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September 19, 2003

Isabel
Posted by Teresa at 12:46 AM *

Earlier it was pleasantly cool and breezy, so we had all the windows open. Then, late this evening, there was a sudden gust outside, the curtains blew back from the windows, and our unlatched front door slammed wide open.

Looks like this one might amount to something.

Comments on Isabel:
#1 ::: Larry Lurex ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 06:24 AM:

It's already being downgraded to a tropical storm. It'll blow itself out in no time, or when it reaches Canada whichever comes first.

I don't suppose it will be too bad.

#2 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 08:58 AM:

For what it's worth, in approximately the Philadelphia area, we saw almost nothing: the trashcans ran about the lawn and one of our trees which is constantly dropping large dead branches on the lawn dropped a less-than-dead branch that looked as though it had been torn off.

Except for a little coastal flooding, it looks like the garden state dodged this one completely.

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 09:30 AM:

We got gusting winds and a little rain, and our garbage cans stayed put. This morning it's all blue skies and light breezes.

#4 ::: Jesse ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 10:52 AM:

From above: I don't suppose it will be too bad.

Tell it to the people living on the coast of North Carolina. Here in Durham, we had a few inches of rain and a lot of wind, but there are no large tree branches down in the backyard, so we've seen bigger storms. We had no power for about four hours.

It's a beautiful day today, though.

#5 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 12:34 PM:

Just moved to Raleigh right in time for the hurricane. (Left Sandy Eggo and airily pooh-poohed those folks who gave me dire warnings about the weather here.) Despite the fact that this hurricane had my name all over it--Isabel being Spanish for Elizabeth, I'm told--I found it slightly anti-climatic. I'm not sure if I should be grateful or disappointed, so I'm both. :)

We had a few trees torn up and some power outages, but Raleigh was pretty well off as far as I can tell. Lee and I spent the latter part of the day playing Baldur's Gate on the Playstation at his office.

#6 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 12:50 PM:

Be ye forgetten what day it be ya swabs? Or be just *talking* like pyrate good enough for ye?

#7 ::: Toni ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 03:00 PM:

Anticlimatic? If Isabel is anything, she is climatic.

#8 ::: Christopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 03:31 PM:

But she's also anticyclonic.

http://www.planearthsci.com/products/Hurricanes/tutorial%20pieces/Exercises/ExerciseTwo.html

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 04:52 PM:

Aye, Stefan.

Xopher, ye blasted cockaroacher, ye beat me to "anticyclonic".

#10 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 05:07 PM:

Aye, my aged Ps, up Catskills way, be landlubbers, but livin' between two creeks as they do were all set to pump the bilges but saw nought but mighty mast-cracking gales. Arrr.

#11 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 09:23 PM:

According to what I heard on CNN, Fells Point (where we ate dinner at a lovely restaurant during Balticon in May) was waist-deep in water during the tidal surge because of Isabel. Sigh. I hope the restaurant is okay (I think it was called John Steven's but I may not be remembering right, we traveled waaaaay too much this summer until Torcon).

#12 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 10:14 PM:

And in Boston, we're getting the whiptails of the storm: tropically hot and humid (as September on Boston goes), and every now and then the atmosphere gets squeezed just so and dribbles, or spits, or produces a 30-second downpour; I drove home with one hand flailing madly between the gearshift and the wiper switch.

But after Gloria and Bob, I'm not complaining....

#13 ::: Jeffrey D. Smith ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2003, 12:32 AM:

Paula--

I haven't been down to Fells Point so I don't know the status of any specific businesses, but I did hear that many of them expected to be open on Saturday.

I'm in Baltimore, on higher ground. I had no basement flooding (which I can get in a regular rainstorm), a broken tree branch that hit the car parked next to me instead of mine -- but no power for about 18 hours. So, two out of three.

The biggest problem I had was driving this evening with a lot of traffic lights still out. These become officially four-way stops. Well, forget that...pretty dangerous at all those intersections.

#14 ::: sara ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2003, 08:33 PM:

Am I detecting a tone of disappointment in these comments?

The hurricane struck hardest in NC, but the media hurricane was in Washington, D.C. where I live, so I was exposed to the excesses of the Washington Post and local TV stations.

Remember, Washington, D.C. is a town that panics at the least sign of weather, not even "heavy weather." A series of snowstorms shut down the city and schools in February.

Isabel's effects were not much worse than the regular or garden variety "heavy thunderstorms" which usually affect the D.C. area in summer. Or so it seems, since the media-induced terror led viewers to expect their houses to be whirled away in Wizard of Oz-like fashion.

The Washington Post ran for three days with almost nothing but hurricane coverage, both "before" warnings and "after" reportage, with photos. I'm not trying to belittle those who were severely affected in the D.C. area -- flooding in Alexandria and Annapolis and power outages still affect thousands, and small businesses and restaurants can least afford it.

But Isabel gave Team Bush a three- or four-day break from political and military embarrassment; or rather, since they aren't medically capable of blushing or spiritually capable of remorse, the Post writers were spared vicarious embarrassment on their behalf. Politics as usual picked up Sunday.

Though it was amusing to see the photo of the giant crayfish walking across the flooded highway. No key to scale was shown, but it must have been at least eight inches long. Or did someone get clever with Photoshop?

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