Hurricane Irene

I missed writing about the earthquake earlier this week: I was on a business trip in the middle of Pennsylvania, when the room vibrated for a bit, as if there were a subway train passing underneath.  I suspected that it was an earthquake, but the power stayed on, nothing actually shook, and nothing further happened.  It was only afterward, when I watched the evening news, that the dimensions of the event were clearer.  My wife, in Brooklyn at the time, was unaware of it.

Anyhow, if the debt brouhaha and an earthquake were not enough, today we await the arrival of Hurricane Irene, which is now pounding North Carolina and headed north:

  • The City has ordered the evacuation of locations in Zone A.  The zones are part of the citywide coastal storm plan, but there is no simple logic to them: it’s not like ‘five blocks from the water.’  You have to look it up on the map, or through the City Web site.  And while the map has been printed in the newspapers, it isn’t clear enough to resolve the details.  I live in Zone B: if I were two blocks south, I’d be in Zone A; if I were two blocks north, I’d be in Zone C; and if I were three blocks north, I wouldn’t be in any zone, and presumably safe from coastal flooding.  We live in a stout building, with windows high enough to escape any downed trees; we’re staying put.  I’m sure there will be plenty of confusion about evacuations today.
  • Mass transit, including subways, buses, and commuter trains, will be shutting down completely after noon today.  It’s the first time that I can remember a total shutdown because of weather.

The latest reports suggest that the storm is weakening somewhat, and will probably hit the city as a tropical storm.  I figure that we have about a 50% chance of losing cable TV, and 30% of losing power.

Well, we’ll see.

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