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September 6, 2008

Tropical Storm Hanna
Posted by Teresa at 05:40 PM * 92 comments

The rain comes in bands. The most recent lull is just passing. The eye of the storm ought to get here around midnight.

When it rains hard and the water starts stacking up in the back yard, I go out with my broom to clear the leaves and bits of grass away from the boxy Leaf Straining Device (our landlord built it so I could have my colander back) that sits over the storm drain. During the lull, Elise went out back to sweep all the loose leaves and bits off the back porch area, since otherwise they’ll inevitably get washed down and paste themselves to the Leaf Straining Device.

I should dig out the Shop Vac, in the same spirit you take an umbrella to work with you to keep it from raining.

It could be worse.

Comments on Tropical Storm Hanna:
#1 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 06:11 PM:

It passed through here last night. Heavy rains, not too much wind. Some flash-flooding in low-lying areas; a few road closures, none that impacted us.

The back yard is a little soggy but not too bad, despite the dream I had during fitful sleep last night that the water was up to the windowsill. (I couldn't sleep. Flashbacks to Fran, gnawing worry about the roof, the trees, the outside stuff I hadn't brought inside. None of the worries came to pass.)

It's sunny, hot, and muggy now. My collard, spinach, broccoli and turnip seedlings seem in good spirits. (The carrots and beets haven't sprouted yet, so I can't tell you about their spirits.)

Stay safe and have a cup of tea if you get soggy.

#2 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 06:14 PM:

Our kitchen is leaking even more merrily than our usual rain leaks. And the leak over the toilet -- sigh -- is a constant every-few-seconds drip. It is unbelievably annoying. I just hope we don't have a big plaster collapse.

#3 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 06:20 PM:

Slight leak around the living room air conditioner, and the center of the road was completely underwater near the storm drain until the rain let up, but not bad. As long as the storm drain doesn't back up enough to flood my car, I should be fine.

#4 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 06:29 PM:

I just double-checked, and the official spelling does seem to be 'Hanna', without the final 'h'.

#5 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 06:29 PM:

In Connecticut, it's raining, without feeling any less sticky and disgusting than it's been the past couple of days.

I expect the giant puddle near my driver's door will be full up again. Perhaps I'll carry my shoes to the car.

That's about it.

#6 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 06:46 PM:

Things have really kicked in over the past half hour here in New Haven. Rain of the "wow, it's really pissing it down" variety, but as of yet no wind.

We've had periods of rain like this accompanying nearby thunderstorms several times over the past month. So far, this doesn't seem like anything much out of the ordinary, but I expect that to change later on tonight.

I am very, very glad we now live in an apartment where it doesn't rain inside the living room. I can only imagine what's going on over at the old place right now.

#7 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 06:50 PM:

Down here in Raleigh we started getting sporadic rain yesterday afternoon from Hanna, and overnight the deluge really started. The area got over 5" of rain, but it blew out of her very quickly and everything's drying out.

#8 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 06:56 PM:

Man, you guys are lucky. When Hanna was down here, she just sat on us for four days. We had a row of five plastic boxes in my daughter's room to catch the drips from the leak I spectacularly failed to fix right. (Well, this whole concrete roof thing just doesn't make sense to me -- but my second try worked.)

At least now she's moving.

We had some flash floods. Lots of new and interesting things on the beach this week. Including a cow. The dog was horrified.

Ike is nice and compact, so the Bahamas are getting it, but we didn't get anything more than a little sprinkle this morning (as, yeah, I was trying to fix that leak again).

#9 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 07:00 PM:

In eastern MA, we're supposed to get heavy rains around midnight. Actually, according to, it's supposed to be raining now (just not heavily until around midnight). However, so far, we've only had one brief heavy downpour which lasted mere minutes. Otherwise, it's just been muggy.

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 07:23 PM:

The day before the storm was as muggy as I've ever seen in NYC. The air was palpably wet.

Mary Aileen, it is "Hanna". Superman is vulnerable to kryptonite and magic. Achilles had his heel. I can't spell proper names.

Scraps, if you can thumbtack a string to the spot on the ceiling where the drips gather before they fall, and then anchor the other end of the string in the bathtub or sink or the toilet tank, the drips will run down the string and fall in a less irritating spot.

Everybody: remind me where you are.

Got webcam?

#11 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 07:30 PM:

Hasn't reached Providence yet. It's been horrifically muggy all day (it's cooled down in the past few hours, but it's still stupid humid), raining off and on. According to the forecast we should start getting heavy rains around 10PM, which is when I plan to be out singing karaoke* or, if the rain is really heavy, at home watching the second season of Heroes or, if the power goes out, sulking and reading Lovecraft by candlelight.

*I found a place that has "Candy" by Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson! I've been looking for that for years. Now if only I could find someone to be my Kate. I only realized after I found the song that, while my friends used to be majority female, they moved away one by one and now my friends are entirely male. I think it's the first time that's ever been the case.

#12 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 07:35 PM:

Augusta, Maine, USA. Webcam (not much use at night but will show in the morning how high our river is.)

Currently (7:30 pm eastern): Moderate rain, some light wind. It's been spitting and gusting all day, nothing unusual.

Forecast is for the storm center to pass off the Maine coast some time after midnight, then head up to Nova Scotia tomorrow.

We're under a flash flood warning and forecast for 2-4 inches of rain and gusty wind.

Stay dry, everybody!

#13 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 07:39 PM:

Teresa #10:

Down here in Raleigh. No webcam available, sorry.

#14 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 07:45 PM:

Considering my close associations with Haiti, Cuba and Louisiana, I feel totally embarrassed, even preparing in our own pathetic way for Hanna.

But we did.

Because of close associations with Haiti, Cuba and Louisiana, storms of this nature are taken seriously in Casa Constance y Ned.

Still and all, when Cuba's Pinar del Rio looks like it was hit by an atom bomb and 100,000 homes have been destroyed, Haiti right now is like New Orleans post the levees' failure after Katrina, and so many in Louisiana are suffering seriously and lost their homes (a friend's son who is in AmeriCorps and working with the evacuees say the cruz roja is utterly disorganized) -- Louisiana again is suffering as much from gummit failure as before -- I feel silly having taken all this so seriously.

But we do.

Love, C.

#15 ::: jim ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 07:46 PM:

Here, the bands overlapped. You have lulls? Luxury! We'd've dreamed of lulls.

#16 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 07:48 PM:

Teresa, I'll try that! Although it may be a bit complicated by the fact that the leak is mostly coming out of the ceiling fan vent.

#17 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:01 PM:

It's raining in sympathy here in Minneapolis, but it's just the average late summer thunderstorm, and should be over in a few hours. Remnants of Gustav, I think.

#18 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:05 PM:

Teresa @ 10: Durham, NC. *waves to John L*

#19 ::: Geri Sullivan ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:05 PM:

I'm camped out in the considerable comforts of Deb & Mike's home in Middleton, MA, where one major band passed a couple of hours ago. It's been remarkably quiet ever since.

#20 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:27 PM:

Very quiet in Boston now. A moderately heavy rain about an hour ago, but nothing exceptional for this summer. A bit of a drizzle just started again as I was typing this.

According to, the center will pass over at about 2 AM.

#21 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:29 PM:

Western Mass here; it's been raining since about 3 pm.

#22 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:30 PM:

Well, the next wave is here ...

#23 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:33 PM:

Teresa (10): I'm on southwestern Long Island, between Jones Beach and Kennedy Airport. Not right on the ocean anymore, but impressively close to sea level. Fortunately, we're at a time of astronomically low tides, or flooding would be a real issue. I have a second floor apartment, but my car doesn't.

#24 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:33 PM:

Montgomery County, MD (close to DC). We got rain last night, and big impressive rain and wind this morning. The power went out while I was at a meeting at church this morning, but our house (only a couple miles away) never lost power beyond a couple quick flickers. I think it's still damp outside, but doesn't seem to be raining or anything.

#25 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:56 PM:

Mary Aileen@23: "we're at a time of astronomically low tides..."

Is there any other kind?

My only comment about Boston's weather today was that it was brutal *before* the rain started. Overcast, 82-ish -- not *blazingly* hot, but humid to saturation -- the sort of air in which sweating is a complete waste of effort, and yet you do it anyway. I was walking home, and the rain only hit in the last block. I would it had been one mile earlier.

#26 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 08:57 PM:

Los Angeles, so far no rain. :)

In truth, 2-3 inches would be nice, but that's no comfort to anyone.

#27 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 09:04 PM:

Here in Southern California it's so hot (into the 90's) that there's some question about whether the first batch of edible-pod peas (now beginning to germinate) got planted too early, and the concept of "rain" is just a wistful hope of something that might happen in a few months.

#28 ::: Doug Faunt ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 09:05 PM:

And here in Northern California, aside from an 4.0 earthquake and 90+F temperatures, we're fine.

I had to look up the name, since I remember Hurricane Hannah (with an h), which hit South Carolina in 1959.

#29 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 09:14 PM:

And just my damn luck (now that I'm back in the city for NYU Law), I went to the subway to go uptown to see the family for dinner right at the height of one of the rain bands.

#30 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 09:17 PM:

In NoVA, I apparently slept through the worst of the storm overnight and this morning. It was raining hard and windy when I went out to get the paper about 3pm, and I had to use my outside reacher to plow another channel through the mulch so the downspout water could get to the drain under my porch. (It would be really helpful if management hired clueful handyguys -- "What downspout? I don't see a concrete diverter" -- after I gave them pictures.)

It stopped raining about 6pm and I opened the windows and sliding glass door. Shiva was scrabbling at the sliding door next to the inside corner of the porch and I couldn't see what he was so excited about until I moved the screen door to look and a male house finch chirped madly at me and flew off. That probably was the dryest spot around at that point.

#31 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 09:29 PM:

(Waves back at Caroline)

Didn't get much rain over in Durham, did you? I woke up a couple of times last night and it was raining very hard both times. Our rain bands started showing up late yesterday afternoon and it became continuous around 10:00 last night.

#32 ::: DaveL ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 09:41 PM:

Raining hard but not constantly outside Boston. I took the reluctant precaution of cleaning our gutters Friday evening; they are, like your LSD (hmm!), magnets for leaves and debris. One in the front cascades down our bedroom window when it clogs, one in the back cascades down the family room slider.

Only the front one leaks, and when it does we know it's a true downpour.

In fact the rain is picking up as I type this, but honestly, so far it's no worse than any big rainstorm: humidity, rain, early darkness.

Good luck to all.

#33 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 09:46 PM:

Yesterday my development's management office put a memo at all the apartment doors about the expected bad weather, telling everyone to bring indoors loose items from the terraces. This morning I bungeed tied chairs and the box of gardening stuff to the terrace railing. Being on the 17th Floor I won't be flooded but the wind can certainly push things around. Last year I tried using the bungee cords for the first time and they worked quite well to hold things down.

#34 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 09:58 PM:

Also in Montgomery County, MD (waves to albatross); we found a new leak in a new window, luckily a very small one. We're very grateful for our newly repainted outside (and for our slightly-less new roof); before all the renovation we had major leaks whenever the wind pushed the rain past vertical.

#35 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 10:01 PM:

Don: The freesia have decided it's time to sprout.

I don't know what to make of it.

#36 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 10:02 PM:

Sunny, temperate, and beautiful here in Portland.

We got hit by two exotically named typhoons earlier in the year. They wandered up here from the Philippines. Being far inland all we got was rain.

#37 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 10:11 PM:

GoodThoughts going out to everyone who's getting poured down upon.

And it looks like Hurricane Ike has about a 50/50 chance of nailing New Orleans again, before they even have a chance to dig out from Gustav. Not fun.

#38 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 10:42 PM:

It was quiet but overcast and muggy all day where I'm at in Boston -- a little rain before I woke up this morning (the streets were wet when I went out to the T), about 30 minutes of heavy rain late this afternoon, and now for real, starting about 45 minutes ago. It's a wicked pissah -- I'm glad I don't have to go out again tonight.

Stay dry, everybody!

#39 ::: bzbb ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 11:27 PM:

Here in Portland, ME, its pouring. I leave for my overnight job at 12:45, and I'm hoping for no street flooding.

#40 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 11:31 PM:

Nothing to speak of here in Buffalo, but I am worrying for my parents in Brooklyn. Dad seems to think NYC is going to get hit by a Katrina this year.

#41 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 06, 2008, 11:43 PM:

Doug (#28), I didn't feel the earthquake. And yeah, it's hot. The ground is baked hard; we could surely use some of the rain you are all are complaining about. Of course, sometime in February I'm really going to regret saying that.

I'm trying to imagine my dog's reaction to a cow on the beach...

#42 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 12:21 AM:

Lizzy@41: You didn't? I sure did. Moderate shaking for about 5 seconds. The earthquake maps online show light shaking as far away as Marin. Any chance you were on a bus or in a car or something? (My dad missed Loma Prieta by virtue of being on the freeway.)

#43 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 12:54 AM:

Western Massachusetts here. It started raining around 3pm and was very heavy this evening as I attempted to surf the puddles home in my car. It's been off and on since then, but the worst of the mugginess seems to have been ahead of the storm rather than behind it.

I do so love the sound of rain at night. It's right up there with crickets and spring peepers on my list of things that I love falling asleep to.

#44 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 01:20 AM:

For those of you enduring the storm, here are some pictures of lighthouses off the coast of Brittany, in stormy weather. The pictures may or may not be encouraging (the lighthouses survived, at least) but they are certainly impressive.

Lighthouses in a storm

Be safe.

#45 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 02:08 AM:

As far as I could tell in Providence, it was pretty much a non-event. Lots of rain, a little heavy wind, over very quickly. Actually, the power did go out for about an hour, and around the corner from my house a GIGANTIC branch came down and narrowly avoided crushing some cars, but the branch must have just been ready to go, because it wasn't even that windy yet when it went.

#46 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 03:16 AM:

Fluffy dark-grey stormclouds overhead all day here on the eastern Tennessee/Virginia border, but only five minutes of quite light rain (not a drizzle, exactly, maybe a sprinkle? spray?) this afternoon about 2 pm while we were out canvassing for voters. (Woohoo, 22 new voter registrations. Most of whom are leaning Obamaward.) A week or ten days ago we had several days in a row of solid rain, prompting me to finally get new windshield wipers for safety reasons.

We just packed up the bus of New Orleans evacuees staying at the church across the road from ours the day before yesterday--I hope they get home all right, and don't get hit by Ike.

#47 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 05:09 AM:

All quiet just north of Amsterdam. Grey skies, some drizzle.

It occurs to me that I've never been hit by a phenomenon that had a name when it hit me. Some of the things I've been hit with have had names afterwards (Loma Prieta, for instance), but I have never been able to shake my fist at the skies and say, "Curse you, [insert name here]!"

I feel poorer for it, really I do.

#48 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 05:52 AM:

I remember Hurricane Gloria in the 1980s. This storm was far from anything like Gloria; and I've seen worse noreasters.

Those in the hurricane belt are likely in awe at Northern reactions to what was really just another rainstorm.

#49 ::: martyn ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 06:04 AM:

We don't do hurricanes here in rural Northumberland (UK), but Morpeth made the national news because of flooding in the town centre following two days of very heavy rain after a very wet summer. My car died after I drove through one, as I thought, shallow puddle. Resurrection followed shortly thereafter.

All best wishes to anyone and everyone in the path of heavy weather.

#50 ::: Juliet E McKenna ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 06:16 AM:

Here in the Cotswolds, UK, it's yet another day of steady rain. Don't think we've seen a dry day since last weekend.

We drove through areas that were badly flooded last year yesterday and saw water meadows awash in a way that's more usual in Jan/Feb. Rivers rose visibly between going one way in the morning and coming back that evening.

When a lot of the folk who were flooded out last year are only just getting back into their finally dry/replastered/redecorated houses.

The possibility of them getting flooded again if/when the Gulf Stream carts the remnants of Hanna/Ike across the Atlantic is just heartbreaking.

#51 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 06:30 AM:

Over by about 1:30 AM Eastern time in CT. There didn't seem to be an eye to pass over, by then -- it just stopped.

(No, I couldn't sleep last night. Not storm related.)

#52 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 06:43 AM:

It's clearing out fast here in central Maine. We seem to have got close to 3" of rain overnight but negligible wind this far inland and I can FINALLY open the windows and let some of the heat out of this house before I melt.

#53 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 06:57 AM:

Jon @48:
Those in the hurricane belt are likely in awe at Northern reactions to what was really just another rainstorm.

A lot of the impact of these things depends on the infrastructure that they are impacting. In many ways, the emotional effect of "it's raining hard enough that the roof leaks" is the same, whether that requires a hard rain or a full-force hurricane.

Weather that we shrug at in Northern Europe would be a disaster in California, because houses are not insulated for it and pipes are not lagged. Conversely, a mere 4.0 quake in Amsterdam would cause buildings to sink, waterways to leak, and (probably) people to die.

#54 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 07:28 AM:

A lot of the impact of these things depends on the infrastructure that they are impacting.

Oh, yes.

When I lived in North Carolina, a half an inch of snow would shut down everything because it was such an unusual event that there was no infrastructure for it (much to the amusement of Northern immigrants).

OTOH, this storm was nothing like any NC hurricane. Not even close.

#55 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 08:01 AM:

abi @47: [..] I have never been able to shake my fist at the skies and say, "Curse you, [insert name here]!"

But if it's name were Zeus, Poseidon, or Apollo, you'd want to reconsider that cursing. Even if they should get the blame.

#56 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 08:33 AM:

It rained a bit here yesterday evening, and the temperature dropped about ten degrees, which is wonderful.

#57 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 08:40 AM:

We had a pretty overcast day yesterday (Rochester NY, on the south-western banks of Lake Ontario) with a few sprinkles here and there, and some solid rain last night, but the main effects of Hanna, this far inland (we're about 5 hours from NYC) was to drop the temperature about 20 degrees from where it was Friday.

#58 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 09:00 AM:

What's left of Hanna is currently expected to hit the UK on Wednesday, after about two days of respite from the flooding/heavy rain we've already had. Unless it sheds a lot of its force on the Atlantic crossing, we're going to be in trouble.

#59 ::: Janet ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 09:19 AM:

Hanna dumped about 4 inches of rain on us yesterday but otherwise it was uneventful here in northwest Washington DC. Awful, awful humidity even when it wasn't actually raining.

The weather this morning is glorious--about 70F (at 9am), only 60& humidity, a refreshing light breeze. I hope your aftermath of Hanna is equally delightful.

My apartment's back entrance is slightly below grade so I'm also a drain-watcher during heavy rains. I had a couple of bad water experiences before I found a way to divert some of the runoff in another direction.

#60 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 09:38 AM:

Beautiful weather in Boston this morning, too.

Hope no one's basement got flooded.

#61 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 10:01 AM:

Hurricane Ike grew up to a Category 4 last night and its outer trailing bands are dumping a lot of rain on us (in Puerto Rico). And no, the fix to my daughter's roof doesn't appear to have been entirely successful. There's less leaking, but still entirely too much for a room with books in it.

abi, named storms are fantastic. I think I am starting to realize what other people find fascinating about sports, as I track hurricanes, learn about history and statistics of other hurricanes, talk about projections and possibilities -- all because they're named entities with lifetimes measured in weeks.

But just "raining hard enough to make the roof leak" is not really the point. Tropical rains always are hard enough to make the roof leak. It pours buckets down here every day (well, not in Ponce; we're in the rain shadow of the Cordillera Central -- but in towns twenty miles from here). It's really more the notion of Ike's current 135 mph winds with gusts to 160 that terrifies. I've never actually been through a hurricane, just been rained on a lot by outer edges. But ... that's destructive force.

Not even mentioning the floods that kill Haitians every time a storm even looks their way. Ike is the third storm in a row that's racking up the kills in Haiti. And these are people so poor the street vendors sell fried mud. (It sounds like Ankh-Morpork, but it's real.)

Europe used to have weather that killed astounding numbers of people on a regular basis. Look at most city centers near rivers in Europe (all of them) and you can see high-water marks commemorated on plaques. Then Europeans fixed every durned river they had, and only in exceptional cases do they now have serious flooding (the Danube a few years ago springs to mind).

If you could only dam hurricanes.

#62 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 10:28 AM:

I'm in Mamaroneck, NY (just north of NYC) and it was clear and windy when I was woken last night by a fire alarm in the building (I'm not sure if they ever figured out the cause, but it was probably water in the wiring).

All in all, I've seen worse rainstorms. I think the actual rain lasted less than 12 hours.

#63 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 10:44 AM:

Andrew Plotkin (25): 'Astronomically low tides' is quoting the National Weather Service. I believe they mean that the high tides are lower than average because of position of the moon. They went on to say that this is why they were not predicting much coastal flooding.

It's a nice morning here, after the storm. Can't have been too much more rain overnight, the pavements were dry by the time I got up.

#64 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 10:48 AM:

Mary Frances @ #44: Damn! What on earth are those things BUILT of?

Bone dry here in Georgia, sky like enamel, and another of our old oak trees has died of the drought.

Michael @ #61, compare death tolls in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to see what a huge difference poverty and deforestation make to the impact of natural disasters.

#65 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 11:05 AM:

abi: That's mostly true for me too. I do recall the weather being horrid when Hugo's ragged corpse made it's way to Los Angeles, but there wasn't enough affect to rage against it.

Jon @48: What abi said. I recall driving in the worst rain ever recorded in Seattle. It was, to me, a pretty typical downpour (from years of living in S. California, where, as the song says, it never rains, but when it pours, man in it pours). The sewers weren't built for it and there was lots of flooding. For them it was far from typical.

Micheal Roberts: Yes, the Danube still floods. In Regensburg an der Danau I saw one of the plaques... where I was standing the water had (in my lifetime) been higher than my head, at least twice (I forget the specific dates).

#66 ::: Steve B ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 11:26 AM:

Teresa @10: Raleigh NC. Hanna gave my area over five inches of rain in a twelve-hour period, and the large creek that forms a border of my backyard came within one vertical foot of making me cut the house power and leave. For illustrative purposes, check this graph of stream depth and CFS flow from a location near me. Luckily Hanna came and went very, very quickly: if the storm path speed had been even normal, I would be replacing carpets today. It happens occasionally, it's not so bad.

#67 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 11:27 AM:

Rob Rusick @ 55 ...
But if it's name were Zeus, Poseidon, or Apollo, you'd want to reconsider that cursing. Even if they should get the blame.

We once had a naming convention for machines of 'supernatural entities'. I refused, point blank, to have any machines named after singular deities -- and after the machine named 'gremlin' ... was, the same thing went for mischevious names.

Michael Roberts @ 61 ...
There's a post setup on the cliffs at Great Falls park in Maryland (or was it Virginia... I always muddle the sides) with the highest flood levels marked way at the top of it. During most of the year you're far enough above the water to make people into tiny dots below, while the mark on the post is high enough to make second (and third) looks necessary.

#68 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 11:36 AM:

Following up to myself, that should have been on the Virginia side, and a look at Great Falls in flood at only 8.13 at the Little Falls gauge.

The USGS gauge at Little Falls shows 28.1 as the maximum recorded height. It's currently at 4.49.

#69 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 11:58 AM:

Lila @64 - yeah, I know. Although on the south sides of the islands you'd expect more flooding in any case -- and in fact here on the south side of Puerto Rico it was the case before the dams were built. "The south side" because here in the rain shadow the hills aren't forested, they're grassy. It's weird -- one side of a mountain will be dense tropical jungle and the other side grass. Although it does make it easy to teach the kids about climatology when you can point out the window to a wind shadow in pocket-size format.

At any rate, in 1994 there was flooding to the extent that several cities here on the south side of the island were out of contact for several days. I have a hard time understanding whether nobody had any satellite phones, or what, but that's what I read.

And that was just a plain old rainstorm -- no name at all, just a tropical wave.

Ike is dumping buckets on us right now. The cool weather is nice, though (down to 73 right now -- downright frigid! Last time it was 73 in Ponce, they commented on it with some incredulity on the radio. I happened to be taking the dog to the vet that day, and he said, "Man, it's like it's air conditioned out there!" Ha.)

#70 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 11:58 AM:

Mary Aileen, #63: Yes. What they're talking about is "neap tides", produced when the sun and the moon are pulling at right angles to each other; this happens at the first and third quarters. When the sun and moon are aligned (full moon, new moon), you get "spring tides", which are higher than average. They've probably had to dumb down the announcements because nobody uses the old words any more.

#71 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 12:00 PM:

Here in northern Massachusetts, we got a lot of rain last night, but it seemed less severe than most of our northeasters. Going by the radar, the storm seemed pretty ragged and lopsided by the time it got here, a shadow of its former self.

#72 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 12:11 PM:

"raining in bands"

I went somewhere by bicycle Sat. afternoon (in Boston)

I did not get rained on, but it had just rained there when I got there.

#73 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 12:17 PM:


But Brittany doesn't get hurricanes, does it? Don't they (and their Pacific and southern-hemisphere counterparts) travel westward and away from the equator, so they only hit shores that happen to be on an east coast of whichever continent?

#74 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 12:20 PM:

Lee (70): They mentioned neap tides, too, but made them sound like something else. (I was confused and decided I didn't know the term as well as I thought I did. Should have gone with my first instincts, or doublechecked the meaning.)

#75 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 12:35 PM:

Erik Nelson @ 72...
"raining in bands"

Would that be marching bands or brass bands or... ?

#76 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 01:21 PM:

@73 - Europe's atlantic coast gets a tropical system every once in awhile. I think back in 2005 there was one that hooked northeast from where it formed and landed in Portugal.

Similarly, someone upthread that I can't find now mentioned a couple of wandering typhoons (north pacific storms) that washed up in the northwest US.

It's unusual enough to be newsworthy, but it does happen.

#77 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 01:24 PM:

I was supposed to fly from DC to Newark at 5PM yesterday in a tiny prop plane. Needless to say, the flight was cancelled.

So I wound up on Amtrak, which was quite nice, but I still had to get to the airport to get my rental car.

As I left DC, it was clearing up, and there was some sun as we came into Baltimore, but then it was pouring the rest of the way up the coast.

The drive from EWR to my friends in western Essex county was not much fun, with tree limbs all over the place and several roads flooded out.

Of course, it's beautiful right now, and the good people at Avis gave me a convertible. Sometimes things work out OK after all.

#78 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 01:25 PM:

It's 90ish and dry here in Prescott AZ, despite some returning clouds, but I could almost feel the humid heat of NYC as I watched men's semifinals at the US Open on TV -- before the rains there finally came down. (Yay, Federer! The conditions didn't keep him from playing his best in some time, and winning.)

It's fascinating to see the comments in this thread, current glimpses of places all over the US and beyond that we couldn't have shared in the days of snail mail.

#79 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 01:29 PM:

Erik Nelson @ 77: I don't think the lighthouse-storms were hurricanes or the equlvalent; just "stormy weather."

Lila @64: Large rocks, mostly. Lighthouse construction is amazing, particularly the "wave washed" lighthouses that are set on built-up reefs or very small islands in the middle of rough water. See the building of Skerryvore by Alan Stevenson in the 1830s/40s for a good example: it took seven years, and my jaw still drops when I read about what was required.

#80 ::: ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 06:27 PM:

A truly beautiful day in Boston this Sunday - blue sky, slight breeze, temperatures in the seventies. My friends and I have greatly enjoyed our visit to your time.

#81 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 07:01 PM:

Re #80: *SPLORT!*

#82 ::: ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 07:22 PM:

#82: Thank you.

We hope to enjoy the new thread now. This "blogging" is very interesting to us.

#83 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2008, 09:55 PM:

Terry @65: Are you thinking of another Hugo? Because the hurricane that roared through the Caribbean and South/North Carolina in 1989 ended up in Canada (I was living in Guelph at the time, and felt the wave of humid tropical air).

xeger@75: ..or jug bands, perhaps?

#84 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2008, 02:24 AM:

News showed that we had waist-high flooding in some residential areas of NoVA (we got 6.35" in Manassas, but our branch didn't flood) and four deaths in all of Virginia, all due to weather-related car crashes.

#85 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2008, 09:13 AM:

Cool, drizzly, and foggy here in Boulder. I'd say, "Here in the Rocky Mountain Front Range," but that might be saying too much. Just biking from the north end of Boulder to the south, the weather ranged from "rained last night, didn't it?" to "can't freakin' SEE stupid drizzle grumblegrumblegrr".

I talked to Mom yesterday during the first post-Saints-game phone call of the regular season (REVENNNNNNGE!) and she was resting up from a long, long day of driving home from Atlanta (on the 6th). Conserving her strength in preparation for doing it again for Ike. The current projections lead me to cautiously hope that New Orleans will be spared a direct hit, but the winds are going to be tremendous all the way 'round the Gulf Coast. As always wherever that dang storm comes ashore to visit, my thoughts are with its unwilling hosts.

Some years ago, probably the summer before Katrina, I visited The Quarter Stitch - great little needlework shop in the French Quarter - and picked up a full-sized cross-stitch hurricane map, complete with latitude/longitude lines and a heraldic assortment of Louisiana critters (pelican, blue crab, etc) arranged around a backstitched coastline. Marking hurricane maps was one of the joys of childhood in Hurricane Alley. "Mom! Turn on the news! I wanna know where Juan is now!" Maybe this year I'll actually stitch that thing and hang it up somewhere with an arsenal of pins. Futzing with lines and dots and rulers can be a useful distraction from the meaning of those lines and dots.

#86 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2008, 09:46 AM:

Prescott's dry weather quickly turned back to rain yesterday afternoon, resulting in more cognitive dissonance: nice sunny continuation of the second men's semifinal in NYC, while it was pelting down *here*. More rain possible today, though not in the quantities (or with the ferocious winds) a hurricane/tropical storm generates.

#87 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2008, 10:43 AM:

Nicole J LeBoeufLittle @ 85... I talked to Mom yesterday during the first post-Saints-game phone call of the regular season (REVENNNNNNGE!)

General Zod: Revenge! We will kill the son of our jailer!
Ursa: Revenge!
Lex Luthor: REVENGE! Now we're cooking!

#88 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2008, 12:15 PM:

Serge @ 87 -
General Zod: Revenge! We will kill the son of our jailer!
Ursa: Revenge!
Lex Luthor: REVENGE! Now we're cooking!

Is it sad that the first thing I thought of was the Nintendo DS game, Worms?

(When the worms die, one of the things they can say before they blow up is "Revenge!" in their tiny little worm voice).

#89 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2008, 12:18 PM:

Scott Taylor @ 88... What a sad bunch we are.

#90 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2008, 07:54 PM:

Scraps @ #2:

Attach the end of a string to the source of the leak in the ceiling, trail other end down to receptacle below. If sufficiently vertical, drip should crawl obediently down the string to drain quietly into receptacle.

#91 ::: Cassy B. sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:22 AM:

@91. Don't want to hack games, thanks.

#92 ::: Xopher Halftongue sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2014, 01:42 AM:


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