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October 29, 2012

Riding it out
Posted by Patrick at 06:30 AM * 109 comments

It’s 6:30 AM on Monday and the wind is audibly kicking up outside our home in Brooklyn. We have water, canned food, and other emergency supplies. Macmillan, including Tor, is officially closed today—unsurprisingly, since New York’s subways, buses, and commuter trains have all been halted for the duration. I doubt very much that our mass transit, or the publishing industry, will be up-and-running before Wednesday at the earliest.

I still plan to be at World Fantasy Con in Toronto this weekend, although I postponed my flight from Wednesday to Thursday.

I mostly post this to note that we could lose power here in Brooklyn pretty much any time, and if that happens, it could be a while before we get it back. We have backup plans for staying connected to the world if that happens, but no guarantee that any of them will work. So no one should be surprised if we’re suddenly even harder to reach than usual.

Until and unless the power goes out, of course, we’ll be obsessively following the news online. We live a block and a half from one of the mandatory-evacuation zones, and three blocks from New York Harbor. We’re really hoping those boundaries are drawn correctly. When the storm surge comes in tonight, we’ll find out.

Comments on Riding it out:
#1 ::: Phiala ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:06 AM:

The people around here tend to the prepared, I''m sure we are all as ready as we can be. Which may not do much for storm surge, granted.

My biggest concern is actually the year-old boxer who needs five or six miles of walks a day to keep him tired enough to not destroy the house, but who refuses to go out in the rain. Everything else I have experience with.

#2 ::: Phiala ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:06 AM:

The people around here tend to the prepared, I''m sure we are all as ready as we can be. Which may not do much for storm surge, granted.

My biggest concern is actually the year-old boxer who needs five or six miles of walks a day to keep him tired enough to not destroy the house, but who refuses to go out in the rain. Everything else I have experience with.

#3 ::: Chris Bauer ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:17 AM:

Good luck and stay safe.

#4 ::: Richard Hershberger ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:20 AM:

My uncle, who lives on a Florida island, called concerned that I, who live in central Maryland, was properly prepared. My response is that I prepared by buying a house on high ground, rather than on a sand bar. Beyond that it is just a matter of laying in a few days' supplies.

Which isn't to say that this isn't the real deal, but what exactly this means depends very much on exactly where you are. My house is not subject to storm surge. There aren't any trees looming over it just waiting for an excuse to fall on my roof. The basement could get some leakage, but really it is pretty well sealed and the drainage is good. I am staying home today, though I am fighting off a bug and would be anyway. I wouldn't be surprised to lose power, but I would be surprised if it were out more than a couple of days, as I live in town. My in-laws live out in the boonies. They lose power for weeks at a time of someone looks cross-eyed.

So the big question for me is whether I spend a nice day watching the Weather Channel or reading a book. I went to the library on Saturday to lay in a supply, just in case.

#5 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:09 AM:

My best wishes, Patrick.

#6 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:11 AM:

Argh... Need coffee. I wanted to write "My best wishes, Patrick and Teresa."

#7 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:12 AM:

Best of luck to you.

#8 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:14 AM:

I've got a stack of books and some knitting laid in, but we haven't lost power yet. I was woken a little too early on a vacation day to call people and update the website, but since I don't know if I'll have power tonight, I might as well take advantage of it (and daylight, such as it is) now.

Current weather in Westchester on the Long Island Sound coast is similar to Brooklyn at the moment. I had to crack open the patio door as my apartment is overheated, The bunnies are a little restless and staying undercover (under chairs and desks and things), but this is typical bun behavior. I'm going to feed them, then make french toast, since I have the ingredients. *g*

#9 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:27 AM:

Good luck, and stay safe.

#10 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:32 AM:

Stay safe. And I hope to see you, Patrick, at WFC. (For that matter, I hope to make it there myself.)

#11 ::: Deborah Green ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:35 AM:

Stay safe!

#12 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:42 AM:

Out here in central Virginia, it's raining but not too hard, and not windy.

#13 ::: Larry S ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:45 AM:

In NJ the Passaic River is already cresting in places. The MTA posted some photos on flickr about their shutdown.

#14 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:49 AM:

Through the power of remote logins, Byrd and I are both actually at work, though given PEPCO's abysmal storm response performance, the likelihood of us losing power is quite high. The only thing we can really hope for is that the derecho has already knocked everything down. My friends in New Jersey, OTOH, have a house in the first block off the beach in Silver Beach. I hope it's still there tomorrow.

#15 ::: Peter Sursi ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:06 AM:

Good luck. Down here in DC, they are saying the worst winds will be tonight.

#16 ::: Denise ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:10 AM:

Stay safe!

#18 ::: Robert West ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:04 AM:

I was surprised yesterday at how many of my friends here in the city were of the opinion that this was nothing to worry about and they'd be fine without stocking up on food and water.

Kudos to you for taking care of the preparations, and best of luck when the surge comes.

#19 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:06 AM:

Err on the side of caution, and best of luck to you. I watched some NYC weather clip. Holy isobars, Batman! The only part I really understand is that something's turned up to 11.

Cathy was due to take off from Atlanta in a half hour. She was supposed to be in Charlottesville yesterday for a conference I wish they'd cancelled. Weather in western NY continues drizzly, with something more pronounced hitting this afternoon. I don't have a very clear picture of what's going on with relatives in NJ, but I'll call the in-laws when hour is less ungodly. (My sister in Colorado who sat out a prolonged forest fire recently says she saw smoke again. I'd like to send her my share of this precipitation.)

No doubt this weather is just part of some natural long-term "every goddamn thing at once" cycle.

#20 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:11 AM:

I'm in the Boston Emergency Operations Center today with ham radio gear to feed information from the City out to NWS about downed trees and power lines, as well as serving as a backup communications channel in case of emergency. Nothing so far, but this storm is just getting started.

It sounds like we're going to see 50 mph winds with 80 mph gusts (Strong Gale to Hurricane-force winds, per Beaufort) starting over the next hour or two, but unlike Irene we're going to continue to see them for 12-18 hours. There's a lot more energy in this storm, and it's moving slowly so we're in for a much longer haul.

The MBTA will shut down at 2 PM today.

Patrick, Teresa, everybody else -- safe, dry wishes.

#21 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:18 AM:

At my sister's place in Brooklyn, just a few miles from Patrick and Teresa, we're surprised not to have more rain yet--the ground is damp but that's all--but the wind is really picking up.

I had a doctor's appointment today. The office is actually open--much to my surprise--but I cancelled anyway. I am *not* driving back into Nassau County at midday in this weather. (Unfortunately, my rescheduled appt is not until after Thanksgiving.)

#22 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:19 AM:

Best of luck to you. Stay safe, dry, and warm.

#23 ::: Kate Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:26 AM:

Stay safe, everyone! I was glued to the Weather Channel yesterday (not literally) even though we're not getting much of anything here in East Tennessee--some rain and blustery winds, maybe light snow in the higher elevations. My brother and his family live near Pittsburgh, but yesterday my sister-in-law said they're only supposed to have rain. They live at the top of a good-sized hill, though, with no big trees too near the house.

I probably shouldn't admit it, but I'm a trifle jealous of the people getting this weather. I love the excitement before a weather event, the whole getting prepared frenzy, the hunkering down with library books, and all the rest. We don't get much really bad weather here, just the occasional more-than-a-few-inches snowfall.

I did bring my go-bag up to date yesterday, since I did a lot of traveling in August and parts of it got taken out and left in other places. At least I'm prepared if something does happen here.

#24 ::: Megpie71 ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:28 AM:

Best wishes to all in the storm region. May whichever benevolent deities you believe in watch over you.

#25 ::: Tam ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:40 AM:

Adding to the wishes for safe dryness for all on the east coast. Take care everyone.

#26 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:42 AM:

Re: The Bounty... Doug Faunt reports that he is OK.

#27 ::: Theresa Bazelli ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:45 AM:

Take care! Hoping it will not be as bad as it could be.

#28 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:51 AM:

May you be safe.

#29 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:55 AM:

Doug reports via Facebook mobile: "The ship sank beneath us, but we swam free and mostly got into two rafts. I'm at the USCG station Elizabeth City NC. There are two unaccounted for at present."

#30 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 11:18 AM:

A couple of webcams:

Lower Manhattan from the Statue of Liberty (with sound--listen to that wind).

The Brooklyn Bridge (note that the camera is moving).

#31 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 12:17 PM:

Manhattan webcam, updated once per minute, no sound, no ads.

#32 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 12:26 PM:

Good wishes from here, too!

#33 ::: clew ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 12:39 PM:

Good luck to all under the storm.

Only for people who want a reason to poke their noses into it -- there's an organized research group collecting rain samples for research, and if it's been listed here I missed it... looks like they could use more people in the periphery, WVa, Maine.

#34 ::: AlyxL ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 12:46 PM:

Good luck to all of you. Stay safe, stay warm and stay dry.
Let's hope it turns out to be much less bad than predicted.

#35 ::: torrilin ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 01:18 PM:

Welp, looks like there may be flooding again for my parents. The flood warnings yesterday were really generic, no mention of affected creeks. Today, they're listing off creeks and flood gauges, unfortunately including nasty words like "Swatera Creek" and "Hershey" and "Middletown".

When I talked to Dad yesterday tho, he had things pretty well in hand. I do rather wish they'd picked a higher lot tho :P.

#36 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 01:45 PM:

Since the federal government is closed today and he hadn't received any other guidance, hubby - who's a contractor - stayed home. Around noon, his team lead called and asked rather indignantly whether he was coming into the office. "Well, no," my husband replied, "given that Capital Weather is telling people not to be outside after noon."

Tell people in DC that an inch of snow is going to fall and they panic. Tell them there'll be derecho-like destruction and dangerous wind speeds, and they shrug and go to work anyhow. I don't envy all the people who will be commuting home in the high winds this evening.

#37 ::: Pamela Dean ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 01:50 PM:

Best wishes to both of you, and to anybody else being affected by this storm. When I first heard about Sandy, I got all exercised about my brother and sister-in-law in Raleigh, not expecting things to get so exciting so far north. May there be excitement but nothing too interesting.


#38 ::: KimikoKimiko ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 02:13 PM:

Well, the latest track has the center of Sandy going directly over Baltimore, where I live. We are destined to lose power here, and without battery backups for the sump pumps...

I am slowly coming to terms with a few days of cold meals, and quite a few hours of taking boxes out of the basement. Ech!

#39 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 02:43 PM:

All my laundry is clean, there are fresh flannel sheets on the bed, a clean floor and fresh towels in the bathroom, no dirty dishes in the sink, and I just took a loaf of apple cheddar walnut bread out of the oven. I brought the bleach up to use as a sanitizing rinse on dishes if we lose power and therefore hot water. It's 58 and rainy with gusts up to 35mph. So far, so good.

#40 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 02:44 PM:

Good luck, all, and stay safe.

#41 ::: Geri Sullivan ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 03:05 PM:

#26 & 29 news that Doug Faunt is okay. Gary Farber sent me a link to video of the the Coast Guard rescue operation. Knowing Doug was okay made it much easier to watch. Added bonus prize: seeing Doug walking away from the rescue helicopter at the 10:23 minute mark. He's the one in the yellow survival suit; you can see him clearly at 11:00-11:05.

#42 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 03:22 PM:

@41: Not a video for them as has motion sickness.

#43 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 03:22 PM:

Spent the morning and midday helping a friend move books and computers out of her ground floor. I'm high up so safe from flooding; I've stocked up on certain things that should get me through, especially since you can still cook with gas when the electricity goes off; in 30 years in Hoboken they've never shut off the gas. Still, cooking up some things into ready-to-eat status. Filled freezer with ice, refrigerator with drinking water, bathtub with flushing water.

I'm high up, so relatively vulnerable to wind, did not the Palisade cliff two blocks from my building shield me somewhat. Yesterday it was scary windy at the waterfront, barely breezy where I live. Hoboken is flooded already down by the river, but not at all over here (YET) even though we're actually lower than the parts of Hoboken that are flooding. Maybe that new pump is helping.

They're saying the worst of the rain will be west of here, well inland in New Jersey. Which doesn't mean we're not going to get a buttload of rain, but does mean that the place we went when we evacced for Irene will be worse off as far as rain and nearly as bad for wind. Hard to see that as a win.

#44 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 03:25 PM:

Wait, why do *I* know the name Doug Faunt? Not from the Bounty, whose existence I'd had no notion of. Why is that name familiar?

#45 ::: Geri Sullivan ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 03:25 PM:

#41: I wrote that wrong,. Doug is wearing yellow overalls and jacket; he's already shed his survival suit.

#46 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 03:31 PM:

Geri @41 -- just posted similarly over on the Open Thread.

Xopher, you may well have met Doug at various Worldcons. He's another fan whose first Worldcon was Baycon back in 1968. My favorite curmudgeon, and a helluva fine guy. Radio ham as well.

#47 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 03:43 PM:

Con Edison guy was just on NY1 saying that the power to Manhattan below 34th Street (includes me) will pretty likely be shut off from about 7 to 9pm tonight. That is when the surge will be at its highest and when ConEd's equipment will be most vulnerable to the rising waters. I hope it's only gone for those two hours, but somehow I doubt it... Oh, and my Time Warner Cable just cut out... seems to be coming back though...

#48 ::: Kvon ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 03:46 PM:

On Cape Cod we have lots of wind, no rain. A moderate sized branch off a neighbor's tree and a fire truck down the street a while ago. Some power flickers, but I'm lucky so far. A surprising number of people are still driving around.

#49 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 04:07 PM:

Jim @30: Just listening to that webcam is making me shiver. Brrr!

#50 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 05:56 PM:

The wind's really picked up here, and the way the power is flickering, I doubt I'll have it much longer, but there's a pot of stew cooking on the gas stove, so I've got dinner and the buns seem to be doing okay.

And now I think I'll go bake some biscuits to go with the stew.

#51 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 05:59 PM:

We're about to unplug the computer for the night, in case the power goes out. Stay safe, everyone!

#52 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 06:17 PM:

Lights still on here. Made frozen ravioli for dinner, part of the Eating Up The Perishables plan. Weather Channel thinks the winds are at 21mph gusting to 37, and will peak around 8PM at 42mph (no data on gusts), declining from there. The roads have been shut down since 1PM and the town generator is on standby if they have to open the emergency shelter. I'm mentally running through what absolutely needs to be kept cold and what can manage at room temp for a while (like eggs and butter and the sherry I keep for cooking).

When I finish this Jayne hat for my boyfriend's baby, I'm starting on a hot water bottle cozy. It'll come in handy.

Hope everyone else is getting through as well or better.

#53 ::: Larry S ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 06:34 PM:

Starting to see power fluctuate here.. Winds and rain picking up. Kind of glad all my computers are laptops now.

#54 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:03 PM:

Good luck to all! As I've posted elsewhere, my daughter learned all the hurricane preparedness rules while growing up in Hawai'i, but we never had an hurricane actually hit Honolulu while she was living here. She moved to Brooklyn a little over 2 years ago, and....

#55 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:13 PM:

So this is a live web cam a few blocks from my house. As I post this at about 7:12pm EDT, it shows the East River overtopping the seawall and coming into Manhattan around 23rd Street. It's dark out so kind of hard to see.

#56 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:17 PM:

Finishing up shift at the Boston EOC. Reports have been pretty slow since the storm got bad and it got dark. Probably heading home, waiting out the night, then back in tomorrow for more -- the damage will happen overnight, but we won't hear about much of it until tomorrow morning when people wake up and start looking.

The usual downed trees and power lines, but nothing too bad. Good luck and dry thoughts to those being hit harder.

#57 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:23 PM:

#55: "No Video."

I hope that's not, you know, ominous.

#58 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:32 PM:

@57: Yeah it went down about 5 minutes after I posted that. And about 5 minutes after that I heard that Con Edison had shut down the Fulton and Bowling Green networks which is bad, but not as bad as it could be yet. Obviously I still have my power at 14th Street, knock on cellulose, so I'm on another power net I guess. I suspect where the server for that webcam is? I think it must be in lower manhattan in the dark zone. It's a traffic cam, so, I dunno...

#59 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 07:57 PM:

Okay Boys & Girls, here we go! This is 4 long blocks from my house about 25 minutes ago.

I'm thinking of walking out on to 14th to see how we're doing...

#60 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:18 PM:

Power's been flickering here in the DC area since 3 PM but is still on. Since it's Pepco I expect it to be out for several days once it does go, but we've got four loaves of fresh bread and a giant pot of beans in the fridge. The neighbors next door have a generator, and can probably be convinced to barter sufficient electrons to charge a phone for some homemade strawberry jam.

#61 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 08:45 PM:

The surge is getting pretty high. Jeff Masters has been saying on his blog that the storm tide will start flooding into the subway at 10.5 feet, not accounting for sandbags -- and that was about where the predictions were expecting it to go. However, according to the tide tracker at The Battery, it's currently at 13.46 feet and still rising, though it looks pretty close to peak.

#62 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:15 PM:

TWC says 3.5 million people without power, and flooding into the NYC subway. The Battery's tide tracker is up to 13.85 feet and has not peaked yet.

#63 ::: Howard ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:18 PM:

I hate to be all provincial, and my heart and all my best wishes go out to those directly affected by Sandy/Frankenstorm. But -- I live in the city of Cincinnati, hard by the Ohio river. (Two days after Katrina hit, we had windows blown out and trees downed here.) I have friends in Ohio north of the TVA/ACE flood protections built during the (last) Great Depression, and friends and frequent destinations across the river in Kentucky where the current dike/floodwall scheme has never faced a serious test. (In Bellevue, KY, there's a picturesque neighborhood of gentrified shotguns on the wrong side of the dikes. Why in the hell would some hotshot developer buy a surviving floodplain shotgun shack and turn it into upscale urban housing?)

It looks like the storm cell is going to track northeast after moving into the East Coast, but I've been trying all day to find any predictions or speculations of Sandy's affect on Ohio River levels. If the precipitation in PA is anything like expected, we'll see the Ohio rise, with the floodwaters traveling from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, Louisville to Cairo. And then of course, it gets dumped into the Mississippi, which could probably stand more water. The local weather reports show clear skies with gradual warming from this Thursday through next Thursday, but nothing on river levels.

Long story short, does anyone know where I can go for news related to inland waterways? My google-fu is weak.

#64 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:23 PM:

Howard @63: Try It doesn't look like there's anything disastrous forecasted in the Ohio River area at the moment....

#65 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:28 PM:

Howard @63 here's another where you can identify the section of the river that interests you and get a forecast for it.

#66 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:28 PM:

Howard@63: I live in the city of Cincinnati, hard by the Ohio river . . . does anyone know where I can go for news related to inland waterways?

Is this NOAA page something like what you were looking for?

#67 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:34 PM:

Teresa tweeted an hour or so ago that their phone service was getting flaky and they might lose internet connectivity.

Also, that 13.85 feet of water at the Battery that Brooks Moses reported is about 2.5' over the previous record, set in 1821. FDR drive is flooded. Bridges and tunnels are pretty much closed.

Meanwhile, Washington DC is having a lot of Potomac flooding; it's probably not the day to reread KSR's Forty Signs of Rain.

#68 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:34 PM:

I've been seeing the pictures from NYC as they come over Twitter. Stay safe, guys.

#69 ::: Bill Stewart waves at the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:36 PM:

I probably did something with spacing or URLs?

Anyway, Teresa tweeted an hour or so ago that her phone service was getting flaky and they might lose internet service, and the building behind hers had lost power but hers hadn't yet.

#70 ::: Howard ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:38 PM:

Brooke @64: Thank you. Exactly what I was looking for, although I had no idea that it was there to look for.

#71 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 09:40 PM:

Storm surge at the Battery is finally starting to come down. Peak was at 13.88 feet.

#72 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2012, 10:03 PM:

They're reporting 4 ft of water in the subway tunnels under the East River.

#73 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 12:08 AM:

Tweets from PNH and TNH stopped a while back. I guess their phone service finally went.

It would be nice to hear from them . . . and for that matter, my cousins in Queens and Manhattan.

#74 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 01:15 AM:

Stefan Jones @73: That it would, yup.

Meanwhile, I note that CNN and TWC were both reporting that the NYSE trading floor was under 3 feet of water -- while the NYSE is claiming that nothing important is flooded. I'm noting that because it's an interesting datapoint (one way or the other) in comparing the chaos of at-the-time reporting with the actual facts that will be left once the sun comes back up.

A lot of that's being fed by the fact that we (well, me, and I don't think this is unique) have this hunger to know what's happening and what got damaged and are people okay. Which sort of circles back to it being reassuring to hear that people like Stefan's cousins are okay even though I have no direct connection to them at all.

#75 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 04:25 AM:

Stay safe, all. Best wishes from me and Carol.

#76 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 04:37 AM:

Clifton @54: My wife and I moved to Houston three years agon. She traveled yesterday to the Washington DC area to visit her parents. She commented via email that she hadn't expected to see a hurricane in DC before one in Houston.

#77 ::: David Goldfarb has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 04:37 AM:

Must have hit some Word of Power, though I don't know what. (Reference to our nation's capital?)

#78 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 06:59 AM:

We made it through the night without losing power. Now our problem is that we are at the dead center of where the remnants are trying to dump the rest of the water, and we have water in the basement.

#79 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 08:21 AM:

Like C. Wingate, in the DC area, didn't lose power, have some water in the basement. Ours is fairly minor seepage, easily dealt with by sporadic use of the shopvac, since power for the shopvac remains.

#80 ::: Kimiko ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 08:41 AM:

Hi all!
Things seem pretty normal here in Baltimore. Very localized power outages, cold drizzly rain, and winds under 25mph. Basement isn't full of water, and the power flickered without going out.

Best wishes to all, especially all y'all without power.

#81 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 08:59 AM:

Kimiko, glad to hear you're okay. I'm a little worried about a friend in Stevensville.

Everything's pretty normal in West Hartford. They closed the schools pre-emptively yesterday, but by now the travel ban is lifted, and we kept power and internet. So did my friend who lives alone and depends on a pump for her lymphedema -- if she lost power but the state of the town wasn't bad enough for the emergency shelter to open, I was going to bring her to my place. And now I'm all prepared for the first snowstorm that takes us out.

Wondering if I shouldn't pretend a hurricane is coming every week, so I do a lot of chores on the theory that I ought to finish them before I lose hot water.

Hope everyone else is doing all right.

#82 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 09:26 AM:

It's snowing in Portsmouth, Ohio this morning. No accumulation, ground is still too warm. I tried to start my furnace, but the pump wasn't pumping - the motor was humming, so I suspect the coupling went out. Again. I wouldn't recommend a forced hot water system to anyone.

I have several small electrical heaters on,so it's not seriously cold in here, just a tad chilly. As long as neither the wind nor the snow bring down power lines, I'll be OK. Furnace wouldn't work if I lost power either. It may take a while to get a repairman in.

#83 ::: Anne Sheller has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 09:30 AM:

No links. Don't know what Word of Power I could have used. Maybe I put a space too many somewhere. Would the gnomes like some pistachio nuts?

#84 ::: Persephone ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 09:45 AM:

We seem to have made it through totally unscathed. Power flickered but didn't go out, no damage at all. I'll admit to a tiny bit of disappointment there, since I finished restocking our emergency kit yesterday while I was too twitchy from the wind to do anything else.

Oh, and our heat is out, but that doesn't seem to be storm-related. It just wouldn't come on yesterday when we got chilly enough to turn it on for the evening. ("Well, at least if we lose power, we'll be starting with a warm house.") The pilot light is on, but nobody's home in the furnace. Both the furnace and a/c unit are 22 years old, so it might be time to just replace them.

The sick ferret has his own little heater pointed at his cage (from a safe distance outside it), but I work from home and I'm getting pretty cold. I hate to add to the workload I'm sure our HVAC folks have right now, but we might as well go ahead and get in line.

#85 ::: Persephone, gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 09:51 AM:

Not sure what did it this time.

#86 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 09:56 AM:

We didn't lose internet or phone, we just went to sleep. The cumulative effect of all the disaster news got to us. Awake now.

#88 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 11:55 AM:

Having spent my entire life in the Greater Los Angeles area, having prepped like mad for earthquakes and the like, having been at ground zero for the '94 Northridge quake, coming in to upstate NY just after Miss Irene chewed things up a bit, this is my first "real" storm. The Wombat said things wouldn't be very bad here, in Albany, given how things usually go. I still went out a couple days ago and got a few things, like milk, ice cream, chocolate.

And he was right. We got wind and rain last night about 11pm. Today we're getting bands of gloom-and-rain followed by bright shining sun. Evidence of wind can be found in the way the leaves were piled up, interspersed with broad swaths of bare pavement.

Some of the pics are horrific, and I send wishes of continued safety to all.

#89 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 11:56 AM:

Thanks, everyone, for checking in.

A pair of my friends in DC checked in at 11:30 last night with me to say they were fine, hadn't even lost power. I was much relieved.

Another pair of friends in Forest Hills (NYC) checked in around the same time to say they were also fine, holed up in their apartment. Since that check-in came by e-mail, either they still had power or their smartphones still had a charge.

A friend who lives in Brooklyn and works for NY1 blogged throughout. NY1 put up its workers in a hotel across the street from its building, so they'd be able to get to work. This was great until the hotel lost power. Then they all went to NY1, which had generators. At last report, he's worried about where they're going to get food today.

#90 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 02:57 PM:

My coworker in Chicago is joking about going surfing -- there's a bit of high cloud cover, mostly clear skies, a little wind ... and reports of 25-foot waves out on Lake Michigan.

#91 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 04:58 PM:

Has anyone heard from Xopher today? (I gather there's no power or Internet in Hoboken, so not surprised not to have heard from him here.)

#92 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 04:58 PM:

Has anyone heard from Xopher today? (I gather there's no power or Internet in Hoboken, so not surprised not to have heard from him here.)

#93 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 04:59 PM:

Apologies for the double post

#94 ::: Paula LIeberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 05:51 PM:

#63 Howard

...In Bellevue, KY, there's a picturesque neighborhood of gentrified shotguns on the wrong side of the dikes. Why in the hell would some hotshot developer buy a surviving floodplain shotgun shack and turn it into upscale urban housing?"

They do that because they play "our version of Ponzi schemes work!" Developers have been known to pull up signs by airports warning about noise etc and building housing developments and sell to hapless chumps....

Yeah, morally and ethically they are scum. But since when has being scum stopped people from being scum?

#95 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 05:55 PM:

Brooks Moses @74: that's a direct result of the @comfortablysmug false tweetery -- read about it over on the Updatery thread here. He Tweeted about the stock exchange being flooded, and news agencies picked it up. A clear example of how what he did was actively evil.

#96 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 06:39 PM:

I checked in with my mother by phone a couple of hours ago. She's 87, living in an apartment on West End Ave in the 90s. She says that for a block or two around her building there's been no flooding, no power outages, and no phone problems (she doesn't have a computer). She's not going out, because there are a number of downed trees, but she has a neighbor who's been bringing soup, so food isn't a problem. I imagine it will be a couple of days before anyone of the local family members can get to her, given that the transit system is down, so I'm glad she's had an easy time of it.

#97 ::: Paula LIeberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 07:27 PM:

Politics: Mittster the Spinmeister Quitster wants to eliminate FEMA.... that makes him even more disgusting the the Shrub who used FEMA as a patronage haven, with literally atrocious results regarding the Katrina tragedy and the unprecedented loss of life from a combination of incompetence governmental disdain/disregard for "the 47 percent."

The last year of the Mittster's term as Governor, my line was I wouldn't vote him for dogcatcher, I've vote him to be the dogs put by the dogcatcher in the pound. Now I regard that as an insult to stray dogs....

Compare and contrast the handling of Sandy to the (mis)handling of Katrina emergeny response, and the grandstanding by the Shrub, flying in a generator into the nearly powerless city for a Presidential grandstanding media photo-op to light up the area for all the mediots reporters and support staff to have light and audio for viewing and recording the photo-op, and then the whole circus, including of course the power generator, flown back out, leaving New Orleans in the same power-lacking state it was in before the grandstandning...

Sandy has done and is continuing to do major property damage. The toll in lives in direct deaths and in livelihoods and population displacement, is/is going to be orders of magnitude less dire than Katrina--and it's because the emergency operations agencies including especially at the federal level, have competent people staffing them and a federal government which gives a damn for, not only their political partisans and cronies, but the wellbeing of the entirety of the country, rather than a writeoff for "the 47%" and those who politically don't like and/or don't support them

#98 ::: Chris W. ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 07:37 PM:

Paula @97:

An acquaintance who is both quite liberal and quite politically active shocked the table at lunch today by announcing that he had voted for Mitt Romney. He then clarified that he had written Romney in for the local commissioner of cemeteries, on the theory that he had spent so much time and money chasing elected office these past 6 years that he deserved something to show for it, and that the cemetery commission was where his constituents were least likely to be inconvenienced by his policies.

#99 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 07:48 PM:

I work for a Big Government $$$ Agency in Kansas City as a 'seasonal' employee. I was furloughed (after being back for three weeks) early in August.

Because our facility has robust phone services, we are also a FEMA emergency site. I was called in to start work tomorrow, basically taking calls and making sure the get directed to the correct agency/person (I think, I have not done this before. Then again, I have never been furloughed before either.)

My slovenly sleep habits are going to catch up with me, i need to be there at 6 a.m. good to be working though. And not with a wheelchair!!!!

#100 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2012, 08:00 PM:

Family news: my brother on the north side of Long Island lost power, but has a gas stove and gas hot water, and internet from his iPhone, so he and his family are more inconvenienced than anything else. And he and his wife are teachers, so they're off work. My parents, in central NJ, lost power last night, and contacted my brother; their cell service is spotty, and all I got was voicemail. Their outage map says it could be up to a week. My brother says they're considering visiting my aunt and uncle in Tennessee.

No word yet from my friend in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Her power outage map says they're not even estimating restoration times. Hoping she's no worse than inconvenienced, either.

#101 ::: CZEdwards ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2012, 02:02 AM:

Oh, dear. This is Xopher's area, I believe. Previously concerned, now worried.

#102 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2012, 02:26 AM:

Ah. I just came over to wonder about Xopher. I shall instead knit, write small scale Boston-area storm articles, and fret more concretely.

#103 ::: Catherine Crockett ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2012, 03:00 AM:

Xopher posted to Facebook at 20:06 on Monday, he mentioned having power although it had gone off a couple of times earlier. He did sound very well prepared, I'll still be glad to hear from him when communications are brought back up.

#104 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2012, 10:17 AM:

Catherine Crockett (103): That was shortly before the highest tides. I hope he's okay, just temporarily incommunicado.

#105 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2012, 03:51 PM:

I just posted in the Updatery post, but to summarize, as of when I left for work (we're open 1-5), I had no power, internet or phone. Gas stove is working fine and I've got clean water. It looks like the building where I live lost several bushes (the windbreak by my patio and perhaps others) and at least one tree off to the side. The buns are fine, if a little confused about how I changed their schedule (so I could see to clean the litter box).

#106 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2012, 11:58 AM:

Also concerned about Xopher. Keeping him in my thoughts and prayers.

#107 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2012, 12:33 PM:

Above all else... being without power and heat and communication is, after a few days, just plain exhausting. I feel utterly worn out. I'm lucky, of course, compared to others. Over in Bklyn now at a friend's place recharging the electronics and taking a hot shower.

#108 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2012, 05:38 PM:

There are reports on other threads that Xopher is fine, and busy volunteering.

#109 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2012, 07:17 PM:

For future use:

Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area.

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