Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene Update

Pleased to report that I've made it through Hurricane Irene unscathed.

The Saturday evening of the storm was full of winds, rain, lightning and thunder. The tornadoes, that we were also under a watch for, seem to have skipped my area. The media hyping and anticipation were worst than anything. I couldn't sleep because I kept waiting for something to happen. When I did finally get to some semblance of a REM cycle, the poor air conditioner woke me up at 2 a.m. as it was struggling to deal with the conditions. I got up, turned it off, turned on the fan, and then slept until late in the morning.

After talking to Drew in the morning, and being grateful that the cable and power stayed up all evening, I ventured out at noon to take stock of the neighborhood during the one patch of sun we'd seen in four days. Of course, by the time I got geared up with the slicker, wallet, phone, camera, keys, and shoes, it had started to mist/rain again.

Heading over to the usual route to the train, noticed that most of the stores in my strip malls were closed. No coffee for the Starbucks addicts, no donuts at Dunkin' for the carb addicts. Pizza and Chinese seem to be off the menu. The dry cleaners are usually closed on Sundays, but sadly, the laundromat is closed as well. At least one Subway is open, but for sandwiches and not for commuting. If I felt like getting a "congratulations to me, I survived the Hurricane" mani-pedi, both options were closed. I didn't even LOOK to see if the liquor store was open (that is if they had anything left.) The poor gang at 7-11 is having to serve at a surrogate donut/coffee/food source/ and grocery store. So glad I filled up earlier in the week. (Suckers!)

So here's a visual tour of part of my commute. Under the overpasses leading to the various highways, including:

the flooded Bronx River Parkway, featuring the flooding of the Bronx River. Looking south to the Bronx;

the water is almost up to the exit ramps;

water from the River isn't quite up to the gravel Metro-North train tracks - at least on my section of the route. It is definitely up and over north and south of the line; and

the scary maelstrom of current under the overpass bridge. Also note the concrete degradation to the overpass. One of these days that's going to be an issue.

As for work on Monday, and probably Tuesday? I will probably be working from home. It will take a while for the City/MTA to pump the tunnels; check the tracks, signals, and cars for damage; and then restart the systems. Aside from raising the money for the bottom line, I consider myself a non-essential personnel.

Also, we still have the day to get through with the last of the bands of winds and rain. Those, often, can be the worst, because everyone is prepared for the onset, and let their guard down. There's still rain, high winds and tidal surges to go. Plus in the winds, trees and poles come down due weakened conditions and soaked grounds. (In fact, as I typed that, we actually had a flicker in the lights ....)

Now that I've been through one storm this season, I'm prepared for the next one. And the next one, there probably will be. They've already named the new storm churning down in the Caribbean. The difficulty will be for the governors and mayors trying to get people to move/prepare, since everyone is already jaded. But that's New York for you!

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