Friday, August 26, 2011

The Big Wind is on her Way!

Taking a break from my blog hiatus to update on Hurricane Irene.

The NY Times is answering questions about how to prepare for the hurricane, HERE

Friday in New York we enjoyed a sunny day of calm before the storm - Hurricane Irene is on her way to possibly pummel New York and the east coast of the U.S. We don't know much right now about the storm's expected trajectory or what category hurricane it will be by the time it gets to us, but NYC Governor Cuomo has ordered evacuations of low-lands and shoreline residences in the Rockaways, Battery Park, and Coney Island, as well as other parts of lower Manhattan.

A calm East River, looking across at Manhattan from Astoria Park

The entire subway and bus system is also going to begin shutting down Saturday at noon in preparation for the storm, along with the LIRR and NJ Transit.

New York isn't used to all this talk of hurricanes, and all the last-minute panic got me thinking about how so many places in the world, including the Aran Islands, are used to wet and wild weather on a more routine basis. The islands themselves have survived countless storms. The Night of the Big Wind in 1839 brought incredibly destructive hurricane force winds and rain to the islands. An ice age melt left these stones deposited all over the islands:

Ice Age deposits. "Tourists"

Other places in the world are more prepared, both logistically and mentally, to deal with this kind of a weather event. I have a feeling that most New Yorkers are not sure if we've adequately prepared ourselves.

Maybe if I had a curragh I'd feel better.

Curraghs at the old pier on Inishmaan

Every few years a hurricane grazes us here in NYC, but usually does not cause this level of alarm. This is the first time we've had evacuations, and the first time the MTA has issued a total shutdown. In my last blog post I wrote about how a somewhat heavy rainstorm got the subway stuck underground for an hour. No wonder the MTA has cancelled service.

Grocery stores this afternoon were swarmed with confused shoppers buying up the city's supply of canned beans and peanut butter, bottled water and batteries.

No more bread at the Gristedes at 103rd and Broadway!
As long as my power doesn't go out, I'll update again soon.

If you don't hear from me by Monday, send over one of the Doolin Ferries to come get me!
The Happy Hooker - how much does a one way ticket from Manhattan to Inishmore cost?

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