What Should I Do?

Irene: Pop Quiz in Preparedness

Friday, August 26, 2011, 4:43 PM

Ready or not, if you live along the US east coast, Mother Nature has just announced a pop quiz. Subject: personal and community resiliency.

By all accounts, Hurricane Irene is a big storm. The latest projections have it making landfall at North Carolina tomorrow around mid-day. From there it's expected to march northward up the east coast, impacting a long stretch of the country inhabited by 65 million - 1 in 5 of the people in the country. Mandatory evacuations in several states have already been announced, including the lower-lying boroughs of Manhattan.

Our thoughts are with our with our readers, staff, and family living in Irene's path. We hope you're all able to take appropriate steps to ensure your safety as the storm passes over (and if you haven't, we certainly recommend doing so before Irene arrives).

And we're setting up this thread for folks to use - for sharing preparation guidance, reporting developments, asking advice, and providing emotional support -  in advance of and during the storm.

Many of you have been investing in resiliency for months or years now. Take this experience as an opportunity to identify where the weaker points in your preparations are. When the storm has passed and normal life resumes, you'll know better where to focus your energies.

Also note how your neighbors and community react. Who is well-prepared and who isn't? Which neighbors weather the storm with good attitiudes and which ones panic? Are your city's/town's services well-equipped to respond? Are there breakdowns in responsiveness due to lack of investment/infrastructure/expertise? All of this will provide good insight into what to expect from your community in future emergencies - and how you may need to amend your plans in anticipation of what *not* to count on next time.

And if you're one of those who has yet to begin preparing in earnest, two things:

  • Read our What Should I Do? guide for direction on how best to focus your actions in the remaining time you have before Irene arrives in force. Prioritize securing sufficient water, food, and first-aid stores to last, should the storm knock out your power for two weeks.
  • Note how quickly store shelves deplete, as people rush to stock up in advance of the storm. Let this be a wake-up call to you. Emergencies, by definition, catch you unawares. As we enter a future where energy is less available to us, shortages of many kinds are likely to occur. When they do, they, too, will often arrive with little to no warning. Reduce your vulnerability by investing in your resiliency while you still have time to do so in a measured manner. And *don't* be one of those contributing to the risk of panic during an emergency by rushing out to stockpile at the last moment.

Again, we wish all of our east coast readers safety amidst whatever Mother Nature throws at you this weekend. We've taken steps to make sure this site remains updated and running, even if the power at Martenson Central goes out for prolonged periods.

As you're able, please let us know in the Comments section below how you're faring.

best,
Adam

Related content

92 Comments

dps's picture
dps
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
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Posts: 442
I'll be available in Broomfield, Colorado.

If anyone is unable to get on-line and wants to make a post, you may contact me in Colorado and I will make every effort to get your post up promptly.  I can be reached at 303-248-6677.  Obviously, you will at least need a phone that is operational, which may not be possible, but if you do, then I'm here.

Please take the storm seriously.  Katrina was not that long ago.  Remember those days.  Be prepared.

hugs ... dons

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Lessons Learned....

Already have some interesting observations to pass along and will post our Lessons Learned as soon as we are stable here in Va Beach.  Long story short:  Whatever your plan "is" on paper, it breaks almost as soon as theory becomes practice.  You must factor flexibility into your plan.

The first rain bands are starting to track back from the northeast and the wind is picking up so we are about ready for this roller coaster to take off.  Things are going to get pretty interesting in the next 12-18 hours.

See you on the other side....

ao's picture
ao
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Dogs_In_A_Pile

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Already have some interesting observations to pass along and will post our Lessons Learned as soon as we are stable here in Va Beach.  Long story short:  Whatever your plan "is" on paper, it breaks almost as soon as theory becomes practice.  You must factor flexibility into your plan.

The first rain bands are starting to track back from the northeast and the wind is picking up so we are about ready for this roller coaster to take off.  Things are going to get pretty interesting in the next 12-18 hours.

See you on the other side....

God bless Dogs. 

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capesurvivor
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Goodnight Irene

Good luck to you and your family, Dogs. Look forward to your post.

We're next Sunday AM.

CS

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Jbarney
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Good Idea

This is a great thread.  Not sure I like participating in it being right in the path of Irene, but here in the Northeast we don't get many of these.  I have not been too concerned, partly because in Vermont, we are going to get a lot of rain and some high winds, but this is nothing compared to what we have watched happen in the southern states over the years.  A Category 5 storm this is not. 

Still, I agree with the point of the thread, and find myself thinking about the final hours before this thing arrives.  It is summer time, so we don't have to worry about heat.  Both cars are full of gas.  We have plenty of food available for the next couple of weeks if we were to get it bad.  Candles, matches.....

So I find myself going through a mental checklist with Irene as though she were much larger....

And sadly, I don't think we are as prepared as we would need to be.

Preps to ponder I guess....

Jason

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butterflywoman
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good luck chris, dogs et al

good luck chris, dogs et al that are in irene's path.

one thing to think about is those of us not in irene's path will too be inpacted,

insurance companies will have large losses so rates will be affected, reginal supply chains will shift and shortages of lumber, generators etc may be felt in other areas, as they are rushed to the east coast, the power grid could trip again and we in michigan could experience blacks out this weekend too.

again god bless

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Jbarney
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Extreme Threat Area

Hi again,

Just was thinking that I have a couple of friends down in the New York and New Jersey area, hope they are taking the necessary steps to get prepared. 

On another note, I see that Chris's home is within the "Extreme" zone.  Not sure exactly which town it is, but I know he has mentioned a couple of times that he lives not far from VT Yankee, just over the border in Mass.  As I look at the Map, that "Extreme" zone does extend all the way into southern VT.

Hope everyone remains safe in your area.

Jason

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SagerXX
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We're over on the margin...

...of the "extreme" zone (New Paltz, NY), but I'm pretty confident we're going to get through fine. Of course, as Dogs noted and Robert Burns noted, the best-laid plans "gang aft agley.". So far the only real twist is that my wife & I are visiting family in Philly. But after some blueberry pancakes it's on the road. Home by 4 pm unless "gang" jumps up and bites us in the "aft.". Good luck everybody! Viva -- Sager

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RNcarl
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Oh well

Well,

I live about 30-35 miles west - northwest from where Irene has made landfall on the outer banks.

From the info I can get from local sources, my town has limited flooding and some trees down, of course the power is out but the devastation has mainly been at the coast. Some low lying towns have reported 3+ feet of flooding in the streets.

I have prepared. Food, water, gen-set, plenty of fuel.... personal protection devices.

I am watching the idiot "weathermen" standing outside in the middle of the blow, bracing against the wind. If they only knew how stupid they look.

It's a little worse than the storm last year but not as bad as others have told me that they have weathered.

Cell service is still up and thats the reason I can report on the conditions. I am hoping that by the end of the day today I can venture out to assess the damage.

It is bad for some, worse for others, as for me and mine, we are all well at this point.

SteveS's picture
SteveS
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Preparedness

I live about 40 miles west of DC so we aren't expecting too much. But I stopped by the grocery store last evening for my normal pick up of a few things. I should have been woken up when I couldn't find a shopping cart. But not till I saw the decimated vegetable aisles did it occur to me that people around me where doing the pre-storm panic buy. Of course, five years ago that might have been me too.

My wife just asked me if we needed to do anything to be ready for power outages etc. It felt so good to say ''Nope -we are covered."

Just need to take in a few things from the yard and settle back.

Good luck to all of you in the direct path.

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Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Update......

Tornadoes popping up everywhere out of bands in the northeastern quadrant.  Four on the ground since 7:30 AM, we are under our 5th warning since then.  Everyone along the path to the north need to be ready for the possibility of tornadoes, especially if you are in the eastern semicircle.

Doug's picture
Doug
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DIAP

Glad to see you're still ok.  Are you getting heavy rain/flooding?  The msm is showing flooding in NC, and one is speculating on storm surging up the James R. and presumably Chesapeake Bay.  Is there any effect in those areas yet?

Best of luck.  Glad you're prepped.

Doug

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Dogs_In_A_Pile
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So far so good....

Doug wrote:

Glad to see you're still ok.  Are you getting heavy rain/flooding?  The msm is showing flooding in NC, and one is speculating on storm surging up the James R. and presumably Chesapeake Bay.  Is there any effect in those areas yet?

Best of luck.  Glad you're prepped.

Doug

Doug -

3.5 inches of rain since 7 AM, another 10-12 inches expected.  Lots of rainwater buildup on the roads - so far no reports of tidal surge flooding, but high tide is later this evening so that will change.  Wind has been 35-45 mph sustained as the bands roll through, we have been warned to expect 75-90 mph sustained when the eye gets here in about 4 hours.  One leak in our kitchen right now, not sure where it's coming from, not too concerned about finding it yet. 

All of the local forecasts and news channels are talking about a 4-8 foot surge being pushed into the Bay and up the James.  Back Bay (just south of us) has spilled over and is pushing into the surrounding swamps marshes.

Unfortunately, we had our first storm related fatality last night - a surfer dude tourist was knocked off his feet in waist deep water by a 9 knot rip current and drowned.  He was 15 feet from the shore when he got caught up.  So much for shredding that last gnar.

Power has been flickering, expect to lose it later this afternoon.  Winds are starting to pick up and the house is making sounds I haven't heard since Isabel in 2003.  All egress routes out of Virginia Beach are now closed - Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to teh Eastern Shore, Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel to Newport News/Hampton/Richmond, Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel to Newport News, James River Bridge to Jamestown, 460 into the Northern neck is flooded in various places and pretty much impassable.

Lots of broken tree branches blowing around right now, so far not too big, but we'll see what starts blowing around in the next few hours.

Any word from robie yet?  He's far enough to the west so all he's may get is some rain and maybe a little wind.

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robie robinson
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All is fine in Amelia county

Will probably have to move my fall garden back up the hill. If we get the 3+" of rain there'll be a wash. Interestingly, our flock of Katahdins are grazing in the wind and rain as though it was perfectly normal.

Robie( if any of yawl need to bug out send pm)

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joemanc
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Awaiting the storm

We're getting the worst of the storm late tonight into tomorrow morning in Western CT. I'm very concerned about flooding. I've measured 11 inches of rain this month alone. The normal is 3.5 inches or so. If we get another 11, my basement may become an indoor pond. Hopefully the 2 sump pumps(electric and off the city water) work out. Glad the worst is happening during the day tomorrow. I'd have a sleepness night otherwise.

I've been talking to some folks who made it out to the grocery stores and they said they were crowded and being emptied out. No bottled water, no batteries, empty shelves.  No worries on that front for me. I loaded up my generator with fuel earlier in the week when the storm was first projected to come up this way and have extra fuel ready to go. I'm now hearing some gas stations are running out of fuel. No surprise there. Better to prepare early and often. I've mentioned to several of my neighbors that I have a generator and if they need anything, water, cooking, etc to come on over. Just bring extra fuel.

Stay safe everyone.

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JAG
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Jealous

Not to sound too crazy, but I find myself a little bit jealous here on the hot, dry Gulf coast. There is just nothing like Mother Nature to put your life into perspective.

Stay safe guys and enjoy the break from the daily grind. 

All the best...Jeff

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Dealing with insurance
After the wind dies down the insurance adjusters will arrive.  As a victim of Hurricane Ike and the adjusters (many of whom are part time and/or beginners) I would advise you  to wait, if you can afford to, or take a partial payment and sign NO releases.  Wait until you know the true extent of your damages and the terms of your policy and get every penny you are entitled to.
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Irene Knocking At the Doors Of Spouses Not On Board

Hopefuly this is the wake-up call for those whose spouses are not on board yet. After all, if blizzards and nor'easters knock out power and heat, if Hurricane Katrina can wreak havoc, tornadoes can rip through Alabama, and even East Coasters can get an earthquake like the one earlier this week, what exactly are they waiting for?!?

Poet

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Irene

Just across the border in Eastern Canada in the "low" threat level zone, which still means the biggest storm this year ~3 inches of rain in total and a fair bit of wind Saturday night, all day Sunday and Monday morning. Hard to imagine what some of you people are going through right now and will go through in the next couple days, but everyone stay safe on the whole East Coast.

Also, watched the full After Armageddon the other day. Great Documentary.

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capesurvivor
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Spouses

Funny you should bring that up, Poet. I am pretty prepared here on Cape Cod except for power outage. We have several fruiting plansts..lemon, lime, fig, on our deck out back. I suggested we bring them in last night when things were fine. My spouse, an anti-prepper, said to wait and see what happens. i said I'd rather bring them in now, not in a windy downpour.

To make a usual story short, we brought them in this AM in a heavy downpour. 

CS

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idoctor
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I can tell you from

I can tell you from experience from our EF5 (talk of it being an EF6) tornado losing so many trees is awful. Here in Joplin,Mo we not only lost 30% of our city which there is nothing left of the loss of so many trees has made the wind & dust...plus all the ground up glass hard to live with. Lots of strange weather these days. Hope everyone is out of harms way. Death count now up to 160 in Joplin.

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SagerXX
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Home safe...

...from Philly and done pillaging the garden and bringing in the lawn chairs, etc. Calm before the storm now. But we're ready. The pop quiz gets underway here sometime around 3-4 a.m. Appreciating the reports from CMers up and down the EC. I'll be submitting mine as long as the cell net stays up. V/S

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joemanc
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Electricity

I read somewhere yesterday that nuclear plants are required to be shut down when winds are forecasted to hit 74mph.  So we may not only not have electricity if trees start tumbling onto power lines, we may not even have electricity being generated. Although I don't know what the restart time is for a nuclear reactor. Assuming they aren't damaged.  I wish it was 5pm tomorrow when the storm has passed the area just to not have to go through this suspense and torture.

Good night everyone, talk to you tomorrow, hopefully.

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cmartenson
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Storm Preps

Like 65 million other people, the 5 people in my family are facing a pretty good blow.  As luck would have it the latest storm track has the eye pretty much passing over our house.  Of course, that will probably change, and there really won't be an eye by the time it gets this far inland, but all the same, whatever this storm has left is going to pass over us the long way.

Right now, with 240-mile radius gale force winds, this means a nearly 500-mile chunk of 39+ MPH winds if you cut through the storm's middle to the other side.  The way I calcualte it, even if the storm breaks up and travels at 50 MPH, that leaves us with roughly 10 hours of high winds, and a lot of rain.  And if it stalls or goes slower....

At any rate, our preparations, such as they were, were mostly complete yesterday.  All we needed was a little ice to fill in the voids in the freezer (easier to cool, stays cool longer without power), topped off a few 5-gallon gas cans in case anyone needs some for their generator, and bought a rack of Klondike bars.  Hey, it was a grueling trip to the store, what can I say?

We feel really good about all of our prior preparations and have very little to do around here except wait.  We did clean up around the outside with an eye towards anything that could become airborn, but other than that, not much besides pick all the ripe vegetables and fruit (peaches, yum) that might otherwise end up wasted.

I also feel really good from the feedback from those I know who have been steadily preparing for other circumstances; they all feel wonderfully ready for a power outage as compared to how they would have been before.  No worries, plenty of material prepations in store, ready for use.  

Of course, we will all discover things that we could or should have done better, but our lists will be shorter than most and (this is the kicker) deficiencies will most likely be tended to whereas most people will instead forget to remedy their shortcomings.

So best of luck to everyone in the path.  We're good here at Martenson Central, and the kids are very much excited and looking forward to this storm.  

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Woodman
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Storm Preps

We've been very busy with most of my years supply of corn, potatos, peach, tomatos to be harvested anyway, and the storm has expedited that.  The dehydrator is running full steady.  On top of that, a batch of chicks just hatched yesterday; that's a mission critical item to keep their light bulb heater going in the brooder, so I have backup systems for that.  Even if this doesn't hit hard in Maine, I'll try not waste the opportunity to test and implement preparations rather than take a chance.  Good luck to all.

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Damnthematrix
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Has anything like this ever happened before?

Has anything like this ever happened before?  I mean, NY is as far from the equator as Tasmania is in Australia, and if a Cyclone headed for Tasmania, surely the meteorologists of the world would be scratching their heads.....

Personally, I can't help but feel that this is a major departure from "normal" climate, and that this might be the very first sign of serious climate disruption.....

As someone who's been through a couple of storms like this downunder, I can say my thoughts are with all my American friends.. stay safe, and good luck!  If ever prepping will pay off this is surely it...

Mike

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Damnthematrix
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good luck

cmartenson wrote:

Like 65 million other people, the 5 people in my family are facing a pretty good blow.  As luck would have it the latest storm track has the eye pretty much passing over our house.  Of course, that will probably change, and there really won't be an eye by the time it gets this far inland, but all the same, whatever this storm has left is going to pass over us the long way.

Hi Chris, when I saw the storm path went straight through Massachusetts, I did instantly think of you!

I've never been through an eye, but my wife's cousin has, TWICE, and he says it's a truly weird experience....  first, the wind steadily builds up for hours to whatever the maximum speed is (in his case, Yasi was 200MPH!), then the wind totally stops all of a sudden and the sun shines.. and no rain of course.  But the unexpected, even if totally logical bit is, when you hit the other side, there is no build up, the wind suddenly hits you at maximum speed...  so don't get complacent when it all suddenly stops, he reckons the shock of going from no wind to 200MPH almost instantaneously was the most shcking thing he's ever experienced.  And whatever you do....  don't go outside to check it out!

Again....  good luck to you all.  That's if you still have the power to read this ;-)

Mike

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SPAM_ferralhen
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while i had power today i

while i had power today i canned and freezed garden jewels, and got the laundry done

i have a solar powered freezer and computer among other things...

i just can't put all that work into the garden to have the power go out and ruin it .

i'm not sure why you all are relying on gasoline generators when you think peak oil is here. solar is here

i  planned for no gas no electricity as i head into the sunset of my life

also just finished my moveable greenhouse....well don't know if it will move but the fresh salad this winter will be nice

i'm zone 5

take care , please survive and then get ready....this was only a test

Doug's picture
Doug
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DTM

Quote:

Has anything like this ever happened before? I mean, NY is as far from the equator as Tasmania is in Australia, and if a Cyclone headed for Tasmania, surely the meteorologists of the world would be scratching their heads.....

Personally, I can't help but feel that this is a major departure from "normal" climate, and that this might be the very first sign of serious climate disruption.....

This event is not unprecedented, although it has apparently been a few decades since the last hurricane hammered the east coast this far north.  As we all know, a single weather event cannot be solely attributable to climate change, but the cumulative bizarre weather we've had the last couple years does have climatologists wondering.  As one put it, the question is not whether a weather event was caused by climate change.  The question should be to what extent a weather event is attributable to climate change.

As it is turning out, this hurricane is not a particularly windy one, but it is massive, slow moving and is dumping a lot of water.  We're hearing reports of over a foot of rain in many locations.  I would be concerned if I lived in a particularly flat area, an area subject to flash floods or a flood zone in the storm's path.

Doug

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ao
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Hurricane Donna

Damnthematrix wrote:

Has anything like this ever happened before?  I mean, NY is as far from the equator as Tasmania is in Australia, and if a Cyclone headed for Tasmania, surely the meteorologists of the world would be scratching their heads.....

Personally, I can't help but feel that this is a major departure from "normal" climate, and that this might be the very first sign of serious climate disruption.....

Nothing that hasn't happened in this area before.  I remember Hurricane Donna in 1960.  We had sustained wind speeds of 105 mph in the NYC area and a storm surge of 11 ft.  In the woods behind our house in central New Jersey, in a grove of old red oaks, at least 3 large oaks with trunks 5 ft. in diameter were uprooted.  Their root systems were so large that small ponds were formed where their roots were pulled up with the soil.  My great aunt had a house on Long Beach Island (one of New Jersey's barrier islands) that was in the center of the island well inland from the beach.  They watched a wave devastate the house across the street from them.  The only reason their house was spared was because that house broke the largest wave and the storm subsided from that point on.  Donna was quite a storm, worse than this one.

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Poet
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Sage Advice

An acquaintance of mine in Massachusetts said he walked around his house taking pictures just in case he needed "before" pictures.

Also, he walked around the neighborhood with a spade and a stick, checking storm drains and making sure they are cleared to take away run-off. He pulled out clumps of dirt and weeds.

This guy is smart!

Poet

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Still got power

I was barely able to sleep last night. I've been up since 4:30 and I still got power here just after 7AM. The power has gone out twice for a couple of seconds, but that's it, knock on wood. This hurricane doesn't seem to be as bad as Gloria in 1985. I think we're at 170K in power outages for the state, Gloria caused 700K. We still got a few hours to go, but the storm is weakening, so my guess is whatever we have seen, it won't get any worse here and for those of your farther north than me.

One thing I picked up and I need to do is to walk around my house in the dark, so I can familiarize myself with where things are in case I don't have my Lantern with me.

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Big fat raindrops

Joe, I'm glad to hear that the storm didn't hit you guys hard.  It also makes me hopeful for others here at CM on the East coast, as well as family who lives on the north eastern coast.

Here in Central NY we're just getting big fat raindrop drizzle (we are NOT near NYC; I'm not sure what their story is now weather-wise).  I haven't checked the latest local weather updates yet to see if they are calling for more rain, and are still warning re chance of flooding, or if this is it.

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pinecarr
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Hmmmm....

Ok, so just checked weather.com and am now pondering that big red swatch across Central NY...think I'll go check local news now... 

Northeast U.S. Threat Level
 

I checked the local news station on tv.  There are warnings about potential wind gusts (but nothing outrageous; maybe 35-44 mph) and still posting flood watches.  But they don't seem all that worked up about it here, at least. 

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The sun is up in VA

miles of fence to be ridden,trees to be removed. The garden didn't wash away but stood firm holding much water.

Has anyone heard from DIAP? 2million outa power in VA. We're fine but burning diesel to generate electricity.

Robie,husband,father,farmer,optometrist 

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capesurvivor
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freezer

Wind picking up here on Cape Cod.

Ferralhen, some time could you post info on solar-powered freezer that works for you?

CS 

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thc0655
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Center City Philadelphia

A-OK here.  The worst has passed.  Now we just have to see if the strong but diminishing winds cause any more damage. Rivers supposed to crest about 8 pm, so we're going to walk down and see the Schuykill about then.  Just wind and rain, kinda anticlimactic.  We didn't lose power (since falling tree limbs seem to cause the most outages, we're low threat because of so few trees).  The massive, old maple in my neighbor's backyard which shades our deck is completely intact.  The fragile spar pear in our sidewalk out front lost a big branch a month ago in a normal thunderstorm (landed on MY car without damaging it).  Overnight it seems to have lost 20% of its leaves, but that's all. Good luck.

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robie robinson
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we've had

an 8cu.' "sundanzer" 12volt freezer for a couple years and are happy

robie

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SagerXX
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Nothing much doing here

Windy, rainy, no biggie. Our (pea gravel) front walk is going to mostly wash away (a lot of it is already 150 feet away on the street). But that's it. Granted, we're still a couple of hours from the center of the storm. Guess I have some shovel work to fix the walk tomorrow.

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cmartenson
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A-OK so far

Just a lot of rain, and some relatively minor wind...still a few hours away but the local forecast is diminishing not increasing by the hour.

Have about 3-4 inches of rain so far judging by the straight tub in the yard.  Like Joe, power has blinked once, but remains on.  So far so good!

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Jbarney
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Always A Chance

FROM DAMNTHEMATRIX:Personally, I can't help but feel that this is a major departure from "normal" climate, and that this might be the very first sign of serious climate disruption.....

The Northeast has always been on the "extreme" edge of hurricanes.  While it is usually unlikely that one will come this far north, it is not unheard of.  I can remember in the late 1990s hurricane Floyd was still at Tropical Storm status when it reached Vermont.  I can't remember the name of the storm, but wasn't there one in late 80s or early 1990s that destroyed part of the Bush's home up in Maine?  The northeast is not that far removed from these storms.  Certainly the south gets more of them by far, and gets hit much more often, but this is not unique.

With respect to the climate change aspect of your post, I think we are already well into it.  Human made or not.  I used to be able to rattle off the statistics, but there are so many now it is pointless to keep track.  Just this year Vermont experienced its snowiest February on record, followed by the wettest April and May.  (I believe I have that right)  Not to mention the size of the snow storms up here has become crazy.  It is something like half of the 10 largest storms on record have been in the last 10 years. 

But I wouldn't take this one storm as "the" departure mark from the weather/climate norm.  Things have been changing.  They will continue to change.  At this point it is a matter of trying to keep up with the changes. 

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joemanc
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Update

I still have power. I just lost it again for a couple of seconds. I'm assuming some section of town gets knocked out each time that happens. We're now over 500K power outages for the state, surpassing the '85 cane. We're a heavily wooded state. I just shake my head when people complain about the power company over doing it when it comes to preventative pruning branches/trees near power lines. Followed by complaining that they have no power now, possibly up to a week.

My rain gauge tipped over after 5 inches. I'm guessing we ended up with 6+, and 17+ for the month. Incredible. The rain could have been much, much worse though.

I heard from Dogs - he lost power last night. I'm sure he's catching up on his scotch in the meantime.

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capesurvivor
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not bad

Pretty breezy, rain, water in roads near beaches but still have power. Everyone out gawking at surf and water. Tree limbs down but not bad here on Cape Cod. Not a main event for me.

Local pizza joint still open.

CS

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Doug
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Hurricane Agnes

In June 1972 Hurricane Agnes came ashore in the Fla. panhandle and headed north basically following the Appalachian chain.  It brought devastating rain to PA and the Finger Lakes region of western NY.  Elmira was flooded for several blocks away from the river.  The Mt. Morris dam on the Genesee River came within inches of overtopping, something completely unheard of before or since.  It eventually went over Lake Ontario and into Canada before dying out.

It reached about as far north as Hurricane Irene is reaching now, and did it largely overland and earlier than the normal hurricane season.  The attached Wikipedia article shows the eye going back out into the ocean at N. Carolina and going ashore again around NYC before heading NW.  Interesting that that path is not reflected in the rainfall map.  That shows heaviest rainfall amounts through PA and western NY.

I think by any measure that storm was much more freakish and damaging than Irene.

Doug

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Agnes

Quote:
The large disturbance was first detected over the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico on June 14. The system drifted eastward and became a tropical depression later that day and a tropical storm over the northwestern Caribbean on the 16th. Agnes turned northward on June 17 and became a hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico the next day. A continued northward motion brought Agnes to the Florida Panhandle coast on June 19 as a Category 1 hurricane.

Agnes turned northeastward after landfall and weakened to a depression over Georgia. However, it regained tropical storm strength over eastern North Carolina on June 21 and moved into the Atlantic later that day. A northwestward turn followed, and a just-under-hurricane-strength Agnes made a final landfall on June 22 near New York City. The storm merged with a non-tropical low on June 23, with the combined system affecting the northeastern United States until June 25.[1]

[edit] Impact

Agnes Rainfall Across the East

Agnes was barely a hurricane at landfall in Florida, and the effects of winds and storm surges were relatively minor. The major impact was over the Mid-Atlantic region, where Agnes combined with a non-tropical low to produce widespread rains of 6 to 12 inches (300 mm) with local amounts up to 19 inches (480 mm) in western Schuylkill County in Pennsylvania.[2] These rains produced widespread severe flooding from Virginia northward to New York, with other flooding occurring over the western portions of the Carolinas. (from Hurricane Agnes Rainfall and Floods, June–July 1972)

Death Tolls by Area
Area Deaths
Canada 2
Cuba 9
Florida 9
North Carolina 2
Virginia 13
Delaware 1
Maryland 19
New Jersey 1
New York 24
Pennsylvania 50
Total 130

Some of the worst flooding was along the Genesee River, the Canisteo River, and the Chemung River in southwestern and south central New York. The latter two flow into the Susquehanna River, and most of the severe flooding took place throughout the Chesapeake/Susquehanna watershed. Flooding set a flood record at, and threatened to overtop, the Conowingo Dam near the mouth of the Susquehanna in Maryland. The worst urban damage occurred in Elmira, New York and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, but many other communities along the rivers suffered great losses. Dick Baumbach, a reporter for The Elmira Star Gazette, covered the hurricane and almost lost his life while he was attempting to take a photograph of the very rapidly rising flood waters in Wellsburg, New York. He went on to be awarded the Associated Press Meritorious Service Award for his coverage of the hurricane. The Delaware River and Potomac River basins also had some flooding. So much fresh water was flushed into Chesapeake Bay that its seafood industry was badly damaged for several years; freshwater intolerant species such as jellyfish became largely non-existent in the upper and mid bay.[3]

Rainfall in the Piedmont regions of Maryland and Virginia caused extensive flooding in the Patapsco, Potomac and James River basins. Areas along the James west of Richmond and east of the Blue Ridge Mountains received massive amounts of rainfall that exceeded the rains of Hurricane Camille three years prior. The river experienced five-hundred year flooding levels, inundating downtown Richmond and causing millions of dollars in damages.[4] The swollen Patapsco River swept away houses and ten miles (16 km) of train tracks, blocking at one point every transportation route southward out of Baltimore into neighboring Anne Arundel County, Maryland toward Annapolis.[5] Maryland had the highest per capita death toll of all five states declared disaster areas by President Nixon (Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York). Extensive flooding was recorded even as far inland as Pittsburgh and throughout the Ohio River Valley, where rivers crested 11 feet (3.4 m) above flood stage on June 24 after nearly a foot of rain fell in parts of Western Pennsylvania over the course of three days.[6]

Agnes caused 122 deaths in the United States. Nine of these were in Florida (mainly from severe thunderstorms) while the remainder were associated with the flooding. The storm was responsible for $2.1 billion in damage (1972 US dollars) in the United States, the vast majority of which came from the flooding.[7] Of this, over $2 billion was in Pennsylvania, and $700 million in New York.[8] Agnes also affected western Cuba, where seven additional deaths occurred.

At the time it hit, Agnes was the costliest storm ever to impact the United States.[9] Currently, after adjustment for inflation, Agnes is the seventh costliest storm in United States history with a total of $11.6 billion (2005 US dollars).[10] It is still the worst natural disaster, in terms of damages and lives lost, in Pennsylvania's history.[9]

In Canada, Hurricane Agnes gave heavy rains and winds over southern Ontario and southern Quebec, causing numerous floodings around Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. In the town of Maniwaki, Quebec, the storm toppled a mobile home, killing two people.[11]

Agnes had a devastating impact on the already-bankrupt railroads in the northeastern United States, as lines were washed out and shipments were delayed. The resulting cost of repairing the damage was one of the factors leading to the creation of the federally financed Conrail railroad system.

The severe floods near Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania were the catalyst for the construction of the Tioga Reservoir in 1973. The flooding in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and the adjacent town of Kingston led to the construction of a levee system that in 2006 successfully prevented massive flooding and, in the same year, was deemed very safe and protective by the Army Corps of Engineers. Conversely, the existing Kinzua Dam, built against the wishes of the Seneca Nation of New York, spared much of Western Pennsylvania from the worst flooding, by filling the Allegheny Reservoir to capacity.

Doug

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SagerXX
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At the risk of jinxing myself...

...I'll go ahead and say it's over here in New Paltz. Wind has died down and rain is tapering. New Paltz has closed the streets to both foot and vehicular traffic and there will be some serious-to-major flooding in a couple places but we're nowhere near any of that. Power has been fine, although there's chances that trees can fall even without wind if the earth they're rooted in is wet enough so I guess we could worry about that for the next 24 hours...if I was the type of person who needed something to worry about. Maybe I'll fret about how Dogs & Cat are doing instead. Viva -- Sager

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Mark_BC
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Damnthematrix

Damnthematrix wrote:

Personally, I can't help but feel that this is a major departure from "normal" climate, and that this might be the very first sign of serious climate disruption.....

My colleague was up in the Arctic for a few weeks until a couple days ago collecting marine specimens, he's been going up almost every summer for the last 25 years or so. He couldn't believe how warm the water was at 5 C rather than the usual 0 C, and there was basically NO ice anywhere. He had to go a long way to find ice to pack them. He has seen without question that there are major changes happening in the Arctic over the years, confirmed by scientific observation.

http://www.nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

On another note, I watched idoctor's After Armageddon link last night, that was very interesting. But in that situation the population went down due to disease, whereas the problem we now have is a Malthusian collapse where the population is too high and we no longer have cheap abundant fossil fuels or the organizational structures to facilitate the precarious modern food production and distribution system. So some of the problems may be worse than described in the video (crime, scarcity of stuff), others not so bad (not so many dying people everywhere, and I don't think gasoline will disappear, it will just be rationed and really expensive, since the US still produces a significant amount of oil internally, just not enough to power everyone to commute to work along LA freeways).

It made me seriously think about security which I have been thinking more about lately but I haven't done much specifically to plan for it. Solar panels aren't very useful if they just attract looters. It's time to get some firearms and I also think we will invest in a little boat, maybe even a 30' sailboat that can move without fossil fuels, so we can escape up the coast if needed, I know lots of great places we could hunker down and survive in almost indefinitely. There's a lot of Americans from the west coast, especially LA, that may be heading north after a collapse looking for greener pastures and we are there.

Good luck to everyone on the east coast.

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SagerXX
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Posts: 2106
....aaaand....

....the power just went out. I kid you not. [grin]

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Quercus bicolor
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Posts: 234
We've been w/o power since

We've been w/o power since about 9:30 AM (near Albany, NY).  We're over at my brother's house right now where there is power.  A crew was working on the lines about 3/4 mile from our house, so we'll likely have power in a bit.  The biggest gaps in our summer time preps could be filled by the following (in order of priority, ease of implementation, expense):

  1. more drinking water storage containers.
  2. rain barrels to make getting wash/toilet water easier.  There was no problem today.  I just put out the big 100 gallon recycling can the town gave us at the roof drip line.  We now have that plus a bathtub full.
  3. 2-3 200W solar panels plus a 12-24V low power chest freezer and fridge down in the basement where summertime temperatures are in the mid sixties and they'll draw very little power.
  4. A second well with a quality hand pump and possible solar electric back up - connected directly to the current plumbing.
  5. Enough extra power from the panels/batteries to run a few led lights inside.

#3 and 4 would cost the most, but could provide lots of benefits.

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Damnthematrix
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Posts: 3998
Has this ever happened before?

The reason I originally asked "Has this ever happened before?" is because storms like this NEVER EVER reach so far from the equator in Australia, and quite likely the whole Southern Hemisphere......  As I said, should a Cyclone ever reach Tasmania.... well we would all be wondering what the hell is going on!

This storm was a bit of a pup by the look of things on the news..  I find it interesting that some your reports of rainfall look just like ordinary rain to me.  We got 4 inches of rain over the weekend, and it "just rained".  Our tanks are full again - 12,000 gallons!  We once had 10 inches in two hours here, now THAT's a downpour!!

Here on our news they keep talking about the 1921 Hurricane that hit NY and another in 1878 (?) when hardly anyone lived there compared to now... Manhattan was covered in 13ft of water apparently.  So I withdraw the question.. thanks to everyone who responded, glad to hear everyone is safe.

Mike

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