7 a.m. Monday,October 29, 2012 – It’s the calm before the storm………..A few weeks ago, the National Hurricane Centre in the United States began watching a new tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean which morphed into a Hurricane they named Sandy. Last week, Hurricane Sandy hit Haiti and other Caribbean islands and was responsible for around 65 deaths. Now, it’s set to make landfall today near New York City with its trajectory aimed right towards my area. The media had dubbed this hurricane ‘Frankenstorm’ or ‘the Perfect Storm’ or ‘the Storm of the Century’ or a ‘monster storm’ and even a ‘Superstorm’………… to be sure, Hurricane Sandy is a very dangerous storm – ‘they’ are saying possibly worse than Hurricane Katrina. Right now, it’s around 1400 km. (870 miles) wide and is about to collide with two winter storm systems from the north making it even more destructive. Over 80 million people will be affected by Sandy. Emergency Preparedness authorities (Red Cross), private groups, and governments in both the U.S. and Canada have advised people to be prepared for extensive damages, long power outages, rain/snow, flooding, etc. and stock up on food and water for at least 3 days. Heck, New York City closed its schools and transit system down – well almost the entire city shut down today and even the New York Stock Exchange is closed today! The entire area in the storm’s path is shutting down – interstate highways, air travel, trains, businesses……. I just heard that the Nova Scotia-built Tall Ship, HMS Bounty was caught in the storm’s high seas off the shore of North Carolina and the crew was forced to abandon ship into a couple of life-rafts when they started taking on water.
Before Faye left for home on Sunday, we talked about the approaching storm and practical things to do like moving patio furniture indoors, filling the car with gas, having extra food and cash on hand, etc. Yesterday, Melvin and I cleaned the last of the maple leaves from the eavestroughs so the rain water could actual flow through. I have already connected extensions to the bottom of the downspouts to keep the water away from my house. My outdoor chairs have already been stored for the winter. And my youngest kids dub me a ‘prepper’ just because I like to have supplies on hand at all times. I have my cookstove to heat the house and cook on plus my outdoor chimnea with its own grill, so I think I’m pretty well set for whatever Mother Nature throws at us this week. Besides, I lived through the 1998 Ice Storm with no electricity for 2 weeks in the middle of the winter with 4 young children. Today I’ll get Melvin to start up the generator and go to town for a few cans of gas…… I expect that the wind will be the most destructive in our area.
Presently, it is predicted that Hurricane Sandy will make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane and quickly become a tropical storm as it treks inland. Storm surges along the Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes are going to be destructive. The Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) says that “it is important to emphasize that impacts from post-tropical Sandy extend over an extremely large area well away from the storm center”. In our area, wind gust are expected around 60 km/hr gusting up to 90 km/hr. The CHC says that “These wind gusts have the potential to cause broken tree limbs or in some cases uprooted trees which may result in downed utility lines. Residual falling leaves can also obstruct storm water drainage systems along roadways particularly in urban areas. This combined with heavy rainfall could increase the risk of flooding in some areas”. Expected rainfall will be around 40 mm (almost 2 inches) down from the initial 100 mm predicted yesterday.
It boggles my mind how the ‘authorities’ can impose mandatory evacuations while scores of news reporters remain right in harm’s way, reporting ‘Live’ from the scene, often being literally blown away!
7 p.m. Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : Well it blew like crazy last night – winds gusted to 75 km (46 miles)/hr ! It started around suppertime and by bedtime, it sounded like a train was going right past the house…….. all night long! Surprisingly, our power didn’t go out. I had filled up several buckets with water to flush the toilet just in case. Today was still windy but bright and sunny. The river was so churned up that it’s colour changed to brown. In the back yard, we had a maple limb fall off into the garden and the top half of a willow snap in half…… and alot of my leaves blew away. Not too bad. The people in New York City and New Jersey were not so lucky as Sandy made landfall just shy of hurricane status with destructive storm surges and power outages even damaging power, subway, and city infrastructure.
Tomorrow, we are supposed to get rain (and maybe snow by Friday) for the rest of the week as we continue to feel the effects of post-tropical storm Sandy. Hopefully my Granchildren will still be able to dress up and go out ‘trick or treating’……..