and shout, "DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT AMERICAN HEROES THAT WAY."
posted by superfluousm at 10:44 AM on August 27, 2011 [46 favorites]


Superfluousm, once again, you have made my day.

God bless the brave men and women restocking our beer and God bless the toilet scientists.
posted by teragram at 10:51 AM on August 27, 2011


There is a twitter fight going on over who has the most obnoxiously bougoise hurricane supplies " Macaroons!" " Organic trail mix!" " Smoked Salmon!""A crate of champagne!"

I claimed smoked salmon upthread, but I also now claim quince paste.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:52 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


superfluousm, my best laugh so far today.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:53 AM on August 27, 2011


Thx!
posted by mlis at 10:56 AM on August 27, 2011


So, the VA "OMG" Weather reporter I talked about earlier just got buzzed by a host of people making fun of him.

YouTube
posted by mochapickle at 10:57 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


How did those people just happen to be recording their TV when a guy mooned the camera? Do people sit around recording their TVs for hours on end, hoping to get a good clip?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:00 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wondered that too, but then I was so entertained it didn't matter...
posted by mochapickle at 11:01 AM on August 27, 2011


How did those people just happen to be recording their TV when a guy mooned the camera? Do people sit around recording their TVs for hours on end, hoping to get a good clip?

Either they were watching on a DVR with a rewind feature that allowed them to go back and save the moment, or they were watching on their computer via a program that has a similar rewind feature.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:02 AM on August 27, 2011


So, the VA "OMG" Weather reporter I talked about earlier just got buzzed by a host of people making fun of him.

Yeah, this Weather Channel guy in Virginia Beach is the star of the coverage so far. Two minutes ago he was (barely) standing out there in torrential rain and godawful wind, still ranting about all the people who have the NERVE to be DRIVING around in CARS in a HURRICANE! "You're setting a really bad example!"

And then he tries to explain again why it's OK for him to be out there. I'm waiting for someone to lead an elephant and a marching band behind him.

Even Dr. Rick Nab the hurricane expert back at the studio is laughing at him.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:02 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm guessing they got a tip. If you're around the area this weatherman has been there all day, and these guys probably asked their friends to record it when they pulled this shit.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:03 AM on August 27, 2011


And by flops around, I mean waves his penis around like it was a contest.

I thought you meant he had a seizure. I am glad I was wrong, but now I am wondering what kind of contests you attend....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:04 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is your problem with people being concerned and prepared? I just don't get your attitude here.

Prepared is one thing. Panicking is something else again. My only "attitude" is "I feel bad that my best friend got so worried she was prepared to drive 4 hours to perform a one-woman rescue because she thought I was facing Death By Tsunami, when I wasn't."

That's where the "only" is coming from -- it's "only" as in "a category five would be required for a total city-wide flood to take place, but this is only a category one, so a tsunami is therefore unlikely and so you therefore do not need to invest in a boat".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:05 AM on August 27, 2011


Another one , is he wearing goggles?
posted by sweetmarie at 11:10 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Honestly, I don't see ANYONE panicking on here, but I'm picking up what you're puttin' down, Empress :-)
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:12 AM on August 27, 2011


I like how it changes from a hurricane to a tropical storm after hitting Philly. It's like the hurricane is saying, 'I know Philly is gonna beat the shit out of me, yo, so I'm gonna take a fuckin nap afterwards'
posted by angrycat at 11:14 AM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


New Yorkers don't panic,but sometimes the rest of the country does it for us.

I am a bit worried about the live lobsters as Westside Market though, I am going to swing by and if they are still there I might have to give them a good home.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:17 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone else in New York just feel the temperature drop? Creepy.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:26 AM on August 27, 2011


...in your belly!
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:26 AM on August 27, 2011


Uh, that was in response to ad hominem :)
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:26 AM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]



Anyone else in New York just feel the temperature drop? Creepy.


I DID. SPOOKY
posted by The Whelk at 11:29 AM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone up for a blackout party in Park Slope tomorrow once the storm has passed?
posted by Eshkol at 11:32 AM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rainsign in Bensonhurst. I think I'm the southernmost NYC MeFite so prepare for it to come up.
posted by griphus at 11:35 AM on August 27, 2011


3, 2, 1 and we're locked in for the weekend. Shall we listen to some music?
posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM on August 27, 2011


Is it weird that I feel a little left out of the whole Irene thing? I think I got my first taste of weather adrenaline during our tornado warning the other day (and where were you, Metafilter? *shakes fist*), and now I need my fix (but not really, God).
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:37 AM on August 27, 2011


Upper West Side checking in. Apparently, Katz's Deli is going to be open until 10:45 tonight. No idea who is going to be working there. Crazy.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:39 AM on August 27, 2011


If you had to be stuck somewhere, Katz's might not be so bad. PASTRAMI SAMMIES ALL NIGHT LONG
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:40 AM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Anyone else in New York just feel the temperature drop? Creepy.

No, (I just thought it was the AC kicking in...).

But an NYPD car just went by telling people to evacuate.

If I was that cop, I would have a really difficult time not dropping in something about Godzilla approaching Tokyo...
posted by Skygazer at 11:42 AM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


*Greenpoint, Brooklyn
posted by Skygazer at 11:45 AM on August 27, 2011


I really want to see that VA Beach news dude lose it completely and rip his own shirt off and run shrieking into the gale.
posted by elizardbits at 11:49 AM on August 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


Our next-door neighbors had a party last week. They rented a bunch of chairs. Said chairs are still in their backyard, along with a couple of glass-topped patio tables. Next door to them is one of those backyard gazebo-type structures. Across from that there's an abandoned yard in which reposes a giant rusty old grill.

I'm glad I live on the top floor. Except ... maybe during a hurricane is the one time it sort of sucks to have all these skylights. If we get gale force winds, we'll evacuate downstairs. Our landlords have very kindly left two varieties of wine in their kitchen and encouraged those of us staying in shelter here to have at it. We'll probably work through our own stock first, though.

We have been debating at what point to take the AC unit out of the window. I say sooner is better, The Boyfriend says we've a few hours yet.

We're currently doing all the dishes and showering and charging of phones and DSes and computers and iThings. (Because a hurricane is bad enough, but not being able to play Animal Crossing or Peggle during it would be a catastrophe.)
posted by brina at 12:02 PM on August 27, 2011


The Weather Channel just reported the fatality of a child whose house was hit by a tree. Goddamn. Awful.
posted by kpht at 12:04 PM on August 27, 2011


Still nothing much happening in Baltimore. A little light rain.
posted by Lobster Garden at 12:05 PM on August 27, 2011


The city says don't bother with ACs unless they're loose, last I heard. Considering the transit shutdown and Zone A evac, I'm not bothering to.
posted by griphus at 12:06 PM on August 27, 2011


Empress, er, I think Nora was addressing Poet in that message -- not you. :)
posted by cavalier at 12:08 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


griphus, how do you determine the loose-ness of your window unit?
posted by brina at 12:10 PM on August 27, 2011


how do you determine the loose-ness of your window unit?

Buy it a drink?
posted by oinopaponton at 12:14 PM on August 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


Streaking Irene Reveler Ruins Weather Channel (NSFW)
....let's just imagine how Weather Channel viewers at home (50% of whom are named "Ethel") reacted to the sight of this man and his privates suddenly appearing on their televisions.

posted by zarq at 12:14 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


griphus, how do you determine the loose-ness of your window unit?

I usually bang my penis on it for a while, and if the AC moves, it's a good guess it's loose.
posted by Skygazer at 12:15 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's where the "only" is coming from -- it's "only" as in "a category five would be required for a total city-wide flood to take place, but this is only a category one

No one, but no one, in this thread has suggested NYC will be submerged. No one has expressed panic. So what is that "only" responding to, then?

OTOH, no one, but no one, except Poet_Lariat seems to find it necessary to call this "only" a Cat 1 (and repeated similar assessments). On the contrary, officials are saying do not worry about whether it's a Trop Storm or a Cat 1 hurricane; the threat is serious and should be treated that way.

However, if that point hasn't gotten through at this point I guess it's not going to... sigh.
posted by torticat at 12:17 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I usually bang my penis on it for a while, and if the AC moves, it's a good guess it's loose.

Wow... "buy it a drink" took us halfway there, but you really went for broke with that joke. I salute you, sir.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 12:18 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Speaking of loose, have y'all heard about brina's neighbor's lawn furniture? It sounds like it needs more than just a stern talking-to.
posted by argonauta at 12:24 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Attempts at diverting anxious energy through deep-frying have failed, deliciously. Plan B(eer) still in effect through at least midnight tonight, with chances of non-comfort food consumption at 15% and falling.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:25 PM on August 27, 2011


It's a beautiful day in Chicago, but I'm the guy responsible for posting all of the store closing information for a certain retailer whose name rhymes with Brate and Carrel. Usually this is no big deal, because we have a handy tool. Recently, something caused the tool to slow to a crawl, and we haven't been able to throw the resources at it to fix. As such, each posting now takes a good 5-10 minutes.

Change the appropriate letters on this link, and guess how fun my day's been!

http://www.brateandcarrel.com/Stores/List-State.aspx

I am in no way comparing my suffering to those directly impacted. Stay safe, stay true!
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:26 PM on August 27, 2011


I salute you, sir.

It's crude, but it works.

Now checking for live electrical sockets...that's where things really get interesting...
posted by Skygazer at 12:27 PM on August 27, 2011


Video of (hard to see) full frontal nudity behind a Weather Channel guy reporting from Virginia (NSFW)
posted by Asparagirl at 12:30 PM on August 27, 2011


From figurative dicks to literal ones, this thread's got all your dick needs covered!
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:32 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Anyone up for a blackout party in Park Slope tomorrow once the storm has passed?


ME
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:32 PM on August 27, 2011


We ran away from Hurricane Georges in 1998. One of my favorite memories of being stuck at the KOA Kampground just outside of Ocala, Florida is watching the Hurricane News with a room full of Canadian tourists.

"Live, From Key Biscayne....!"

Which is funny because Key Biscayne is MIAMI. Key West is 150 miles south of there.

Key West was getting pummeled by the hurricane and reporters were set up on Key Biscayne.

I still chuckle at that.
posted by bilabial at 12:32 PM on August 27, 2011


Mayor on live at nyc.gov
posted by griphus at 12:35 PM on August 27, 2011


Choire Sicha reports from the Manhattan Bridge
posted by oinopaponton at 12:37 PM on August 27, 2011


Dude. Amazon Prime for the win. We couldn't find a battery powered lantern in a store yesterday, so we ordered one with next-day delivery...and they just brought it right to our door. I feel more prepared now, for when the power inevitably goes out. (Aside: Pepco sucks.) Whodathunk online ordering would be better than shopping local for hurricane prep?
posted by devinemissk at 12:39 PM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd be up for a boozy blackout brunch in Dupont-ish DC tomorrow... heck, even if we still have power.

I promise to keep my nascent "tell me how you dominate your patio table" fetish largely to myself. (Maybe memail me if you're into that.)
posted by argonauta at 12:40 PM on August 27, 2011


VA power outages (+ part of NC)
posted by nangar at 1:21 PM on August 27 [+] [!]


That is actually only the listing for one of the power companies (the one we have) my parents company is a different one and they are without power, but, we're still on.

We already have one house destroyed from a falling tree, some power poles down, the beach is about gone, and part of the town is flooded. Irene is still hours from here, this is just the forward push.

Category 1 or not, this is a dangerous situation. Two are dead directly from hurricane damage, two more related. Stay safe, y'all.
posted by SuzySmith at 12:43 PM on August 27, 2011


We finally finished our hurricane shopping and our laundry. I am holed up in our bedroom with an eye-related headache while my boyfriend forages for lunch, a flashlight, and a baguette. Stuff is charged, Mom has been reassured... I think I'm as ready for this as I can be.
posted by TrishaLynn at 12:44 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


ConEd is shutting down the great underground steam system. So fill up your giant mechanical spiders now, people.
posted by griphus at 12:44 PM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


re: the Weather Channel dude and the streaker..... I'vd got a nephew in Virginai Beach: I don't THINK he's in that clip, but knowing him, I wouldn't guarentee it.....
posted by easily confused at 12:54 PM on August 27, 2011


That's MetaFilter's Own Choire Sicha, you meant.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:57 PM on August 27, 2011


griphus: "992ConEd is shutting down the great underground steam system. So fill up your giant mechanical spiders now, people."

What will that affect?
posted by zarq at 1:01 PM on August 27, 2011


Slowdown in Golem Production.
posted by The Whelk at 1:02 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's sort of funny and weird to watch my hometown in northern Sweden kinda freak out about this storm. Not surprising, I guess, given that all the media there seems to be spinning it that 70 million people "are affected" by Irene, and as if all of New York will be submerged like New Orleans after Katrina...

I just had a phone interview with my hometown paper, who wanted to know the status here in the Washington, D.C. area. It was pretty surreal. They seemed fairly disappointed that it was just raining a bit, and that the wind hasn't picked up that much so far. I'm not sure what the reporter was expecting, but "I'm not that worried here, so far from the ocean. I have water and food for a few days, and flashlights for when the power goes. I'm not planning on driving anywhere and parked on top of the hill instead of next to the creek, but that's about it" wasn't AT ALL what he wanted to hear...
posted by gemmy at 1:04 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


What will that affect?
posted by zarq


Giant mechanical spiders, presumably :-)
posted by 1000monkeys at 1:05 PM on August 27, 2011


Dry cleaning stores, health spas, Steampunk-ers and Vegan-restaurants, is my guess.
posted by Skygazer at 1:06 PM on August 27, 2011


ConEd steam system facts.
posted by plastic_animals at 1:06 PM on August 27, 2011


In case anyone's curious: background on the steam system:
* ConEd.com
* Wikipedia.
* Gotham Gazette article (via the wikipedia page)
* Official Website
posted by zarq at 1:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Grand Central Station is empty.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Christ, poor dim Eric Fisher, the Weather Channel guy and new favorite pastime of Virginia Beach residents, is still coming on every ten minutes to scream about people out in the storm, but he fails to realize that the only reason anyone has come out in the storm for the past 4 hours is specifically to fuck with him. If he would just go in the hotel and stay there, everyone else would stay home.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:08 PM on August 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


I think people are still a bit skittish about hurricanes going near cities that start with "New"
posted by The Whelk at 1:08 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gemmy, I can't believe you passed up such a great trolling opportunity.

"I'm feeling good about my chances when the shit goes down. Most of my neighbors just have shotguns and handguns, so with my semiautomatic rifle I feel like I've got the firepower I need to take whatever supplies I require by force."
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:09 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dry cleaning/steam cleaning, heating and power to certain things. I doubt anything residential or necessary-during-a-hurricane, though.

Paywalled New Yorker article for subscribers
posted by griphus at 1:09 PM on August 27, 2011


I doubt anything residential or necessary-during-a-hurricane, though.

That's what I was asking. Thanks. :)
posted by zarq at 1:10 PM on August 27, 2011


Wow.

First waves of Irene super-duper ennui and burnout is be-numbing my brain. I need to switch-off, unplug, decompress and maybe get a latte and a massage or something, I'm outta here for now...
posted by Skygazer at 1:11 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Holy shit TPS, now THAT actually scares me.
posted by digitalprimate at 1:11 PM on August 27, 2011


Christ, poor dim Eric Fisher, the Weather Channel guy and new favorite pastime of Virginia Beach residents, is still coming on every ten minutes to scream about people out in the storm, but he fails to realize that the only reason anyone has come out in the storm for the past 4 hours is specifically to fuck with him. If he would just go in the hotel and stay there, everyone else would stay home.

And for the first time since I dumped cable TV months ago, I miss it. I want to see this so badly. Yes, I'm that bored here in the Triangle area of NC right now.
posted by NoMich at 1:12 PM on August 27, 2011


ThePinkSuperhero: "1002Grand Central Station is empty."

Daaaaaaamn.
posted by zarq at 1:12 PM on August 27, 2011


Also we ain't got shit up here in Yonkers yet and more alsoer, my aforementioned Blackrock Properties guy isn't going to make it to the two hotels he was supposed to secure in LI, so he's bugging with me. Should be here soon, my very own hurricane expert in da house.

He's going to make fun of my lawn furniture, I just know it.
posted by digitalprimate at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2011


We've been passing the day watching full episodes of Project Runway on MyLifetime.com. You're welcome :)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


No one, but no one, in this thread has suggested NYC will be submerged.

Yes they did.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:14 PM on August 27, 2011


Congratulations to plastic_animals for the 1000th comment!
posted by griphus at 1:15 PM on August 27, 2011


The SciFi Channel is showing "Mongolian Death Worms." Fox Business Channel just finished showing "Perfect Boobs."

I'm eager awaiting the Animal Planet sequel: "Mongolian Death Worms with Perfect Boobs"
posted by zarq at 1:15 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: " Yes they did."

How long can you tread water? :D
posted by zarq at 1:16 PM on August 27, 2011


The SciFi Channel is showing "Mongolian Death Worms." Fox Business Channel just finished showing "Perfect Boobs."

BBC America's got a new Doctor Who episode on at 9 pm, and a marathon of everything from this season leading up to that point. I'm set!

(Also, the bar on my block is staying open until about midnight, they said. I may hit them up at ten for one last "last chance to be outside my house before cabin fever overtakes me" drink.)

Gotten all the water set, I got the peaches and tomatoes and melons from my CSA today and they're all set out, and I've rounded up every flashlight and candle in the house and secured matches. I've also got lots of books and a couple knitting projects I can finish.

I'm about a block up a hill, and the old Navy Yard is at the base of that hill -- about an hour ago, I noticed a row of police cars blocking access to anything past that point, presumably keeping people out of a zone that's been evacuated. But at the bar up the hill it's business as usual.

Am anticipating having to bike to work Monday morning, but there are worse fates.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:20 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Congratulations to plastic_animals for the 1000th comment!

I would like to thank the 999 comments before mine for making this moment possible.
posted by plastic_animals at 1:27 PM on August 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


BBC America's got a new Doctor Who episode on at 9 pm, and a marathon of everything from this season leading up to that point. I'm set!

That's how I'm spending hurricane day too. Until I lose power. Then I'll just cry and imagine how awesome the new episode must be.
posted by pemberkins at 1:28 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am already caught up with Project Runway, Dance Moms, Toddlers & Tiaras and all Food Network shows.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:28 PM on August 27, 2011


My friend in Wales just emailed all worried . . .
posted by theredpen at 1:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Ok. I have a pot of chili on the stove, and I cracked open my first hurricane beer. Only 44 left for me and the dog: think we'll make it?
posted by teragram at 1:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Let's see... we have 3 cases of bottled water; all our food grade water storage is filled and in the freezer or fridge; stocked up on peanut butter and tuna fish; stock pots are clean; garbage is out; we are in possession of D and AA and AAA batteries; we have 2 mini Maglites and 1 big one, a NOAA weather radio (purchased today, can't believe I found one, local non-chain store FTW) and a battery powered iPhone charger; and I finally opened our new Keurig, so while there's power, there's coffee.

When Floyd hit my area (Somerset County, NJ) in 1999, it was "only" a tropical storm. I didn't flood (high ground, 2nd floor apartment), but nearby towns had 15 feet of water in their downtown. We were under a boil water advisory for 8 days. Other people elsewhere certainly suffered much worse from Floyd, but no one around here that was affected would think there was anything "only" about a tropical storm.

According to the NWS, we're looking at 10 feet above flood stage by tomorrow evening in several surrounding towns, just like 12 years ago. Hundreds will lose everything, people who have already been through this more than once, and can ill afford it.
posted by booksherpa at 1:32 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Please tell me you've actually got 45 cans of Hurricane.
posted by griphus at 1:32 PM on August 27, 2011


Well, we're drunk on the UWS and it's not even raining.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:33 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Addendum to my earlier ideas: if you managed to score some bud, make sure you clearly label your emergency food snacks so you don't finish them off while you're chonged out.
posted by notion at 1:33 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


HAHA

txt msg from idiot stoner friend in the midwest: OMG I JUST HEARD YOU GUYS HAD AN EARTHQUAKE ARE YOU OKAY

i can't even
posted by elizardbits at 1:34 PM on August 27, 2011 [35 favorites]


while there's power, there's coffee.

That reminds me-- this is a perfect time to make a ton of cold brew coffee.
posted by oinopaponton at 1:34 PM on August 27, 2011


I can't wait for monday's headlines in NYC. Subway systems fine, but entire city too hungover to make it in to work on time. Or at least that's what I hope it says.
posted by edbles at 1:34 PM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Update for NoMich: They've moved Eric Fisher from the street to the actual beach now, and the conditions are totally abysmal, but he looks as if he's enjoying it more than his previous spot since it's heckler-free . . . so far.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:38 PM on August 27, 2011


Oh god, no griphus, I don't. I have a motly crew of disparately sourced homebrews, expensive double IPAs [I know they're your birthday beer, baby, I won't touch them unless it gets bad], PBR, Sam Adams variety pack, and miscellaney from my brother-in-law's house when he moved.
posted by teragram at 1:40 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm in Ulster county, NY (Hudson Valley), and the newest NWS Albany model suggests we will get ~9" of rain. I am on the second floor of a condo complex, with a river 100' away that floods if we get 2" of rain.

It's going to be interesting.
posted by exlotuseater at 1:42 PM on August 27, 2011


I snuck an early bowl of chili to go with my first hurricane beer. It was delightful.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:42 PM on August 27, 2011


Pouring in Queens now.
posted by zarq at 1:44 PM on August 27, 2011


Storm's getting underway south of Baltimore. Getting some actual wind and rain now.
posted by Lobster Garden at 1:45 PM on August 27, 2011


over here, slightly outside america (i.e. CAP-CODE) we're still tying down our loose lobster pots and the random skiff and whatnot. just took the fake-cablecar-trolley into falmouth town and back, got some gallons of water at the 7-11 but the new taqueria was closed :-(

hm: "The Bourne & Sagamore bridges will be closed by the Army Corps of Engineers when wind velocity reaches 74 MPH. Notify all off-Cape residents to leave when wind speed reaches sustained 65 MPH velocity."

sure, I'll just crawl into my boat, fire the engine and warn the Visitors to leave...

NB: everyone needs a hug
posted by dorian at 1:47 PM on August 27, 2011


yet the UWS is bone dry
posted by The Whelk at 1:47 PM on August 27, 2011


Whoa, I just read the hourly report for Brooklyn on Weather Underground. Wind speed predictions are nuts. Up to 36 mph by 11 pm tonight? 62mph by 11 am tomorrow? Stay safe, people, and stay away from the windows.
posted by jeanmari at 1:48 PM on August 27, 2011


Well the land is dry, I cannot speak for the residents
posted by The Whelk at 1:49 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


On Sunday, when I'm all "rain and wind picking up" in this thread, nobody's going to care, are they.

I will, because I'm three hours North of you (by car -- probably less as the crow flies). Not near any water, tho', unless you count the Union River, which is well below us. Hoping the Union River Lobster Pot doesn't take a hit.

Just remembered my front door leaks during heavy storms. I don't know if it's missing some weather stripping or what but a dishpan usually does the trick.

Will be removing the grill and the plastic Adirondack chairs off the deck, ayuh.

Talked to my son in Chicago and he said, "what? what hurricane?" I'm like, "look it up on your phone. The storm is larger than Europe. They've closed down the subways in NYC and are telling people to evacuate."

Oh, and I hope people on the coast of Maine stay the fuck AWAY from places like Acadia and Schoodic. Please. I was at Schoodic a couple of weeks ago and a bunch of tourists were down by the edge of the rocks, some with toddlers and babies on their shoulders, chatting away while the high tide was coming in, with huge waves splashing up on the rock cliffs (saying "oooh! ahhh!"), until a Park Ranger went down and told them to move back. It's no joke after a hurricane and we are supposed to have an astronomical high tide.

Stay safe New Yohk-ahs!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:50 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


We've already had almost an inch of rain in Philly and the hurricane hasn't even technically reached us yet.
posted by DoubleLune at 1:51 PM on August 27, 2011


Plenty of people still outside our window (72 and West End)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:51 PM on August 27, 2011


Yowza. 25% of Dominion Power's customers (Virginia) don't have electricity right now. More than 50% in Richmond. And the eye hasn't even left North Carolina yet.

It's going to be a long night.
posted by argonauta at 1:56 PM on August 27, 2011


Thank goodness my husband has just returned from his very urgent comic-book-related errand to another state. The rain has begun here in MA.
posted by theredpen at 1:57 PM on August 27, 2011


Raining here! My lady and I are going to make some vegetarian faux-clam chowder, it's gonna be THE PERFECT STORM (of delicious New England food)

Also I was going to shelter inside away from the windows but now that I've seen some people saying it won't be that bad, I'm setting up a big tub of glass and wasps on the fire escape
posted by Greg Nog at 1:58 PM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Greg Nog: "faux-clam"

I don't even . . . This is horrible. What have they been teaching you in NYC! Next thing you'll be telling us that red Manhattan soup is real chowder.
posted by theredpen at 2:02 PM on August 27, 2011


A HURRICANE OF BEES

next month on SyFy
posted by The Whelk at 2:02 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's supposed to hit us in about an hour, and one child has already died in our town. Tree fell on his home.
posted by Tarumba at 2:03 PM on August 27, 2011


Where did all the pigeons go?
posted by oinopaponton at 2:03 PM on August 27, 2011


Pigeon rapture?
posted by jeanmari at 2:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not going to wait for the new Doctor Who and chance not having power. I'm watching it now. Wheeeee!
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 2:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


faux-clam

Erasers?
posted by pemberkins at 2:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looks like a pretty bad rainstorm out right now in Baltimore and the storm isn't even close to us yet. :(
posted by Lobster Garden at 2:07 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm not going to wait for the new Doctor Who and chance not having power. I'm watching it now. Wheeeee!


I'm internetting as fast as I can, but I don't have it yet :(
posted by pemberkins at 2:07 PM on August 27, 2011


Oh god dammit I forgot it was Doctor Who night!
posted by Lobster Garden at 2:08 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you get stung by a hurricane-wasp, YOU BECOME A HURRICANE OF WASPS!

bee careful
posted by exlotuseater at 2:10 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


A HURRICANE OF CHEESE

next month on "Jersey Shore"
posted by argonauta at 2:10 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Plenty of people still outside our window (72 and West End)

Are they at Sugar? Nickolas Ashford's funeral was this afternoon.
posted by plastic_animals at 2:12 PM on August 27, 2011


k was initially vaguely sympathetic to the Greg Nog - but srsly... all you need is a pint of chopped clams and some cream, truth... maybe throw in some broken glass (tub shards!) and a coupla bees, if you're from the vineyard and really need to, jeez...
posted by dorian at 2:12 PM on August 27, 2011


Major downpour in West Orange, NJ!
posted by Nutritionista at 2:13 PM on August 27, 2011


50% in Richmond, eh? Guess I'm not going to have power for days :(

I'm kind of amazed that the cell tower is working still.

I work for an ISP and they have a rack of switches in the basement of my apartment complex. I bet I could go down there and plug into the big UPS down there and get back online.

I'd do it, but my apt complex is a former hospital and that room used to be the morgue.
posted by empath at 2:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


NYT has the classiest tracking map
posted by The Whelk at 2:14 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


We were going to screen print t-shirts but the screen was fubar. Now we can only drink. And make baked goods. And watch Dr. Who.
posted by vrakatar at 2:15 PM on August 27, 2011


Here's the latest (5pm Eastern) advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
posted by argonauta at 2:15 PM on August 27, 2011


My hurricane plan: Make vespers.

(Although seriously I have food, cat food, candles, water, and a well charges cellphone so I can watch Megapiranha when the power goes out.)

Where's the link to Dr. Who? I can't handle having to wait until Tuesday!
posted by miss-lapin at 2:19 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


miss-lapin, mefimail me, and I'll send it to you.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 2:20 PM on August 27, 2011


From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
More than 564,000 customers of Dominion Virginia Power already have lost electrical power, and thousands of customers of rural electric cooperatives also have been affected.

"We're suggesting that people be prepared to be without power for a week or so," Southard warned.


I'm surprised I still have power given some of the flickering that's occurred. Given some of the most recent gusts, it might not be too long before it goes. Based on all the tree down reports, I'm also glad Monday is one of my telecommute days.
posted by bluesapphires at 2:21 PM on August 27, 2011


The rain is starting up again here on the north shore of Long Island. Bring it, Irene.
posted by pemberkins at 2:28 PM on August 27, 2011


In Richmond, my power actually just came back on in the Fan. Not particularly expecting it to stay on for very long given that there's still plenty of wind left to blow through, but it's giving me a little bit of hope that this won't turn out to be some days-long outage like back during Isabel.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 2:31 PM on August 27, 2011


On Sunday, when I'm all "rain and wind picking up" in this thread, nobody's going to care, are they.
posted by theora55 at 9:13 AM on August 27 [+] [!]


I will! My elderly folks are in Naples, Maine, surrounded by dozens of very tall, very wide pine trees.
posted by tristeza at 2:33 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was some on again, off again HEAVY rain here in Boston an hour or two ago. I live at the bottom of a hill, and the storm drain could not keep up with the runoff--water was up to cars' grills.

Some poor schmuck drove through in a Smart Car. I'm surprised it made it through the puddle.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:35 PM on August 27, 2011


Make that 62% without power in Richmond now.
posted by argonauta at 2:44 PM on August 27, 2011


2.9 earthquake reported near Albany
posted by anastasiav at 2:45 PM on August 27, 2011


Rain is definitely picking up - though in fits and starts - here in Takoma Park. Wind, too. The occasional power flicker is making me extremely nervous.
posted by devinemissk at 2:46 PM on August 27, 2011


2.9 earthquake reported near Albany

Come on, nature, what did we humans ever do to you?

oh right.
posted by oinopaponton at 2:46 PM on August 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


Does Richmond not have underground wires?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:47 PM on August 27, 2011


In Richmond, my power actually just came back on in the Fan

I'm in the Fan (Devils Triangle, really) but I don't have power. Where are you?
posted by empath at 2:47 PM on August 27, 2011


Come on, nature, what did we humans ever do to you?

So, hey, nature, about that Rick Perry guy? Yeah, he's just talking shit. Please disregard what he says and we'll try to do the same. Thanks.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:49 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just found out some friends of mine decided to go ahead with their weekend on cape cod after all. Of course doing to meant leaving their home in Sturbridge unttened during the storm. I hope they battened down the hatches before they left.

Here in the part of MA that is practically in Providence we have had a wet day. The yard is now free of projectiles, though my neighbor's gazebo thingie is giving me the willies. My husband thinks we are going to get "a little rain." I kind of can't wait till we're sitting in the dark, listening to the howling wind and watching people floating down our street. There is nothing lik a weather related told you so.
posted by Biblio at 2:51 PM on August 27, 2011


2.9 earthquake reported near Albany

It's the end of the freaking world.

Good thing I live a block from a microbrewery.
posted by DoubleLune at 2:55 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Floyd and Rowland. Our power went out pretty early too, along with the Robinson Street corridor - around 1:00 pm. I'm kinda shocked it's still back on but glad for the opportunity to recharge phones and use landline internet.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 2:56 PM on August 27, 2011


In case you want something a little more badass than Scorpions to greet this:

Slayer - Raining Blood
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:56 PM on August 27, 2011


Wunderground Maps is now saying the hurricane will reach Maryland around 2 am. No sleep for us tonight. :(
posted by Lobster Garden at 2:57 PM on August 27, 2011


EmpressCallipygos commented way up there about the backwardness of Willimantic in 85. (I can't quote b/c my stupid phone won't let me.) I lived in a fully-infrastructured part of CT when Gloria hit, and we lost power for 9 days. I have no reason to believe CL&P has gotten its act together since. So that's what I'm worrying about, more than immediate storm damage.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 3:00 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


empath writes "Just lost power in Richmond, but for some reason 3G is working."

Phone services like cell towers and central switching all have back up power supply; usually for days worth of service between batteries and generators.
posted by Mitheral at 3:03 PM on August 27, 2011


Though maybe that's just b/c I don't want to worry about the Landslide Alert.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 3:04 PM on August 27, 2011


Empath and strangely stunted trees, I still have power in Richmond's north/west end area. It's flickered a bunch and was out for about a minute twice. Crossing my fingers that it stays and that yours comes back soon. The weatherman just said we have 4-5 hours more to go of winds like this.
posted by shortyJBot at 3:06 PM on August 27, 2011


I bet I could go down there and plug into the big UPS down there and get back online. I'd do it, but my apt complex is a former hospital and that room used to be the morgue.

Room for one more, honey?

Metafilter: My neighbor's gazebo thingie is giving me the willies
posted by cashman at 3:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is she slowing down? Here in Woodside at is muggy, drizzly, and ear-poppy.
posted by vrakatar at 3:07 PM on August 27, 2011


yeah, willimantic wasn't much advanced in the couple years ago I was there...
posted by dorian at 3:08 PM on August 27, 2011


Ganked from Reddit - Apple needs more weather icons
posted by cashman at 3:10 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The EmpireCam linked upthread is pretty amazing, you can actually see the bands move across the sky.
posted by lillygog at 3:10 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Slowing down is bad. Very bad.

I still see planes on the tarmac in JFK. It's giving me the willies.
posted by notion at 3:10 PM on August 27, 2011


i believe this thread needs a snoring puppy.
posted by elizardbits at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lots of people around here packing up all their camping gear and liquor and heading inland, but it's burners off to the playa for Burning Man, not fleeing the hurricane. Still makes for a nicely empty neighborhood.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:16 PM on August 27, 2011


i believe this thread needs a snoring puppy.

Oh my god. Now I'm going to start feeding melatonin to my puggle to get some footage of her barking in her sleep.
posted by griphus at 3:17 PM on August 27, 2011


Mayor of Philadelphia just announced that we could lose power for up to TWO WEEKS. Screw you, PECO.
posted by DoubleLune at 3:20 PM on August 27, 2011


I don't think there's anybody in those planes. JFK has been closed for hours.

NY1 is reporting no transit service until Monday night at the earliest.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:21 PM on August 27, 2011


Hurm. Rotation on the storm seems....wishy-washy.
posted by vrakatar at 3:32 PM on August 27, 2011


BREAKING: THE NAGS HEAD PIER RAILING HAS FALLEN INTO THE OCEAN.
posted by SpiffyRob at 3:37 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Bookstore that Shall Remain Nameless actually decided to open for a few hours this morning. They asked me to come in and I said no fucking way was I going into Manhattan without knowing if there was a train home. Also, just what kind of yo-yo decides to go out at a time like this looking for a copy of War & Peace?
posted by jonmc at 3:37 PM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Mayor of Philadelphia just announced that we could lose power for up to TWO WEEKS.

DoubleLune, do you have a link to that?
posted by carter at 3:39 PM on August 27, 2011


Yeah, DoubleLune, link?
posted by angrycat at 3:40 PM on August 27, 2011


Woah. The rain has slowed here in Baltimore and I just felt a weird pressure shift in my sinuses. I've never felt that before.
posted by apricot at 3:42 PM on August 27, 2011


Stay safe up there.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:43 PM on August 27, 2011


Ann Curry just tweeted a pic of her makeshift sleeping arrangements where she's taking shelter at her office at NBC tonight. I think it's the graceful cascade of the orchid blooms that really captures the essence of her sacrifice.
posted by argonauta at 3:45 PM on August 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah but she has to sleep right next to a window. POW!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:47 PM on August 27, 2011


Woah. The rain has slowed here in Baltimore and I just felt a weird pressure shift in my sinuses. I've never felt that before.

Hmm. I didn't feel this, but my dog suddenly got a little cringy and yakked up some bile on the living room floor. I wonder if that was his reaction to the barometric shift?
posted by devinemissk at 3:47 PM on August 27, 2011


apricot, that happens to me during hurricanes too. And then I get really sleepy. No idea why, but my guess is that the pressure inside the rain bands is enough of a change for my body to notice.
posted by cmyk at 3:49 PM on August 27, 2011


Egads, is TWC hazing Eric Fisher? It is farcical to the extreme. What a joke. End the poor guy's misery fer fucks sake.
posted by futz at 3:49 PM on August 27, 2011


carter, angrycat: link to Nutter's statement here.
posted by The Michael The at 3:50 PM on August 27, 2011


cheers, TMT.
posted by carter at 3:51 PM on August 27, 2011


To kill time, I hear Tom Waits has a new music video out.
posted by vrakatar at 3:52 PM on August 27, 2011


Yeah, there isn't much cheer there.
posted by The Michael The at 3:53 PM on August 27, 2011


Flash flood warning now in effect for DC & southern Baltimore
posted by Lobster Garden at 3:53 PM on August 27, 2011


For my Philly Phriends, PECO outage map.

So far, thankfully, not much.
posted by NoraCharles at 3:54 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


i believe this thread needs a snoring puppy.

AWWWWWWW.

My kids are watching Piglet's Big Movie and Eeyore is being voiced by Peter Cullen. I keep waiting for him to say, "transform and roll out" in a sad voice.
posted by zarq at 3:55 PM on August 27, 2011


72% now without power in the Richmond area, by the way. And the numbers are starting to creep up in and around DC.
posted by argonauta at 3:58 PM on August 27, 2011


For the Weather Channel-less, here's some recent Eric Fisher footage.

"If you are watching, stay indoors! I will remain here gargling hurricane water."
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:59 PM on August 27, 2011


This feels like the setup to a bad Sci-Fi (SyFy?) Original Movie: hurricane hits Manhattan, uncovers nest of hibernating prehistoric snakebatsharks.

HUNGRY SINCE THE PLEISTOCENE.
posted by cmyk at 4:00 PM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wish we had underground power cables in the US ...
posted by carter at 4:00 PM on August 27, 2011


nest of hibernating prehistoric snakebatsharks.

Clearly awoken by the Earthquake...
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:01 PM on August 27, 2011


It has just started to rain in central New York (Oneonta). I know you were all deeply concerned so I thought I should update immediately.
posted by shiny blue object at 4:02 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wish we had underground power cables in the US ...

Most of the ones in NYC are, I believe.
posted by griphus at 4:02 PM on August 27, 2011


I have eaten my last emergency hurricane cupcake and am poised to begin a spell of crazed looting.
posted by elizardbits at 4:03 PM on August 27, 2011 [15 favorites]


Most power in DC is underground, too. Our power is rarely out.
Famous last words...
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


So the aforementioned disaster mitigation guy for Blackrock has arrived. Taking any questions anyone might have (sporadically as now alcohol will be involved).
posted by digitalprimate at 4:06 PM on August 27, 2011


I have eaten my last emergency hurricane cupcake and am poised to begin a spell of crazed looting.

Why? You've got a Moon Pie right under you!

Haz no cupcakes. Nothing cakey at all. :::sob:::
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:08 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought most power in DC is in the hands of the Koch brothers. I suppose that probably is in their underground lair, though.
posted by argonauta at 4:08 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have eaten my last emergency hurricane cupcake and am poised to begin a spell of crazed looting.

I'd offer to share my Earl Grey-infused cookie bars, but I wouldn't want you to risk your safety by going outside and the trains are stopped and-- HEY STOP LOOKING AT MY COOKIE BARS LIKE THAT.
posted by oinopaponton at 4:09 PM on August 27, 2011


Stern's Roll cake what what.

(Also: $11.89? Jesus. It's like four bucks down here.)
posted by griphus at 4:10 PM on August 27, 2011


Shiny Blue Object, there was 2.9 earthquake today near Altamont.

Not much else happens.
posted by jgirl at 4:10 PM on August 27, 2011


I have eaten my last emergency hurricane cupcake and am poised to begin a spell of crazed looting.

I'll hang a pancake out the window, so you'll leave my place alone.
posted by jonmc at 4:10 PM on August 27, 2011


The lights have turned on and off a few times here at the house. Map of power outages in the Baltimore/Annapolis area: http://www.bge.com/customerservice/stormsoutages/currentoutages/Pages/default.aspx
posted by Lobster Garden at 4:11 PM on August 27, 2011


Maybe most of NYC has underground cables, but certainly my area of western Queens has lotsa above ground wires. None right in front of our place, for which I am grateful.
posted by hackly_fracture at 4:14 PM on August 27, 2011


From the Washington Post:

Women who are due to give birth in the next week or so may want to have their hospital bags packed a little early. The drop in barometric pressure associated with the hurricane could cause a woman’s water to break early, and some obstetricians have warned patients that they may end up going to the hospital sooner.

Hospital officials say they are aware that lowering of atmospheric pressure tends to result in a spike in births.


Dr.E read this to me earlier. I asked him if that was the time for me tell him that the braxton-hicks I've been having have gotten stronger. He laughed.
posted by zizzle at 4:16 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, there's a few above-ground wires in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, usually leading into old lampposts that aren't wired to get power from the base. But mostly it is underground. Although I have no idea how that'll help if it floods.
posted by griphus at 4:17 PM on August 27, 2011


I hear that they are shutting all Wawa (is that the correct plural, or is it Wawas) in Philly. This strikes terror in my heart.

In other news, the rain gauge at work (in the Bronx) only goes to 5 in.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:20 PM on August 27, 2011


"The Bourne & Sagamore bridges will be closed by the Army Corps of Engineers when wind velocity reaches 74 MPH. Notify all off-Cape residents to leave when wind speed reaches sustained 65 MPH velocity."

*boggles* dorian, my folks live in East Sandwich and last we spoke they said the forecast for the Cape was more "a nor'easter". Were they just being overconfident?


Also -- when in the hell were you in Willimantic, and more importantly, why?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:21 PM on August 27, 2011


elizardbits, I have been inspired by your hurricane cupcakes and am now making emergency hurricane brownies. Mmm, hurricane diabetes.
posted by bedhead at 4:22 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Boston area people!

boston.com is now reporting ALL MBTA SERVICES SUSPENDED TOMORROW!

*which is really amusing since they made a point a few hours ago to say this would not be the case.
posted by zizzle at 4:23 PM on August 27, 2011


carter, angrycat: link to Nutter's statement here.

Yeah sorry, I live a block from the very fine Dock Street Brewery and I was taking advantage of the fact that they're closing at 8.
posted by DoubleLune at 4:23 PM on August 27, 2011


> I'll hang a pancake out the window, so you'll leave my place alone.

And, lo, a new Passover tradition was started. I think you'll need to soak that pancake in some blood first.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 4:24 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I hear that they are shutting all Wawa (is that the correct plural, or is it Wawas) in Philly

One Wawa, many Wawim.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:26 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ugh, no, we like powdered blood mixed in with the flour. I'll thank you to stop spreading such scurrilous misinformation about my people.
posted by elizardbits at 4:27 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am sending everyone in this thread internet cake and beer, with snoozing puppies and nyan cats on top. Stay safe, all. Here on the West Coast it's, like, a gorgeous late summer day, but we're thinking of you, and I will toast you tonight with fine cold cider while I'm making plans to go to the excellent hidden beach on the North Shore and swim all afternoon tomorrow.
posted by jokeefe at 4:27 PM on August 27, 2011


Or could they be Wawe?
posted by sciencegeek at 4:28 PM on August 27, 2011


Wawwes
posted by griphus at 4:28 PM on August 27, 2011


Wawums.
posted by carter at 4:29 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Take this, New York and Philly and Boston!
Based on current National Weather Service forecasts, Metro bus, rail and paratransit services are expected to continue operating on a regular weekend schedule. There are currently no planned service changes as a result of weather, and there are no reported delays or major detours as of 5:00 p.m. Saturday.
Actually, I'm honestly surprised. I figured they would shut things down at the first drop of rain. Maybe because we are further inland?
posted by av123 at 4:30 PM on August 27, 2011


All MBTA services cancelled? How can you even tell?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Although I have no idea how that'll help if it floods.

Especially the saltwater flood.

The Bookstore that Shall Remain Nameless actually decided to open for a few hours this morning. ... Also, just what kind of yo-yo decides to go out at a time like this looking for a copy of War & Peace?

Book Culture by Columbia (the old Labyrinths Books under its new name) posted on FaceBook that they were very busy this morning. Presumably people looking for something to do while they're stuck at home.
posted by Jahaza at 4:30 PM on August 27, 2011


ALL MBTA SERVICES SUSPENDED TOMORROW!

*facepalm*

I work at a rare book library, and I'm on the team of people that has to go in if we have an emergency. Also, I live several miles away and I don't have a car. I did mention this when they asked me to be on the team, but they didn't seem to think it would be a problem. Oh well, I'm sure I won't have any trouble getting a cab in a hurricane.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


WAWI
posted by angrycat at 4:31 PM on August 27, 2011


WASWAS?
posted by DoubleLune at 4:32 PM on August 27, 2011


> I think you'll need to soak that pancake in some blood first

Add some loganberry sauce and you've pretty much described my favorite meal at my Finnish elementary school's cafeteria.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:32 PM on August 27, 2011


Take this, New York and Philly and Boston!

Well I would, but their website seems to be down.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:33 PM on August 27, 2011


Wawate
posted by sciencegeek at 4:33 PM on August 27, 2011


I think you just double it for plural:

Wawawawa.

How hard is that?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:33 PM on August 27, 2011


wawaw (then it palindromes)
posted by sciencegeek at 4:34 PM on August 27, 2011


you know, as a dear friend pointed out, watch out for those trees falling out of the ground. The ground's waterlogged as is; that tree shit could be falling over and crushing shit for days
posted by angrycat at 4:35 PM on August 27, 2011


Is this the Edward G. Robinson convention?
posted by griphus at 4:35 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


griphus: " Most of the ones in NYC are, I believe."

In Manhattan, and at least some of the Bronx and Brooklyn. Not in many areas of Queens or Staten Island.
posted by zarq at 4:35 PM on August 27, 2011


This morning I walked around the corner to my community garden (NYC, East Village, on the cusp of Zones A and B) to lash down our beehives. While I was there it rained for maybe five minutes, and that was all it took to produce puddles all over the damn place. The ground is so saturated that whatever rain falls might as well be landing on a pie pan. A pie pan with spigots leading to every basement and garden apartment and subway tunnel in the city. So not a pie pan at all. But you get my point.

It is absolutely, positively going to flood everywhere. How high and for how long? And how much damage will it cause? No idea.

And yet, I find myself far more anxious about the winds. I can make my own risk/benefit calculations about flooding but wind-borne projectiles are entirely different.
posted by dogrose at 4:35 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this the Edward G. Robinson convention?

No, it's Charlie Brown's parent-teacher conference.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:38 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


looking at the window
posted by The Whelk at 4:38 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Delaware is banning all non-emergency travel, statewide, as of 6pm, 8pm and 10pm tonight for each of its three counties. Press release here.
posted by argonauta at 4:40 PM on August 27, 2011


Is this the Edward G. Robinson convention?

No, it's Charlie Brown's parent-teacher conference.



Oh. I thought it was a thirsty baby.
posted by likeso at 4:40 PM on August 27, 2011


it is raining like a motherfucker a tad west of Philly
posted by angrycat at 4:41 PM on August 27, 2011


zizzle, as cool as it would be to have MEFI HURRICANE BABIES I hope that both of our little people stay safely inside!

I am threatening mine with a creative hurricane-themed name to give him some incentive to stick it.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:42 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Delaware has 3 counties? thats so cute!
posted by supermedusa at 4:42 PM on August 27, 2011 [15 favorites]


*stick it out.

It's super foggy here in Brooklyn but we've never cleaned our windows, so.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:43 PM on August 27, 2011


Back about half an hour ago from Church here in Eastern Queens. Not as many people there as on an ordinary Saturday evening, but not deserted either. (I live about 3 blocks from the parish on Parsons Blvd.)

More restaurants and bodegas were open than I expected, but some of the ones I thought would be open are closed and some of the ones I thought would be closed are open. "My" bodega (which is ordinarily 24 hours) says they're not planning on closing.

Two evacuation centers are in our parish (the parish's geographic boundaries, not at the Church complex itself). There was an announcement at the Church saying that they're looking for volunteers.

Parsons Blvd. is a major bus hub. It's creepily empty without the buses... emptier than it was when I went out the day of the blizzard.

I've been amused over the last couple of days at what seems to be the breakdown in the usual NYC rules of not talking to people in the street.
posted by Jahaza at 4:45 PM on August 27, 2011


My drug dealer just called to be sure I was okay.
posted by angrycat at 4:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [28 favorites]


The Rikers Island situation is still freaking me out. I understand that no one cares about prisoners but you'd think that the government would be slightly concerned about the liability issues.
posted by gingerbeer at 4:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [26 favorites]


Holy crap, gingerbeer.
posted by argonauta at 4:49 PM on August 27, 2011


I went out for a Last Drink at my local and it was surprisingly full, more full then normal actually - giddy end of the world vibe and lots of tourists now trapped. Festive feel.. It was however super-spooky to see blocks and blocks and blocks of closed businesses, even the delis that never ever close were boarded up. So I played this song on the jukebox
posted by The Whelk at 4:49 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remembered some lights outside I hadn't taken in - they were probably fine, but when the rain slowed down (central Mass, here), I just went to get them. They were right outside my door, which I foolishly left ajar for the 2 minutes it took me to get them. A huge frog jumped in my house and I can't find where it went. I've give up, it is somewhere hopping around downstairs now, I think it might have gone behind the fridge. I am not afraid of frogs but I would actually rather not touch it, that jumpy thing kind of creeps me out.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, and now a plague of frogs. This is getting biblical.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2011 [28 favorites]


For shame. For shame.
posted by likeso at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yes people need to hear more about the Rikers Island thing, it is seriously fucked up
posted by The Whelk at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I've been thinking about the Rikers situation since yesterday, and I can't imagine any way they could NOT fuck everything up no matter what they do.

Also, let's face it, the entire thing sounds like the plot of a crappy Nic Cage movie.
posted by elizardbits at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


gingerbeer, that's... fuck. Words fail.
posted by dogrose at 4:51 PM on August 27, 2011


The Rikers Island situation is really scary.
posted by pemberkins at 4:52 PM on August 27, 2011


Holy crap. They have no general evacuation plan for Rikers Island. That's pretty bad in this kind of situation, but what if something even more catastrophic was coming?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 4:52 PM on August 27, 2011


I also just went to grab a drink at my local dive (Brooklyn) and it's packed! I wanted to stick around for longer, but the thought of being stranded in such a smelly bar was too scary for me.
posted by cheerwine at 4:52 PM on August 27, 2011


The MTA web site is bizarre with all those "suspended" statuses.
posted by Jahaza at 4:53 PM on August 27, 2011


Yeah, all of this water is going to be hard to deal with. There's already a little river going down Myrtle av.
posted by fuq at 4:53 PM on August 27, 2011


A huge frog jumped in my house and I can't find where it went.

You have made my grandmother, who has been sundowning for hours now, laugh. You are awesome.
posted by griphus at 4:53 PM on August 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


okay it is raining really fucking hard now. i think i might go hide under a blankie and cuddle my Men of Warrior book.
posted by elizardbits at 4:53 PM on August 27, 2011


the white noise off my AC from the rain is making it hard to hear the radio
posted by The Whelk at 4:54 PM on August 27, 2011


Looks like it is raining out. Wish I had a better view, but as I've mentioned before every single one of my windows faces an air shaft. Think I'll head up to the roof deck.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:55 PM on August 27, 2011


I have been meaning to buy one of those magnetic a/c rain-blocking pads for like, 3 months now. wtf self you are fail.
posted by elizardbits at 4:56 PM on August 27, 2011


this is the internets, dude. if you're going to go do something potentially stupid and dangerous, you bring your camera.
posted by elizardbits at 4:57 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think some serious international media attention is needed re Rikers Island. And ACLU. And Human Rights Watch. And anybody else I can think of.
posted by likeso at 4:58 PM on August 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Maryland just closed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge... and they suggest the (only) alternate route, through Delaware. You know, where they just announced that road travel is prohibited.

This is going well.
posted by argonauta at 4:58 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now have two pieces of chocolate cake, one with mint chocolate chip frosting and one with peanut butter frosting, along with a Kahlua mudslide. Our corner store rocks (and so does my husband). Take that, Irene!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:00 PM on August 27, 2011


Was going to wait until after The Doctor, but I think I'll head out for my Last Drink Of The Night now.

(It's only up the hill on this block, fortunately.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:00 PM on August 27, 2011


zizzle, as cool as it would be to have MEFI HURRICANE BABIES I hope that both of our little people stay safely inside!

I am thoroughly confident the thing will show up tomorrow because in the middle of a hurricane one day before school opens and I have to go back to work would be the exactly least convenient time ever.

Probably at 3 AM, too.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 5:01 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everyone is gonna be so fat and hungover by the time I'm done.
posted by The Whelk at 5:01 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tornado watch here in Woodside, according to Ali's weather iphone pinger. WeatherRadio I think.

Eating dumplings, gonna go for a walk to sniff the air shortly.
posted by vrakatar at 5:04 PM on August 27, 2011


Update for anyone who left behind their home on a barrier island on the south shore of Long Island. Live streaming broadcast of the bay side (Reynold's Channel) of Long Beach. Check again tomorrow when the sun comes up and there's more light for a play by play.

Just saw on Channel 9 news, they've got a guy on the boardwalk at what looked to be Riverside. The water is up to the orange emergency lane posts that normally line the beach, they had a clear shot of that. They said that some waves that were coming in were making it up to the base of the boardwalk and going under. The berms aren't helping, though I didn't understand the logic behind some of them anyhow.

It's high tide about an hour ago, so things should get a bit better before it hits. Hopefully things are OK come Monday and the entire island isn't under 8 feet of water with 10 foot waves on top of that.
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:06 PM on August 27, 2011


k was initially vaguely sympathetic to the Greg Nog - but srsly... all you need is a pint of chopped clams and some cream, truth...

I know! I know! I thought it would be bad too! But my lady's a vegetarian, so I thought we could give this recipe a whirl. I envisioned myself doing the wet-cat smile as I ate it, going "MMMMM WOW HEY THIS IS PRETTY GOOD OKAY OKAY ITS ALMOST LIKE REAL FOOD"

But! It's FUCKING GREAT! We used this recipe, with a couple of modifications: We used canned oyster mushrooms rather than reconstituted dried ones, we sautéed the oyster mushrooms in butter to brown them, and we added a sheet of chopped-up nori to the vegetable stock (which was just made from a basic vegetable-broth boullion cube) in order to kick up the oceany flavor a bit.

Servin' it with bloody marys and kale chips while we play Startropics and Portal, it's a good time.

posted by Greg Nog at 5:09 PM on August 27, 2011 [16 favorites]


Greg Nog, that sounds terribly delicious, and I wholeheartedly approve of the unconventional use of nori.
posted by devinemissk at 5:11 PM on August 27, 2011


High Tide hits here at 2:15 AM according to the local press. The town is already flooded, the beaches are covered, piers are gone, at least one house is completely gone, maybe more by now. The vast majority of the Northern Neck has no power. We're lucky that, for now, we do.

And, the biggest part of the storm isn't here, quite yet.
posted by SuzySmith at 5:11 PM on August 27, 2011


(boy, do I abuse some commas.)
posted by SuzySmith at 5:12 PM on August 27, 2011


tornado watch? COME THE FUCK ON NATURE.
posted by elizardbits at 5:12 PM on August 27, 2011


Gah, Rikers Island. Really NYC? You decided you just didn't want to have to deal with that problem?

Stay safe east coasters.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:12 PM on August 27, 2011


But Greg Nog, isn't that really just "mushroom chowder?"

I could've lived so happily without ever seeing the words "faux" and "clam" in such close proximity.

(It does sound delicious, though.)
posted by argonauta at 5:14 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm in the no-evac zone....but a giant hotel complex is being built two doors down from me. Their contractors left a flier with the steps they took to prepare.

When I bought bleach last night at one of the 3 Duane Reades near me, several people were accusing the cashiers of price-gouging on the water.

I thought I was the only one in the building except for building staff (most of my neighbors also have places elsewhere), but it looks like the couple on my floor is here.
posted by brujita at 5:14 PM on August 27, 2011


Oh, oyster mushrooms. Smart. I would eat that.
posted by pemberkins at 5:15 PM on August 27, 2011


New Yorkers, got a question for you:

I haven't really listened to the radio in years. But if worse comes to worst and the power goes off, I may have to rely on that medium to keep up with what's happening. So which station would you recommend for news and updates, preferably one with a strong signal that I can get with a crappy little battery-powered radio?
posted by jason's_planet at 5:24 PM on August 27, 2011


The thing about Rikers' Island sucks because people need to be near their friends, families, and lawyers, but realistically NYC does not have the ability to evacuate jack shit.

No one is getting evacuation help. Not little old ladies, not adorable kittens, not hipsters...nobody.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:24 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


A huge frog jumped in my house and I can't find where it went.

Frogministrator, please hop me.
posted by mintcake! at 5:27 PM on August 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


Text from a friend in Richmond, VA: This is some little house on the prairie bullshit
posted by ob1quixote at 5:28 PM on August 27, 2011 [15 favorites]


Empty GCT
posted by Ad hominem at 5:29 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing about Rikers' Island sucks because people need to be near their friends, families, and lawyers, but realistically NYC does not have the ability to evacuate jack shit.

Yeah, and I just talked to Jack in Rikers' on the phone yesterday, and he's in there on false charges in the first place. Mrs. Shit is really upset.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


So which station would you recommend for news and updates, preferably one with a strong signal that I can get with a crappy little battery-powered radio?

1010 WINS is what I would be (and am) listening to.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


COME THE FUCK ON NATURE.

famous last words
posted by philip-random at 5:32 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think they could probably find capacity to evacuate Rikers to the various courthouse and precinct holding cells. Isn't the Brooklyn House of Detention still only being used as daytime holding pens? I truly believe that if they wanted to they could get those folks out of there, easily.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2011


1010 WINS is what I would be (and am) listening to.

"You give us ten minutes, we'll give you the world!"

Is that still their soundbite? (Ex-New Yorker here, '84-'95)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


So which station would you recommend for news and updates, preferably one with a strong signal that I can get with a crappy little battery-powered radio?

Not a New Yorker, but according to this chart, WABC (770) and WCBS (880) are both news stations with a 50,000 watt clear channel signal.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2011


880 am is up to the minute news and the NYY flagship station. OBEY OR YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED.
posted by vrakatar at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2011


Okay. For anyone else who has the time to fire off some emails (and even better if you're also willing to make some calls Monday):

Contact info for NY State Senate senators: http://www.nysenate.gov/senators

Contact page for Karen Gillibrand: http://gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/

Contact page for Charles Schumer: http://schumer.senate.gov/Contact/contact_chuck.cfm

Contact info for NY ACLU affiliate (email address is for press, what the hell): http://www.nyclu.org/content/contact-nyclu

Contact info for Human Rights Watch (email addresses for press, again what the hell): http://www.hrw.org/en/contact-us
posted by likeso at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


WNYC is what I'm listening to.

Slightly west of Philly, looked up in the sky and clouds were going fast fast south, which I thought was weird. Shouldn't they be going north.
posted by angrycat at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2011


Thanks!
posted by jason's_planet at 5:34 PM on August 27, 2011


Oh duh because the storm is in a circular motion forget I asked. Still freaky to see though -- haven't seen clouds move that fast.
posted by angrycat at 5:34 PM on August 27, 2011


So now that Irene has made landfall for a while, what's the verdict so far? Better than expected? Worse? Same? It's getting wet in Brooklyn. That's all so far, but I heard the winds are going to pick up around 10.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 5:35 PM on August 27, 2011


Sorry, Karen= Kirsten
posted by likeso at 5:36 PM on August 27, 2011


Peak is probably 8-noon tomorrow. Get drunk at breakfast.
posted by vrakatar at 5:37 PM on August 27, 2011


WINS' slogan is still "All news, all the time. You give us twenty-two minutes, we'll give you the world"

They also have a 50K transmitter.
posted by zarq at 5:37 PM on August 27, 2011


*boggles* dorian, my folks live in East Sandwich and last we spoke they said the forecast for the Cape was more "a nor'easter". Were they just being overconfident?

Also -- when in the hell were you in Willimantic, and more importantly, why?


not really more than sprinkles here tonight in woods hole, but tomorrow is the pudding I guess... my work is at the highest alert possible for some reason, blah.

also also, I was dating abe/crack at some point, years back... Storrs ent so bad a place...
posted by dorian at 5:38 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The gusts are really blowing now in Richmond. Nearly 75 percent without power in central Virginia. My coworker (who probably lives in the same area as shortyJBot) has finally lost power. Mine is still holding steady so far which is kind of shocking. I'm never so lucky. I wonder if I'm on the same circuit as the fire station around the corner and the strip mall behind me and if so, if it's the only reason I still have power.
posted by bluesapphires at 5:40 PM on August 27, 2011


Gettin humid in Philly. Yeah, yeah, breaking news, whatever.
posted by angrycat at 5:40 PM on August 27, 2011


I could've lived so happily without ever seeing the words "faux" and "clam" in such close proximity.

you would hate seeing the onomatopoeic transcription of my hacking coughs
posted by Greg Nog at 5:42 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


After resisting for the entire day, I finally just turned on the tv. I paused on the NY FOX affiliate only because their reporter in Ocean City, MD is on the board walk where massive amounts of foam are blowing in off of the ocean. No one is sure what it is... maybe some combo of plankton, sand, and seawater. But it's truly bizarre. This guy (and the entire boardwalk) is coated with the stuff, its up to his knees.
posted by kimdog at 5:42 PM on August 27, 2011


Greg Nog that does sound pretty fucking awesome+delicious, and I have become a huge fan of dried mushrooms qua protein the last couple years...

NB: everyone still needs a hug
posted by dorian at 5:43 PM on August 27, 2011


Newark mayor Cory Booker ordered all bars and taverns to close at 10pm tonight.
posted by argonauta at 5:43 PM on August 27, 2011


Wow, bluesapphires, I thought you must have lost power a while back! Here's hoping your luck holds. Saw empath in here not too long ago - and strangely stunted trees... (keeping tabs on Richmond homies)
posted by likeso at 5:43 PM on August 27, 2011


[mails Greg Nog an envelope full of littleneck clams]
posted by theredpen at 5:43 PM on August 27, 2011


So what was that fantastic link that I can't find that showed the progress of the storm?
posted by DoubleLune at 5:44 PM on August 27, 2011


Lower deck of the George Washington Bridge has closed.
posted by kimdog at 5:45 PM on August 27, 2011


Holy cow, *dorian* is in this thread? Users are really coming out of the woodwork!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:46 PM on August 27, 2011


Fantastic Link Showing Progress of Storm (NYT, thanks to er whomever upthread)
posted by angrycat at 5:46 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


theredpen rite? rite?! don't even put that shit in a chowder, just crack them open and eat, eat, eat... god I love littlenecks for breffist...
posted by dorian at 5:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


hay Kate hope you and Mr Man are ok, ya I no rite?!
posted by dorian at 5:47 PM on August 27, 2011


I think they could probably find capacity to evacuate Rikers to the various courthouse and precinct holding cells. Isn't the Brooklyn House of Detention still only being used as daytime holding pens? I truly believe that if they wanted to they could get those folks out of there, easily.

Who will transport them? Who will watch them? What nurses will be available to assess their medical needs and dispense their medication? Who will feed them, and with what food? How will they keep that food cold? Rikers Island has generators at least. That's not even getting into the risk of escape.

It's not, logistically, just a matter of "put some people on a bus".

I agree that it's shameful that there is no plan for its evacuation, but I think it's important to be realistic about the enormous logistical difficulties of moving 12,000 prisoners--some juveniles, some mentally ill, some violent--through a heavily populated area during a major emergency.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


We're doing alright! How the heck are you? WHERE the heck are you?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:48 PM on August 27, 2011


I can't believe they couldn't have found a way for the National Guard to airlift the Rikers Island prisoners to a military base or something.

They're not trying hard enough, dammit. And now it is probably too late for it to be safe to try anything.
posted by misha at 5:49 PM on August 27, 2011


the young rope rider, yeah, but shouldn't they have figured out that shit?

also, barometric pressure is dropping in Philly and cat has weird dilated pupils in fighting mode for no discernible reason
posted by angrycat at 5:50 PM on August 27, 2011


aw cool - doing ok - engaged to some weird crazy sikh lady from SF - living in woods hole capcode
posted by dorian at 5:50 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, 12,000 prisoners?

Okay, no airlift. Buses? Mass transit with armed guards after they shut it down for everyone else?
posted by misha at 5:51 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm surprised too, likeso!

So now that Irene has made landfall for a while, what's the verdict so far? Better than expected? Worse? Same? It's getting wet in Brooklyn. That's all so far, but I heard the winds are going to pick up around 10.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 8:35 PM on August 27 [+] [!]


I'd vote as expected or worse. The power issues & fallen trees in Richmond definitely weren't expected to be so bad. Storm surges greater than Isabel and a tornado in Sandbridge (which did have mandatory evacuations) in Hampton Roads. Yet it sounds like my family & friends down there mostly have power.
posted by bluesapphires at 5:52 PM on August 27, 2011


I am compelled to favorite any comment containing the words "woods hole".
posted by vrakatar at 5:53 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It sounds like one of the big problems in the NOLA prisons was flooding. Does the same risk exist for Rikers Island? Are there not enough buildings with higher levels that prisoners could be moved to?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:53 PM on August 27, 2011


rope-rider: Yeah, it is a logistical nightmare. That's why someone should have planned it years ago. It's also tough to evacuate close to 400k city residents, to shut down a transit system that carries millions, etc., but all that seemed to go off okay. It's a matter of priorities. The fact that DOC's public response was basically just, "Uh, no, we don't have a plan," demonstrates to me the total lack of consideration they paid to it. They didn't even have a PR strategy.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 5:53 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Glad you are engaged to a weird crazy lady, dorian- we are the best kind of wife :D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:54 PM on August 27, 2011


TPS: Most of Rikers is pretty low-lying. I've spent some time there and have never seen the second floor of any building I've been inside.

It is worth keeping in mind that this is likely to be a non-issue and let's hope it is. It's just the lack of a contingency plan that is disgusting. It's a jail. ON. AN. ISLAND.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 5:56 PM on August 27, 2011


I can't believe they couldn't have found a way for the National Guard to airlift the Rikers Island prisoners to a military base or something.

The logistics of that would take, no shit, using my least conservative calculations, 10 days to 2 weeks.
posted by elizardbits at 5:56 PM on August 27, 2011


TPS lol yeah just need to convince her to get a crew cut at some point... but she is the best kind of wife, hands down...
posted by dorian at 5:56 PM on August 27, 2011


I can vouch for that.
posted by jonmc at 5:57 PM on August 27, 2011


Um... question for the common good. Should I be unplugging my laptop during the brunt of the storm? Main concern is a power outage...

In other news, brewery + liquor store a block from my house are the best parts of moving to the city from the suburbs. Thank you, Irene, for giving me an excuse to drink alone-ish at home on a Saturday night.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:57 PM on August 27, 2011


DoubleLune: "So what was that fantastic link that I can't find that showed the progress of the storm?"

If angrycat's link isn't working for you (I'm getting some kind of Flash error), there is also Google's excellent Crisis Response page.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:57 PM on August 27, 2011


My Drunk Kitchen Special: HurriCAN
posted by bluesapphires at 5:58 PM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Pinky's comment. I never met mrs. dorian. I have met dorian. How ya doin', dude?
posted by jonmc at 5:58 PM on August 27, 2011


There's now a tornado watch for New York City and surrounding area. My partner and I were joking about a hurriquake, so now make that a hurriquako?
posted by kimdog at 5:58 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


also, for vrakatar:

WOODS HOLE!

SCIENCE!

who will feed our baby seals at the village aquarium tomorrow?!?!? jonmc or azhruwi...?!
posted by dorian at 5:58 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


elizardbits: "I can't believe they couldn't have found a way for the National Guard to airlift the Rikers Island prisoners to a military base or something.

The logistics of that would take, no shit, using my least conservative calculations, 10 days to 2 weeks.
"

elizardbits, you are absolutely right--I didn't realize we were talking 12,000 prisoners when I wrote that. But I still think that the National Guard could have been called in, and logistics worked out to get them all to higher ground.
posted by misha at 5:59 PM on August 27, 2011


Whoa, that Rikers thing is shocking. I have a client there right now, and he's the sweetest guy. Like many prisoners there, he's mentally ill and pre-trial. Hope he's ok.
posted by Mavri at 5:59 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's also tough to evacuate close to 400k city residents, to shut down a transit system that carries millions, etc., but all that seemed to go off okay.

Well, so far. The "evacuation plan" for Zone A was "Get out. Here's your local evacuation center. Good fucking luck!"

And it's just started raining here.

It's a matter of priorities. The fact that DOC's public response was basically just, "Uh, no, we don't have a plan," demonstrates to me the total lack of consideration they paid to it. They didn't even have a PR strategy.

Exactly.
posted by dogrose at 6:00 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


jonmc - I have pickled many a vegetable since our time together. eggs included. mrs dorian is half sikh half hindu so she eats beef and is going to a special hell at the very same time...
posted by dorian at 6:00 PM on August 27, 2011


Ha. All these Hoo-Hah reporter stunts...

Jeez.

Also the ear-popping pressure crap, seems to subside after a bit as you acclimatize to it, but I was actually feeling nauseous there for a bit and headachy.

Like on an plane, pretending to yawn heartily every once in a while, and chewing gum, or anything really, helps.

*Raining hard: Greenpoint, Brooklyn.*
posted by Skygazer at 6:00 PM on August 27, 2011


Gotta sign off - if you've got the time, please send email re Rikers Island to senators, ACLU and/or HRW (I posted info above... some ways back, now).

But main thing, be safe folks.
posted by likeso at 6:00 PM on August 27, 2011


Doublelane, do you have a surge protector? Otherwise, you are going to want to unplug it when it starts lightning and thundering.
posted by misha at 6:00 PM on August 27, 2011


also hi Pinky!
posted by dorian at 6:01 PM on August 27, 2011


Doublelane, do you have a surge protector? Otherwise, you are going to want to unplug it when it starts lightning and thundering.
I have a surge protector of questionable quality. I'm thinking I'll just unplug my electronics and move them away from the windows before I go to bed, since it'll hit the hardest overnight here.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:03 PM on August 27, 2011


Hm, the wind speed forcast has gone from a maximum of ~35 mph to 45 mph at it's peak here. Yay?
posted by DoubleLune at 6:05 PM on August 27, 2011


Am scared but drinking prosecco ...for my 'nerves'. So did a new yorker just say the worst is 8-12 tomorrow?
posted by bquarters at 6:05 PM on August 27, 2011


Dorian, reassure a kid sister that her big brother is safe in Woods Hole? He claims to be...I'm all the way out in CA right now and I don't want him to get eated by Irene. Thanks. (Small internet we have here, folks)
posted by metasav at 6:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now there are tornado warnings, not just watches, for parts of southern New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
posted by argonauta at 6:07 PM on August 27, 2011


metasav it's pretty chill here, no one is going to get eated (much like the last couple harrikeens we did) - please don't worry too much - my wife is also out in the bay and worrying over-much...
posted by dorian at 6:09 PM on August 27, 2011


My Drunk Kitchen Special: HurriCAN

That's... endearing. Looks like a series? My, what a wonderful world social media will bring to natural events!!
posted by cavalier at 6:10 PM on August 27, 2011


Alexandria Va. here: rain has been light-to-moderate for the last couple hours, but we're until a floodwatch until at least 11:30pm (could be extended, though). Winds are starting to pick up. The reports all say the worst around here will be 10pm-midnight, plus there have been several small tornados (!!!) spotted to the east & north of DC. Flash flooding reported in Baltimore, but the whole area is watching out for that. The power has flickered a couple times, but seems to be holding pretty steady...... I hope.

So: we've got earthquakes, floods, I've heard of at least one fire (in a restaurant's kitchen vent, but hey, it counts!), and that frog incident a little upthread. So what's left? Pestilence?!?
posted by easily confused at 6:10 PM on August 27, 2011


Ugh, my husband is DJing in Boston tonight and on his way in (we're from Gloucester) he's already hitting underpasses that are flooding and sheets of rain. I am glad the worst isn't hitting until after he gets home, no me gusta being home with two young kids while he's out. Grah.
posted by kpht at 6:10 PM on August 27, 2011


griphus, glad if my frog plight amused your grammy!

Update: Managed to throw a towel over him and then sort of dragged & swept him to the door and scooted him out. He leaped away seemingly unharmed ... jumpy, jumpy *shudder*
posted by madamjujujive at 6:11 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Tornado warning. Ocean County, NJ until 9:30 PM.

(Severe wind shear...)
posted by Skygazer at 6:11 PM on August 27, 2011


am now downloading day after tomorrow for the lulz.
posted by elizardbits at 6:15 PM on August 27, 2011


Woods Hole is the town of my boyhood dreams.

Rory just slugged Hitler. Yay, Rory!
posted by vrakatar at 6:16 PM on August 27, 2011


checking in from Jersey City. We also are getting tornado watches for Hudson County (no warning yet as of 9:15)
posted by stagewhisper at 6:16 PM on August 27, 2011


Tornado warning. Ocean County, NJ until 9:30 PM.

Fuck. Do you have a link? Is it the whole county? I'm just seeing southern Ocean County...
posted by booksherpa at 6:17 PM on August 27, 2011


vrakatar lol mine too - just ended up here as an angyneer instead of the scientician I always thought I'd be... oh well, the sea mammals still taste the same...
posted by dorian at 6:18 PM on August 27, 2011


So, um... how's that plague of rats going?

It's so weird watching all of this from the other side of the country, hoping that the MeFites who go quiet are either enjoying a somewhat-tranquil power outage, or have just drunk themselves stuperfluous.

Good luck, everyone. We're all counting on you.
posted by MrVisible at 6:19 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


My southern NJ family peoples have moved to higher ground for the moment, but I have one pal with a stubborn mom who won't leave Toms River. I am crossing my fingers for her (and all of Atlantic & Ocean counties) SO HARD. I will be down for some skee-ball and hugs as soon as possible, guys.

So did a new yorker just say the worst is 8-12 tomorrow?

Yep.
posted by mintcake! at 6:19 PM on August 27, 2011


Eating dumplings, gonna go for a walk to sniff the air shortly.

Why does that sound so dirty?
posted by telstar at 6:21 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


booksherpa, here is a list of the current NJ alerts, scroll down for the tornado ones.
posted by argonauta at 6:22 PM on August 27, 2011


So, um... how's that plague of rats going?

NOBODY START SINGING THAT AIMEE MAN SONG OR I SWEAR
posted by mintcake! at 6:22 PM on August 27, 2011


booksherpa, here is a list of the current NJ alerts, scroll down for the tornado ones.

Now that just sounds surreal.
posted by notion at 6:23 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Curfews for several Central NJ towns: Perth Amboy, Sayreville, Old Bridge, East Brunswick.

I escaped to North Jersey (not because I thought it'd be any better-Passaic County is actually a hotbed for flooding) to be with family, but I'm worried that I'm going to come home to a flooded first floor, or worse, a tree/debris through the window...
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:23 PM on August 27, 2011


NOBODY START SINGING THAT AIMEE MAN SONG OR I SWEAR

I feel reasonably wised up, yet it manifestly refuses to stop.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:24 PM on August 27, 2011


Fuck. Do you have a link? Is it the whole county? I'm just seeing southern Ocean County...

WCBS, Channel 2 News out of NYC: Tornado warning, Ocean and (now) Atlantic counties, until 9:30.

They've got a radar up showing the windshear areas in pink.
posted by Skygazer at 6:24 PM on August 27, 2011


Yeah, evacuation in NYC is an imperative, not an operation. No one is getting evacuated from anywhere. They are told to leave and that's about it. I know for a fact that there are still plenty of people left in Zone A areas long after the 5 PM order to evacuate. No one is coming for them.

Old people can get Access-a-Ride, but that has to be set up in advance. I know that NYCHA (the agency in charge of the projects) was setting up queues or something for the elderly, but knowing the city that was completely half-assed.
posted by griphus at 6:25 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Re: Electronics. Unplugging them.

If you're not using it and you're getting lightning or brownouts and you want to increase the chances of it remaining undamaged - unplug it. Surge/spike strips can't protect things from large lightning-caused voltage spikes on the line - they protect from small operational voltage spikes from the power company. Lightning will go right through a spike strip even easier than it goes through air because it's full of metal bits.


Warning: This is not a safety measure for you. This is a safety measure of for your expensive things that go "beep", so it shouldn't be made a priority. Your personal safety is the priority. You can get a new DVR.

If you're currently in the middle of a thunderstorm with lightning strikes around/near your home - get away from your computer now. (Unless it's currently completely wireless.)

You really don't want to be unplugging things, or be on your computer or phone that's plugged into a wall is otherwise wired to something be it power or ethernet or a plain old phone line while a lightning is striking your neighborhood.

During severe electrical storms get away from outlets, power cables and plumbing - basically anything metallic that connects to the outside world. Sure, the odds are slim your house will be directly struck in any meaningful way at all, but if it does being near conductive infrastructure dramatically increases your chances of personally catching some of that voltage.

However if you're facing a collapsing building situation where you need to shelter in the bathroom or tub, don't let the slimmer odds of a lightning strike keep you from sheltering from immediate danger in a strong room like a bathroom.
posted by loquacious at 6:25 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Now that just sounds surreal.

Seriously. And I was still trying to wrap my head around the onomatopoeic transcription of Greg Nog's hacking coughs.
posted by argonauta at 6:26 PM on August 27, 2011


On Apocalyptic Mix songs: I went looking for the Mekons - Last Night on Earth on YouTube and am stunned to report it is not there.

Look it up, it is a fantastic song to boot.

life is a debt that must someday be paid
born where we were born
has left us helpless and self-obsessed.
last night on earth, don't pick up that pen,
we're so ill-equipped to deal with all
the pressure, risk and stress

they can't hurt you now.
It doesn't matter what they say
you can still feel anger across the grave
but it was fun anyway
it was her job to see through all that shit
she did it by herself in some tough tough places

but the system is sick. The rober barons roam
collecting their debts and filling up death row
you can't live alone
they can't hurt you now

it doesn't mater what they say
you can still feel anger across thje grave
but it was fun anyway

the system is sick. The robber barons roam
buying up the land beneath your feet
putting kids in the ground
you can't live alone
last night on earth

they can't hurt you now
last night on earth

posted by joe lisboa at 6:27 PM on August 27, 2011


Why does that sound so dirty?


Because Irene is a nasty, lazy whore of a storm. I mock her fury! I am full of Sandvich!
posted by vrakatar at 6:27 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Unplugging things in severe electrical storms is really common practice during Monsoon season in Phoenix, so much so that people leave access under their desks for it. I'm pretty sure the practice has saved my computers. My apt got hit directly or nearly directly hit once and it melted the compressor motor in the AC unit to a pile of slag, but all the computers were unplugged and were fine.)
posted by loquacious at 6:28 PM on August 27, 2011


Yeah, evacuation in NYC is an imperative, not an operation. No one is getting evacuated from anywhere.

Yes and no. The MTA suspended fares from the evacuation zones and from what I've heard was running shuttles to shelters well after regular service ended today. The city has space for something like 40,000 bodies tonight. There was an element of planning that went into this. True that they're not dragging people out of Zone A kicking and screaming, but it seems that they did generally give people relatively good opportunities to leave, considering the circumstances.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 6:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just want to tell you good luck, we're all counting on you.
posted by bleep at 6:32 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay, I've watched Doctor Who. Irene, I'm ready for you now.
posted by pemberkins at 6:32 PM on August 27, 2011


Ocean County just now got downgraded from tornado warning to tornado watch. Good. I've got family in that neck of the woods, some of them a mile from the ocean (having evacuated from 3 blocks from the ocean).

Thanks for the pointer to channel 2, Skygazer; I've been switching between CNN and Weather Channel.
posted by booksherpa at 6:33 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm in CT, at a major hospital, working in a laboratory that is not allowed to shut down. I am supposed to get relieved at midnight. Personally, I just need it to stay ok until then. Otherwise I may end up sleeping on a cot, and given the predictions, might be here 24 hours.
I walked home from this same job - I should note it's a fill-in, random days job - during the big snowstorm this year. I don't think that's a possibility this time. But I am dreading the sheer amount of time I may be stuck here if I can't safely leave by midnight.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:35 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The ground is already near peak saturation in a lot of the target areas. This is a huge issue.
posted by futz at 6:35 PM on August 27, 2011


Hi dorian!
posted by brujita at 6:36 PM on August 27, 2011


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED TORNADO WATCH 812 IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM EDT SUNDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS

IN CONNECTICUT THIS WATCH INCLUDES 1 COUNTY

FAIRFIELD

IN NEW JERSEY THIS WATCH INCLUDES 5 COUNTIES

BERGEN ESSEX HUDSON PASSAIC UNION

IN NEW YORK THIS WATCH INCLUDES 9 COUNTIES

BRONX KINGS NASSAU NEW YORK QUEENS RICHMOND ROCKLAND SUFFOLK WESTCHESTER

Hurricane + Tornado = Tsunami?
posted by mlis at 6:37 PM on August 27, 2011


But I am dreading the sheer amount of time I may be stuck here if I can't safely leave by midnight.

I think you'll be OK in CT at that time. It's only supposed to be hitting Philly around then.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:37 PM on August 27, 2011


brujita!
posted by dorian at 6:38 PM on August 27, 2011


Astronomical high tide timing is also proving to be a potentially scary additive.
posted by futz at 6:38 PM on August 27, 2011


I work in a city owned garden in the Bronx and we all stood around on Friday and talked about which trees were going to fall first. There's the old sugar maple, that copper beech, the pine across the street, and we're all hoping it isn't the glorious elm.

Saturated ground + wind + more rain = falling trees.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:38 PM on August 27, 2011


sciencegeek, if I understand correctly most east coast trees are rooted west and now that the ground is saturated and the wind blast is coming from the east, it is a recipe for many many uprooted trees.
posted by futz at 6:43 PM on August 27, 2011


futz: I had no idea! Trees figure out which direction to root in? Is it because of sunlight, or prevailing winds?
posted by gjc at 6:45 PM on August 27, 2011


That sucker is going right up the coastline, almost exactly as forecast. Thank goodness it's forecast to continue to weaken.
posted by cashman at 6:46 PM on August 27, 2011


Check out this map.

I've had various relatives and friends calling for the last two days. They all seem to be cartographically challenged. Here in Savannah we got a little wind, a few drops of rain, and that was that. I hope brandonblatcher, who lives a few blocks away, found his cats.

Stay safe everyone, party on, but don't get so fucked up you can't react to whatever obstacles the wild earth throws your way.
posted by mareli at 6:48 PM on August 27, 2011


It is because this one tree did it that way and most trees are sheeple.

Treeple.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:48 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am going to eat a bagel drowning in butter and drink wine and enjoy TV while it's still on.
posted by The Whelk at 6:49 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Slight adjustment on the MBTA announcement above--service will cease at 8AM tomorrow to allow health care workers to get to hospitals Sunday morning.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:49 PM on August 27, 2011


Supposed to be another Bloomberg news conference at 9:30, but it still hasn't started yet. I'm enjoying watching random people wander in and out of the live feed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:50 PM on August 27, 2011


This thread is getting unwieldy as hell. I wonder as people begin to lose basic services (electricity, broadband internet), and batteries and tethers get rigged up and going, if perhaps, if a part II shouldn't be opened up, with a window in there for transferring over, but so the part II can be more time-sensitive to changing conditions.

It's not even 10 PM, EDT, and things are beginning to hop round NJ and NY.

Admins??
posted by Skygazer at 6:51 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is now a guy posing seriously at the podium having his friend take a picture with his iPhone.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:52 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Admins??

Honestly? This thread was enough of a reach on MeTa. Maybe someone can make something more than a CNN-link post to MeFi proper about the weather event and conversaiton can shift there?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:53 PM on August 27, 2011


We have closed our blinds on the advice of the building maintenance dudes, who also put reinforcements in our windows earlier. Therefore, we cannot see anything and can only listen to the wind whistling by. Very surreal. I imagine it will get even more surreal when the main shit actually hits us.

Thank goodness I had the foresight to make brownies.
posted by bedhead at 6:53 PM on August 27, 2011


I would think this thread will be sufficient. The East Coast will either go to bed or lose power or both in the next few hours.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:54 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The East Coast will either go to bed or lose power or both in the next few hours.

Or be too drunk to type coherently. Don't forget that one.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:55 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Saturated ground + wind + more rain = falling trees.

When I was at my community garden this morning, I said goodbye to the curly willow (shallow roots, y'know). I'm so, so lucky that this is the limit of the damage that my apartment-dwelling self will experience from uprooted trees.

on preview:

It is because this one tree did it that way and most trees are sheeple.

Treeple.


The branches! United!
Will never be divided!
posted by dogrose at 6:56 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


posing guy is posing + awesome! that feed rocks...

tomorrow my solar panel and jugs of water will tell me how sane to be...
posted by dorian at 6:57 PM on August 27, 2011


Right, and I think Skygazer's point is that it will suck to load a 1000+ comment thread on a mobile device once we've all descended into powerlessness and looting and barbarian savagery.
posted by elizardbits at 6:57 PM on August 27, 2011


Rain is just starting here in Portland... A nice gentle rain.
posted by anastasiav at 6:58 PM on August 27, 2011


Can you guys keep it down? I'm trying to watch this guy's skype conversation in the news conference room.
posted by cashman at 7:00 PM on August 27, 2011


The East Coast will either go to bed or lose power...

Through a Cat 1 Hurricane ready to slam into NJ/NYC like a...like a...MAD CRAZY HURRICANE at 3:00 AM?

Good luck with that TPS.

Get the heavy duty ear plugs out.
posted by Skygazer at 7:00 PM on August 27, 2011


I stocked up on so much emergency comfort food that I've eaten better today than I have in weeks. I think it's nap time now.

Last year's Brooklyn tornado went right through my backyard. Tornadoes never strike the same place twice, that's what they say, right?
posted by moonmilk at 7:01 PM on August 27, 2011


Thessley is callin' down the moon
posted by The Whelk at 7:01 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's lightning. Tornadoes tend to hit the same areas again and again.
posted by bunderful at 7:02 PM on August 27, 2011

Right, and I think Skygazer's point is that it will suck to load a 1000+ comment thread on a mobile device once we've all descended into powerlessness and looting and barbarian savagery.


Like, totally.
posted by Skygazer at 7:03 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tornadoes tend to hit the same areas again and again.
Darnit. I was really hoping for a tornado here. Where there has never been one.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:04 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haven't yet read the entire thread, but did anyone post this?
According to the 3rd U.S. INF Regiment The Old Guard Facebook page, "A lone Tomb Sentinel, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), walks his tour in humble reverence during Hurricane Irene in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Aug 27. Members of The Old Guard have guarded the Tomb every second, of every day regardless of weather or holidays since April 6, 1948.
Not sure what I think, really. Kinda neat, maybe, but um, putting someone's life in danger?

From here.
Also, be careful everyone!
posted by Glinn at 7:04 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or be too drunk to type coherently.

On that note I'm pleased to report that Operation Intoxicate Horace Rumpole has been a resounding success. Repeated applications of Cherry Manhattans (whiskey and Cherry Heering) and MetaTalk camaraderie have resulted in marked decrease in subject's anxiety levels, with a concomitant increase in drowsiness. Any sudden diminution in communication from subject should be regarded as a positive outcome of the experiment.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:08 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Glinn, I'm in Arlington, and I haven't seen so much as the lights flickering. Come to think of it, that's a little unusual, since I've been drinking since 1pm.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:08 PM on August 27, 2011


Thunder in Woodside. Dr. Who over. Fantasy baseball teams put in till Monday, roger over.
posted by vrakatar at 7:09 PM on August 27, 2011


Arlington is pretty far from the coast, it should be ok. I also remember it being pretty hilly, so if a surge comes up the Potomac, the soldier can probably run to high ground pretty easily.

Also, I think it is considered an honor to do that kind of duty, and I don't think any soldier would give it up.

But yeah, that's a lonely, wet assignment I'm betting.
posted by gjc at 7:09 PM on August 27, 2011


gjc, I don't know where I heard that. A forestry prof. maybe? Someone more knowledgeable will probably correct me.
posted by futz at 7:10 PM on August 27, 2011


Thunder in West Orange, NJ.
posted by Nutritionista at 7:10 PM on August 27, 2011


The plural of Wawa is obviously Wawae.

In other news, the wind is super gusty in Baltimore. Does anyone have a non-flash storm tracker? My Internet is out (not because of Irene) so I'm on my iPhone.
posted by apricot at 7:12 PM on August 27, 2011


Good luck with that TPS. Get the heavy duty ear plugs out.

I live in Washington Heights next to a family that parties for at least 4-6 hours every Saturday night with loud, pounding bass (it's going right now!!!). A hurricane will be like a lullaby.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


My friends in Annapolis just finished watching Doctor Who and now their power is out. Great timing.
posted by Lobster Garden at 7:14 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Went out to stock up on 5 hour energy, I am going to be up on the roof to at dawn to greet this bitch. These colors don't run

Please note, that is not actually me. I am actually going to eat some cookies and warm milk and go to bed.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:14 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Arlington is comparatively safe -- my aunt lives there and the only real issue is leaking in their basement.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:14 PM on August 27, 2011


My favorite new word is: Tornadic

----> Tornado warning issued for central Ocean County until 10:45PM EDT.
posted by Skygazer at 7:15 PM on August 27, 2011


Philly is getting some serious shit, yo. I don't know how we are going to be anything but mud and puddles and downed trees and no power after tonight.
posted by angrycat at 7:16 PM on August 27, 2011


The wind is really picking up in Philly. My frogs are freaking out, but it might just be because they're nocturnal.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:17 PM on August 27, 2011


Good good, so glad the thing is weaker than anticipated (but I know it's still going to be a big PITA for many of you). I do wonder if Arlington HAD been bad, would they still ask for a soldier to volunteer for this assignment?
posted by Glinn at 7:17 PM on August 27, 2011


gjc, I thought it was due to the constancy of wind patterns. I am a layman...don't shoot me.
posted by futz at 7:19 PM on August 27, 2011


Yes, they would ask, and yes, there would be volunteers. That duty is considered an honor.
posted by jgirl at 7:19 PM on August 27, 2011


I live in Washington Heights next to a family that parties for at least 4-6 hours every Saturday night with loud, pounding bass (it's going right now!!!). A hurricane will be like a lullaby.

Something tells me they have extra D batteries, TPS.
posted by cashman at 7:19 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would not surprise me.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:20 PM on August 27, 2011


Press conference finally happening! They found Bloomberg.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:25 PM on August 27, 2011


Bloomberg's press conference is starting now
posted by argonauta at 7:25 PM on August 27, 2011


Hiz Honor is speaking!
posted by TrishaLynn at 7:26 PM on August 27, 2011


SPEAK SPANISH. ENTERTAIN US.
posted by notion at 7:28 PM on August 27, 2011 [15 favorites]


his epic gringo accent cracks me the fuck up
posted by elizardbits at 7:29 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bloomberg trying to speak Spanish is so quaint.

Bloomberg said that people should move away from rooms with windows. We live on the third floor in a floor-through where the living room/office and the bedroom each has three windows. The only room without windows is the bathroom.

*whimper*
posted by TrishaLynn at 7:30 PM on August 27, 2011


god dammit don't kayak for fuck's sake, dammit -- Bloomberg
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Rikers Island thing seems like a really tough nut to crack. I'm guessing there aren't any fully functional prisons within a few hours of Rikers with 12,000 empty beds. After all it's not like you could just rent an empty warehouse and dump all those inmates into one big room. You need facilities to house at least 10 different types of inmates. Some of those inmates are going to be in solitary for their protection or the protection of others. Some have special medical needs. Large numbers of those inmates are going to belong to assorted clubs/organizations/gangs that have to be kept separated.

On top of that what ever facility you choose needs to be able to feed the inmates and provide sanitary services. And you have to be able to stop people from escaping.

And there would be the logistical nightmare of actually transporting the inmates during a time when transportation infrastructure is stretched to the limit.

On the upside unlike New Orleans Riker's island is at least above sea level. And prisons generally are well constructed with lots of reinforced concrete and few windows.
posted by Mitheral at 7:30 PM on August 27, 2011


Also, he says "nine-eleven" for 9-1-1.
posted by nobody at 7:30 PM on August 27, 2011


Huh. All my rooms have windows in them. Guess I'll sleep in the hall!
posted by Stynxno at 7:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


holy stupid kayakers
posted by desjardins at 7:30 PM on August 27, 2011


I expect "el Bloomberg" mashup by morning, internet. Hopefully I'll have the ability to watch it.
posted by notion at 7:31 PM on August 27, 2011


But he says "three one one" for 3-1-1.
posted by nobody at 7:31 PM on August 27, 2011


I hope he tries a little Mandarin or Russian.

That would be badass.
posted by Skygazer at 7:31 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am holding out for Farsi
posted by elizardbits at 7:32 PM on August 27, 2011


Tagalog and Urdu or go home.
posted by dogrose at 7:33 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is a frogapocalypse!

*I said a hip hop
the ribbit the ribbitie
to the hip hip hop, a you don't stop the rock it

to the bang bang boogie, say up jumped the boogie
to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat

now what you hear is not a test--i'm ribbiting to the beat
and me, the groove, and my frogs are gonna try to move your feet
see i am wonder frog and i like to say hello (tongue slurps fly)
to the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow
but first i gotta bang bang the boogie to the boogie
say up jump the boogie to the bang bang boogie (almost chokes on fly)
let's rock, you don't stop
rock the ribbit that will make your body rock
well so far you've heard my voice but i brought two frogs along ...

*crickets* wait, don't frogs eat crickets?
posted by futz at 7:33 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay the nine-eleven thing the first time was perhaps a slip of the tongue. Two 9-1-1s followed later. Please note: this is all I care about w/r/t the hurricane.
posted by nobody at 7:33 PM on August 27, 2011


Oh, SNAP!

Someone asked about Rikers. "It is higher than the Zone A areas."
posted by TrishaLynn at 7:34 PM on August 27, 2011


The first question was, why wasn't Rikers evacuated? Mayor said Rikers is hire than Zone A land, is "perfectly safe".
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:34 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should put out these candles and stop using my laptop from the inside of this glass revolving door.
posted by bondcliff at 7:34 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


huh, so rikers is allegedly on higher ground than zone A?
posted by elizardbits at 7:34 PM on August 27, 2011


Bloomberg on price gouging: "It is not the New York way."
posted by TrishaLynn at 7:35 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, I heard "preferably safe" -- which is not out of the realm of possibility
posted by dogrose at 7:35 PM on August 27, 2011


Mayor Bloomberg: Riker's is higher than other areas in the City.


Pfftt...

He's obviously not been reading this thread.
posted by Skygazer at 7:36 PM on August 27, 2011


That was my favorite quote so far. That and the woman on NY1 arguing that the Riker's Island inmates should be evacuated "Because they have touched millions of people."
posted by bunderful at 7:36 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Higher ground" is literally a matter of inches.
posted by dogrose at 7:36 PM on August 27, 2011


is that a misdemeanor or a felony?
posted by elizardbits at 7:37 PM on August 27, 2011


The touching? Or the inches?
posted by dogrose at 7:38 PM on August 27, 2011


I think Bloomberg is hoping that the Rikers Island situation will be okay through the grace of the universe. I mean, the truth would be, 'We didn't think about it because they are prisoners and therefore not top priority" and of course we can't handle the truth.
posted by angrycat at 7:38 PM on August 27, 2011


How did the MTA workers get home?
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:38 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I heard Bloomberg say "perfectly safe".
posted by cashman at 7:39 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Huh, rain stopped for a minute there and I was like, that's not so bad.
posted by angrycat at 7:39 PM on August 27, 2011


If you're in Philadelphia or its PA suburbs, you're under a tornado warning until 11:00pm.
posted by jackflaps at 7:39 PM on August 27, 2011


Must be weird for Greg Kelly to watch his dad at these press conferences.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 7:39 PM on August 27, 2011


(Though if it's moving at 45mph it's probably not in Philadelphia proper anymore.)
posted by jackflaps at 7:40 PM on August 27, 2011


Being a jail, I would *guess* that the architecture can handle a bit more than normal. Does it have multiple stories? Evacuate the first floor and everything will probably be fine. I have to side with the people who say that it is impossible to move 12,000 prisoners in the time allotted. They would have to start every time a hurricane starts to form. I'm betting they have an internal procedure.

Also, don't worry: I just saw on the news that the Illinois National Guard is on the way with [the] helicopters [that fly over my house constantly] and Humvee looking vehicles.
posted by gjc at 7:40 PM on August 27, 2011


is that a misdemeanor or a felony?


Tonight??

I think he hinted it was totally legal tonight, as long as you stay inside and don't bug the POLICE by doing something daft (like going kayaking). Or making a BBQ grill pin you to the ground...
posted by Skygazer at 7:41 PM on August 27, 2011


Bloomberg "datar" = "data".
posted by futz at 7:41 PM on August 27, 2011


the touching
posted by elizardbits at 7:42 PM on August 27, 2011


BIGGEST DANG HURRICANE PARTY THREAD IN HISTORY!
posted by clavdivs at 7:42 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm pretty sure Bloomberg said in Spanish: Share your doobies with friends and stay indoors.

Anyone else get that??
posted by Skygazer at 7:43 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


NO TOUCHING
posted by zombieflanders at 7:43 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


elizardbits, may I spouse you? On bended arthritic knee?
posted by futz at 7:44 PM on August 27, 2011


If you're in Philadelphia or its PA suburbs, you're under a tornado warning until 11:00pm.

I guess I should get away from the windows for the next 20 minutes...
posted by DoubleLune at 7:44 PM on August 27, 2011


Wind is stronger in downtown D.C. now.
posted by jgirl at 7:45 PM on August 27, 2011


Also, don't worry: I just saw on the news that the Illinois National Guard is on the way with [the] helicopters [that fly over my house constantly] and Humvee looking vehicles.

YOU'RE SAFE MA'AM. WE BROUGHT AMPHIBIOUS-CURIOUS HUMVEES. AND IPA.
posted by dogrose at 7:48 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Watching "Killer Mountain" on SyFy almost makes me want the power to go off. Almost.

Easier to walk to the beer fridge with the lights on.

Here is West Orange its raining with great vengeance and furious anger. No wind to speak of yet. Stay safe, people!
posted by chosemerveilleux at 7:48 PM on August 27, 2011


Ali is passed out. Now it is just me and the storm. And the internet, I guess.
posted by vrakatar at 7:49 PM on August 27, 2011


The whole "go to an interior room" thing is pretty frustrating. How many rooms do these people think we have in our NYC apartments? They are, essentially, telling me to sleep in my bathtub, in the toilet-flushing water I have hoarded there.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 7:51 PM on August 27, 2011 [16 favorites]


Father-son phone call between Ray and Greg Kelly on Fox 5.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 7:52 PM on August 27, 2011


Bloomberg is lighting up a huge Hizzoner sized spliff right this very minute:

Hizzoner: I think the Spanish went okay.

Commissioner Bratton: Gimme a hit of that. You're always hoggin' the Chiba-kid, wat up wit dat??

Hizzoner: Non Parle inglise...que??
posted by Skygazer at 7:52 PM on August 27, 2011


this is moving fucking slow. the widest impact as per the NYT tracker has been hovering off of Philly for an hour now. And it's been raining throughout.
posted by angrycat at 7:52 PM on August 27, 2011


The 9-11 versus 9-1-1 for the phone number is an old school way of saying it, and a bit of a regionalism. "Dial Nine Eleven" seemed like a good way to advertise the new number, but it turned out that people get freaked out when they are in trouble and space out looking for the 11 button. It was changed to 9-1-1
posted by gjc at 7:53 PM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Huh. All my rooms have windows in them. Guess I'll sleep in the hall!

MY HALL HAS WINDOWS IN IT. Aside from a big window at every landing, the top floor of the stairwell features a giant skylight. And my bathroom has a window in it, and aside from that my tub is filled with water for the purpose of pouring into the toilet. I shall have to sleep in the pantry.
posted by wondermouse at 7:53 PM on August 27, 2011


I can't even sleep in the bathtub. There's a skylight in there. One in the foyer, too. I can go downstairs to my landlords' ground-level apartment, but I'm not sure the situation is much better, there. Maybe a hallway. The common hall is all skylighty.
posted by brina at 7:54 PM on August 27, 2011


Time for that steel-reinforced blanket fort.
posted by gjc at 7:55 PM on August 27, 2011


Alright! The lightning has started. The rain has increased. Looks like it's about to arrive.
posted by Stynxno at 7:55 PM on August 27, 2011


and next on the mike is my frog hank
come on, hank, sing that song

check it out, i'm the c-a-s-an-the-o-v-a
and the rest is f-l-y (slurp)
posted by futz at 7:56 PM on August 27, 2011


Good luck, we're all counting on you!
posted by desjardins at 7:57 PM on August 27, 2011


Live feeds for FDNY Manhattan Dispatch, Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx/Staten Island.
posted by mlis at 7:57 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh shite, I forgot my bathroom has a skylight in it, too.

*whimpering trebles*
posted by TrishaLynn at 7:59 PM on August 27, 2011


Anyone who wants to come over and curl up in my cedar closet is welcome, I just gotta get my ski gear out.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:00 PM on August 27, 2011


The whole "go to an interior room" thing is pretty frustrating.

I also liked his comment from a previous press conference to "Plan for a Monday commute without public transit." Umm, OK? Hey Michael, any chance I could borrow one of your chauffeured SUVs for the trip?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:00 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


For those of you in NYC who filled up your bathtub today, for how many of you was this the first time you ever filled up your NYC bathtub?
posted by wondermouse at 8:01 PM on August 27, 2011


Yup. Also bathroom skylight here. I am actually expecting to wake up in the morning and groggily wander in there to be greeted by a six-foot wall of water.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 8:01 PM on August 27, 2011


Perhaps someone in this thread will know: Should we be opening our windows a crack to equalise pressure and prevent a blowout?
posted by zarq at 8:01 PM on August 27, 2011


For those of you in NYC who filled up your bathtub today, for how many of you was this the first time you ever filled up your NYC bathtub?

Right here! I realized yesterday we don't own a plug, so Stynxno went out and bought one yesterday- but it didn't fit. He was finally able to plug the train with duct tape.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:02 PM on August 27, 2011


TWC.com is borked for me. Main page loads but all links not found.
posted by futz at 8:02 PM on August 27, 2011


Angrycat, the NYTimes tracker data was last updated at 9pm. (Also, it seems that despite the misleading animation, you have to refresh the whole page to see it update whenever the next update comes. I think this may also be true of the MSNBC tracker page.)
posted by nobody at 8:03 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


For those of you in NYC who filled up your bathtub today, for how many of you was this the first time you ever filled up your NYC bathtub?

Do the times it was all clogged up count?

Someone in one of these press conferences suggested filling up your bathtub for flushing the toilet "or drinking." These people have NOT seen my bathtub.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 8:03 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Plan for a Monday commute without public transit."

I'm curious to know if express buses will be running, or if he's just referring to stuff that runs underground: subways and trains.
posted by zarq at 8:03 PM on August 27, 2011


Snopes says no.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:03 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Snopes says not to crack windows, fwiw.
posted by argonauta at 8:03 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Should we be opening our windows a crack to equalise pressure and prevent a blowout?

According to Snopes, no.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:03 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am tempting fate by not filling up my bathtub. Mostly because I can't find my plug thingie, and I think we may have forgotten to pack it from my place.
posted by TrishaLynn at 8:04 PM on August 27, 2011


JINX

Y'ALL OWE ME A COKE
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:04 PM on August 27, 2011


Alright. I'm packing up in the bathroom since I seem to be in the bullseye. Be safe out there.

PS: According to Snopes, do not crack your windows.
posted by notion at 8:05 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


wondermouse: "1428For those of you in NYC who filled up your bathtub today, for how many of you was this the first time you ever filled up your NYC bathtub?"

Bet your answers will vary depending on whether people have small kids or not. My kids take baths all the time.
posted by zarq at 8:05 PM on August 27, 2011


You could use a yogurt lid to as a bathroom plug.
posted by bunderful at 8:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ugh, worst part about this is that we took out our air conditioner (it's hacked in there so it leaks a lot) and we live on the top floor so it's quite hot and we can't even open the windows.

Also I'm almost out of chocolate milk already.
posted by Brainy at 8:06 PM on August 27, 2011


notion: " PS: According to Snopes, do not crack your windows."

Wow. Excellent to know. Thank you for that link.
posted by zarq at 8:07 PM on August 27, 2011


TWC.com is borked for me. Main page loads but all links not found.


Loads for me. It's just a dude's bare ass, don't bother.
posted by cashman at 8:07 PM on August 27, 2011


First time evah with the bathtub full of water for me.

Watching The Shipping News on PBS/WNET 13. I hope it doesn't suck. I have an antennae. It's free and not bad at all. I get like 20 channels dontcha know. Even an oldies movie station...

Spanish:

Evah primera vez con la bañera llena de agua para mí.

Ver The Shipping News en PBS / WNET 13. Espero que no apesta. tengo una antena. Es gratis y no está mal en absoluto. Tengo como 20 canales dontcha saber. Incluso una estación de los oldies película ...
posted by Skygazer at 8:08 PM on August 27, 2011


Expect Tremendous Rainfall: Even with Irene's center well to the south, rain began falling in the NYC metro just after 12 pm on Saturday. Rainfall totals across parts of the Northeast could range between 6 and 12 inches. The flood danger is very high! As of noon Saturday, New York has broken their all time wettest August on record. Tree root systems are very weak. Combine the weak root systems with a prolonged period of tropical storm-force sustained winds and we are looking at substantial tree damage along with power outages. Trees will be uprooted and fall on nearby cars, houses, buildings, etc. Winds may peak in the 55 to 75 mph range.

fuck.
posted by futz at 8:08 PM on August 27, 2011


My bathtub has no stopper in it, just a big unattractive hole, so yesterday I started filling it up and I pulled the lever which doesn't seem to be connected to anything. Apparently it is connected to something, because the water stayed in the tub. When there was that announcement saying the tub water could be used for drinking if we just went ahead and bleached the tub, I laughed and said, "no." Bleach would not solve my tub's problems.
posted by wondermouse at 8:08 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Had a ton of rain in west Philly so far. The tornado warnings were serious. Also, emergency sirens all over the place.
posted by carter at 8:13 PM on August 27, 2011


This is the story of the hurricane.
posted by vrakatar at 8:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I bought a plug for my tub yesterday! Lived here 5 years.
posted by Mavri at 8:14 PM on August 27, 2011


So, where the fuck is the fucking storm?
posted by angrycat at 8:14 PM on August 27, 2011


TrishaLynn, do you have saran wrap? You can plug your tub! It may still leak slowly. Look around, what can you use? Mouse pad plus saran? Dog hair... joke, but you can plug your tub.
posted by futz at 8:15 PM on August 27, 2011


futz: "Expect Tremendous Rainfall: "
26 Tower Cranes: Tower cranes located in the city (13 of those at the World Trade Center construction site) do not disassemble quickly and may not be able to be taken down in time for the storm. They are only built to withstand winds of 65 mph or less.
:( Yikes.
posted by zarq at 8:15 PM on August 27, 2011


Wow, booksherpa has an impressive thread on the Blue now (pretty comprehensive, great links!) for those looking for a shorter load time for everything Irene.
posted by jeanmari at 8:15 PM on August 27, 2011


Be safe, all.

For New Yorkers considering a porcelain pillow for the night, this model and the latest hurricane warning text for NYC still suggest that the worst part of the storm won't be arriving until after 6am. Not that it'll be an easy or restful night, but it seems like you'll be dealing with the real wallop (and associated dangers) during daylight hours tomorrow, not overnight tonight.

Good luck out there.
posted by argonauta at 8:15 PM on August 27, 2011


As I filled a bathtub for the first time in years today, I had to wonder: How the hell do people take baths? It takes fucking forever to fill a tub. I thought I was going to die of old age.

Also, for a good chunk of the day there was a block party going on outside my block.

Right now my plan is to go outside for one more smoke before the rain and winds pick up too much.
posted by kkokkodalk at 8:15 PM on August 27, 2011


Combine the weak root systems with a prolonged period of tropical storm-force sustained winds and we are looking at substantial tree damage along with power outages. Trees will be uprooted and fall on nearby cars, houses, buildings, etc.

Shit. I know, the amount of dead trees here in Brooklyn, dead and not growing, is going to break my heart. Fuck....



--Espanol--

Mierda. Yo sé, la cantidad de árboles muertos aquí en Brooklyn, muerto y crecimiento, no se va a romper mi corazón. Joder ..

posted by Skygazer at 8:16 PM on August 27, 2011


Mythbusters did a show on that myth too, and busted it. With a 747, of course.

There is a slightly better chance it works during tornados or wind sheer, because the pressure differences are much more localized, but it is REALLY at the margins. (My engineer grandfather was in a "new fangled" all glass building when a tornado passed by very close, and all the windows on one side blew out. But that's like a million to one that different ventilation would have made a bit of difference.)
posted by gjc at 8:16 PM on August 27, 2011


Seconding a smoke-break.
posted by vrakatar at 8:17 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah no NYT just updated at 11 PM

They are now saying will not be downgraded from hurricane status till after Philly.

Say it with me: FUCK YOU IRENE
posted by angrycat at 8:18 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm chancing things right now with just the regular lever/plug thingie. I'm not sure if I can try to sleep tonight, knowing that the storm is creeping up on us. The last thing I want to do is wake up in the middle of a windstorm.
posted by TrishaLynn at 8:20 PM on August 27, 2011


Hey all- Apologies if I repeat anything that's already been said, I've been deployed all day and didn't have time to read 600+ comments before jumping in here.

First of all, if you're south of me: The time to prepare has pretty much passed. What you have is what you're stuck with. If you haven't filled your tub with toilet flushing water, please do so now or very soon. If you haven't turned your fridge to max cold, get up and do that now. Outside of that, there's not much left to be done at this point.

Most of the rest of what I can tell you relates to MA, as that is the area I am operating in. We've had some rain tonight, some areas of MA have already gotten 3", which is not super great news. I was on a number of MEMA conference calls today, and the good news is this: Your Commonwealth is as prepared as it could possibly be. I was actually super impressed. We're ready to deal with this thing.

Our first major impacts here are still expected right around daybreak. The eye is still expected to pass through the general area of Springfield (maybe just a bit east of it), and that's going to happen in the mid-afternoon. Areas west of the eye will see the most rain, areas east of the eye will see the most wind. Keep an eye on the forecast for specifics.

Be mindful of tornado watches and warnings tonight. There have been a dozen plus warnings already, and a few likely (but unconfirmed) touchdowns.

If you're in my immediate area (South Central MA): Shelters are open. I know there is one at the Worcester Vocational HS and one at Tantasqua High School, because I helped to set them up today. There are many others around the Commonwealth. Call 211 in MA if you need shelter info or any other non-emergency questions answered.

Those who are saying not to panic are absolutely right. Those who are saying to take this seriously are also absolutely right. I strongly recommend heeding both calls.
posted by rollbiz at 8:20 PM on August 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


---Espanol---

FOOK JOO JIHRENE
posted by Skygazer at 8:21 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ya pretty much. And my parents - also in the recent tornado warning area - are not answering their phones. At least they're ringing.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:21 PM on August 27, 2011


yeah zarq, several news sources this past week have mentioned the construction cranes but I haven't seen a news blurb that says that they solved that issue. Wind+Cranes= bad juju.
posted by futz at 8:21 PM on August 27, 2011


It's pretty rough in Center City Philly right now.
posted by mothershock at 8:22 PM on August 27, 2011


so, it's not supposed to pass Philly till after 8 AM EST
posted by angrycat at 8:23 PM on August 27, 2011


Ah no NYT just updated at 11 PM

Hm...unless something's wrong with my connection, the previous update (as seen by reloading the page just before 11) was at 9, suggesting that these tracking maps are not so useful for anything close to regular up-to-date information. Which is unfortunate, because I very much like looking at the spinning hurricane logo. Yesterday Irene had a friend named Ten, but Ten died in the middle of the ocean.
posted by nobody at 8:24 PM on August 27, 2011


As for Red Cross in my area: We're all expecting to be right where we are until late tomorrow at least, probably until Monday. Please indulge me in a quick shout out to all my fellow Red Cross volunteers that went into shelters this evening, with no relief or support until at least Monday morning. Y'all are saints...!
posted by rollbiz at 8:26 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


BUENAS NOCHES IRENE.
posted by Skygazer at 8:27 PM on August 27, 2011


Looks like 3000 customers are out of power out in Eastern Queens. Wind? Tornado? Drunk hurricane party?
posted by Stynxno at 8:27 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


righto, I'm gonna do everything now that would be hard to do with the power out
posted by angrycat at 8:28 PM on August 27, 2011


Tub is filled. Fridge is chillin'. Spare mattress has been moved in front of windows near head of bed. We have renter's insurance. Electric wires are already down in parts of Brooklyn, according to the FDNY Brooklyn Fire Dispatch link posted upthread.

Be safe, everyone. See you in the morning (if I can sleep).
posted by TrishaLynn at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2011


which is too bad, because I want to mail my syllabus to the dean. but the lights are flickering.
posted by angrycat at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Making more ice, thanks rollbiz and all your commrades.
posted by vrakatar at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2011


rollbiz, seriously, THANK YOU for all that you do. humbled & hugs.
posted by futz at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Ya pretty much. And my parents - also in the recent tornado warning area - are not answering their phones.

I'm strongly hoping the best for your folks, DoubleLune. The best I can say is that tornado damage is very isolated but can render large areas unable to communicate. Statistically, the massive likelihood (if a tornado did touch down) is that they're fine but the phones are knocked out.
posted by rollbiz at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Looks like 3000 customers are out of power out in Eastern Queens

zarq, are you still with us?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Wow, booksherpa has an impressive thread on the Blue now (pretty comprehensive, great links!) for those looking for a shorter load time for everything Irene.

Thanks, jeanmari! Some of the link credit goes to my husband who was an excellent research assistant. We're sitting in our apartment in central NJ, waiting. It's been raining for hours, and now the winds are starting to pick up. We have family and friends at the Jersey Shore, in Manhattan, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, in DC, and we live in an area that doesn't respond well to excessive rain.

It's going to be a long 24 hours...
posted by booksherpa at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's to wishing everyone north of here well.
Try this map and click on the "H" or "S" dots to see time info. For now, it looks like Irene will be centered at Philadelphia's latitude, west of Jersey, if I'm reading it right.

Of course, the hurricane covers a very large area. Heck, it looks like it's pretty far off from where I'm at, and there are still huge gusts of wind.

Don't walk outside if you can help it, even if it seems like the wind has died down. There've been periods here where all was quiet, and KABLAMMO! Big gales and all sorts of crap falling from the sky, like parts of trees. Don't be the only person who suffered grave facial injury from a 50mph coffee cup.

Good luck, and be safe. And remember: it takes more water than you think to flush poop using a bucket. Dump the bucket with vigor.
posted by herrdoktor at 8:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you rollbiz, even though we're in VT we're keeping our eyes glued to MA re: important medical appt on Monday.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 8:30 PM on August 27, 2011


Meant to add a time: centered at Philadelphia's lat at 8am.
posted by herrdoktor at 8:32 PM on August 27, 2011


Snopes also says don't bother taping the windows.
posted by brujita at 8:32 PM on August 27, 2011


Going outside for smoke. Hear people cheering, drunk people nearby, I think.
posted by vrakatar at 8:33 PM on August 27, 2011


Thanks all, but I'm comfortable at home tonight. I'll be doing some virtual disaster assessment tomorrow if anything, otherwise I'm just holed up in a fairly comfy apartment just like you guys. The real heroes are the folks manning shelters, they sleep on cots and deal with noise and eat franks and beans just like the shelter residents do. Some people love the job, I think it's the shittiest thing ever but boy am I glad someone loves it...!
posted by rollbiz at 8:34 PM on August 27, 2011


For reals, this is a question that begs an answer:

If my power goes out, will my gas stove work? And if not, how the fuck will I make coffee? And if I can't make coffee, how will I continue existing?
posted by angrycat at 8:35 PM on August 27, 2011


Hey y'all -- just going to respond here and there to a lot of recent messages I see bubbling around in this thread.

1) Re -- Bathtubs: The goal here is, of course, to put as much physical structure between you and the outside. Not for the wind, naturally, but for what could be carried by the wind -- sharp things, heavy things, sharp heavy things, etcetera. I realize you don't have a lot of sqft up there but if I had a choice between a room with some windows and a bathroom with a skylight, the bathroom would be the winner. I'd be more worried about things being speared sideways into the room I was in, see, rather then dropped from above.

If your tub is already full of clean water, you can also wedge yourself into any nook or crevice between say the tub and the toilet. Yeah wish you'd cleaned that earlier, huh? The rule of thumb I would use is of you hear howling wind, go to the bathroom and don't leave there until you haven't heard heavy howling for an hour or more. Bands.

If it helps my credentials, I was huddled in a bathtub with my brother during Andrew in '92 while that Cat 5 bastard literally tore most of our house apart. Living room and 2nd bedroom had lawn furniture from a condo more than a mile away (!). I've done more hurricanes since then, but they've all been little wimpy rain storms by comparison... (And yet I still live in Florida!)

2) Re -- Tornadoes: It shouldn't necessarily be a surprise, but the wind/pressure environment created by hurricanes are pretty much tornado fuel. Think of them as door prizes. Deadly door prizes that you can't do anything about so just pray to your spaghetti monster or whatever but try not to worry too much about it as there's nothing you can really do. (Er, but maybe stay in the bathroom.. ? )

3) Re -- Bands. Seriously, you'll be like "oh hey cool the storm's over. I'm going to go see what it looks like outside!" Don't do this. Please don't do this. Even with "light" (ha ha ha no) 60mph wind bands, you'll be like la la la OH LOOK A PLANTER IN MY FACE. Stay inside with as much physical material between you and the outside world as possible for the storm's duration.

4) Get some sleep. The bigger pain in the ass is going to be the cleanup tomorrow with everything flooded and garbagey.
posted by cavalier at 8:35 PM on August 27, 2011 [16 favorites]


Franks AND beans?! Where do I sign up?
posted by vrakatar at 8:36 PM on August 27, 2011


rollbiz, soooooooo, do you know how to disassemble a crane?
posted by futz at 8:38 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


If my power goes out, will my gas stove work?

Yes. The gas will still be flowing to it. You may need to light the burner with a match if you have an electrical igniter though.
posted by IanMorr at 8:38 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


My friend in West Philly just told me a tornado was spotted in Conshohocken, just a few miles west of the city.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 8:39 PM on August 27, 2011


CBS news is now calling 2am-8am the worst bit for the NYC area.
posted by mintcake! at 8:40 PM on August 27, 2011


ok i am sleeps bie
posted by elizardbits at 8:43 PM on August 27, 2011


If my power goes out, will my gas stove work?

If you can smell the gas do not fuck around. Leave. Bad sense of smell? No coffee or cooking. Not worth your life.
posted by futz at 8:43 PM on August 27, 2011


If my power goes out, will my gas stove work? And if not, how the fuck will I make coffee? And if I can't make coffee, how will I continue existing?

If your power goes out, your automatic lighting will not work. However, you can manually light your stove with a lighter or match.

rollbiz, soooooooo, do you know how to disassemble a crane?


I haven't taken that course yet. :)
posted by rollbiz at 8:43 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you for the update rollbiz. I'm just north of Worcester so I appreciate the update on our area.
posted by lilkeith07 at 8:45 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Franks AND beans?! Where do I sign up?

My ex will hook you up.
posted by futz at 8:45 PM on August 27, 2011


Basement already flooding in my family's house in North Jersey (North Haledon). And the storm is just beginning here.
posted by rachaelfaith at 8:46 PM on August 27, 2011


Franks AND beans?! Where do I sign up?

Right here. Now aren't you sorry you asked...? :)

(please note: I cannot confirm all Red Cross shelters are serving franks and beans. Some may only have ham sandwiches or mac and cheese. See store for details.)
posted by rollbiz at 8:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Your gas stove will work. If it's electric ignition, you may need to manually light. Search upthread for "stove" and you'll find specific instructions.

Coffee: if you have a French press, you're all set. If not, you can make cold-brewed coffee and serve it iced. Or you can make hot coffee using a method something like this. You can Google for other methods - basically, it always involves bringing coffee to near boiling, steeping the grounds, and filtering them out.
posted by Miko at 8:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


So wait.

Should I seriously consider dragging the mattress off my bed and moving it into the hallway?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:48 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm very disappointed in the number of mefites who don't take baths. I love baths.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:48 PM on August 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Make a bunch of coffee now while everything is still working and put it in the fridge.
posted by mareli at 8:49 PM on August 27, 2011


Had a nice smoke and chat with my super and his buddies outside. Just popped open my box of Cheezits and got my big Jesus candle* from the bodega within reach (couldn't get a flashlight before the hordes descended).

Now I'm just gonna hunker down and watch me some Mulberry Street to prepare myself for small New York apartment/neighborhood survival in a disaster.

*More accurately, Santa Clara. As patron saint of telephones and television, I hope she'll make sure my internet doesn't go out.
posted by kkokkodalk at 8:49 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: " zarq, are you still with us?"

Yep, thanks.

Some of those outages are just blocks from me. It's neat that they can pin it down so closely, but sobering as hell to see.
posted by zarq at 8:49 PM on August 27, 2011


I am with you PhoBwan. Reading in the bath is one of life's great pleasures.
posted by mlis at 8:50 PM on August 27, 2011


I feel bad for being a little blase earlier about everything - now that its starting, I admit to being freaked out. (I'm in S. Brooklyn).
posted by Unred at 8:51 PM on August 27, 2011


You guys got to ditch those those French presses and get a Bialetti.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:53 PM on August 27, 2011


Should I seriously consider dragging the mattress off my bed and moving it into the hallway?

It's not a bad idea.

I live in a studio apartment that's got windows everywhere, but I'm sleeping on an air mattress under my desk, which is as far away from windows as I can get. You can all laugh at me in the morning if it turns out to be for naught, but better safe than sorry. Also, I can pretend I'm having a sleepover. (By myself.) I'm setting up a little blanket fort in there. I hope I won't be floating down the street on this air mattress in the morning.
posted by pemberkins at 8:53 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to take a nap so i can get up early to see PEAK WINDAGE.
posted by vrakatar at 8:54 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


now that its starting, I admit to being freaked out.

If everyone is smart, we'll all be just fine. Note the deaths so far, and how the vast majority of them are likely attributable to being stupid and not staying home when the shit is hitting the fan.
posted by rollbiz at 8:55 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: I wouldn't unless your bedroom is floor to ceiling windows. Close your curtains or blinds. If your bed is right up against the window and you're on the 1st-3rd floor, I might choose to camp on the floor. You just want to be far enough away from the window that you don't get hit by large pieces of glass (or large projectiles) if the window breaks.
posted by weebil at 8:55 PM on August 27, 2011


Eastern Queens has a lot of mini transformers up on poles. (I'm not sure if there's a different, more accurate technical name for them.) If one of them goes, then a block or five may go dark. Unfortunately, those poles are also usually on tree-lined blocks. If a tree is felled, it can easily take a pole out with it. And then you're stuck until a ConEd crew shows up to repair it. Worse, it usually means a live wire is brought to ground level. So there's an additional safety issue.
posted by zarq at 8:56 PM on August 27, 2011


Should I seriously consider dragging the mattress off my bed and moving it into the hallway?

You should seriously consider it once the wind picks up. The almost definite likelihood is that it won't matter if you do or don't, but do you want to roll the dice when the jackpot is a tree limb or another foreign object crashing into your bedroom? That's really your call.
posted by rollbiz at 8:57 PM on August 27, 2011


Thanks for the advice about brewing some coffee now. My husband is kind of poo-pooing a lot of the preparedness stuff I'm doing (though he begrudgingly agreed to shower now so I can fill up the tub), but there's no way I'm going without coffee in the morning, power or no power.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:58 PM on August 27, 2011


You should seriously consider it once the wind picks up.

that's the thing -- the wind is going to pick up at about 2:30 am, while I'm already asleep.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:58 PM on August 27, 2011


Should I seriously consider dragging the mattress off my bed and moving it into the hallway?

Depends. How crappy are your windows and how much loose shit is lying around outside that could take them out? Given the timing of this thing, if I were in NY, I'd sleep in my bed, but know where I was retreating to if my window got smashed. Remember, when they talk about the wind strength of a Hurricane, they're talking about the peak wind speeds, which may only occur in a small area of the storm at any one time, so you're not necessarily going to see sustained Hurricane force winds where you are.
posted by IanMorr at 8:59 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am smelling a kind of weird burnt electric smell. I unplugged the AC in case. What are the chances that the thing will explode if I put it back in?

(And thanks all for the no-power coffee tips.)
posted by angrycat at 9:00 PM on August 27, 2011


Right NYT it's 12 01 AM, update your fucking tracker
posted by angrycat at 9:01 PM on August 27, 2011


that's the thing -- the wind is going to pick up at about 2:30 am, while I'm already asleep.

Do you have trees/other things outside your windows that could conceivably smash through your windows? If so, move. If not, you should be OK but again this is your safety so ultimately you need to make the call...
posted by rollbiz at 9:01 PM on August 27, 2011


Updated: Aug 27, 2011, 10:40 p.m. EDT
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) -- Still menacing Hurricane Irene knocked out power and piers in North Carolina, clobbered Virginia with wind and churned up the coast Saturday to confront cities more accustomed to snowstorms than tropical storms. New York City emptied its streets and subways and waited with an eerie quiet.

With most of its transportation machinery shut down, the Eastern Seaboard spent the day nervously watching the storm's march across a swath of the nation inhabited by 65 million people. The hurricane had an enormous wingspan - 500 miles, its outer reaches stretching from the Carolinas to Cape Cod - and packed wind gusts of 115 mph.

At least 1.5 million homes and businesses were without power. While it was too early to assess the full threat, Irene was blamed for six deaths.



*not to diminish the impact of this storm. I have family on the coast that I am very worried about. Sometimes I wonder if language like this acts to irritate people of my ilk. It is more like a ratings grab than a real service to the public. Hyperbole much, TWC?
posted by futz at 9:02 PM on August 27, 2011


By the way, everyone who is talking winds. The generally considered threshold for "lots of trees and shit will break and move" is not anywhere near hurricane force. The general threshold is 55mph.
posted by rollbiz at 9:03 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


You guys are making me scared, off to curl up in my closet.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:03 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm from California and thus have zero hurricane tips, but cold-brewed coffee is awesome all the time. It can either be iced or warmed up. If you think you might lose power start now! Also, good luck!
posted by grapesaresour at 9:03 PM on August 27, 2011


Anyone know what time this thing is currently predicted to really hit NY? Haven't found anything that seems solid.
posted by Dr. Fetish at 9:04 PM on August 27, 2011


Channel 4 just announced that the tower cranes at Ground Zero have been tied down and secured.
posted by zarq at 9:04 PM on August 27, 2011


Is anyone else's cat acting insanely hyper? Because Sammy is being insane right now.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:05 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm in Vancouver BC, and I wish you all East-Coat MeFites a safe journey through this horror called Irene.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:06 PM on August 27, 2011


The cat is being her usual self. The dog got one of her chew sticks and then went crazy "protecting" it from anyone trying to take it. I guess that's dog hurricane preparation- stockpile a nice stick for later.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


futz, they are eating this up. What they're saying, at it's base, is not incorrect, but they're thoroughly enjoying having tens of millions fixated on the news and they're going to give them the sensationalist crack to keep them there.

I recommend Weather Underground and Stormpulse as good no-nonsense information spots.

I have some good Twitter sources as well, I'll post them in a minute. Some are specific to my area, but most are region-wide and should be useful to you as well.
posted by rollbiz at 9:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The generally considered threshold for "lots of trees and shit will break and move" is not anywhere near hurricane force. The general threshold is 55mph.

This might be a really good time for people to learn about the Beaufort Scale, which is great for both estimating wind speed based on what you can see, and also predicting what might happen at particular wind speeds.

Is anyone else's cat acting insanely hyper? Because Sammy is being insane right now.

My cat has been crazy for a day now, already. Since the storm isn't even close yet I have to assume he's being crazy on general principle, but maybe it's weather related.
posted by Miko at 9:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


The cats are sleeping here in Beacon. The humans are wired with excitement and probably couldn't sleep if we tried.
posted by gubo at 9:09 PM on August 27, 2011


The chinchilla is acting pretty normal.
posted by Brainy at 9:10 PM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's freak out in DelCo time /circus music (do do doodle do do do do do0

11:15 p.m.: 56,000 people without power in Delco, according to Peco.

11:05: PennDOT lowers speed limit to 45 mph on I-95 and Blue Route because of flooding conditions from Hurricane Irene.

11:00 p.m. Flood water from Darby Creek begins to go over bridge and across MacDade Boulevard. MacDade now closed at Chester Pike.

10:30 p.m.: Tornado warnings issued for Delaware and Chester County from violent quadrant from Hurricane Irene. Tornado watch in effect through the night.


That's right we got tornado warnings through the night folks!

Also, there's still that weird burnt electric smell
posted by angrycat at 9:10 PM on August 27, 2011


You do know that if shit gets bad that coffee will be the least of your worries? Or even if shit only affects you mildly...really? You are worried about coffee? /firstworldproblems.
posted by futz at 9:11 PM on August 27, 2011


Hey, I *run* on coffee. :D
posted by zarq at 9:12 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thanks for doing what you do, rollbiz. I'm near Boston and an eensy bit scared.

We have lots of water and food and toilet paper, though, and I found some antibacterial wipes.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:13 PM on August 27, 2011


Hell, I'm worried about coffee. Yes, we're prepared to deal with far worse, but in the high likelihood that for us "worst" means multiday power outage, yes it makes sense to know how you plan to prepare hot food and the great comfort that is coffee.
posted by Miko at 9:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am sorry. The whole coffee thing makes me Steve Urkeled.
posted by futz at 9:14 PM on August 27, 2011


Also, there's still that weird burnt electric smell

I swear I remember somewhere reading that sometimes hurricanes smell funny like that. Something about ozone?

I wouldn't plug it back in though.
posted by gjc at 9:14 PM on August 27, 2011


PhoBWanKenobi: "1529Is anyone else's cat acting insanely hyper? Because Sammy is being insane right now."

Ours is unconscious.

They could be sensing changes in air pressure? I'm recovering from a fracture and today's air pressure changes have been kinda excruciating.
posted by zarq at 9:15 PM on August 27, 2011


There's now a tornado watch for New York City and surrounding area. My partner and I were joking about a hurriquake, so now make that a hurriquako?
posted by kimdog at 8:58 PM


The correct term is Torquakeicane. You're welcome.
posted by 1000monkeys at 9:15 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Let me know when you people are done talking about coffee and ready to talk about real issues, like the number of days I should be planning on rationing this bourbon.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 9:15 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


gjc: " I swear I remember somewhere reading that sometimes hurricanes smell funny like that. Something about ozone?"

A lightning storm can cause the ozone smell.
posted by zarq at 9:16 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm one of the few people with a gas stove on my block. After Ike hit and our power went out, I brought hot coffee to the neighbors digging all the crap out of the storm drain so the massive body of water threatening our houses would start to recede. They still thank me almost as much as I thank them.
posted by IanMorr at 9:17 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


When people have been through traumatic events small things like a cup of their favorite drink can help a lot. Be kind.
posted by mareli at 9:17 PM on August 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Boston 'burbs here. There is a big tree we've been meaning to take down that is leaning right over the house. My only hope is that it's already survived Gloria and Bob. Though perhaps those storms weakened it.

Other than that, I'm pretty damn prepared. I have flashlights, emergency food and water, beer and scotch. I'm set.
posted by bondcliff at 9:17 PM on August 27, 2011


Hell, I'm worried about coffee. Yes, we're prepared to deal with far worse, but in the high likelihood that for us "worst" means multiday power outage, yes it makes sense to know how you plan to prepare hot food and the great comfort that is coffee.
posted by Miko at 9:13 PM on August 27 [+] [!]


It is always the little things. Those days when you run out of filters and have to use a paper towel and the coffee takes FOREVER to run through. I can't imagine the "waiting for the kettle to boil" syndrome trying to wait for coffee to cold brew.
posted by gjc at 9:17 PM on August 27, 2011


For Twitter info (some Southern New England specific but not all): WX1BOX NWS SKYWARN Taunton, MA, Ants_SNEweather, Geos_SNEweather, L29_SNEweather, severewarn, nynjpaweather, AlertNewEngland, LSC_James_Sinko.
posted by rollbiz at 9:17 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


DC is getting quite a bit more rain than earlier forecasts suggested. The flash flood warning has been re-upped until 2:30 a.m., and the area has already received the 2-4 inches of rain I saw in earlier projections, with "moderate to heavy rain bands, containing around a half inch of rain per hour" expected over the next few hours.

Wind gusts up to 65 mph are anticipated overnight, and the wind just started picking up again not too long ago. One of my friends in Takoma Park is trapped in her house by fallen trees (no damage, just no safe way out). All I've had to put up with is flickering lights so far, but I'm eyeing the towering trees around my building with something less than pleasure.

And thanks, everybody. This thread has been the next best thing to a blanket fort for me today. I've got my fingers firmly crossed for all y'all to the north and east.
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:18 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah because what I need to deal with post hurricane is caffeine withdrawal. I can not begin to explain how bleak a picture that is.
posted by angrycat at 9:19 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Note: Everyone needs a mug. Of hot coffee.
posted by argonauta at 9:19 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


You do know that if shit gets bad that coffee will be the least of your worries? Or even if shit only affects you mildly...really? You are worried about coffee? /firstworldproblems.
posted by futz at 9:11 PM on August 27 [+] [!]


I dunno. We lived in Northern Virginia last year, where the power would go out if you looked at the powerlines funny. Those mornings in the dark when we were snowed in without caffeine or heat were really, really unpleasant.

Not sure what the infrastructure is like where we live now, or whether we'll lose power or not, but since I get raging caffeine withdrawal headaches, I figure it's one less thing to worry about. Like, if I have to deal with some property smashed without coffee . . . yeah.

Anyway, my cat has decided that the way to respond to the crisis is to chase the little ring from the milk container all around the house while screaming at the top of his lungs.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:20 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


My idiot cat wants to go outside.
posted by swift at 9:20 PM on August 27, 2011 [17 favorites]


My cats are watchful. They are ready. They're smarter than me. Every so often it stops raining and for a moment I think it's over and I look at them lying with eyes wide open and I know I am wrong.
posted by angrycat at 9:23 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


My idiot cat wants to go outside

Kitteh is hoarding coffee. Let it go...on a leash or a boomerang.

Cool beans people.
posted by futz at 9:24 PM on August 27, 2011


My mom called me back. She was asleep during the tornado watch. She lives about 10 miles from the supposed Conshohocken tornado and her response to hearing about it was "Oh, darn, I should've grabbed my camera." Why do I worry again?
posted by DoubleLune at 9:26 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm near Boston and an eensy bit scared.

Be mindful, but don't freak out. I've been declining all along to make specific forecasts because it's not my area of expertise at all, but I think the Boston area will be fine. Just stay inside for the duration of the worst of it. You should have some considerable wind but not a massive amount of rain, as you are well east of me and therefore well, well east of the eye. Just play it smart, you'll be fine.
posted by rollbiz at 9:27 PM on August 27, 2011


There's a Blue thread now.
posted by gerryblog at 9:27 PM on August 27, 2011


Are your cats ok? Does everyone have enough coffee?
posted by stinkycheese at 9:27 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The dog had to pee, we went out, he ran out and RAN BACK IN. But he still had to pee, so like the jackass I am, I picked him up and ran to the tree so he could pee.
posted by crankylex at 9:28 PM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Doing okay in (or on the border of) DC. How're things in NY (and Philly, B-more, etc.)?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:29 PM on August 27, 2011


You do know that if shit gets bad that coffee will be the least of your worries? Or even if shit only affects you mildly...really? You are worried about coffee?

To be fair, once you've made arrangements to be safe, keep yourself comfortable. Absolutely brew some coffee. It's the little things that keep you sane...

Super secret spoiler info alert: The Red Cross, a lot of the time, hands out decaf coffee. It's because our primary coffee need day to day is firefighters after a fire, and we can't give them caffeine. Most people, when I tell them this as I offer them coffee, do not care. They're just looking for something normal, like some coffee...
posted by rollbiz at 9:31 PM on August 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


http://www.earthcam.com/usa/newyork/timessquare/

Interesting live Cam footage of Times Square
posted by 1000monkeys at 9:32 PM on August 27, 2011


My mom called me back. She was asleep during the tornado watch.

This is fantastic news. :)
posted by rollbiz at 9:36 PM on August 27, 2011


Philly area is getting drenched; residents along Darby Creek evacuated; airport closed; 56K PECO customers w/o power
posted by angrycat at 9:36 PM on August 27, 2011


Is it windy in NYC yet? The Times Square cam sounds windy but it's tough to tell...
posted by rollbiz at 9:37 PM on August 27, 2011


My cat is sleeping like nothing is happening. She was freaking out earlier, but I think she was reacting to my unusual behavior (tidying, filling the tub, emptying closet in event of tornado), rather than the storm.
posted by Mavri at 9:38 PM on August 27, 2011


It is really, really windy and gusty in Baltimore. The rain doesn't seem terribly heavy but it has been steady for at least 10 hours. We still have power though. I hope it holds out because my French press carafe just broke and we just have an electric espresso maker. Sob. I may be making hobo coffee tomorrow morning.
posted by apricot at 9:38 PM on August 27, 2011


So it's tracking somewhat east, and this change seems to have happened along with plotting it as a Cat 1 until it gets to Philly lat. Are the two related?
posted by angrycat at 9:41 PM on August 27, 2011


It's windy enough to hear it, and some of the loudest rain I've heard in a while. Safely in bed.
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Its totally windy in Brooklyn. The rain is at about a 45 degree angle.
posted by Unred at 9:42 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Breaking: bourbon is so good at calming nerves! Why am I just learning this!
posted by oinopaponton at 9:43 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those of you who still have power and are worried it will fail: MAKE THE COFFEE NOW. Better lukewarm than nonexistent.
posted by cmyk at 9:43 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Friend just called. One of the trees in his backyard fell and crashed into his house half an hour ago and is now taking up part of his kitchen. He's entirely inland, smack in the middle of Queens.

Scary. His kids were asleep upstairs. No one was hurt, thankfully.
posted by zarq at 9:45 PM on August 27, 2011


So it's tracking somewhat east, and this change seems to have happened along with plotting it as a Cat 1 until it gets to Philly lat. Are the two related?

They certainly could be. One absolutely remarkable part of this storm was the fact that they eye spent hours on land with almost no weakening, but the one thing that could really wreck this thing and make life easier for New England would be for the eye to go back ashore before Long Island. The surer they can be that won't happen, the surer they can be that the storm will maintain as a Cat 1.
posted by rollbiz at 9:45 PM on August 27, 2011


I have a gas range and a French press!
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm looking at the cone of uncertainty, and seeing that it seems to be pointing near the UK. Obviously, it won't be much of anything by then, but it would be quite something if it made it there.
posted by gjc at 9:46 PM on August 27, 2011


um, did the steve urkle reference pass by everyone? Me loves coffee too. It just isn't ... never mind. No ill will intended towards coffee drinkers b/c I am one.

omg, did anyone just see TWC interview w/the jersey shore type ladies? They totally contradicted the reporter's "concerns" about safety. They were the intelligent ones. Ha.
posted by futz at 9:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metatalk: looking at the cone of uncertainty
posted by lalochezia at 9:47 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just wanna remind all bros to take time out to 'look at the tree'.
posted by vicx at 9:47 PM on August 27, 2011


The wind and rain have been downright scary in downtown DC for the past half hour or so. I don't know how much my perception is being influenced by the cumulative effect of the full day of this, but I'm no longer sure that I'm going to be able to sleep at all tonight.

Sending the most encouraging thoughts possible to all those north and east, and all those who love them.
posted by argonauta at 9:47 PM on August 27, 2011


But, please indulge me as I reiterate one more time: Your trees do not care if the winds are 76mph in a Cat 1 hurricane, or 72mph in a tropical storm. If those trees were ripe to fall, they will fall in either scenario.
posted by rollbiz at 9:48 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Have plenty of non-electric coffee brewing methods in the house (Press, pourover, turkish moka pot, etc). The catch? The grinder is electric.

Just pre-ground enough of the Harrar to turn me into the immortal undead.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 9:48 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The noise outside has just passed a barrier where I go from huh loud to The Fuck Now?
posted by The Whelk at 9:49 PM on August 27, 2011


Well, high winds and driving rain (as expected) here in Jersey City. We still have power but that's likely to last only a few more minutes with the amount of branches flying around. 41k in NJ without power already.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:49 PM on August 27, 2011


Well, I'm home, and as I was leaving I saw the beginnings of sandwich distribution and conference rooms being cordoned off into quiet sleeping zones for staff who are choosing to stay. Everyone in the lab got relieved, but it looks to me like the next shift didn't bring clothes/supplies for the next day, which seems a bit crazy to me.
On 91, the highway signs all read 'No Unnecessary Travel.'
posted by cobaltnine at 9:51 PM on August 27, 2011


Thanks NYC area folks for the wind notes. I was wondering as small gusts are just starting here.

Before we lose any of you (from the internet)...We're thinking of all of you. Be safe, be smart. You'll be fine...
posted by rollbiz at 9:51 PM on August 27, 2011


A song for NYC tonight
posted by The Whelk at 9:52 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Starting to get dramatic in brooklyn y'all
posted by nathancaswell at 9:52 PM on August 27, 2011


Hi cobaltnine: Were there evacs in New Haven? Certain parts seem ripe...
posted by rollbiz at 9:52 PM on August 27, 2011


It's not too loud yet in Morningside Heights. The (very few) cars on the street are still louder than the wind and rain.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:53 PM on August 27, 2011


Is it raining? I'm looking out into the air shaft and all I see is a kitchen that looks like the mirror image of mine across the way. I never thought of it before, but no windows facing the street could be a great sales point.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:53 PM on August 27, 2011


Good candlelight music
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 PM on August 27, 2011


Rollbiz: Morris Cove, AKA the part near the airport in New Haven, and all the coastal chunks of East and West Havens, are all under mandatory evac. I know they got the islands of the eastern suburbs much earlier today, too.
posted by cobaltnine at 9:59 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Manhattan, rain and wind noise getting loud now. I'm near Union Square. I am increasingly concerned about my windows- double paned, but huge (4 ft x 9.5 ft). Bedroom windows are similarly tall, but narrower. Should we move the bed away from them? How far? Only room with no windows is the bathroom.
posted by bedhead at 10:00 PM on August 27, 2011


Okay, it isn't just me. From Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang blog:

12:45 a.m.: With Irene nearing D.C.’s latitude off the coast of the Delmarva, we should experience our strongest winds in the next hour or two with gusts of 45-60 mph in the immediate metro region. Power outages continue to mount, with Pepco’s numbers over 100K now. Avoid going outside if you can....
posted by argonauta at 10:00 PM on August 27, 2011


The wind and rain are surprisingly quiet in West Philly. Actually, recent thunderstorms have been much scarier. However, if the wind wakes me up overnight, I am fully prepared to go bunker down in my closet.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:00 PM on August 27, 2011


cobaltnine: Thanks, good to know. I have people down there near the ocean in West Haven. They're smart enough to leave, I hope...
posted by rollbiz at 10:01 PM on August 27, 2011


Bedhead, in Brooklyn but same situation. We moved the mattress to the floor away from the windows.
posted by Brainy at 10:03 PM on August 27, 2011


bedhead: What is outside your windows? Anything that could crash through, like tree limbs? If so, move. If not, it's your call but your windows shouldn't blow in without the help of a projectile.
posted by rollbiz at 10:03 PM on August 27, 2011


I've got a lot of folks in Eastern NC - OBX seems to have gone off light. Some folks in Kill Devil Hills never even lost power. Looks like must of the rest of the Northeast has gone dark.
posted by Vhanudux at 10:05 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm in a bedroom with a biggish window, but it's at the end of a long lightwell and the bed is a good six feet from it.

The west village prepares
posted by The Whelk at 10:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


And it looks like I'll be knocking off to sleep juuust about peak rain time so I guess I dint need that white noise machine
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


rollbiz: nothing, the bedroom windows are on the 4 th floor and half a block from the park with trees in it, which are below us.

Brainy, thanks.
posted by bedhead at 10:07 PM on August 27, 2011


It's very unusual for windows to just blow in without debris "helping" them. What floor are you on. If you're above the 3rd floor its very unlikely anything will come crashing in.

If you are below the 3rd floor one solutuion can be to tip your box spring (or an extra mattress) over the windows to block debris, then sleep in the floor as far as you can get from the windows.
posted by anastasiav at 10:07 PM on August 27, 2011


Okay:

1. Through some weird freak of wind pattern, the wind in the FRONT of my building is noticeably stronger than the wind in the BACK of my building, where my bedroom is. The really strong gusts in front of my building are much weaker in the back.

2. There are trees back there, but they're all a little shorter than my window. No dead limbs. Nothing on the fire escapes.

3. I have two 32x60 windows in my room, with pretty strong glass and blinds down in front of them. My bed is also 6 feet from the windows.


I'm staying put in my bed, but piling some pillows on the bed between me and the window.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:08 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm also on the 4th floor, which also sounds like it bodes well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:08 PM on August 27, 2011


Right before midnight it seemed like things were dying down a bit here in Arlington, VA. But I just woke up from a huge bang when something (trash can, maybe?) was blown into the wall by my bed, and the wind has really picked up now. I guess I won't sleep through it after all. Still have power, though!
posted by gemmy at 10:10 PM on August 27, 2011


Your call bedhead and Empress, but odds are you'll be OK. Sleep where you feel most comfortable that you'll be safe.
posted by rollbiz at 10:11 PM on August 27, 2011


thanks you guys. I feel less insane about sleeping now.
posted by bedhead at 10:12 PM on August 27, 2011


For those going to sleep
posted by The Whelk at 10:13 PM on August 27, 2011


Yeah, the wind is getting a little rambunctious. With the "rain on heroin, commemorative edition" and random thunder its definitely a bad news combo platter.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 10:14 PM on August 27, 2011


i really wish i had mushrooms right now.
posted by lslelel at 10:17 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am wondering whether I should take off the Air Conditioner....will the winds really be that strong?
posted by The1andonly at 10:18 PM on August 27, 2011


EmpressCallipygos, you were pretty dismissive earlier. I am sure that you won't be swimming to work on Monday but it is nice to see you take this seriously.
posted by futz at 10:20 PM on August 27, 2011


WTH is with all the screaming and shouting in the Times Square Cam feed? Just idiots partying, or is some sort of event going on?
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:21 PM on August 27, 2011


And if you can't sleep
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 PM on August 27, 2011


I think as long as you have them properly secured you should be alright. We're not taking ours out.

Ask me again tomorrow night; If I'm boarding up an enormous hole in my living room or kitchen you'll know I fucked up.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 10:22 PM on August 27, 2011


The1andonly, search the the thread. The answer is no, with caveats.
posted by futz at 10:22 PM on August 27, 2011


The west village prepares

I love this.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:22 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am wondering whether I should take off the Air Conditioner....will the winds really be that strong?

This came up today amongst a bunch of us volunteers while taking a break. A number of the folks in the discussion had been deployed on many hurricane recovery efforts. No one was an expert by any means, but the general consensus was that if it's decently secured, it should be fine. If the wind blows a 50+lb air conditioner out of your window, shit's probably about to get real in more profound ways.

TL;DR: Don't sleep underneath it, but otherwise it's probably fine...?
posted by rollbiz at 10:25 PM on August 27, 2011


I have a clear view of the BQE from my apartment. This is the first time I've ever seen it so quiet. Were it only like this all the time. Seeing trees getting whipped around in the wind and hearing rain, but it's eerily quiet in here. Going back and forth between watching the storm, checking metafilter, and playing T-Rex's "Cosmic Dancer" on guitar.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 10:28 PM on August 27, 2011


Just idiots partying, or is some sort of event going on?

Dunno about down there, but here it's college move in weekend so all the students are back and have nothing to do for a few days, so they're hammered and wandering the streets. Totally different places, obviously, I just mention it because the sound is so similar that when I had that on I couldn't tell at times whether the sound was from my speakers or my windows.

Do dumb college frosh's go to Times Square to be dumb now that it's no longer sketchy there?
posted by rollbiz at 10:28 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flying Air Conditioners: A Minor Study in Risk Assessment
posted by to sir with millipedes at 10:29 PM on August 27, 2011


The1andonly, this is one of the most asked questions on TWC. Consensus is what rollbiz said.
posted by futz at 10:29 PM on August 27, 2011


I am at t minus rain making crazy loud drowning sounds.
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Oooh, the cops just told them to go home via loudspeaker :)
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Thank you guys....It will remain on the window...it gets quite hot in this room
posted by The1andonly at 10:31 PM on August 27, 2011


At least the Hudson will be washed clean, hopefully.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:31 PM on August 27, 2011


I am getting reports that the GW Bridge is in the process of being closed.
posted by rollbiz at 10:33 PM on August 27, 2011


Wow, wind just came out of nowhere, making the live cam feed shake (cam 1) of Times Square.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:34 PM on August 27, 2011


Thank you guys....It will remain on the window...it gets quite hot in this room

Enjoy it. I gave up AC years ago and do not miss it almost ever, but this humidity is fucking oppressive. I'd use the shit out of one right now if I had it, just to dry the air out a bit...
posted by rollbiz at 10:34 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


saw that too
posted by futz at 10:34 PM on August 27, 2011


Mrs. Chosemerveilleux would divorce me if I even thought of giving up A/C. Hell, I might divorce me, especially when its a bazillion percent humidity out like it was this morning.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 10:37 PM on August 27, 2011


Whole lotta drunken hollering in Times Square.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:38 PM on August 27, 2011


Street hockey dude in Times Square!
posted by rollbiz at 10:38 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hahaha I was JUST about to say, OMG THEY'RE PLAYING HOCKEY. That makes this Canuck proud lol
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:40 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Even though I don't play or watch hockey, unless I'm watching in person) lol
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:40 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm in Texas, how scared should I be?

-ENTER RANDOM RICK PERRY JOKE HERE-

Seriously, though, you northeasters be safe. Please. That's one of my three favorite parts of the States, filled with great people, okay food, and awesome rest stops. Take care tonight.
posted by item at 10:43 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whole lotta drunken hollering in Times Square.

Really? I tend to stay away from there but I been drinking at Jimmy's Corner on 44th recently, there are so many cops after dark it makes me nervous. All the cops are indoors I guess?
Wonder if Jimmy's is open, I could go for a $7 beer and shot.

Guess I'll pull up the times square cam on my laptop, it does not work on an iPad.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:44 PM on August 27, 2011


I just went out for a cigarette in Brooklyn and saw the rain moving in 2 directions at the same time. I think I shouldn't go out for any more cigarettes.
posted by cheerwine at 10:44 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a lot of paddywagons and such in the square.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:46 PM on August 27, 2011


Any RI folks on here? My sibling is in a mandatory evac zone but it seems that none of his neighbors or he has taken this seriously.
posted by futz at 10:49 PM on August 27, 2011


Is that woman looking for the camera? See that island? I fell there Thursday getting into a cab after coming out of the bar, all the cops standing around thought it was hilarious.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:50 PM on August 27, 2011


Doh! LOL I'm on cam 2 now, just see the paddywagon pulled over to the side; I keep switching between cam 1 and 2.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:56 PM on August 27, 2011


Coastal RI people: There's already a breach in the seawall on Ocean Ave. in Newport. Some/most/all of the avenue is closed due to this.
posted by rollbiz at 10:58 PM on August 27, 2011


Someone tweeted a pic of the awesome Times Square Hockey Players

Also, the West Coast is wishing you all make it though the night unscathed.
posted by trixare4kids at 11:00 PM on August 27, 2011


Okay so I am going to sleep now, I just took a big pill and light sealed my bedroom so I could sleep for quite a while so if you could not let the city fall to CHUDs or such, that would be great. I don't want to wake ip and be all 28 Days atety that would be super annoying
posted by The Whelk at 11:01 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


so if you could not let the city fall to CHUDs or such, that would be great

[puts on sunglasses]
posted by fuq at 11:04 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't sleep because I keep imagining my beehives blowing around the yard. I have to be at work in the morning and I feel like I'm abandoning them.
posted by InkaLomax at 11:04 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sleep well, Sir Whelk...!
posted by rollbiz at 11:04 PM on August 27, 2011


The Whelk: good night, sleep tight, I LOL'd at "super annoying" :-)
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:10 PM on August 27, 2011


Ay Caramba! And sometimes I don't.
posted by futz at 11:12 PM on August 27, 2011


Hmm. It is very quiet. HMMMMM
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:12 PM on August 27, 2011


17 company stores closed tomorrow. I'm setting the over under on additional ones announced tomorrow morning at 4.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:22 PM on August 27, 2011


Listening to a mayday response in Montgomery Cty, PA. Sounds like there's a water rescue underway that may include a police officer...
posted by rollbiz at 11:22 PM on August 27, 2011


Hi rope. Do kegels to offset barometric pressure? "hang" in there!
posted by futz at 11:23 PM on August 27, 2011


Streets are deserted... in Seattle. I just bought a place in the middle of Queens, finished packing today and am about to set off in the car to NYC. Can't wait to find out it's been destroyed by falling trees or flooding.
posted by zvs at 11:30 PM on August 27, 2011


Washington Heights here. Heavy winds are hitting my old rickety window frame juuust right, making it sound like some madman's playing an awful kazoo solo right outside. Loudly. This... this is going to be a long night...
posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 11:34 PM on August 27, 2011


Storm surge at the Battery is 4ft. and rising.
posted by rollbiz at 11:35 PM on August 27, 2011


Sorry, 3.55ft and rising...
posted by rollbiz at 11:36 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looks like about 30,000 and counting without power in