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Hurricane Irene
August 27, 2011 8:12 PM   Subscribe

Hurricane Irene is the worst hurricane to hit the northeastern US in 50 years. President Obama has signed Emergency Declarations for North Carolina, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maryland. At least 8 people are known dead, and 2 million are without power. posted by booksherpa (350 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for the resources booksherpa
posted by wheelieman at 8:16 PM on August 27, 2011


Thanks, booksherpa.
posted by pemberkins at 8:18 PM on August 27, 2011


For NYC, I am finding the NYCMayorsOffice twitter very helpful. Set it up to forward to my phone so I can get updates if I lose power.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:25 PM on August 27, 2011


NC | NY | VA | MA | CT | NJ | NH | RI | MD | DE | PA

Closest thing Vermont has is this. Digital divide is a bitch sometimes. Thanks for the good post.
posted by jessamyn at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, Fox News asks the question we're all surely thinking: "Do We Really Need a National Weather Service?"
posted by Rhaomi at 8:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [41 favorites]


I remember how much water Gaston dumped on Virginia in 2004, and how destructive Isabel was the year before that. Stay dry and safe, everyone.
posted by Mikey-San at 8:30 PM on August 27, 2011


There's an endless discussion/wild party going on over at MetaTalk.
posted by mareli at 8:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I live in city that gets quite a bit of exposure to hurricanes. This one just just finished its doing its thing here in the late afternoon. The media attention is always so exaggerated and distorted to try to increase ratings for the channels that air weather information non-stop.

Take, for example, the death statistics. There will be some statistic that says that some hurricane hit South Carolina and North Carolina and killed four people. The four deaths will often be automobile accidents. During a hurricane, every automobile death is attributed to the hurricane. They never tell you how many automobile-related deaths South Carolina and North Carolina average on a non-hurricane day. They don't tell you that those two states average 5 automobile deaths combined in an average day. So overall, they should be telling us that the hurricane apparently saved a life by keeping people off the roads and decreasing fatalities overall. But they don't quite phrase it that way.

I certainly don't mean to diminish the death of anyone, but statistics about how many deaths are caused by a storm without any reference to how many deaths would be expected without the storm are useless and misleading.
posted by flarbuse at 8:32 PM on August 27, 2011 [52 favorites]


Meanwhile, Fox News asks the question we're all surely thinking: "Do We Really Need a National Weather Service?"

NEW GAME:

"Fox News or the Onion?"
posted by Mikey-San at 8:37 PM on August 27, 2011 [37 favorites]


NEW GAME:

"Fox News or the Onion?"


That's easy. The ridiculous, hard-to-believe articles that sound like they were written by that guy in your college dorm who really wanted to be in the improv troupe but failed audition because he was always trying to hard to be funny, those ones are Fox.

/hunkering down in MA.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 8:41 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I guess the headline is true considering the major metropolitan areas affected. However, Hurricane Bob in 1991 made a direct hit on Rhode Island and SE Mass as a cat2 storm. So it was stronger than Irene and caused tremendous damage in the far SE corner of New England with winds exceeding 100 mph. For us, the headline will not be true (because of Bob), but I guess for a few million others, it will pan out that way.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:42 PM on August 27, 2011


One of the death statistics is a man who had a heart attack while putting up plywood, right?

I mean, yeah, hurricanes are dangerous, and this particular hurricane has been nasty, but I don't think we should attribute heart attacks to hurricanes.
posted by muddgirl at 8:44 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fox News asks ... "Do We Really Need a National Weather Service?"

I'd expect no less a question from Idiocracy Central.

The NWS has the satellites and computers to collate the date to forecast these puppies. Before there were satellites, there was very limited warning or prediction capacity. FOX wouldn't know that because they're dumb as a stick.
posted by Twang at 8:44 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]




I am no less than thrilled that left-leaning MetaFilter turns even a mid-hurricane "Let's track what's happening via these awesome weather links" FPP into a thread about "RIGHT WING SUX AMIRITE."
posted by red clover at 8:48 PM on August 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


muddgirl, but for the hurricane he would not have been working with the plywood, so yes his death is attributed to the hurricane.
posted by mlis at 8:48 PM on August 27, 2011


Wait, is the party here or in MeTa? I got 5$, who do I give it to?
posted by mannequito at 8:48 PM on August 27, 2011


but statistics about how many deaths are caused by a storm without any reference to how many deaths would be expected without the storm are useless and misleading.

Storm-related deaths? Without a storm, probably zero. Yes, people die all the time. Everywhere. Given. But people don't die all the time because of a storm. I think deaths that are brought up in storm coverage are usually storm-related, minus the odd, "so and so had a heart attack during the storm", which some news outlets feel compelled to report at times. It's not like we need an academic, peer-reviewed study to know which deaths are storm-related, generally speaking.

That said, everyone on the East Coast stay safe.
posted by IvoShandor at 8:51 PM on August 27, 2011


I am no less than thrilled that Right Wing Cocksuckers are using the Hurricane as an excuse to promote the replacing of essential government emergency services with private entities that will make obscene profits on natural disasters. Period.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:53 PM on August 27, 2011 [106 favorites]


I am no less than thrilled that...

So.. you are thrilled?
posted by edgeways at 8:55 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn, oneswellfoop, you said exactly what I was thinking, only much more precisely than I could have envisioned on this particular night. Favorited Double-Hard.
posted by IvoShandor at 8:55 PM on August 27, 2011


Twang: "Fox News asks ... "Do We Really Need a National Weather Service?"

I'd expect no less a question from Idiocracy Central.

The NWS has the satellites and computers to collate the date to forecast these puppies. Before there were satellites, there was very limited warning or prediction capacity. FOX wouldn't know that because they're dumb as a stick.
"

tl;dr NWS is has a higher error rate than AccuWeather and their budget is $1 billion per year.
posted by mkb at 8:56 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


NYC tweet-peep said it isn't really that bad. Let's hope it stays that way.
posted by bardic at 8:59 PM on August 27, 2011


Respectfully - what Accuweather in your first link is (now) saying is : "Irene: Worst Effects on Northeast in 50 Years Possible". That's possible - not definite.

Irene hit the coast as a Category 1 and is now (12 am EST Sunday) continuing to degrade. Gloria hit the coast in '85 as a Category 2. Then there was Andrew in 94 and Charlie in 94 which caused 3 dozen deaths. So all that leads me to believe that perhaps AccuWeather is using a bit of hyperbole here. Not to say that this isn't an awful storm but I'm a bit unclear in the criteria that Accuweather is using here to determine "possible worst storm" status.

People living in New York and above will be glad to know that the latest NOAA reports say
" ..BUT THE RADAR DEPICTION HAS DEGRADED OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS. AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INVESTIGATING THE HURRICANE THIS EVENING HAS FOUND 700 MB FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS OF 92 KT AND SFMR WINDS OF 66 KT IN A SMALL AREA MORE THAN 100 NMI EAST OF THE CENTER. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION...THE INTENSITY OF IRENE IS BEING MAINTAINED AT 70 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE WIND FIELD GRAPHICS BASED ON THE FOUR-QUADRANT RADII WILL DEPICT AN UNREALISTICALLY LARGE AREA OF HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS."

So the good news (for people on land anyway) is that the worst winds will be out at sea an that hurricane force winds may reduce to tropical storm force by the time it gets a bit above D.C.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:00 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bless you booksherpa. Thanks for this post.
posted by zarq at 9:01 PM on August 27, 2011


Goodnight Irene. Irene has left us in North Carolina.

Northerners always get to mock Southerners for the way they panic whenever it snows, and justifiably so. At the first hint that there might be a snowstorm lurking somewhere over the horizon, everyone rushes out and buys up all the milk and bread. Then, when the first flakes start to stick, drivers start spinning out on curves and getting stuck on inclines. Before long all the roads are littered with disabled vehicles and everything has gone to hell.

Now the tables are turned and, from the Southern point of view, Northerners bless their hearts, are ruining a perfectly good cat 1 storm by not throwing proper hurricane parties.

OK, so I’m exaggerating and making light of a serious situation. But government, at least since 9/11, has gone too far in the opposite direction. Now that the state has taken it upon itself to save us from everything from shampoo on airplanes to riding a bicycle without a helmet, they should change that motto to “In fear we trust.”

Fear has crept up on us and become a predominant cultural motif in the US. You can see it in the gung ho guys who want to carry guns everywhere, and in the people who are afraid to have gung ho guys carrying guns everywhere... and in the fear of the gung ho guys who want to carry guns everywhere that the people who are afraid of them want to take away their guns.

What’s worse, the only good reason Republicans might have to vote for any one of the rogues gallery of beasts that are currently running for President in their party is their fear and loathing of Obama. And the only reason Democrats have to vote for Obama is for fear of the awful Republican alternative.

Good luck to everyone. Here’s hoping for the best.
posted by Huplescat at 9:04 PM on August 27, 2011 [30 favorites]


I'm in Arlington, VA, which hasn't been that bad all day. Lots of rain, some wind, but not epic proportions. Wind and rainfall really seem to have picked up quite a bit in the last fifteen minutes. I'm mostly worried about the trees falling down, but hopefully they will weather (heh) it through. Good luck to everyone, stay dry!!!
posted by onlyconnect at 9:06 PM on August 27, 2011


Heck of a time to get some momentary dyslexia. I read that as At least 2 million people are known dead, and 8 are without power. Had an instant of freakout and confusion about why the 8 people without power got equal billing in the headline until the linked page loaded. Granted that was only 2-3 seconds, but wow.
posted by chambers at 9:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


What’s worse, the only good reason Republicans might have to vote for any one of the rogues gallery of beasts that are currently running for President in their party is their fear and loathing of Obama. And the only reason Democrats have to vote for Obama is for fear of the awful Republican alternative.

If this could not turn into a "let's all holler at each other about politics" thread, many of us would be greatly appreciative.
posted by jessamyn at 9:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [20 favorites]


Oh by the way ... I used to love Accuweather ... until I learned that it was run and filled with climate change deniers and right wing shills :(
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


As has been mentioned in the massive MeTa post, the concern here in NYC is not primarily the storm's wind speed or what category it is. It is the rain accumulation and flooding which it will bring.
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.

posted by zarq at 9:08 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


sorry jessamyn - did not preview - you can delete the previous if you wish
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:08 PM on August 27, 2011


If this could not turn into a "let's all holler at each other about politics" thread, many of us would be greatly appreciative.


Aye.
posted by cashman at 9:09 PM on August 27, 2011


Also linked there, for NYC residents: ConEd's Outages Map.
posted by zarq at 9:09 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


If this could not turn into a "let's all holler at each other about politics" thread, many of us would be greatly appreciative.

While I agree with this. It isn't really our fault that hurricanes are a big political hot button these days.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:10 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now the tables are turned and, from the Southern point of view, Northerners bless their hearts, are ruining a perfectly good cat 1 storm by not throwing proper hurricane parties.

That was funny. (I'm here in Boston). Hope you weren't too badly hurt in North Carolina.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:12 PM on August 27, 2011


arguing politics in a hurricane is like ...

[I'm on the west coast and overstuffed with pizza and fresh blackberry tarts and thus unable to formulate a punchline ...]
posted by philip-random at 9:13 PM on August 27, 2011


Oh - for all the voyeurs out there here is a little list of linked NYC live cams so you can watch things tomorrow.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


tl;dr NWS is has a higher error rate than AccuWeather and their budget is $1 billion per year.

Cite please?

Full disclosure, I work for the NWS, but also used to work in the private sector (Not Accuweather). Color me skeptical that there's very much difference in verification statistics.

Back on topic, yeah, the heavy rains are going to be more of a problem than winds and storm surge. When this much rain is possible in a short amount of time, it can get nasty even if conditions weren't already very wet.
posted by weathergal at 9:16 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 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 9:18 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cite please?

It's in the article Rhaomi linked.

"Forecast Watch has found that the National Weather Service predictions of snow and rain have an error rate 20 percent higher than their private alternatives. “All private forecasting companies did much better than the National Weather Service,” their report concludes. In 2008, they found that the NWS’s temperature predictions were worse than every private-sector competitor including the Weather Channel, Intellicast, and Weather Underground. Even NWS’s online ZIP code search for weather reports is in some cases totally inaccurate, giving reports for areas hundreds of miles away.
posted by cashman at 9:20 PM on August 27, 2011


Where do those competitors get their info from? Do they really have their own satellites and dopplers?

Or are they just skimming the data off of the NWS, and then applying different forecasting methodologies to it?

Also, in what direction is the error? NWS probably has an incentive to be over-cautious in their estimations, where a private company can be a little more flippant.
posted by gjc at 9:27 PM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Bob in '91 was the last time anyone on the East Side of Providence met their neighbours.

Also, from Typhoon central, Vietnam, y'all 'mericans need to chill out a little. It's just a storm. The hysteria is really unbecoming.
posted by grubby at 9:28 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Forecast Watch has found that the National Weather Service predictions of snow and rain have an error rate 20 percent higher than their private alternatives

FWIW , ForecastWatch is a website run by Intellovations, LLC of Marysville, OH which is a single person operation run and operated by Eric Floehr who seems to be a cool I.T. guy and all but maybe this one lone computer guy out in Ohio isn't qualified to judge the accuracy of a multi-billion dollar operation like the NWS??
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:28 PM on August 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


from one hurricane coaster to another, NOAA's SLOSH site [FTP] [NY]

also, i find that stormadvisory is nice for keeping track of multiple storms, as we get into september
posted by eustatic at 9:29 PM on August 27, 2011


muddgirl: "One of the death statistics is a man who had a heart attack while putting up plywood, right?"

I picture this guy.
posted by symbioid at 9:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poet, it was explained to you about a thousand times in the other thread that the category system is not the sole indicator of a storm's threat or severity. That's still true now; Irene is a category 1 hurricane, but it's also a very large storm system with a high storm surge (and the ground in NY and NJ is already heavily saturated from high rains, making flooding likely/inevitable).
posted by gerryblog at 9:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The NWS vs. Private companies thing may be interesting enough to stand in a thread of its own. Maybe one of you could do that and leave this one for Irene discussion? If East Coast folk need info after losing power, they'll appreciate having a smaller thread to page through on mobile devices.
posted by IanMorr at 9:32 PM on August 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I built myself a little blanket fort under my desk (it's the only place that is kind of not near a window), and I'm heading to bed for a few hours down there. See y'all in the morning.
posted by pemberkins at 9:32 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the death statistics is a man who had a heart attack while putting up plywood, right?

I mean, yeah, hurricanes are dangerous, and this particular hurricane has been nasty, but I don't think we should attribute heart attacks to hurricanes.


We attribute firefighter deaths as line-of-duty when they die hours after a response due to heart attack. This seems easily as attributable as a response to the storm.
posted by rollbiz at 9:34 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The NWS vs. Private companies thing may be interesting enough to stand in a thread of its own. Maybe one of you could do that and leave this one for Irene discussion? If East Coast folk need info after losing power, they'll appreciate having a smaller thread to page through on mobile devices.

Yes, please.
posted by cashman at 9:37 PM on August 27, 2011


Gerryblog: Actually , the storm surge after it passes DC , though significant, is on the low side for these types of storm. Surges in most of the the Phia/NYC coastal areas are forecast to be 6 feet or less and confined to very specific areas.

The latest NOAA storm surge forecast maps can be found here and are accurate and specific for a given area( as opposed to the general public advisories) . You can zoom in on your neighborhood and see what's predicted. "Select Surge > 6 ft" (or any other level) hit "Load data" and you can see how your neighborhood if likely to do.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:38 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Didn't see it linked here, apologies if it already is, but: We've been on this for a while in MeTa.
posted by rollbiz at 9:40 PM on August 27, 2011


I went through Andrew in South Florida back in '91. The hellscape that I personally witnessed in Homestead, FL was enough to make me jittery about hurricanes for the rest of my life, so the sensationalist media coverage doesn't bother me much.

Now I'm up in the Boston area in my apartment with what looks like a nasty tropical storm headed out way. 15 feet away, there's a dying tree gently angled in the exact direction of my bedroom. Raccoons live in the tree. I keep imaging the tree crashing through my bedroom wall and coming within inches of crushing me while I take a nap. I wake up, relieved to be alive. Then the raccoons eat my face.

I'm not staying in my bedroom tomorrow. No way.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:40 PM on August 27, 2011 [15 favorites]


I wish I found Poet_Lariat's relentless attempts to quell the storm-hype relaxing instead of totally obnoxious.
posted by hermitosis at 9:48 PM on August 27, 2011 [15 favorites]


I keep imaging the tree crashing through my bedroom wall and coming within inches of crushing me while I take a nap. I wake up, relieved to be alive. Then the raccoons eat my face.

To judge whether this would qualify as a "storm-related death," we would need to know your state's raccoon-face-consumption mortality rate for the last few years.
posted by Knappster at 9:54 PM on August 27, 2011 [17 favorites]


<>"

This is just wrong! This is just stupid!!

What you're saying is that someone, anyone, who gets killed by a sevety mile an hour wind, it's not 'cuz of the seventy mile an hour wind it's because they were dumb enoung to go out side in that wind. Sometimes people have to go out, sometimes people with bad hearts have to try and prepare their own houses. Their deaths do count.

The deadliest thing about any blizzard is the number of old farts who try to shovel their own sidewalks. Some people can't afford to hair someone, some of those, maybe a lot, don't live in areas with some greedy kids; I don't, really, and I get snow and I've already had a heart attack once. Should my death not count? If you say, "yes", than screw you -- to hell.

The fact that lots of people stay off the road during anykind of storm, is irrelevant. The people out there matter. (If you want to argue about the ones that are surfing, you would have some kind of case, but not with the one running to the drugstore. And in spite of your saying you "...live in city that gets quite a bit of exposure to hurricanes", I'll bet you do not. I've lived though two hurricanes. real ones, on in Houston, one in New Orleans (not Katrina, I was in DC then), and we don't talk about our 'exposure'. I've also been through two major blizzards in DC, and one major (hundred year) flood (in central Tx.), and several mere "tropical storms". The 'media' can and do screw this up, but I don't think it's from greed this time' forecast aren't perfect, and over-fear on one hurts the amount of seriousness people put in to the next event, but they don't really know either. And down playing these things causes more harm than overplaying them! Ask Bushie and Brownie, who seem to have thought they could make things happen by claiming them.

Weather kills, even if it does keep some peeps off the road,
posted by Webnym at 9:59 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish I found Poet_Lariat's relentless attempts to quell the storm-hype relaxing instead of totally obnoxious dangerous.
posted by rollbiz at 9:59 PM on August 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


flarbuse: "I

Take, for example, the death statistics. There will be some statistic that says that some hurricane hit South Carolina and North Carolina and killed four people. The four deaths will often be automobile accidents. During a hurricane, every automobile death is attributed to the hurricane. They never tell you how many automobile-related deaths South Carolina and North Carolina average on a non-hurricane day. They don't tell you that those two states average 5 automobile deaths combined in an average day. So overall, they should be telling us that the hurricane apparently saved a life by keeping people off the roads and decreasing fatalities overall. But they don't quite phrase it that way.

I certainly don't mean to diminish the death of anyone, but statistics about how many deaths are caused by a storm without any reference to how many deaths would be expected without the storm are useless and misleading.
"

My above comment was supposed to begin with this quote, but I screwed it up.
posted by Webnym at 10:01 PM on August 27, 2011


hermitosis: "I wish I found Poet_Lariat's relentless attempts to quell the storm-hype relaxing instead of totally obnoxious."

Dismissing people's concerns or implying that they have little to worry about when they're facing a potentially dangerous storm is irresponsible behavior. Especially when the people who are about to experience a storm of this power and duration are unlikely to have done so frequently.

Look, there are valid points to be made about storm surges and wind speed. Here's the worst case scenario for NYC: a borderline cat 4 hurricane hits like the Long Island Express, back in 1938. But note what the article says are the problems NYC residents face when hit with a large hurricane. And the issues we have that other, less urbanized, lower population density areas of the country do not.
posted by zarq at 10:06 PM on August 27, 2011


Spent a half hour in the basement tonight, riding out a NWS tornado warning. It's very quiet at the moment but there's another band of heavy rain due any minute. It's not expected to generate tornados however. And here comes the rain.
posted by scalefree at 10:06 PM on August 27, 2011


If you want a way to deal with Hurricane-related stress, the YouAreListeningTo site now has an Irene page.

Or if you want a semi-inappropriate giggle, here's Hurricane Irene Ryan (via Dan Piraro of Bizarro Comic, who's in the path of the storm right now).
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


the YouAreListeningTo site now has an Irene page.
Well. That is rather surreal.

Take care, everyone.
posted by Glinn at 10:11 PM on August 27, 2011


I think it's a really bad idea to be looking at categories, and storm surges, and such. Those things might matter to your yacht or fishing fleet, but mean little to your apartment or house in the city. One of the worst storms to ever hit Houston, a city that sees a lot of tropical storms, wasn't even a hurricane, it wasn't even a hurricane when it hit the barrier islands. It was a little old tropical storm (Allison, I think, early naughts)

Irene may not be strong - high winds - but those die down as they go inland anyway. But she is BIG, and for most of us that might mean a lot more. A tropical storm spinning around by the coast, constantly refeeding with water, can do a lot of damage inland. I was six hundred miles inland, and in an arid area north of San Antonia when that happened once.
posted by Webnym at 10:12 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


For people who want to know absolutely everything that's going on around them, you can tune into your local emergency radio frequencies with RadioReference's Live Audio Feeds.
posted by scalefree at 10:14 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I said this on the grey more than once. Please allow me to say it here.

Your trees do not care if the storm is a weak Cat 1 (76mph winds), or a strong tropical storm (73mph winds). Over hours and hours, if your trees are prone to fall, in either case they will fall.
posted by rollbiz at 10:17 PM on August 27, 2011


Stunning Picture of Irene hitting North Carolina coast.
posted by Rumple at 10:17 PM on August 27, 2011 [16 favorites]


There is also a Scanner Radio app for Android with emergency radio streams.
posted by fuq at 10:18 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, this is a really abnormal Cat 1 storm in size, organization, and resilience.

Be careful.
posted by rollbiz at 10:18 PM on August 27, 2011


Yeah, treating the deaths that do or don't occur because of or in spite of a natural disaster like some kind of karmic spreadsheet and basically saying "it all evens out in the end" is not only poor taste but completely wrong.

Life and death just don't work like that. I'm pretty sure it doesn't actually work like that even if you're an insurance writer or adjuster. It's not a game of Sim City. You can't just say that the hurricane is less deadly because a bunch of people didn't die on the freeway. The freeway is it's own independent risk and danger - and it's own set of issues to be addressed, for sure.


And on forecasting: Unless you happen to be a meteorologist working in an official capacity or a local eyewitness providing updates, you probably really shouldn't be downplaying or conflicting NOAA/NWS warnings and predictions.

The entire purpose of warnings and predictions is to set the bar reasonably but accurately high. They're supposed to be the worst that can happen at peak, localized intensity plus a bit of margin for safety - not what the entire region will experience as a majority. That's the target that they try to prepare for, so they're not under-prepared in any one area.

They don't actually know for certain what the storm will do, where it will go precisely, how much rain it will bring. They know that. So the prediction is "It could be as bad as this. Prepare for it just in case."

Ideally those inflated predictions are mostly wrong all the time because if they were spot on right all the time they would be setting the warning flags too low, and people would be under-prepared.
posted by loquacious at 10:19 PM on August 27, 2011 [15 favorites]


> It was a little old tropical storm (Allison, I think, early naughts)

Indeed it was Allison. That one caught the city off guard. But, the flooding killed dozens, ruined untold years of research studies and student post-grad work at the Texas Medical Center, and caused all kinds of damage and mayhem. The winds were really light then, but it didn't matter. People kept going out and ignoring the warnings until it was too late.

It's one thing to tell people to calm down and not panic, and evaluate things from a clear perspective. It's another thing to dismiss potential dangers just because "it probably isn't that bad".

At the very least, being extra cautious and over prepared is good training for the next big thing to come through.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:20 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


A tropical storm spinning around by the coast, constantly refeeding with water, can do a lot of damage inland.

Speaking as someone who just got back from inspecting sodden drywall, yes - the wind isn't amounting to much here in DC, but I suspect we're going to have a *lot* of expensive water damage and flooding.

I'm not looking forward to seeing what another 2-3 hours of heavy rain is going to do to those walls.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:21 PM on August 27, 2011


Stunning Picture of Irene hitting North Carolina coast.

Some do not think this picture is real.
posted by Glinn at 10:23 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, thanks Glinn. Apologies for misleading the thread!
posted by Rumple at 10:25 PM on August 27, 2011


> Some do not think this picture is real.

It's definitely not a hurricane.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:26 PM on August 27, 2011


Just saw a flash flood warning AND a tornado watch issued for my county. Sigh... at least I'm not in a low-lying area.
posted by booksherpa at 11:01 PM on August 27, 2011


Also, here is a picture of Irene coming in over NYC. Here's some video.
posted by XMLicious at 11:02 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


According to Google, this is Obama's 248,000th Katrina.
posted by Cyrano at 11:05 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The entire purpose of warnings and predictions is to set the bar reasonably but accurately high. They're supposed to be the worst that can happen at peak, localized intensity plus a bit of margin for safety - not what the entire region will experience as a majority. That's the target that they try to prepare for, so they're not under-prepared in any one area.

They don't actually know for certain what the storm will do, where it will go precisely, how much rain it will bring. They know that. So the prediction is "It could be as bad as this. Prepare for it just in case."

Ideally those inflated predictions are mostly wrong all the time because if they were spot on right all the time they would be setting the warning flags too low, and people would be under-prepared.
posted by loquacious at 1:19 AM on August 28 [2 favorites +] [!]

To add to loquacious' comment: the tide charts for the local station near me have had predictions ranging up to the 7ft mark for storm surge. The actual observed surge was measured to be about 6in HIGHER than projected.

For the locals here, knowing the prediction was "only" 7ft, that is, less than the 7.7ft for the 2009 Nor'easter, and less than the 7.9ft measured from Isabel, the prediction of 7ft was somewhat comforting. But the message loquacious gives is true: prepare for what's reasonably worst, based on all info, and people won't find themselves woefully underprepared.
posted by herrdoktor at 11:09 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh sure, first everyone back east complains about the heat waves, and then finally a breeze and some rain shows up to cool you all down and all do is complain about that! But I do hope this causes minimal problems for those having to ride it out. Not fun.

If you are looking for some hurricane levity (up to you) witstream seems to have the odd bon mot popping up.
posted by Salmonberry at 11:16 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a blog with shots of stores in NY getting ready. The Apple store has the nicest sandbags.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:30 PM on August 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Pennsylvania here! No state of emergency here! Got beer and wine and leftover food. Kinda stoned. I'm gonna make vegetarian curry tomorrow in the slow cooker, eh, if the power goes out...whatever underdone tofu won't make you sick.

It's uhh, kinda windy. Watching Best of Both Worlds Part II. Sister is here cause her power is out. Oh, her ear is messed up and gonna need surgery. Argh.

Ouch, Wolf 359. The chihuahua is okay.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:31 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Goddamn, I love meat like nothing else but a whole mess of vegetarian curry sounds delicious...

We just bought a new bed and our old one is in our new small guestroom. Therefore, anyone with tasty hurricane foods should shelter at my place in Central MA...!
posted by rollbiz at 11:42 PM on August 27, 2011


It's my partner's birthday today so here's hoping I can still cook her a meal...
posted by rollbiz at 11:45 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Supposed to be flying into Boston on Wednesday, so I'm watching the storm with interest. It's for a wedding, so I'm really hoping that the storm doesn't derail it. I don't want to fly out and create problems. If it's a serious disaster, I don't want to be one more unskilled person on the ground in the way. If it weren't one of my very best friends getting married, I'd be canceling my trip already...
posted by stoneweaver at 11:48 PM on August 27, 2011


If I had to guess, stoneweaver, by Wednesday you'll be fine to fly in and won't be in the way of anything. If the airline feels comfortable getting you here, don't worry about being in the way. We appreciate you thinking of us, though...

Where's the wefding?
posted by rollbiz at 11:56 PM on August 27, 2011


*wedding
posted by rollbiz at 11:56 PM on August 27, 2011


It's my partner's birthday today so here's hoping I can still cook her a meal...

Remember charcoal works without electricity. :-)
posted by Malor at 11:58 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The wedding's all the way up in rural New Hampshire quite a ways from the coast, so I'm not super concerned about that. I just know what a problem it can be for people to come into a disaster area and clog roads an resources. Flying Southwest, and they're pretty conservative when it comes to safety so if flights are going in it will be a pretty good sign.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:05 AM on August 28, 2011


Malor, that'd actuallybe my preference but it's going to be way too windy to burn as close to the house as any covered area I have... :(

Anyone know a good recipe for fairly easy pan-fried steak? Au poivre would be extra super great...!
posted by rollbiz at 12:06 AM on August 28, 2011


We're heading to a wedding in Western Mass next weekend, via Boston this week as well. Hoping any damage is minimal.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:06 AM on August 28, 2011


I think you'll be just fine by Wednesday, stoneweaver. It's great that you're considering it, though... Enjoy the wedding!

All the way on-topic, Irene seems to be doing exactly what is expected from here on in. Tracks are pretty locked in. 2nd landfall still predicted to be West Long Island-ish and around noon today. This storm has never gotten as powerful as possible, but it's so huge and slow to weaken.
posted by rollbiz at 12:10 AM on August 28, 2011


Landfall
posted by homunculus at 12:15 AM on August 28, 2011


gingerbeer- I'd guess things will be OK out that way by then as well, but you should take an extra peek or make a quick phone call. The primary threat in W-MA is flooding, and floods can take a looooong time to recede in the right circumstances. Normally, hurricanes aren't those circumstances, but we've had a lot of rain recently rven before this one...Just make sure you're planned route is passable and stuff, as roads out that way can certainly flood and detours can be long depending on where you are.
posted by rollbiz at 12:17 AM on August 28, 2011


CNN just reported that a nuclear power plant in Maryland is having some kind of (non catastrophic) issues and is being scaled back or taken offline.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:25 AM on August 28, 2011




Anyone know a good recipe for fairly easy pan-fried steak? Au poivre would be extra super great...!

Fry in salted butter - long, low and slow. Add cracked pepper to the leftover fat and juices, and cook to reduce a little while the steak rests.
posted by Ahab at 12:29 AM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Former New Yorker, now on the West Coast, getting antsy for my friends there and the city in general. It's not helping that I'm seeing tweets and blog comments from NYC along the lines of "Bah, it's not THAT bad!" when the brunt of the storm is still four or five hours away.

From what I've read, the risk at this point for New Jersey, New York and points north isn't just Irene's winds (though they'll still be fairly strong, with bonus tornadoes inland) -- it's her size AND the fact that she's lumbering up the coast somewhat slowly. So the water dumped all along her path will be significant. I was also thinking of Tropical Storm Allison, which was bad enough that its name was retired. Stay safe, East Coasters!
posted by lisa g at 12:32 AM on August 28, 2011


Thanks, Ahab!
posted by rollbiz at 12:36 AM on August 28, 2011


So far, I think CNN has the most stylish custom crisis logo of all the cable networks.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:46 AM on August 28, 2011




On the bright side, we'll be too busy tripping on magic mushrooms to notice the damage left in Irene's wake.
posted by adso at 1:18 AM on August 28, 2011


Flooding in Philadelphia. NWS live data on the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers.
posted by gac at 1:32 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is awesome Booksherpa, well done.

Looks like the Irene is set to dish out the highest winds, and storm surges, (along with high tide and a new moon) from 7 to 9 AM in the NYC/NJ and tri-state area. With landfall in Nassau County, NJ being the first in line. The winds will be moving NW, and it's all beginning to look like a hellish combination for flooding.

Fingers crossed, this is going to get hairy. Don't be a hero (just for one day), stay inside and ride this out.
posted by Skygazer at 1:33 AM on August 28, 2011


Tornado watch in Brooklyn just woke me up after 10 minutes of sleep, resulted in fun 20 minute adventure to apartment building's basement with 2 cats in bags.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 1:41 AM on August 28, 2011


Tornado WARNING I mean.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 1:41 AM on August 28, 2011


I'd guess the power outage near me (new jersey) is due to fallen branches, since I can see light a few blocks away. And because there are fallen branches galore around anyway. The real threat is flooding though, especially since we need power to run the sump pump. I'm glad we made sure the portable generator works this afternoon, though it needs a lot of strength to start it.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:51 AM on August 28, 2011


Lotsa cats in the bag tonight. This cat needs to hit the sack, but I'm too...too..too...

too something or other...
posted by Skygazer at 1:52 AM on August 28, 2011


Antsy...


But really, all this tornadic acton, can it do anything in Brooklyn?
posted by Skygazer at 1:58 AM on August 28, 2011


Well, there have been a few Brooklyn tornadoes in the past few years, and a handful in NYC in general. Interesting history of them here, since looking this shit up is apparently what I to try and make myself feel better.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:08 AM on August 28, 2011


Didn't the tornado warnings in NYC just expire? (Which leaves you with only flooding, the storm surge, and 80 mph winds to worry about.)
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:14 AM on August 28, 2011


Yeah, it did expire. From my experience the closer to the water you are the more chance there is of a freakish Tornadic energy burst. There have been a few in NYC over the last decade or so. They're always sorta freakish and short lived.

I guess the worst took place in Bensonhurst a few years ago and knocked down a whole mess of trees in that neighborhood and Dyker Heights.

Wow, I just answered my own question. Half asleep though, but wired.
posted by Skygazer at 2:17 AM on August 28, 2011


Is there anything more ridiculous than cable news weather channels and on the scene reporting?

I'm not sure what show I'm watching on Ustream but it just featured an anchor wearing what looked like a sea-rated yellow rainslicker outfit and brandishing a broken umbrella, talking about how useless they are in a hurricane (true) and how you really need industrial strength rain gear.

At that exact moment a couple of people in shirt sleeves and shorts walked through the frame carrying a perfectly functioning umbrella in the light winds and rain that were going on during the shoot. The remote reporter even looked right at them while he was finishing the sentence and barely skipped a beat.

Priceless.
posted by loquacious at 2:33 AM on August 28, 2011 [31 favorites]


Rest assured, skygazer, you're not the only one who's wired. I'm in Texas, but I'm awake and worrying about family and friends in NYC, some of whom live close to the beach but chose not to evacuate. I'm obsessively flipping channels between CNN, TWC, CNBC and MSNBC, and checking Twitter and Facebook. Meanwhile, my family in NY are probably all fast asleep.

Also, I'm worrying about newscasters' near-total lack of use of the phrase "hunker down". As everyone down here knows, that's the main thing you're supposed to do to protect yourself during a hurricane. Totally irresponsible of the news services to not remind people of this.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:38 AM on August 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I just hunkered down over a couple of donuts and some chocolate milk.
posted by loquacious at 2:41 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm staying awake here in New York City, located in the upper west side, and NY1 just said it looks like it's not going to be that bad around these parts.
posted by paladin at 2:43 AM on August 28, 2011


These morning NY1 anchors are pretty funny, they seem like they haven't slept at all. Or maybe it's just me that hasn't slept at all, and that's why they're funny.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:45 AM on August 28, 2011


Well, now TWC is saying the tornado watch for Long Island is until 11 a.m. And I have already finished my entire bag of Cape Cod sea salt and vinegar potato chips. That was poor planning on my part, I suppose.
posted by MexicanYenta at 3:00 AM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fry in salted butter - long, low and slow. Add cracked pepper to the leftover fat and juices, and cook to reduce a little while the steak rests.

Give that reduction a tiny shot of heavy cream for colour and texture.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:32 AM on August 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Heavy fog and rain here in Vermont, but the winds haven't picked up yet. Central Vermont was already hit by bad flooding in May, so 4-7 inches of rain is going to be a huge problem.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 3:40 AM on August 28, 2011


The power just went out in my part of Baltimore. The winds are still really intense, 6 hours after I went to sleep.
posted by apricot at 4:15 AM on August 28, 2011


Is there anything more ridiculous than cable news weather channels and on the scene reporting?

This. So much of this. I know that many people have said this before, so it's not exactly new to anyone but the way that the cable news stations/weather people have used storms like this to turn weather into "reality" television makes my brain hurt.

It's always some poor idiot who works for the station who is in a part of the storm that they shouldn't be, dressed up in the most ridiculous of outfits. If the storm is so dangerous and EVERYONE is being advised to be someplace else, why the hell are journalists (use that term lightly) allowed to operate in these environments? I get that information about what is happening in that area is necessary for those who cannot leave and/or directly in those areas, but there has to be a safe way to report the news and not risk injury for these poor bastards.
posted by Fizz at 4:20 AM on August 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


The power just went out in my part of Baltimore. The winds are still really intense, 6 hours after I went to sleep

Still got power in Canton, so I'm pretty happy about that. The wind is really whipping right now, even though the rain has mostly stopped.
posted by codacorolla at 4:26 AM on August 28, 2011


Woke up in Washington Heights with power. Cant see much out our windows, just an alley, but things look relatively OK. Hope all the neighborhood trees are holding on.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:27 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just hunkered down over a couple of donuts and some chocolate milk.

what kind of doughnuts?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:32 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


We have power. Lost it in the middle of the night, but now it's back. Our carbon dioxide and fire alarms started beeping at 4:30 when it happened. I don't recommend that as a wake-up method.

Official word is that MTA buses (including express buses,) trains and subways will not be restored until Monday afternoon. Phone lines to some fire departments and police precincts are down. Residents urged to call 911, not direct lines.
posted by zarq at 5:35 AM on August 28, 2011


doughnuts

A/S/L NEED UPDATES PLZ
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:35 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


A few sticks and leaves on the ground, and a tree down at the end of the block, but we're dry and safe here in DC, power on, heck, even the newspaper was delivered.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:36 AM on August 28, 2011


Residents urged to call 911, not direct lines.

Opposite of the earthquake!

"Hello police? Yeah its a hurricane. Like, raining, and windy and stuff. Captain Planet? Cool, I'll wait right here for him. Thanks yo."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:38 AM on August 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


>If you Google "Should I tape my windows for a hurricane?," the internet will tell you "No." Here's FEMA, for example: "Tape does not prevent windows from breaking."

This guy is just an idiot. The tape isn't to keep the window from breaking. It's to prevent a broken window from just falling out of the frame, to keep some of the pieces together. This keeps the rain out, and the glass shards from going everywhere. Isn't this common knowledge?
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:01 AM on August 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


I predict that the aftermath of this event will offer your police forces an excellent opportunity to target poor, displaced black people, and perhaps corral them into a sort of "yard", where they will be expertly mismanaged and woefully under-supplied with clean water, food, dry clothing and bedding, medical and sanitary facilities. The holding area will grow increasingly crowded, smelly and uncomfortable, and eventually a complete lack of information or compassion will cause the detainees to scrape together sufficient outrage to either complain vigorously to the parties in charge, or simply say "fuck you" and leave, to sort things out for themselves far more effectively and efficiently, at which point they will be Tazed and arrested. Fox News will be on the scene within moments to report on them as "animals", and later a Tea Party pundit will explain to us that this is why poor people don't deserve things.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:10 AM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apparently two idiots were kayaking off Staten Island and had to be rescued? Oy.
posted by emjaybee at 6:14 AM on August 28, 2011


Her in Queens we still have power(knocks wood), ther's no standing water outside, and it looks like the storm is breaking up. This was overhyped. And I am really sick of Sam Champion.
posted by jonmc at 6:14 AM on August 28, 2011


first light on the west coast -- watching the Belgian Grand Prix, helluva race! Clear day in the Ardennes. Vettel leading at 3/4 distance, Alonso pressing with Webber pressing him.
posted by philip-random at 6:14 AM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, that was not nearly as bad (in central NJ) as I had been led to believe it would be by pretty much every source of weather forecasts. "Extraordinary disaster!". Nope, not really.
posted by amro at 6:18 AM on August 28, 2011


Gosh, people in the southeast must by pussies. Hurricanes aren't bad at all.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:21 AM on August 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


spelling! Spelling, Threeway Handshake! "buy"
posted by taz at 6:25 AM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I woke up to floors covered with water, thanks to a cat who decided that a bathtub full of water = crazy kitty hijinks time.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:28 AM on August 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


Upper West Side check in. We had some heavy thunderstorms, and then it drizzled all night. That was it. Almost no wind.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:31 AM on August 28, 2011


Good Morning, Y'all. If you are interested in seeing some pictures of the hurricane in NC, here is a slideshow from WRAL. My in-laws on Topsail Island are all safe, although my sister-in-law is without power, so that's good news. Meanwhile I have some cleaning up to do in the yard. But first I have to go out and celebrate my birthday with the best Reuben Sandwich in Raleigh.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:33 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


looks foggy and wet on Wired NYC webcam.
posted by dabitch at 6:33 AM on August 28, 2011


Here's a blog with shots of stores in NY getting ready.

There is a Tibetan handicrafts store on Greenwich Ave that would hands down take the award for OTT hurricane preparedness if only I had a picture. Seriously, they fashioned some kind of plywood portcullis over their metal security gate, somehow managing to incorporate the overhanging scaffolding as well.

i have made a mental note to befriend them in case of zombie apocalypse
posted by elizardbits at 6:34 AM on August 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


rollbiz, thanks for your excellent and sensible advice, particularly the nice way you are addressing people's concerns and questions here and in metatalk. We are so lucky to have our own disaster relief go-to person in-thread!

I think if you get called up for duty, you need to say no, you are already assigned to Mefi relief brigade. Teh internets needs you. dude!
posted by madamjujujive at 6:34 AM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Queens checking in, we're between bands right now because the sun is out and it's not even raining. Listening to the soothing, smooth jazz sounds of FDNY Dispatch and watching NOAA figures indicating that parts of lower Manhattan might be flooded already (the seawall is 8' IIRC).
posted by Skorgu at 6:38 AM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm in the upper west side. I have power but also a leak. Some books on a window sill ruined.
posted by knoyers at 6:47 AM on August 28, 2011


Reuters shows flooding in Manhattan, oh that looks a bit wet.
posted by dabitch at 6:48 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


*AP
posted by dabitch at 6:49 AM on August 28, 2011


Apparently two idiots were kayaking off Staten Island and had to be rescued?

I was watching a couple of einsteins in kayaks out in the middle of the lake across from my house this morning. Pouring rain, and the trees were dancing. The adventurers did leave before the whitecaps came up.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:57 AM on August 28, 2011


Welp, guess that's it? 'twas hella rainy, but all is well.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:58 AM on August 28, 2011


This. So much of this. I know that many people have said this before, so it's not exactly new to anyone but the way that the cable news stations/weather people have used storms like this to turn weather into "reality" television makes my brain hurt.

It's always some poor idiot who works for the station who is in a part of the storm that they shouldn't be, dressed up in the most ridiculous of outfits. If the storm is so dangerous and EVERYONE is being advised to be someplace else, why the hell are journalists (use that term lightly) allowed to operate in these environments? I get that information about what is happening in that area is necessary for those who cannot leave and/or directly in those areas, but there has to be a safe way to report the news and not risk injury for these poor bastards.
posted by Fizz at 4:20 AM on August 28 [+] [!]


Part of it is the reporter mindset: if it is happening, it needs to be covered. But I also think it has to do with letting people experience it without them actually wandering down to the beach and getting swept up. *Usually* those on-scene reporters have some kind of bunker right behind them to jump into if it gets bad.
posted by gjc at 7:02 AM on August 28, 2011


Yeah, the tape on the windows is meant to keep flying sheets of glass to a minimum. A half-assed X of blue painters tape probably isn't going to hack it. I think you need filiment tape, or at least proper duct tape.
posted by gjc at 7:03 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


On NBC in Chicago, they have a "reporter" on the scene in NYC, who seems like she was just on vacation and got stuck. She is reporting on things like how the hotel let all the staff go home, and how difficult it is to get room service. Bravo!
posted by gjc at 7:04 AM on August 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Part of it is the reporter mindset: if it is happening, it needs to be covered."

Yesterday, I shit you not, there was an interview on the Weather Channel with a guy who was there to cover what the guys who were there to cover the storm were doing. That's right, he was in the middle of a hurricane reporting on what the reporters reporting on the hurricane were reporting.

I turned to my wife and said "Weather reporting just disappeared up its own ass."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:08 AM on August 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


Some books on a window sill ruined.

What kind of monster leave books on a windowsill when a storm is threatening? All my books are double-wrapped in plastic and stored in sealed tubs!

Which is why I have nothing to read....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:09 AM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


BIG ass tree just fell across the street from me and I've been hearing other trees crack. Still have power, so I'm still able to see the horror that is the local news station.
posted by bondcliff at 7:15 AM on August 28, 2011


Dang my neighborhood is noisy; there must be at least 5 chainsaws going.

I was concerned enough about Rikers Island to check on them this morning, but it looks like everything is ok.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:16 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the tape on the windows is meant to keep flying sheets of glass to a minimum. A half-assed X of blue painters tape probably isn't going to hack it. I think you need filiment tape, or at least proper duct tape.

Nope, duct tape isn't going to do much of anything.
posted by Venadium at 7:18 AM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


My brother's apartment seems to have been very badly maintained -- even though he's on the 21st floor, he says he's got water leaking in through the walls in every room.

Assuming his stuff his fine, which I think it is, what's the prognosis on mold? Is his place going to be habitable and healthy in a few months?
posted by gerryblog at 7:20 AM on August 28, 2011


Did I hear an NBC reporter in New Bedford refer to all the whaling boats in the harbor? Evidently the wind has blown him back to 1837.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:21 AM on August 28, 2011 [17 favorites]


Did I hear an NBC reporter in New Bedford refer to all the whaling boats in the harbor? Evidently the wind has blown him back to 1837.

Haven't you been following the warnings of the National Chronological Service? Irene has caused sever localized temporal disruptions +/- 203 years from date of contact. Generally it clears up in a few experiential hours. If not, contact your local bureau. They are staffing all affected time periods until 8pm tomorrow.

Yes, I know the National Chronological Service was defunded by Congress, but not until 2043, and the retconning hasn't worked it's way back to now yet.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:27 AM on August 28, 2011 [35 favorites]


Irene is supposed to pass north of us here in Nova Scotia. North! That's some bizarre tropical storm.
posted by eviemath at 7:30 AM on August 28, 2011




(Also, furiousxgeorge, does tofu really work well in a rogan josh? Have you ever tried/can you report on tofu versus tempeh for this purpose?)
posted by eviemath at 7:32 AM on August 28, 2011


I'm in Lower Manhattan on the 19th floor and if nobody had told me, I would have never known the hurricane was passing through. Didn't even hear any wind whistling or anything.
posted by pravit at 7:33 AM on August 28, 2011


> Part of it is the reporter mindset: if it is happening, it needs to be covered. But I also think it has to do with letting people experience it without them actually wandering down to the beach and getting swept up.

The freshly-minted MBA pulls multiple all-nighters on TPS reports to prove that he's the kind of hard-driving do-anything go-getter worthy of promotion.

TV news reporters do self-endangering location assignments, to prove they're the kind of hard-driving do-anything go-getter worthy of promotion.
posted by ardgedee at 7:35 AM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


gerryblog: "[...] Assuming his stuff his fine, which I think it is, what's the prognosis on mold? Is his place going to be habitable and healthy in a few months"

The wa.gov page, oddly, has nice tips (the epa page didn't cover the steps as nicely!)
Mold: control growth
Scrub hard surfaces:

First wash with a mild detergent solution, such as laundry detergent and warm water. Allow to dry.

(Optional step) Then wipe with a solution of 1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water. Wait 20 minutes and repeat. Wait another 20 minutes.

Last apply a borate-based detergent solution and don't rinse. This will help prevent mold from growing again. A borate-based laundry or dish washer detergent has "borate" listed on the ingredients label.

My basement floods about once or twice a year*. We don't do all of the steps listed on the page (no sealing off the rest of the house, wearing filters), otoh we don't get huge patches of mold.


* (we had only partially moved in and the spouse said, no, don't worry, keeping the boxes of books stacked up in the basement will be fine. we won't leave them there long. I wanted to unspouse him when we had a flood! luckily, most of my books weren't ruined.)
posted by bleary at 7:38 AM on August 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Thanks bleary!
posted by gerryblog at 7:40 AM on August 28, 2011


gerryblog: "Thanks bleary"

You're welcome, but please be sure to do some digging for info on your own. I don't want to mislead you in any way.
posted by bleary at 7:44 AM on August 28, 2011


Gleeful Fox News reporter covered in frothy sewage hurricane santorum.

FTFY
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:49 AM on August 28, 2011 [6 favorites]




Well crap. Just lost power (a few miles west of Boston). The shit is hitting the fan outside.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:54 AM on August 28, 2011


Gleeful Fox News reporter covered in frothy sewage does content-free standup report.

"It doesn't taste great," he said.


T_T
posted by byanyothername at 7:56 AM on August 28, 2011




bondcliff, cat pie hurts et al, thinking of you guys and fingers crossed for staying safe.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 8:16 AM on August 28, 2011


Gerryblog- also check with upstairs neighbors, someone may have gotten overzealous with the filling the bathtub thing.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:18 AM on August 28, 2011


Thanks, Wuggie Norpie. I feel safe. Cracking trees aren't fun but so far the wind doesn't seem much worse than what we get in a bad winter storm. I still have power for now, I'm well equipped with emergency gear and I've got plenty of food, beer, and single malt.

And as I type this the rain is coming down hard and the trees are bending a good deal. Good times. Good times.
posted by bondcliff at 8:23 AM on August 28, 2011


20 miles west of Boston, power holding but it sure is rainy and blowy. Rapidly changing conditions ranging from "whee" to "arghh" to "eek." I think there will be lots of flooding round these parts.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:26 AM on August 28, 2011


Why is everyone so convinced that froth is from sewage? You see that wind-whipped foam in perfectly clean sea and river water all the time.
posted by Flashman at 8:28 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Things here in Seattle are good so far.
posted by bz at 8:29 AM on August 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


lights are flickering here in Worcester MA, but everything seems to be holding up okay. I'm on the very top of a huge hill so I'm worried about the wind, but there shouldn't be any flooding.

Though I kind of wonder what the neighbors think of me, or more specifically my housemate's truck (not yet unloaded after returning yesterday from a fishing trip).
posted by xbonesgt at 8:30 AM on August 28, 2011


We had light rain last night, two claps of thunder this morning and then crickets. 11:41 AM, downeast Maine.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:41 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is everyone so convinced that froth is from sewage? You see that wind-whipped foam in perfectly clean sea and river water all the time.

Fish pee in that water! You're describing some sort of fish urine meringue!
posted by infinitewindow at 8:47 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


You see that wind-whipped foam in perfectly clean sea and river water all the time.

Have you seen the video? It looks like evolution in action to me.
posted by Dr Dracator at 8:47 AM on August 28, 2011


The sewage plant in my town had some major problems due to someone pouring (brake fluid?) down the drain and the harbor was afloat with yellow foam.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:48 AM on August 28, 2011


MTA's Flickr photostream shows flooded infrastructure in and north of the city.
posted by gubo at 8:51 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK. Big gusts here in Metrowest. More trees down. Worst wind is yet to come. Super.

Amazingly I still have power. Not sure for how much longer if this keeps up.
posted by bondcliff at 8:55 AM on August 28, 2011


Listen to me now and believe me later, don't be surprised if another significant Hurricane named Katia threatens the US east coast during the week after labor day. It is just a cluster of thunderstorms off the west coast of Africa now, but it is in a favorable spot for development and the ridge in the middle of the Atlantic that steered Irene will persist in the coming weeks.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:56 AM on August 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm on the south coast of Massachusetts, in the little village of Padanaram (South Dartmouth). Winds gusted to 70 mph earlier this morning. And there was a storm surge of 2-4 ft that brought the water up to road level. Lots of debris on roads, trees down here and there, but nothing of real concern. Hurricane Bob in 1991 was MUCH worse.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:59 AM on August 28, 2011


We're in Jersey City and took FEMA's advice and stocked up on emergency supplies: 1 case of beer per person, per day. It seems we missed the worst of it, but the ceiling still seems to be spinning.
posted by ryoshu at 9:13 AM on August 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


In major disasters there is but one rule always in force:
those who prior to the mess call for smaller govt and doing away with agencies are the first to shout that the govt has not done a good enough job fast enough.
posted by Postroad at 9:19 AM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there anything more ridiculous than cable news weather channels and on the scene reporting?

A small army of well equipped, rain-slicked drama queens.

What idiots. Truly and totally.
posted by Skygazer at 9:23 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fish pee in that water! You're describing some sort of fish urine meringue!

see also.
posted by elizardbits at 9:23 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh shit I think I'm in trouble. I'm here on conditional permanent residency and my house was picked up during the storm and seems to have landed on this person wearing red slippers. My wife thinks they're kind of cute but aren't quite her size. Am I criminally liable? If I get convincted of manslaughter I'll get deported!

I also don't know quite where I've landed either. Everyone's really short and stuff so I assume somewhere like Tennessee? They keep going on about this road. It's apparently yellow brick and not paved with asphalt or anything. Some sort of cobblestone which further adds to my suspicion that I'm in one of the poorer southern states with terrible transportation departments. AT&T seems to have 5 bars though so we could be in some kind of fantasy land.

Any advice?
posted by Talez at 9:25 AM on August 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


So that's it!!!//!!????

WTF???

FUCK THIS. I'M GOING OUTSIDE AND FUCKING SHIT UP. WAT A JIPP, I WANT MY MONEY BACK IRENE!
posted by Skygazer at 9:30 AM on August 28, 2011


Any advice?

This is the blue, not the green.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:35 AM on August 28, 2011


Oh SHIT. I HAZ NO MORE CIGARRETTEs.

AAHHHHHHHH....Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! SOMEONE CALL THE NEWS VANSSSS!!!!


AAaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

posted by Skygazer at 9:37 AM on August 28, 2011


Agree with someone somewhere that the hurricane hangover is way worse than the hurricane itself. (Thank god. and please don't let me jinx myself and have a branch fall on me when I go outside). in nyc.
posted by bquarters at 9:42 AM on August 28, 2011


However it sort of looks like a hurricane has taken place IN my apt. How did that happen?
posted by bquarters at 9:43 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So can I drain the bath tub now?
posted by monospace at 10:02 AM on August 28, 2011


Rain just beginning to taper off here in the Hudson Valley near Albany. There are scary reports of houses washed away out of the upper Catskills - Margaretville, Tannersville, Phoenicia, etc.
posted by minervous at 10:24 AM on August 28, 2011



Is there anything more ridiculous than cable news weather channels and on the scene reporting?


heh
posted by edgeways at 10:27 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


West Brattleboro, VT
posted by Wuggie Norple at 10:33 AM on August 28, 2011


A small army of well equipped, rain-slicked drama queens.
What idiots. Truly and totally.


Have you been following the Meta in which I was roundly beaten up for relaying the NOAA analysis that clearly showed the hurricane losing strength? I had one hysterical person memail me and tell me how I was responsible for killing people and was a horrible person....for relaying what the National Weather service said.

Look I totally agree that it's better to be safe than sorry. Better to have millions disappointed than hundreds dead - much better. But I do think there is a probably a huge number of people in society that lives terribly boring lives and want and need unnecessary drama in their lives . I think that's why news stations hype up the news all the time - because people like that like it, need it and return to it again and again.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:37 AM on August 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm at my mom's in Saugus just off of Route 1 and if I had spent the past few days in a media vacuum I wouldn't have even guessed that this was from a tropical storm. There's a little bit of tree debris on the road, but nothing obstructing, and the worst I saw was a knocked-down traffic light. Other than the relatively low traffic, seems like a typical rainy day. Most of the chain restaurants and stores are open (with the exception of Kappy's) and people are going about their business. It was kind of funny watching the news this morning and seeing the reporters in the field struggling to spin this as a bigger local event than it turned out to be. (Apparently it's sunny on Nantucket already?)

Even the shots of Worcester and Springfield, which I was worried about a lot more, didn't look like all that much was going on. Thankfully, after all the unusual tornado damage earlier this year...
posted by Kosh at 10:45 AM on August 28, 2011


But I do think there is a probably a huge number of people in society that lives terribly boring lives and want and need unnecessary drama in their lives

Like posting incessantly on a web site as a Devil's Advocate?

Regardless, we have the windows open here in coastal NH, waiting for the rains to really pick up before battening down. Power comes and goes. So far, all sound and fury . . .
posted by yerfatma at 10:48 AM on August 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Northern Catskills news here. Gilboa dam siren sounding, but not clear if because of breach or overflow.
posted by minervous at 10:54 AM on August 28, 2011


Miguel Bloombito (@ElBloombito) on Twitter:

Stay awayo para los next few days los parks y los trees. Que fall down. El BOOM!

Heh.
posted by misha at 10:57 AM on August 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Have you been following the Meta in which I was roundly beaten up for relaying the NOAA analysis that clearly showed the hurricane losing strength?

Have you been following all the people who, in reasonable terms, asked you to stop downplaying the potential damage the storm could cause? From where I sit, in the midst of where Irene hit (and not, for instance, a couple thousand miles away in Reno), I'm thrilled that it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. However, I have absolutely no regrets about preparing based on a worst case scenario. Nothing I did to prepare was useless - I have supplies for next time (NOAA radio, battery powered phone charger, extra flashlight) and extras of supplies I use anyway (bottled water, peanut butter, tunafish).

I'm still waiting to hear that all my friends and family members are safe and that their homes are safe. I'm still waiting to hear if my husband and I can go to work tomorrow. I'm expecting to hear that the charity started by a fellow church member after Floyd is inundated with calls from people who have lost everything AGAIN, and I'm planning for how I can help. I'm waiting to hear how things are in nearby towns, because the flood waters have yet to crest around here.

I'm going to assume that you're just socially inept, think you're helping, and that you can't see how you're coming across in your posts. The alternative is believing that you care more about being right than the thousands of people who have been affected by Irene.
posted by booksherpa at 10:58 AM on August 28, 2011 [35 favorites]


Poet, my town has trees down all over the place, many blocking major roads in town (including the Mass Turnpike), power outages everywhere, and I'm still hearing trees crack outside every few minutes.

Yeah, it's a tropical storm, but it's still something worth preparing for and taking seriously. Advising people not to panic was one thing, but what you're doing now is just being an ass.
posted by bondcliff at 10:59 AM on August 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


NOAA analysis that clearly showed the hurricane losing strength

Hang on, you're in Reno, NV? Is your front door welded shut? Why are you on the Internet telling us how to feel about the storm floating over our heads instead of out doing something? I have friends (perhaps not that bright, but friends all the same), who have taken their boats out of harbors and are riding in them right now to make sure the boat's ok tomorrow. Don't care if the storm is under-hyped or over-hyped, it's a decently impressive weather event that can affect lives. But not yours.
posted by yerfatma at 11:03 AM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Poet, the fact that you think you were vindicated and have now come to crow about it is just astounding. I wish the mods would step in and ask you to back away, and also that you'd have the good sense to do it yourself.
posted by gerryblog at 11:07 AM on August 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


[Poet_Lariat, seriously, drop it. Ideally in both threads, but here for sure. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 11:10 AM on August 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


Metafilter: Better to have millions disappointed than hundreds dead
posted by jeanmari at 11:11 AM on August 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


minervous: weather friend (in Gardiner NY) heard this on scanner: "National Guard and all available air support are to be called in to evacuate people in the path of the Gilboa Dam."
posted by exlotuseater at 11:14 AM on August 28, 2011


Wow. My town just posted a map showing 44 downed wire calls so far today, and the winds won't be done with for a while. I'll assume every town around here is doing just as badly. Going to be a busy couple of days for the electric company.

Amazingly, my power is still on.
posted by bondcliff at 11:16 AM on August 28, 2011


Have you been following the Meta in which I was roundly beaten up for relaying the NOAA analysis that clearly showed the hurricane losing strength?

There's a disconnect in that logic.

Reporters overhype and exaggerate the drama of a moment in order to produce a spectacle.

Safety, rescue and forecasters need to stress the importance of thorough preparation, being safe instead of sorry and remaining calm and not forgetting to use one's head.

You need to separate the two. In one, the on-the-scene clownish hysterical reporters: the heightened emotion is fake, and it detracts from the function of helping people prepare because it causes distraction.

In the other, the heightened awareness, forward looking contingency planning, and preparation, and most importantly CALM, thoughtful thinking through, could save a life or lives.


You're now taking the melodrama of the reporters to defend the second, aspect: the preparing for the worse etc...

And that's annoying, and shows an excess pride, that values ego over truth and accuracy and dealing with the community as a good actor, and makes you seem even less trustworthy.

There's a real chance for some beneficial self-awareness here. Take it.
posted by Skygazer at 11:26 AM on August 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


Park Slope update: Cafés and delis are providing breakfast for the locals, as few restaurants have opened for Sunday brunch. Worse, there will not be any artisanal yogurt until tomorrow, at the earliest.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:31 AM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


> "National Guard and all available air support are to be called in to evacuate people in the path of the Gilboa Dam."

Oh Fuck.

This is why the storm really isn't over yet, not until the flood waters start receding.

I watched as my college town slowly flooded over the course of an afternoon as the Susquehanna filled it's banks. It was a bright sunny day the entire time, so it made the entire experience surreal as the water crept up the streets and started pouring into basements.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:33 AM on August 28, 2011


Yeah. Ugh. Gilboa Damn on NY-Alert
posted by jeanmari at 11:37 AM on August 28, 2011


So far the Gilboa Dam is just cresting from what I can get from the various live blogs, but they are evacuating the area.

Also: some more flooding in NY.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:37 AM on August 28, 2011


Worse, there will not be any artisanal yogurt until tomorrow, at the earliest.

No. Please. Don't joke like that. Ha ha.

You're scaring me.


Anyhow, overcast in Brooklyn, but the pressure is normalizing and there's a lovely breeze. The air is clean scrubbed and delicious. AH.

Youse guys up round New England ways hang in for now.

Nothing like how nice the weather can be after a serious atmospheric scrubbing by a Hurricane.
posted by Skygazer at 11:38 AM on August 28, 2011


mkb wrote: tl;dr NWS is has a higher error rate than AccuWeather and their budget is $1 billion per year.

And without that billion dollars a year, Accuweather would be back to throwing grass in the air to see which way the wind was blowing and using that as the basis for their forecasts.
posted by wierdo at 11:45 AM on August 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also: some more flooding in NY.

Once you get over the scary height of the floodwater, you slowly realize that the boat's engine is going pretty close to full throttle just to stay in place and that's when you really freak.
posted by elizardbits at 11:46 AM on August 28, 2011


> Once you get over the scary height of the floodwater, you slowly realize that the boat's engine is going pretty close to full throttle just to stay in place and that's when you really freak.

Yeah, that is what gets a lot of people in danger during flood situations: "oh its only 18 inches of water on the road way, I can wade through that to get to my car and move it." Except that those 18" are moving at rip tide speeds, over slick pavement and are being funneled by the houses. If you manage to keep you feet, you can get hit by debris, and if you do lose your footing, your chances of easily getting back up again are extremely slim, you can hope you get caught by a nice soft embankment instead of pinned under a car or against a fence.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:50 AM on August 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: Filtered and scrubed air after the storm.

(That air is rare and intoxicating, I would drive to JAX beach in Jacksonville to get my fix.)
posted by clavdivs at 11:55 AM on August 28, 2011


Thanks for the picture from Brattleboro. I'm a bit worried about all the rain that's going to hit northern VT. Lake Champlain (home of jessamyn's town) was at a record flood all spring, waters only receded from some places in July. They don't really need 5-10" of rain. I'd imagine the Winooski and Lamoille don't particulalry need more water either. Has VT gotten on the FEMA list yet?
posted by maryr at 11:57 AM on August 28, 2011


Right Wing Cocksuckers

Really?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:05 PM on August 28, 2011


btw the Gilboa Dam was inspected for damage after the recent 2.9 earthquake nearby. They didn't find any signs of damage, but if the dam is full that might be another matter.
posted by carter at 12:09 PM on August 28, 2011


Regardless, we have the windows open here in coastal NH, waiting for the rains to really pick up before battening down. Power comes and goes. So far, all sound and fury . . .

Ahem. As a former resident of Manchester, New Hampshire and a current resident of Houston, Texas (not by choice, though), I feel compelled to point out that "battening down" is what you do during Nor'easters, which are technically not hurricanes. What you do during hurricanes is "hunker down".

Not to be pedantic, but I wouldn't want anyone to be injured because they were following the wrong safety procedure.
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:10 PM on August 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ahem. As a former resident of Manchester, New Hampshire and a current resident of Houston, Texas (not by choice, though), I feel compelled to point out that "battening down" is what you do during Nor'easters, which are technically not hurricanes. What you do during hurricanes is "hunker down".

Our drinking game today in Brooklyn was to drink every time a newsperson said "hunker down." We're pretty wasted now.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:12 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Serious response: So, yeah, NYC probably didn't need to shut down all public transit, etc. However, in addition to providing Bloomberg with the opportunity to look really important and on top of things, it gave the city an opportunity to do a not-so-dry run of some of the emergency procedures it's developed since the blizzardgeddon, the blackout, and Never Forget. It's kind of nice that the city is getting a chance to put some of its emergency plans into play, both for practice, and to assess the practicality of what's been laid down on paper.

Now re-open one of my neighborhood ice cream shops, and nobody gets hurt.)
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:21 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


maryr, Gov. Shumlin did declare a state of emergency for VT but not sure if it's been blessed by FEMA yet. We also had our first death, sadly. 21-year-old woman presumed dead after being swept into the Deerfield River in Wilmington.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 12:21 PM on August 28, 2011




maryr, FEMA has a strong presence in Vermont already -- they are still dealing with the results of flooding along Lake Champlain back in the spring. More flooding is the state's biggest (and very real) concern at this point.

Irene's effects in Vermont.
posted by vers at 12:27 PM on August 28, 2011




oneswellfoop: "Right Wing Cocksuckers"

Please, let's not use that term.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:30 PM on August 28, 2011


Yeah. Don't insult lovers of fellatio.
posted by Splunge at 12:36 PM on August 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


sorry, vers is correct, FEMA has been around since the May flooding. Those areas are getting pretty hard hit right now too, which is scary.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 12:40 PM on August 28, 2011


it gave the city an opportunity to do a not-so-dry run of some of the emergency procedures it's developed since the blizzardgeddon, the blackout, and Never Forget.

This is a very, very good point, and I'd like to remind everyone that the reason Katrina didn't result in a five or even six figure death toll is that they got the contraflow evacuation procedure working just in time. How close was it? They had tried an evacuation just three weeks before for another huricane which fortunately missed, because that evacuation was a total clusterfuck. (In fact, that was the reason many of the people who did stay, stayed.) They made adjustments, with an unheard-of and historic level of cooperation between the parish and Louisiana and Mississippi state governments, and when Katrina shifted course they got the city emptied out in 36 hours, something that had never been accomplished before even though it had been tried at least half a dozen times. It worked the first time when it was really needed, but only because we had had the runs that turned out to be unnecessary.

So good on NYC for going the whole way. You'll be better off for it when the real one comes.
posted by localroger at 12:41 PM on August 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


MTA photos of flooded or damaged subway tracks.

I am trying and failing to not find the caption "Power Lines down at Valhalla" amusing. They need to send a trackworker out there with an immense hammer, stat.
posted by elizardbits at 12:43 PM on August 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


From the vital coverage of the Catskills flooding at the Watershed Post:

Email from reader at 3pm - ""IT IS FLOODING LIKE NOTHING EVER SEEN IN FLEISCHMANNS. IT ALMOST SEEMS THAT NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IS GOING ON HERE. WE ARE STRANDED AND THE STREET IS A VAST RIVER WASHING CARS DOWN AND DEBRIS AT 25 MPH. WE HAVE SEEN NO ONE SINCE 7 AM WHEN A VOLUNTEER TOLD US TO GET IN OUR CAR FIFTEEN MINUTES BEFORE IT WAS CARRIED AWAY DOWN WAGNER. CARS WASHING INTO THE HOUSE TABLES OIL AND PROPANE TANKS. SUBURBAN PROPANE SAYS DIAL 911 WHEN WE ASKED FOR HELP SMELLING GAS. ENCLOSED PHOTOS-JUDY SUGAR" "
posted by minervous at 12:48 PM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


They need to send a trackworker out there with an immense hammer, stat.

And a viking-helmeted, mezzo-soprano, asap.
posted by Skygazer at 12:49 PM on August 28, 2011


"Right Wing C---ks----rs"

I've lost pretty much all of the not inconsiderable respect, I ever had for Ron Paul.
posted by Skygazer at 12:59 PM on August 28, 2011


Shutting down the subway likely saved New York City a significant amount of money in repair costs, as well as limiting system downtime post-storm.

Sure. But I imagine that, had the storm been approaching on a work day, in any other month than August, it might have been more expedient (and cost effective) to selectively shut down the portions of train routes and bus routes that would have been crippled by rain, wind, and flooding. It is nice to know that we can shut down the whole system, and give the people who work for it a chance to make it home and safe to their families. But it would also be nice to know that we can selectively adapt the system to the emergency at hand, rather than having to chose between all transit, or none whatsoever.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:06 PM on August 28, 2011


I'm a bit worried about all the rain that's going to hit northern VT.

maryr, my parents live in Plattsburgh NY and not only has Lake Champlain receded from spring flood levels, a couple weeks ago they said the area needed rain. So while I'm sure individual rivers will flood, the lake hopefully won't rise too high.

Hrm. Here's an update. The lake level is about 95 feet, and I think flood level is 101 or higher. However, 6-8 foot waves expected on the broad lake! So, yeah, hope everyone up there is OK.
posted by A dead Quaker at 1:06 PM on August 28, 2011


I feel compelled to point out that "battening down"

Meh, we used to actually own battens (modern Fiberglass ones), though we own no hatches. I feel like it evens out.
posted by yerfatma at 1:09 PM on August 28, 2011


it might have been more expedient (and cost effective) to selectively shut down the portions of train routes

Yeah, like for instance only close down the subways that are a) underground, and/or b) that have a third rail that is crippled when there's a few inches of water in the tunnels.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:26 PM on August 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


minervous: "Email from reader at 3pm - ""IT IS FLOODING LIKE NOTHING EVER SEEN IN FLEISCHMANNS"

Oh no. Thank you for posting this. I don't have family there any more but my dad will want to know about it. Yikes.
posted by theredpen at 1:37 PM on August 28, 2011


From the vital coverage of the Catskills flooding at the Watershed Post

Some amazing video and pictures there. Thanks for sharing that link.
posted by Big_B at 1:40 PM on August 28, 2011


Philly's got some bad flooding, but in most of the usual places where it's happened before. Still VERY windy here - more than it was yesterday at this time. I know the minute I drain the flushing water from my tub, the wind is gonna take down and tree and my power with it.
posted by NoraCharles at 2:01 PM on August 28, 2011


As my home town (Manville, NJ) is now an island due to major flooding, and I couldn't get into town to see if my home is among the many destroyed, I've been at my mobile command center at Grandma's in Old Bridge, NJ, where the mayor just came around to tell us it might be days before power is restored here. Also, where I work in Morristown also may not have power for days, as the substation is under water. So... That's fun...
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:21 PM on August 28, 2011


Text I got from my little brother this morning after not hearing from him from two days:

"Storm wasn't shit."

He's in Villas, NJ
posted by runcibleshaw at 2:24 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been (un)lucky enough to live through at least a dozen hurricanes. This one wasn't too bad, but it was still a good blow. As with any hurricane, get the hell out of the way if you can - any hurricane can be deadly.

Here in Virginia Beach, we lost power for 32 hours and the rivers have come up but, all in all, not too bad. I hope everybody is safe and ready if they are still in the path.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:25 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Richmond, VA here. Last night was pretty scary but I came out pretty lucky considering the damage I saw today when I ventured out. Lots of downed trees and power lines. I saw one house demolished by a huge, downed tree and other houses and cars significantly damaged. Even saw a business completely destroyed. I lost power before the storm even hit and still don't have any but at least I have running water and a gas hot water heater. Lots of businesses in the city still don't have power and the ones that do are packed. Hope everyone is safe and sound.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:38 PM on August 28, 2011


Southern VT is feeling the effects of 10+ inches of rain. Severe flooding right now.

West River/ Saxtons River Bridge

Londonderry, Vermont

Brattleboro, VT, Whetstone brook (downtown 11am)


Brattleboro, VT. Main Street
posted by jeremias at 2:47 PM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


o_O

What kind of darwin award lifetime achievement winner walks out into filthy, murky floodwaters barefoot?
posted by elizardbits at 2:55 PM on August 28, 2011


evidenceofabsence writes "it might have been more expedient (and cost effective) to selectively shut down the portions of train routes and bus routes that would have been crippled by rain, wind, and flooding."

Selective shutdowns are problematic in a few ways:
  • Safe storage areas aren't always within the boundaries of a route.
  • It is a lot harder to communicate wide spread partial shut downs than a whole system shutdown.
  • Because of the previous point you'll end up with people trapped at terminus points
  • Because many routes aren't plain loops scheduling becomes a nightmare
  • If the storm intesifies the difficulty of being able to make an orderly complete shutdown increases.
posted by Mitheral at 3:00 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


When the hurricane is well and truly gone, and all the storm has passed you by, the one nice thing is that the sky is so incredibly clear and blue and the sun is so bright it makes you happy to be outside again.

So there is that to look forward to, everyone. Even with the hard work ahead.
posted by misha at 3:03 PM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


What kind of darwin award lifetime achievement winner walks out into filthy, murky floodwaters barefoot?

The kind who doesn't want to ruin a good pair of shoes?

If you don't have galoshes handy, well, feet heal. Shoes don't.
posted by Malor at 3:12 PM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


per a relative, New Brunswick NJ was evacuating near Raritan river - if you are in the area, check local news/radio for details.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:29 PM on August 28, 2011


I'd take a trashed pair of old shoes over a sewage-filled tetanus gouge any day.
posted by elizardbits at 3:39 PM on August 28, 2011 [4 favorites]




Pictures of my area (Somerset County, NJ), including this one, taken from the steps of my church. The church itself is fine; a couple of other members checked on it during the day, and I went over this afternoon as well. Our basement is dry, though the shiny and reflective freshly polished floors gave me a scare before I turned on the lights. We canceled services today, so our next service will be the first of the new church year - a 10th anniversary 9/11 service. Our members have been reporting in on Facebook, mostly, and seem to be okay. Some have flooding in basements, but no injuries or serious losses thus far.

John Kenneth Fisher, and other locals: Here's some road closure info.
posted by booksherpa at 3:51 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


When the hurricane is well and truly gone, and all the storm has passed you by, the one nice thing is that the sky is so incredibly clear and blue and the sun is so bright it makes you happy to be outside again.

Until the temperature reaches 100 degrees F, the humidity is 80%+ due to all the standing water evaporating, and you realize it will be a week or two before your air conditioner works again.
posted by localroger at 3:52 PM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]




Northern part of the VT (and Lake Champlain) seem fine according to local news (via my parents, grandparents in Chittenden and Franklin counties). My thoughts are with those of you in the southern part of the state. The pictures are incredible. Can't believe our forefathers had the foresight (ha?) to build that covered bridge JUST high enough (I hope!), corpse in the library. Although they were probably preventing flooding from April ice jams, not August hurricanes.
posted by maryr at 4:26 PM on August 28, 2011


I thought I got lucky when all around me people were without power. Then, about an hour ago there was a loud explosion and now my street is in the dark. Curse you, Irene.
posted by bondcliff at 4:27 PM on August 28, 2011


The bridge was shut down later, maryr. It might be open again now, though.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:31 PM on August 28, 2011


Has anyone heard from Jessamyn? I know she's in some kind of treehouse or stilt-house, but if I'm recalling correctly she also has a creek or something running right through it.
posted by loquacious at 4:45 PM on August 28, 2011


As of 20 minutes ago she was fine, it was raining but no big deal. She said she'd check in after taking a look around.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:46 PM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Southern VT seems to be getting hammered:
The center of Wilmington, a ski resort town at the junction of Vermont Routes 100 and 9, was flooded by the East Branch of the Deerfield River but could not be reached by either of those state roads due to washouts. Vermont National Guard members deployed in a rescue operation had to travel south of the state line and travel back north from Massachusetts, Shumlin said.
Those aren't big highways, but they are essential arteries for the area. If both 100 and 9 are washed out, it's bad.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:00 PM on August 28, 2011


Thanks, nomad.
posted by nangar at 5:04 PM on August 28, 2011


[Deleted a couple of comments. If Poet_Lariat needs to drop it, it's only fair if everyone else does too. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 5:12 PM on August 28, 2011


I am fine, thank you for asking. There is some serious damage to the town, but I'm in a second floor apartment and my biggest concern at this point is the wind knocking some trees over. We had a hot dog party today and it went quite well.
posted by jessamyn at 5:28 PM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sweet duck boots, jessamyn! Glad you're okay, and long live hot dogs!
posted by argonauta at 5:33 PM on August 28, 2011


I saw lots of Facebook videos from around Vermont- covered bridge in Bartonsville swept away, cars floating down a river, lots of towns under water. It's pretty bad. I feel lucky to have power, although now we're starting to get the back side of the storm. A friend a mile or two, her property is surrounded by water. Downtown Montpelier, which got flooded in May (17' flood stage) is flooded now and expecting an 18'-20' crest. I don't think I'm going in to work tomorrow.
posted by MtDewd at 5:38 PM on August 28, 2011


Our town was hit pretty damn hard, one house destroyed, a bunch others damaged (including our's, damn it.) A few more buildings have been condemned there are trees down everywhere, power poles leaning over the roads, the vast majority of the entire Northern Neck is without power.

We have power back, now, but, my family does not. It isn't as bad as Isabel was damage wise, but, the businesses that rebuilt after Isabel built back much tougher buildings.
posted by SuzySmith at 5:52 PM on August 28, 2011


We have a pal here too who is about eight miles away as the crow flies over the mountain in Rochester. He is stuck there because all three roads are washed out or underwater so he had to call his wife and say "Um I may not be home for a few days." People seem mostly okay but the water damage to stuff is incredible. Our bowling alley and steak house in town are pretty underwater. I've never actually been in a weather situation where cars that were prked in just normal parking places were underwater, so this is all a little new to me. The cops came and shooed us all off the bridge shortly after that photo was taken and we're all at home looking at photos of places that are much worse off.
posted by jessamyn at 5:53 PM on August 28, 2011


Subways running tomorrow in NYC, Bloomberg throws himself a party.
posted by vrakatar at 5:58 PM on August 28, 2011


bowling alley [....] underwater.

Argh. Gonna be a total loss. Hope they had insurance.
posted by Malor at 6:09 PM on August 28, 2011


bowling alley [....] underwater.

The story of one John Chackos Bowling alley.
posted by clavdivs at 6:24 PM on August 28, 2011


Er, on second look, I should probably say that my earlier, glib comment was supposed to be a dig at my ridiculously precious neighborhood, which sits on high ground and wasn't particularly in danger. For those of you who bore the brunt of the winds, rain, and flooding: stay safe and dry and un-whacked-by-branches, guys.

Now to find some feature-type articles about metropolitan disaster planning, and how it works.

posted by evidenceofabsence at 6:46 PM on August 28, 2011


My parents & sister are part of the Rockaway Beach folk who decided not to evacuate. They just do what we always do when the city tells us to run for high ground: stock up on supplies and secure the winidows. She reports everyone is fine at home.

Here's a video my sister shot at the beach wall Sunday morning. The storm drains seem to have handled the worst of the latest meeting of the Atlantic and Jamaica Bay. Once the storm passes, time to go look at the Ocean w/ the neighbors.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:51 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


My friend's childhood home washed away completely along with 4 neighboring houses in Jamaica, VT. Dag.
posted by TheCoug at 7:05 PM on August 28, 2011


Sweet duck boots, jessamyn!

Before I tracked down the photo upthread I thought that this was a Yankee colloquialism I hadn't heard before.
posted by Flashman at 7:44 PM on August 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sweet duck boots, jessamyn!

Before I tracked down the photo upthread I thought that this was a Yankee colloquialism I hadn't heard before.
posted by Flashman


It is now!!
posted by argonauta at 7:50 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Back in the 80s we said 'Awesome duck boots'.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:19 PM on August 28, 2011


Duck boats are dangerous.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:27 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Mass, those duck boots are wicked.
posted by maryr at 8:47 PM on August 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Earthquakes, hurricanes... the biggest "natural disaster" out in LA has been Carmageddon.
posted by planetrain at 10:12 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


From a link upthread: [Update 2 a.m.] Vermont Emergency Management has evacuated its Waterbury-based Emergency Operations Center due to rising water.
... 50,000 customers without power... [in VT]. Don't know what that means in people, but the population is only 625,000.
posted by MtDewd at 3:20 AM on August 29, 2011


I'm in Montpelier, VT and we somehow managed to not lose power at all during the storm. However I haven't seen downtown yet, but hopefully the news isn't as dire as was predicted. No idea what it looks like downtown yet, a lot of the businesses hit by the spring flood are probably hit bad again today. One restaurant downtown had previously raised $55,000 from the community so they could stay open after they were devastated by the spring flood, their FB page shows their basement flooded again. The local bike shop, which also had lost a lot of inventory this spring, had a call out on their FB page late last night to help move inventory again.

My thoughts are with the rest of VT, especially the hardest hit, also with other folks in the NE who were hit with the worst of the flooding/winds.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 4:07 AM on August 29, 2011


This was the lamest. hurricane. EVAR. We got less rain than a typical thunderstorm and slightly more wind. It was a fresh breeze, cool but not cold and completely dry. We opened the windows.
posted by DU at 5:26 AM on August 29, 2011


> This was the lamest. hurricane. EVAR.

Yeah, great. Tell that to the people who lost property or relatives.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 6:11 AM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


We personally made it through unscathed here in CT, although we got a bit lucky with the power not being out (although that is mainly since we're in a condo complex off the main road and the power lines are underground.) Certainly a bit anti-climactic, since the backside of the storm just disappeared so the predicted 2 PM height of the storm ended up being clear skies and we drove to the grocery store.
posted by smackfu at 6:42 AM on August 29, 2011


Safe and sound here on Long Island's north shore. There's still no power, cell service, or water at home, but I drove into the university to catch up on the news. (Happily, the university has generators.)

In case this is helpful, you can check real-time river conditions at the USGS Water Data page. Sorry if this has already been linked - it's going to take me a while to catch up on this thread, since I've had no power since early Sunday morning.
posted by pemberkins at 8:22 AM on August 29, 2011


This was the lamest. hurricane. EVAR.

There are 260 roads out in the state of Vermont, some of which may be closed for weeks, not days. Your experience was not at all my experience.
posted by jessamyn at 8:50 AM on August 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


One of those 260 Vermont roads.
posted by vers at 8:56 AM on August 29, 2011


This was the lamest. hurricane. EVAR. We got less rain than a typical thunderstorm and slightly more wind. It was a fresh breeze, cool but not cold and completely dry. We opened the windows.

Well, bully for you, must be nice. So you're going to take some time off to help out with the relief effort in areas like southern Vermont, western Mass and other locations that had historical flooding and where people weren't as fortunate, right?
posted by jeremias at 9:01 AM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I too am safe and sound on LI north shore. No power though, which means no sump which means about 15" of water in the basement, which means no hot water. The house is fine otherwise, just 3 or 4 small branches down. A few streets are still closed with downed trees. Our local beach park is under water. It could have been much worse.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 9:02 AM on August 29, 2011


So did they predict troubles for Vermont, or was it just a complete fail forecast wise?
posted by smackfu at 9:12 AM on August 29, 2011


There was some flooding on parts of the north shore, though.
posted by pemberkins at 9:25 AM on August 29, 2011


(More photos.)
posted by pemberkins at 9:27 AM on August 29, 2011


Those are Bean boots, not duck boots. But wicked would be the appropriate adjective. :)
posted by eviemath at 9:44 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


So did they predict troubles for Vermont, or was it just a complete fail forecast wise?

The forecast did not predict this much rain for Vermont (more details here) but I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "fail".

I mean, that's kind of the whole deal with storm warnings right? We see all these criticisms of the media and govt for overhyping these events,(believe me I am no apologist for the misguided hyperbole of tv anchors, etc), but the whole deal is to be overprepared. How is anyone able to predict the behavior and consequences of a storm system that reached 500 miles in diameter at one point?

Although inland areas like Vermont deal with flooding on a semi-regular basis, forecasting is not at the point where we can say "Oh, by the way, due to the particular rotation of the storm and other conditions, you get the most rain you've had in 75 years tomorrow!".

In general, I think this is why you don't fuck with Mother Nature. Most of the East coast got up and went about their business with little disruption today, but next time it might be your area that gets the hammer.
posted by jeremias at 9:55 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


One thing I'm hearing now (after the storm), is that "oh, we are much better at predicting the path nowadays, but still not great in predicting intensity."
posted by smackfu at 10:06 AM on August 29, 2011


CNN just showed an army truck designed to go through rivers traveling on a street 5 minutes from me in Manville, a route I took Saturday to go to brunch. The water was almost to the roof of the truck, and the announcer said it got stuck.

I'm sure the flood waters have receded; some roads that were closed yesterday are open now, but access to Manville is still closed. I have a friend and her family who live in the area; her pictures of the flooding are incredible.

John, thinking of you and yours. Shoot me a memail if there's something I can do.
posted by booksherpa at 10:08 AM on August 29, 2011


Reporting in from Baltimore: Power just got restored, after having been out since 1:00 AM Sunday. One of our big trees got blown over, and it was pure luck that it fell away from the house instead of on it. When it fell, it caught the phone line and ripped the box right off the wall, so our Internet is out until Verizon can come and fix it, and gods know when that will be. The city came by and chopped up enough of the tree to clear the road, but we'll have to call someone to haul away the remainder, and that's not the sort of thing I have spare money for right now.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:15 AM on August 29, 2011




The city came by and chopped up enough of the tree to clear the road, but we'll have to call someone to haul away the remainder, and that's not the sort of thing I have spare money for right now.

You might have some luck getting someone to take the wood for the "price" of them removing it. Lots of people in my area are wood collecting and will do this. Craigslist may be your friend in this endeavor.
posted by rollbiz at 10:20 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good suggestion, rollbiz. I'll bring it up to the missus.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:23 AM on August 29, 2011


Yes, predicting the path is relatively easier than predicting intensity. The problem is the paucity of data from within the storm itself. Visible and IR satellite instruments can see the top of the storm and the NOAA planes will drop instruments into storms but neither provides a sufficient amount of data for the hurricane forecast models.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:24 AM on August 29, 2011


Bachmann: Irene was political message from God

:(
posted by pemberkins at 10:27 AM on August 29, 2011


FWIW, Bachman now says she was just joking around.
posted by mediareport at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2011


FWIW, Bachman now says she was just joking around.

Devout religious beliefs are one thing, but I don't think America can afford a president known to make tasteless, tone-deaf, unfunny jokes after natural disasters.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:36 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Devout religious beliefs are one thing, but I don't think America can afford a president known to make tasteless, tone-deaf, unfunny jokes after natural disasters.

Glad I wasn't the only person who thought this explanation actually made it worse...
posted by rollbiz at 10:38 AM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually, I think Bachman is on the right track, Irene was a message from God - God is really pissed off about the Tea Party.

It's all in how you spin it....
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:20 AM on August 29, 2011




I am interested to know how many towns (and how many $) were saved by the dams and other infrastructure that was put in place after the big floods in 1927 and 1938. Our relative's house was saved by one such dam, wonder how many others?
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:26 PM on August 29, 2011


Bachmann: Irene was political message from God

That would explain Vermont.

I got home after a day out, a lot of the flood waters have receded so downtown Montpelier and Barre, for example, are doing fine. The Northeast Kingdom is muddy but okay. Of course the major damage was happening in the South and I haven't heard much. My power went out earlier today and word on the street was that it would be out for two to five days. It came back on after about six hours (did not even get a chance to eat all the ice cream) but I'm packing while there are lights on just in case the power goes back off and stays off.
posted by jessamyn at 5:07 PM on August 29, 2011


Thanks for update on Northeast Kingdom, jessamyn.
I hope there will be electricity and ice cream where you're going next.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:29 PM on August 29, 2011


Vermont has been really hard hit. I live in Montpelier and take I-89 to Burlington so I didn't realize the extent during the day today. But here are a couple links that outline just how extensive the damage is. This is generational. Some of this damage is institutions or history (from covered bridges to ski resorts) that have not, or may not, survive. Rebuilding will still be going on more than a year from now.

It is heartbreaking.
posted by meinvt at 8:26 PM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm on my second night without power (metrowest Boston) but thankful there was no damage to my house. Those if you experiencing flooding of other dangers, I wish you the best.

NPR is on the crank-up radio, I'm charging my phone off the laptop battery (which us useless without WiFi) and I just boiled some water on the gas grill and filled up some insulated bottles for morning wash-up.

My family is away so I also spent the evening playing pub trivia with Mefites. So I got that going for me, which is nice.
posted by bondcliff at 8:37 PM on August 29, 2011


Another photo from vermont. South royalton. The road isn't used much, it just connects a handful of people to the town, but the state is full of roads like this, and many other unpaved roads as well. Most folks I know there are pretty well prepared for a blizzard or downed tree isolating them, but rarely the level of destruction to the permanent infrastructure.

Also not in the photo: the power pole that was holding the power line the photo, it got washed out when the bridge went.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:46 PM on August 29, 2011


Here's a compilation from Vermont of the lamest. hurricane. EVAR.
Just a small sample.
posted by MtDewd at 6:24 AM on August 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


MtDewd: "Here's a compilation from Vermont of the lamest. hurricane. EVAR."

Good lord. That's horrifying. All that destruction. :(

Hope everyone who is without power has it restored quickly. And those of you dealing with flooding and damage are able to get back to a state of normalcy soon as well. :(
posted by zarq at 6:52 AM on August 30, 2011


"GOP demands more FEMA funding (and less infrastructure investment)"

Wait, so these folks, who claim to be fiscally responsible, want us to tilt our budget so there's more on our expense sheet and less on the capital sheet? I'm an English major and I know that's a bad idea!

Also, so, so many trees down and power lines torn loose in northeast Rhode Island. Just amazingly forceful winds.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:38 AM on August 30, 2011


I'm in a northern/central VT town that was pictured in a bunch of those links above. My town is in a valley and the Winooski river runs through it. We have gotten crazy flooding due to rainstorms for the last two years but this is the worst it's been. A couple of families lost their homes in the center of town. There is a huge local effort underway right now to help out families in need. Thankfully both me, my boyfriend and both of our extended families live in the hills outside of town and our homes were spared all but basement flooding.
posted by pintapicasso at 9:46 AM on August 30, 2011




Some pictures from the Star Ledger of flooding in NJ.
posted by zarq at 5:27 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


New York governor Andrew Cuomo has some pictures and a video on his flickr stream.

The Troy Record has a slideshow.

The Connecticut Post has 300 images posted.

WNBC has a slideshow of 200 images of "Irene's Aftermath".
posted by zarq at 5:34 PM on August 30, 2011 [2 favorites]




Requiem for a Covered Bridge
posted by homunculus at 10:09 PM on August 30, 2011






With All Of Its Choppers In Iraq, Vermont Has To Borrow From Other States To Respond To Irene

Yeah, I'm not all that political, but that headline made me go "Fuck the war."
posted by maryr at 8:19 AM on September 1, 2011


To be fair, we probably didn't have many helicopters to begin with. It's been weird seeing choppers overhead, and knowing one of them was the governor. The good news is that we got a lot of our National Guard folks back from Iraq over the last year or so and they have been essential [along with the Red Cross, the local townspeople and aid coming in from away] to really manage the immediate triage aspects of it. I've linked to this elsewhere but LOOK at these people. In my town people in the main downtown area got our power back last night after 48-ish hours [mine was back earlier because I live so close to the hospital] and when I was at the post office some lady chewed me out because she's in a neighboring town and feels that the power company made a choice to turn her ower back off so that my town [with the stores and the restaurants] could have power.

It was odd when I thought about it because other than her, I've gotten no bad vibes from people since this all happened, even people who have lost camps, or who have had to ride bikes home over mountains because the roads were out, or who have been eating hot dogs on the BBQ for two days and showering at the college because they lost power. Everyone's been incredibly understanding about this and knowing that we got off very very easy and just waiting for power and services to be restored so that we can more easily help other people.
posted by jessamyn at 8:38 AM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]




LOOK at these people.

Wow, "badass" is right!
posted by homunculus at 1:26 PM on September 1, 2011


With All Of Its Choppers In Iraq, Vermont Has To Borrow From Other States To Respond To Irene

Could be worse. In the major floods of 2003, the Iowa Air National Guard's Chinook CH-47 heavy lifting helicopters were crucial in flood relief.

In the disastrous floods of 2008, the Iowa ANG didn't have any Chinooks left. They were sent to Iraq where they were shot down or crashed.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:33 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I just had my power restored. This thread, soon after it was posted, was the last thing I saw, before things went dark. It was a nice break, except for the toilet situation.
posted by stbalbach at 3:19 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That system is no good up north - Vermont has no Waffle Houses.
posted by maryr at 5:11 PM on September 1, 2011


Paul Krugman: Eric and Irene
posted by homunculus at 2:04 PM on September 2, 2011


With All Of Its Choppers In Iraq, Vermont Has To Borrow From Other States To Respond To Irene

This has definitely been happening, daily. On frequencies I monitor and from folks that monitor frequencies I don't/can't monitor, there's been a lot of MA State Police and MA National Guard traffic for helos headed north. Every day, a couple times a day...
posted by rollbiz at 11:11 PM on September 2, 2011




An Irene narrative

A valuable independent media station
posted by vers at 2:37 PM on September 5, 2011


That second link is dead. What is it supposed to be?
posted by maryr at 4:45 PM on September 5, 2011


Apologies for my mistake, maryr -- this article is what I meant to link.
posted by vers at 9:40 AM on September 6, 2011




Wow, they just get more stupid every day.
posted by wierdo at 7:40 PM on September 21, 2011


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