• What Should I Do?
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    Irene: Pop Quiz in Preparedness

    by Adam Taggart

    Friday, August 26, 2011, 8:43 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

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92 Comments

  • Fri, Aug 26, 2011 - 9:48pm

    #1

    dps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 27 2008

    Posts: 150

    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

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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 1:32am

    #2

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 816

    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….

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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 2:33am

    Reply to #2
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 1018

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    [quote=Dogs_In_A_Pile]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….
    [/quote]
    God bless Dogs. 

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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 2:35am

    Reply to #2
    capesurvivor

    capesurvivor

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 12 2008

    Posts: 220

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 12:14pm

    #3
    butterflywoman

    butterflywoman

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    Posts: 9

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 12:23pm

    #4

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 199

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 12:29pm

    #5

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 199

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 12:47pm

    #6

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 411

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 12:56pm

    #7

    RNcarl

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 13 2008

    Posts: 179

    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.

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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 12:56pm

    #8
    SteveS

    SteveS

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 06 2008

    Posts: 35

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 1:59pm

    #9

    idoctor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 05 2008

    Posts: 33

     

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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 3:04pm

    #10

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 816

    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.

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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 3:16pm

    #11
    Doug

    Doug

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    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1385

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 3:39pm

    Reply to #11

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 816

    So far so good....

    [quote=Doug]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
    [/quote]
    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 3:58pm

    Reply to #11
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 923

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 4:39pm

    #12
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 4:58pm

    #13

    JAG

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 26 2008

    Posts: 241

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 5:04pm

    Reply to #2
    ohmart

    ohmart

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    Posts: 0

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 7:25pm

    #14

    Poet

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 977

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 8:35pm

    #15
    Kid-Canada

    Kid-Canada

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    Joined: Aug 04 2011

    Posts: 1

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 9:11pm

    Reply to #14
    capesurvivor

    capesurvivor

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 12 2008

    Posts: 220

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 9:38pm

    #16

    idoctor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 05 2008

    Posts: 33

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 9:39pm

    #17

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 411

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 11:22pm

    #18
    joemanc

    joemanc

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    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    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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  • Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - 11:54pm

    #19

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4966

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 12:24am

    Reply to #19

    Tom Page

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 26 2008

    Posts: 266

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 12:45am

    #20

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 12:54am

    Reply to #19

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    good luck

    [quote=cmartenson]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.[/quote]
    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 2:07am

    #21
    liz cowen

    liz cowen

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2009

    Posts: 132

    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

     

     

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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 2:16am

    #22
    Doug

    Doug

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    Posts: 1385

    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…..[/quote]

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 3:32am

    Reply to #20
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 1018

    Hurricane Donna

    [quote=Damnthematrix]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…..
    [/quote]
    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 6:50am

    #23

    Poet

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 977

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 11:17am

    #24
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 11:34am

    #25

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1100

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 12:02pm

    #26

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1100

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 12:08pm

    Reply to #26
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 923

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 12:55pm

    Reply to #21
    capesurvivor

    capesurvivor

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 12 2008

    Posts: 220

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 12:58pm

    #27

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1649

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 1:02pm

    Reply to #21
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 923

    we've had

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

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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 1:27pm

    #28

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 411

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 2:35pm

    #29

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4966

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 3:12pm

    Reply to #20

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 199

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 3:19pm

    #30
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 4:10pm

    Reply to #30
    capesurvivor

    capesurvivor

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 12 2008

    Posts: 220

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 4:48pm

    #31
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1385

    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.[/quote]

    Doug

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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 5:08pm

    #32

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 411

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 5:20pm

    Reply to #20

    Mark_BC

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2010

    Posts: 341

    Damnthematrix

    [quote=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…..
    [/quote]
    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 5:30pm

    Reply to #32

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 411

    ....aaaand....

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

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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 6:27pm

    #33

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 286

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 8:24pm

    #34

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    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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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 9:34pm

    Reply to #34

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 199

    Damnthematrix wrote:The

    [quote=Damnthematrix]
    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
    [/quote]
    Hi,
    It is a good question though, because it is rare for storms like this one to get this far north.  Sorry if any of our responses were short or curt, they weren’t meant to be.
    Southern VT has more damage than northern VT.
    Here in northern VT the power has flicked on and off three times in the last 15 minutes.  We are still getting some strong rain…and the winds have really picked up.  Trees are bending a bit, leaves are really flapping.  But if that is the extent of it….oh well….power will probably go out for a longer period of time if this wind keeps up.
     
    Peace,
    Jason
     

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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 9:46pm

    #35

    Erik T.

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 05 2008

    Posts: 214

    25 FREE CRASH COURSE DVDs FOR FIRST IRENE SURVIVOR TO CLAIM THEM

    The storm appears to be losing energy quickly now, and should not pose any new threats beyond a typical New England wind storm. We got lucky here on the coast of Maine, where we’ve yet to experience a full gale. I hope everyone else south of me who was more directly affected by the storm survived ok and learned something new about their own preparedness from the experience.

    It occurs to me that the aftermath of an event like this is a perfect time for all of us to spread the word about the Crash Course to our friends and neighbors. People are much more receptive to the "it pays to be prepared" message in a time like this. So I’m posting this note as the storm loses steam over northern Vermont/New Hampshire, to encourage everyone who lives in areas affected by the storm to pass the word about the crash course. The more we can do to help others see the need to prepare, the more we mitigate the panic/mayhem effect that is certain to accompany a major systemic shock to the global economic system.

    To promote this idea of using this crisis to get our neighbors to wake up and watch the Crash Course, I would like to donate 25 copies of the (first version, not the deluxe boxed set) of the Crash Course on DVD to the first Irene survivor to claim them with a reply to this thread. But wait, there are rules! To qualify, you must:

    • Live in an area directly affected by Irene, and have experienced the storm yourself personally
    • Be willing to actually spend the time it takes to reach out to friends and neighbors, and convince them that it’s really worth their time to watch the CC. I worked hard with several other volunteers to produce these DVDs on an amazingly short schedule, and I have some sweat equity attachment to them. I’m not willing to have them left out on a street corner with a "FREE" sign on them, for example. Please only respond if you are willing to be an ambassador of the CC in your community, and do your best to really get all 25 people you give them to to actually watch them. (I’ve given them to restaurant staff before, and later found them being used to shim unlevel tables – hopefully your luck will be better).

    Whoever meets the above criteria (honor system) and responds first with "I agree to spend the time it takes not to let them go to waste" wins. (If you don’t put those words in your reply I shall assume you didn’t read the rules before posting, and you’ll be disqualified!). Whoever is first, send me a PM with your ship-to address and I’ll get them out media mail in the next few days. If something goes wrong and you don’t have time to actually put them to good use, please pass the unused supply on to another member of this community.

    Good luck, and even if you don’t win, please consider the idea of finding your own way to spread the word about the Crash Course in your community . How long would it take to print up a message about how the CC helped you be more resilient on business card stock you can buy at Staples, to pass out to friends and neighbors? (Note: always remember to prominently include http://www.PeakProsperity.com/CrashCourse on such cards!)

    Never letting a good crisis go to waste,

    Erik

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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 11:08pm

    #36
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    Well Water Overflow/Backup

    This is interesting. The copper pipe that runs from my well tank piping(inside of another cast iron? pipe) to the well casing outside is leaking water into my basement. I had the well pump replaced a few weeks ago and the installer replaced the concrete around the copper pipe with silicone. My friend just called and he had the same issue happen to him with his well. I’ve been draining water throughout the afternoon into my sewer line to lower the well water level. It’s amazing the things that come up at critical moments.

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  • Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - 11:19pm

    Reply to #35
    capesurvivor

    capesurvivor

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 12 2008

    Posts: 220

    nice offer of Erik's

    But not realistic for me. Good luck to someone.Very spooky wind in the mid 60 mph and higher gusts but its on the way out. Just need a few more hours without power outage, which has been happening here, and am ok on Cape Cod.
    The flooding near CM is awful, tho, hope they are doing ok. Hope Dogs and Cat ok;this looks pretty bad for a lot of folks.
     
    SG
     
     
     

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 12:18am

    #37

    Erik T.

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 05 2008

    Posts: 214

    Thanks for the update, cape.

    Thanks for the update, cape. Here in Maine it was a big non-event. It’s all too easy to forget that friends a few hundred miles away had a very very different experience.

    My thoughts go out to everyone in the community who were hurt by this.

    Erik

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 12:22am

    #38

    Erik T.

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 05 2008

    Posts: 214

    now that cape's comments

    now that cape’s comments have sunk in, I feel like a jerk for offering the DVDs to the first person to reply, when I should have realized that the people hit worst (whom I would feel best about sending the DVDs to for their friends) will be unable to reply because of lost connectivity to the net. Duh… Why didn’t I think of that?

    I’m just trying to figure out how to do as much good as possible with 25 CC DVDs I have extra. If anyone can think of a smarter way to give them away, I’m all ears.

    Best wishes to all who were affected,

    Erik

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 12:35am

    Reply to #35

    spinone

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 12 2008

    Posts: 1

    I think its a great idea

    We had lots of rain here in Albany NY, trees down, friends and family with power outages, and roads flooded out.  Going over to my dad’s this morning, I had to stop and pick a different route several times, as the way was blocked by downed trees.  What was valuable was advanced planning and preparation (chainsaw, generator, fuel) situational awareness (watching the news and weather websites, keeping in communication with friends and family with landline, mobile phone, sms)  The possibility of loss of these types of communication makes me want to go get a handheld police scanner and a handheld HAM transciever.  The need for communication and situational awareness is crucial.Lessons learned.
    I could get 25 people to watch the CC.

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 1:00am

    Reply to #35

    Erik T.

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 05 2008

    Posts: 214

    spinone wrote:I could get

    [quote=spinone]
    I could get 25 people to watch the CC.[/quote]
    spinone,
    Cool. I need to pass the baton as I am leaving the country Sept 1st and unfortunately don’t have time to break up and send to multiple recipients.
    I will send 25 pieces to you. You can give them to people who you believe will watch them, or pass them on to others in this community if you feel that’s more appropriate.
    I feel like I should be "waiting for the most affected to reply", but I need to get these things in the mail before my flight departs too. I trust spinone to either put them to good use or find someone who will.
    spinone, please send me another PM with your ship-to addr.
    Thanks,
    Erik

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 1:46am

    Reply to #35

    spinone

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 12 2008

    Posts: 1

    Done

    Done -If others in this community could take a batch of 5 and get others to watch it too, I would be willing to break up the package of 25.  Most important is to get the word out.

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 3:04am

    #39

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    The Vapours

    Worst thing about the storm is it didn’t flood Wall Street.

    The cyclones reach further north in the Atlantic because of the warmth of the Gulf Stream. They are powered by the release of the latent heat of evaporation when the vapours condense as rain. The gulf steam gives cyclones the vapours.

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 3:22am

    Reply to #20
    awoods71

    awoods71

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 16 2011

    Posts: 7

    the new normal

    I was away from my computer all day and just now realized how relieved I am to see so many people on this thread commenting that the storm has passed them by without too much damage. Fingers crossed for DIAP and anyone else dealing with flooding and major power outtages.Here in Austin, we just faced the hottest day on record — 113 degrees. It was 108 at 6:30, and now at 10:15 is still at about 100. Absolutely unbelievable. A friend of mine the other day said he was just hoping for "average" — average temperature, average rainfall, average hurricane season. I don’t know how much in the way of "average" any of us will see anytime soon (sigh) … but I hope it for us nonetheless.
    I really like the idea of sharing lessons learned, both in extreme drought and hurricane. Down here, I would have to say I’m thinking hard about insulating my house more carefully, storing a LOT more water, and planting more fruit or nut-bearing shade trees. Which would need carefully planned rain gardens to support them in drought. Canning and rainwater storage (perhaps underground storage to help stave off evaporation) — drought-hardy food crops like purslane and lambs quarters, okra and crowder peas — anything to get us through the summer heat — seem like increasingly good ideas. 
    Best of luck to all on the east coast….

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 11:36am

    #40

    Erik T.

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 05 2008

    Posts: 214

    The DVDs are in the mail!

    spinone,

    25 DVDs will go out today via USPS media mail, to the address you provided in your PM. Thanks for helping spread the word!!!

    Erik

     

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 6:00pm

    #41

    livsez

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 01 2008

    Posts: 31

    Power Out

     Here in Westport, CT. 60% (including our house) is still without power.  A lot of trees fallen on power lines.  As of last friday night before the storm, all the local grocery store shelves where out of essentials like bottled water, bread, ice, milk, batteries, flashlights etc.  Our main street, Post Rd, is still mostly without power, leaving most local businesses closed.  The retaurants and shops with food are packed, but quickly running out of items on the menus.  People are mostly calm so far, but it could still be days before power is fully restored. It will be interesting to see if people keep their cool the longer the power stays out.  I also heard the Connecticut Power & Light is refusing to pay overtime, which will slow the process down even more.  

    We are holding up well with plenty of water, food and back up solar power to keep our freezer and fridge humming along.

     

     

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 6:16pm

    Reply to #40

    Rector

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 07 2010

    Posts: 348

    Money Where Your Mouth Is. . .

     Thank you for your generous support of CM.com, and the mission.  I look to you as an example.Sincerely,
    Rector

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  • Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - 11:16pm

    Reply to #41
    capesurvivor

    capesurvivor

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 12 2008

    Posts: 220

    Pass it on

    I was chopping up some tree limbs today, fortunately our only consequence of Irene, when I realized that it was unlikely for me to even know how to chop wood. I’m probably the only city kid who learned how to do it at 8 y.o. I grew up in the city for the beginning of my life;no one went to camp and the Scouts didn’t get out of town to do this stuff. I was watching an immigrant neighbor chop wood one day in his tiny back lot and he invited me over. He was a self reliant guy from the old country. He showed me how to chop wood and how to shoot a bow, skills I might never have learned and have retained to this day, almost 60 years later. It made me think that, while you’re dealing with disaster and doing something self-reliant, if you see a neighborhood kid looking on, offer to teach him/her. They’ll remember you for the rest of their life.Thanks, Mr. Golub, wherever you are.
    And good luck to those on this thread. I saw VA Beach got 20 inches. Hope you’re ok, DIAP and Cat.
    CS

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 5:16am

    #42
    VeganDB12

    VeganDB12

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 18 2008

    Posts: 153

    just a few thoughts from

    just a few thoughts from Westchester Co NY:

    We got lucky, flooding and many without power but little wind.   How sad for the people in Catskills, Jersey, VA, NC, Vermont, and all others facing catastrophic losses.  These storms are so unpredictable.

    A colleague on the upper West Side of NYC noticed he was unable to get any emergency supplies after looking 20 blocks from his home, unable to get batteries etc….on Saturday. Here in Westchester I could not get additional emergency lamps at the local sporting goods store and was happy to have my stash of smaller lights which I fortunately did not need since the electricity stayed on.  People in my local grocery store were clearly panicked on Saturday and that was a bit scary.

    My most important preps lesson was that you can never have too much clean water in storage. Our water is suspect during floods and already since Saturday I have gone through 25 liters (however many gallons that is), just for cooking, washing food, making coffee, sharing some with a neighbor and giving water to the cat.  I have decided I can never have too much clean water on hand.   A gallon a day is not enough IMHO.

    In my short life,  this storm IS unusual for the area. And flooding is historic north of us, beyond anything preceding it.  Very bad.

    I hope all are well

     

     

     

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 11:24am

    #43

    Amanda Witman

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 17 2008

    Posts: 153

    I'm here in southern VT and the damage is astounding

    Apparently a dam broke or was opened up in Jamaica, VT, which sent a surge that caused a brook to jump its banks claim a large portion of downtown Brattleboro.  I understand that 260+ roads were out, including roads and bridges out in every single town in the state, and some portions of major state roads are closed indefinitely.   

    The good news – and bad news – is that this is a hilly town.  Those up high had little to no damage, maybe a damp basement, maybe a power outage, that’s it.  Many down low had a house full of water and now have a house full of damage and future cleanup. 

    The nuclear power plant in Vernon was not compromised as far as I know. 

    One thing I learned in this storm is that when you have this kind of flooding (raging brooks, etc), you should never drive through what looks like a large, shallow puddle on the road.  When culverts are insufficient, nature silently carves her own culverts under the road, and that puddle may extend six feet down.  This is true on dirt roads but can also be true on paved roads, where a crust of road might remain while the earth beneath it has been washed out.  Scary stuff.  This is how you get cars buried several feet deep in mud.  The water level meets the road level and hides the absence of road.

    I guess something I’d add to the preparedness list is a thoughtful plan for what to do for transportation if your road is busted at both ends, as was (and still is) the case for thousands of people in VT right now.

     

     

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 1:11pm

    #44
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1385

    Amanda

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Irene.  I’m hearing similar stories in the Hudson River valley from the Catskills up to the Adirondacs.  Many years ago I lived in Schoharie Co., southwest of Albany.  I saw a photo yesterday that showed a portion of the Schoharie Cr. valley, a wide agricultural area, flooded from hillside to hillside.  Every road in the county was apparently closed yesterday.

    I think it is an important subject for those of us who live in the northeast where we typically live among large hills and small mountains.  Flashfloods have become more numerous, as documented by Bill McKibben in his wonderful book eaarth.  We tend to live in small fairly steep watersheds that can flood disastrously with large amounts of concentrated rain.

    I’m particularly sensitive to this subject because a couple years ago we had an episode of 7" of rain in 1.5 hours.  We live on top of the watershed so we only had about a foot of water in the basement.  The flood essentially started in my backyard where a small intermittent stream begins.  Our immediate neighbors had more serious flooding and the village four miles down the hill was a disaster area.  A couple people died, many homes were destroyed and many more damaged.  Several streets had to be completely rebuilt.  Bridges were destroyed by debris and large trees that were floated down what normally is a small 4-5 ft wide stream.  Some roads weren’t repaired for several months after the flood.  In fact, one private bridge was finally replaced last week.

    Although Irene was a pretty abnormal event for the northeast, I think it is important to take note of the increasing frequency of abnormal events.  Irene was huge in terms of breadth, but smaller weather events that are just as devastating locally are happening more often, but are not much mentioned outside of the local areas.  I hope that someone chronicles the number of these small disasters that Irene created, but are not mentioned in the mass media that lost interest once NYC largely escaped damage.

    Doug

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 1:45pm

    #45

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 411

    No power but we're lucky

    Our power is still out but after doing some driving around Ulster County yesterday I know how lucky we were. Looks like the fiercest win and rain were about 8-10 miles west of us. The swath of unbelievable destruction wends from Kerhonkson/Accord through Hurley, Shokan, Boiceville and on up from there. We have a number of downed trees and power lines on our street but when I drove up to Hurley yesterday to help my buddy D pump 6′ of water out of a basement I had to take a 10-mile backroad detour to travel the 2 or so miles from Kingston to Hurley. Roads full of downed trees and power lines, but also washed out with gullies 20′ wide and 10′ deep. When I bought gas with the corporate card yesterday, they actually ran it on one of those old back-n-forth mechanical imprinters with the carbon paper. Hadn’t seen one of those in 15 years… The hardest-hit areas will be weeks recovering if not longer. We may have power by end of week, although Central Hudson won’t even give us a guesstimate yet. Wife and I are doing pretty well. Biggest issue is keeping the food iced, and in another day or two, the need to do laundry. You can bet we will not face another major outage without a generator. I’ve saved my pennies and will buy one as soon as possible. Having a wireless 3G (as opposed to WiFi) device (iPad) has been a godsend in terms of keeping in touch, although the cell net has been spottier and slower than normal. Our neighbors across the street had to fly to Ireland for the death of a family member. We’re watching their house and keeping their generator going for them (sump pump and chest freezer…and showers for us). So far most folks just seem to be keeping on keeping on. If the outage goes longer than a few more days, it’ll be interesting to see how people deal, emotionally. DIAP bruddah, give us a shout! All the best, gang, and Viva! — Sager

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 4:33pm

    Reply to #45
    joesxm2011

    joesxm2011

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 17 2011

    Posts: 149

    I lost power on Sunday and

    I lost power on Sunday and am still out, but my workplace has power so I came in Tuesday.I tried to post from my Android phone but the tiny keypad drove me crazy so I gave up.
    Here is my after action report (actually in process).
    I filled up 25 gallons of drinking water before the storm hit in these nice blue 5 gallon containers I got from Emergency Essentials.  They are working great and so far I have used up about 8 gallons.
    It quickly became apparent how much waste material you produce.  I have some paper plates, but a lot of the food I was using up from my refigerator was Indian style curry chickpeas or some runny saute of vegetables from my garden.  These needed to go into bowls and I did not have paper bowls.  This led to the need to do dishes.
    I found that you need a system for washing dishes.  I improvised with some 8 quart kettles.  I heated up the washing water on the propane burner and then set up two rinsing containers.  It seems that if you have a first one to remove most of the suds and a second one to finish off you can use less water.  I figured it best to use drinking water for dish washing.
    When the storm hit I was sending emails and did not fill up enough Home Depot buckets with non-drinking water.  I found this mainly useful for washing and sponge bathing.  I think it might be good to have the bucket lids to limit escaping moisture.
    My sump hole in the cellar needs to be bailed every 8 hours and produces over 6 gallons of water.  Although I probably could filter this or go to the pond for some to filter I am using this only for flushing the toilet.
    I have seen these hand pumps that go into your existing well tube.  I will probably get one and will post a separate thread asking if anyone has bought these.  It seems that you need an extensive amount of water and being able to pump from your normal well is really convenient.
    I quickly discovered what a pain it is to hold the flashlight while you are doing something (like bailing the sump).  Good thing I recently bought a head mounted flashlight.  I will definitely get a couple more high end ones for next time.
    I was pleasantly surprised that I had nothing much to rush out to get before the storm hit.
    For a laugh I went with one of my co-workers on his panic quest for four D-batteries for his flashlight.  Of course they were all sold out.  After he gave up looking he went to get a sandwich while I went to get some money out of the bank.  I managed to talk the branch manager into giving me four batteries for the friend.  When I came out I told him that I reluctantly took four batteries out of my safe deposit box for him 🙂
    At the grocery while everyone was loading up carts, I hit the checkout with two heads of garlic (planning to harvest basil and make pesto before storm destroyed plants).
    I have to admit, however, like Chris, that on the way home Saturday night I talked the girl who was just leaving the grocery store into opening back up for a minute so I could buy a pint of ice cream.
    All in all we did not get hit too badly and it was a good opportunity to check out some equipment in nice warm weather without having to practice suturing and first aid on a lot of people at the same time.
    Getting all my stuff in the garage forced me to clean it and now that the refridgerator is hot it will force me to give it a much needed cleaning.
    I hope that fellow forum members in northern New England were not hit too bad by all that flooding and can stay safe.
    Bye for now – Joe

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 4:36pm

    #46

    Full Moon

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2008

    Posts: 265

    be careful

     Please be careful !   In about  three days people will run out of food, water , patience . and ethics .

      FM

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 5:13pm

    Reply to #46

    Amanda Witman

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 17 2008

    Posts: 153

    FM, we'll get to see exactly

    FM, we’ll get to see exactly how that plays out.  There are areas near us that are cut off from everything and will be indefinitely.  It will be an interesting test case, and hopefully just sufficient to give more people a wake-up call toward their own preparedness.  Hopefully not worse than that.  We’ll see.Sadly, some people just don’t think about the impact of their actions, and it can affect many.  One local locked-in town had road crews working all day and night to get a single main road back into use so that people could travel in and out of town.  It’s a long, dirt road.  A very large truck carrying groceries for the town’s college decided to try the road despite advice to the contrary.  The truck got stuck, and now the road is impassable again indefinitely.  Needless wasted time, resources, and frustration.  There is no way to protect oneself from those who are not making good choices, unfortunately.
    I am grateful that even more people were not affected.  The flooding could have been worse (a decision had to be made about whether or not to release an upstate dam, which would have caused a far higher flood crest in our area, but ultimately they were able to keep it shut.)
    Thankfully, I’m pretty sheltered from the effects that some people are feeling.  Roads to and from my house are open in both directions, my house is high on a hill, I have power, and I have reasonably sufficient stored preps and plans to keep me going if need be.  I’m going to lend a hand with recovery efforts when I can, but otherwise stay the heck out of the way.  But I have heard reports and seen footage of empty store shelves, and I talked to a friend who thought he might have to get creative about food pretty soon (having a small amount of food in his fridge, a bag of potatoes, and not much else – and unable to get to town.)  His road was made passable today, but many other people are still waiting.  There are some outreach efforts to find local families to host those displaced by flooding, the Time Trade is working on connecting people for cleanup efforts, and the local grassroots paper is hosting free ads for those offering help and relief.  Lots of good grassroots efforts emerging. 
    Anyway, it’s been interesting, and we’ll see how the next few days play out.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 6:44pm

    #47

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2837

    Potable Water

    The posts here describing folks’ efforts to secure and preserve potable water are a sobering reminder of the importance of securing dependable access to drinkable water in advance of disaster striking. Congrats to those who had the foresight to prepare ahead of Irene. To those who were unable, our thoughts are with you and we sincerely hope you find a way to obtain safe water (from your neighbors, town, or perhaps fellow CM.com readers).

    Chalk it down to karma that our special offer for CM.com readers this month is 10% off the high-quality ceramic water filters offered by St Paul Mercantile. A filter of this kind is exactly the backup solution you want in place for a situation like Irene’s aftermath. As long as you can find water of any quality (definitely *not* a problem in upstate NY and VT right now), these filters will render it drinkable.

    This special offer for CM.com readers expires tomorrow, at month’s end. But whether you take advantage of it or not, Chris and I can’t recommend enough that you take steps to secure a solution like this and/or ensure you have a large quantity of potable water (15+ gallons per person) stored on your property. It’s literally priceless insurance if you ever need it.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 9:11pm

    #48

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 816

    Barely a scratch....

    Okay, we’re back and were pleasantly underwhelmed.  We got just over 15 inches of rain and I read this morning that the peat bog fire in the Great Dismal Swamp is still burning.  Most of the area surrounding the neighborhood is cypress swamp, low wetland or farmland and it sucked up just about all the rain with just some minor flooding in a few spots.  Lost 2 pieces of shingle – one of which I think came off during the Nor’easter last year and blew out of the gutter.  A couple of branches on some maples snapped off, but frankly the yard has looked worse from a debris standpoint after summertime microburst thundersqualls.  We lost one tomato plant – the rest of the garden was untouched.  Most of the raised beds are on the south side of the house so the house blocked most of the direct wind.  My Scorpion tail pepper plants didn’t even drop their blooms.

    We were well prepared.  We had candles staged in every room we expected to be in, and the rest of the gear staged in a central spot.  I ran the generator at loaded for 30 minutes on Friday to burn the carbon out and staged all of our power cords beforehand.  We had 4-5 days worth of gas for continuous running and had planned on running the generator for 2 hours and shutting it down for 6 so we could have stretched it out even farther.  I had planned on being without power for a week.  We filled the empty space in the fridge with water and, umm, rendered hoppy malts.  Alas, the Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA was a storm casualty.  Seriously, the fridge stayed below 45 degrees for almost 6 hours without power partly because the water and beer helped hold the temps down.  I did have to get a little anal retentive nuke and insist people consolidate trips to the fridge for food and drink (admittedly, the biggest offender was me, so I compensated by taking the Sierra Nevadas two at a time).

    Cat completely nailed the freezer preps with a stroke of genius (oh how I hope she reads this post).  She rearranged everything to create as much empty space as possible on Friday and filled all the space with ziploc baggies full of water.  So now we have about 97 balls of ice in the fridge.  I’m certain the freezer would have stayed colder longer without power than the fridge.  I now drop an ice blob or two into a couple of our potted plants outside each day and let them melt and water the plants.  I should be finished watering plants with ice blobs by October 17th.

    Food – fast and easy.  We were ready to cook on the camp stove and in my Dutch oven, but ended up doing fast and easy.  Sandwiches, crackers, veggies and fruit would have gotten boring, but spaghetti, pasta, etc. is easy to boil and throw a jar of our canned tomato sauce and some shredded cheese and at least it will stick to your ribs.  I was hoping to show off my Dutch oven prowess with my pineapple upside down cake but didn’t have the chance.  Don’t forget the Duth oven thumbrule – each charcoal briquet is good for about 25 degrees, but you have to use them top and bottom.  We had staged all of the dry stores out in the open in one spot where we could get to it quickly without having to root around in a pantry in the dark.

    joemanc made an excellent observation in an earlier post about practicing moving around in the dark.  This is a great suggestion – especially if you have staged material in a spot that was previously empty.

    Water – we had the ability to filter all that we needed for drinking if needed and had 14 days worth of fresh water available for 4 people in case the tap water was unusable.  The water company never lost power, nor did any of the flooding get back into the system so we were able to use city water.  Just to be on the safe side we only used it for washing and used bottled or stored water for drinking.  If you conservatively plan on not being able to use your tap water for drinking, then you will likely be set.  Having some type of water purification ability is invaluable.  A few of the outlying cities in Isle of Wight County put out boiling orders for their tap water within 12 hours – but these cities are in low lying areas along the James River and have a well documented history of their water treatment plants being overcome by flooding and having the water still available at the tap, but unsuited for drinking use unless it was treated.  You need to know the peculiarities of your city water system wherever you are.  Call your local water utility for area specific info.

    One of our cats was really spooked by all the wind noise and rearranged rooms.  If you have pets, unless you are a heartless bastard, you need to consider them.  Their world routine is turned on its ear so you may have to compensate some.  The one cat never left the bedroom and we had to take her food and water and move her litter box.  Our other cat was an abandoned stray and is deaf so she had no idea what was going on, nor did she care.  She still insisted on going outside to do her business.

    Light – in addition to candles and flashlights, hands free camping headlamps are invaluable.  I have an Everlite EL8 solar powered headlamp for camping and emergencies that is superb.  It won’t last quite 24 hours continuous, but unless you are a spelunker, I don’t think you need a 24 hour solar headlamp.  Well worth the $50-60 price tag.  Princeton Tec has a great product line of battery powered lamps – set yourself up with rechargeable AAAs and a solar powered recharger and you’re set.  Or buy a bunch of AAAs.  Or use defense in depth and do all three.

    Ventilation – we had a couple of oscillating and box fans set up.  It got a little muggy without A/C, but the fans made things relatively comfortable.  The upstairs got up to 88 degrees Sunday, it was 82 downstairs, so we stayed downstairs and ran the fans.  The bit of evaporative cooling they provided was a great relief.  Conversely, if this had been a winter time Nor’easter, heat would have been an issue.  I’m less concerned with heat since in Virginia you can always dress to stay warm.  That said, I do have a gas powered tent heater.  We also have a plan to clear our living room and set up my 4 season expedition tent inside for sleeping.  One body will keep the tent just above freezing (op tested on a -12 degree Shenandoah camping trip).  We also have enough 0 degree mummy bags for sleeping.

    Comms – a portable radio is a must if the power goes out.  We have a backpacker radio with AM, FM, SW, Weatherband, Airband and TV tuning set in it.  It is battery powered, solar powered and dynamo powered.  When our power went out, I turned on the radio and was able to get our local TV broadcast so I could stay current with the storm developments.  Test the radio before an emegency so yo are familiar with it.  Do not try to operate the radio from the solar cells in the dark.  Do not ask me how much time I spent confirming this will not work, nor how I figured it out.

    Cell phone use was spotty – I was able to push texts out on occasion, but VOX and data were a no go.  That might be an issue with my carrier (Sprint), YMMV.

    Plan on the plan changing.  The storm track changed at least a dozen times when we had called the ball on implementing our plan.  Most of the changes were when the leading edge would hit us – the earliest call was 8 AM Saturday on up to 2 AM Sunday.  We started getting the first steady high energy bands around 10 AM and the eye settled in at around 5 PM Saturday.  Whatever your plan is, I would suggest building a 24 hour buffer into it.  We sat back at 5 PM on Friday and were completely ready.

    Neighborhood/Community – I talked to all of the closest neighbors beforehand.  Some were staying, others were evacuating.  Those that left, dropped of keys in case of an emergency that required getting on to their homes – broken windows, roof damage, etc.  Those of us that stayed made sure we all knew that any of our homes were open to anyone who needed it and not to hesitate to knock on the door if something happened.  Last year, I provided power to our next door neighbor to keep her fridge going.  Sunday morning, we were all outside getting the big branches picked up and stacked.  When we finished one yard, we moved on to the next and we were all finished in about three hours.

    Local Shelters – figure out where they are and how you are going to get there beforehand.  Local emergency management has or should have canned plans for different emergencies and should be putting this info out before the storm gets close.  If the power goes out and you don’t know where the shelters are beforehand, it’s pretty hard to figure out where they are.  Here in Virginia Beach, most of the local high schools are used for hurricane and Nor’easter shelters.  This is a critical piece of foreknowledge IMO.  You never know when you might need to utilize a shelter, but you must be ready beforehand.

    Pools – one of our neighbors lost her pool because she failed to drain it enough.  The rainwater filled up the pool and started leaking between the liner and the ground.  As the water eroded the sand the liner pulled free and tore.  $$Ouch$$.  12-15 inches of rain was forecast.  Draining 3 inches of water out of a pool is not enough.

    Take some time to learn about hurricane/tropical storm dynamics.  It matters which side of the eye track you are on and the specifics of implementing your plan will vary accordingly.  If the eye passes directly over your house, you have to plan for both high wind and significant rainfall.  We effectively got both since the eye was south and west at landfall – we were in the northeast quadrant for a few hours – until the storm tracked to the east and we moved into the western semicircle.

    I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the media hyping this storm.  Irene was originally forecast to come ashore a mid Cat 3 and that’s what I planned for.  Any higher and we were going to evacuate on Friday morning.  The fact that Irene hit an upper level trough with 50 kt wind shear differentials between 850 feet and 5000 feet that helped break up the bands and the eye wall was a blessing, but if this hadn’t happened who knows how much worse it might have been?  I think there will be some degree of "Boy who cried wolf" syndrome with the next storm, and that’s just plain stupid.  Katrina was forecast to come ashore a Cat 3 and we all know how that turned out.

    Evacuation – have a conservative drop dead set of conditions to evacuate.  This will have a time and storm condition dynamic to it.  Be conservative and if anything back it up to earlier.  At noon on Friday there was a 16 mile backup on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel leaving the southside that took almost 5 hours to move through.  The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel was closed at 11 AM on Saturday.  The bridge/tunnels in downtown/midtown Norfolk were also closed early on Saturday.  The High Rise Bridge on I64 east out of Chesapeake/Virginia Beach was closed at noon on Saturday because of winds although it was not being enforced.  In other words, at around noon on Saturday, even if you wanted to, you couldn’t leave.  Hmmm, lots of bridge/tunnel thingies in that equation.  Maybe an observation about risk assessment/acceptance about where one decides to live????  You must have a place to go to other than "out" of the area.  Irene was wide enough that there were weather affects as far west as Petersburg which is a good hour and 45 minute drive for us.  Add 5 hours for traffic snarling and that leaves you stuck on a highway just as the worst part of the storm hits.

    Trees – know where they are, how the storm is tracking and which direction the predominate winds are likely to be coming from.  An 11 year old boy in Newport News was killed in his bed when a tree just outside his window fell over and crashed through the roof.  Horrific and immensely sad.  There were interior rooms in the apartment that were not damaged…..

    Damage control – we have had 12 sheets of 3/4 inch plywood and a dozen 12′ x 12′ blue tarps staged in our garage for 8+ years.  I hope we never have to use them.  My intended use is damage control.  Personally, if I think it’s going to get bad enough to cut plywood to board up windows before a storm, I think it’s probably bad enough that evacuating is a better plan.  Like I said, they are there for emergency use – post casualty – when conditions are safe enough to get out and get things stabilize.

    You cannot save stupid people from themselves, nor should you try.  Against posted warnings, a 20 something tourist went swimming in the ocean and drowned Friday night in a 9 knot rip current 15 feet from shore.  Same thing goes for the neighborhood knotheads who think it’s fun to go stomping down the flooded street at the height of the storm.  Any one of the maple branches that broke off my trees would have slicked them.  70 knot winds will make a lot of everyday things into a missile hazard.  You cannot duck fast enough.

    All in all, we came through relatively unscathed and losing power for two days really wasn’t a big deal considering some of the other damage farther north.  Knowing we could have been relatively comfortable at home for another week plus, is validation of our prep efforts to date.

    Glad to hear the rest of the CM.com community on the East coast fared well.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 9:16pm

    #49

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 816

    Don't look now.....

    Tropical Storm Katia….

    http://www.stormpulse.com/

    Dust off your preps checklist, adjust accordingly based on Irene Lessons Learned and wait and see. 

    Katia is a hundred miles or so north of where Irene was, and should veer north sooner and farther out to sea, but only time will tell.

    Let’s hope Katia isn’t the Graduate exam.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 9:32pm

    #50

    SagerXX

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 11 2009

    Posts: 411

    Hey Dogs

    Glad to hear you and C came through just fine. Nice little dress rehearsal, sounds like.

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  • Tue, Aug 30, 2011 - 10:03pm

    #51
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1385

    Don't lie Dogs...

    …you were having fun.  Like a kid with new toys on Xmas morning.   Glad to hear you weathered the storm with so little damage.

    Doug

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 12:04am

    Reply to #47

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    Potable Water

    [quote=Adam]The posts here describing folks’ efforts to secure and preserve potable water are a sobering reminder of the importance of securing dependable access to drinkable water in advance of disaster striking.[/quote]
    I concur……  water is the least of our problems right now, we are entering the wet season with two 12,000 gallon tanks full, and another 550 gallon header tank also full.  And the garden is nicely soaked, probably won’t need to water again for weeks.
    I’m continually surprised at the difference between yoy guys and what we do here in Australia.  EVERYBODY living in the country here has large water tanks……  we have to on the world’s dryest continent.  Not that it’s been dry this year, but we have never run out (unlike some profligate users around us).
    I don’t need to say that prioritising one’s water supply (and making sure you are totally self sufficient) should be very very high on anyone’s list…..
    BTW, I have found that I can buy water filter sets on eBay here in Oz for a fraction of the cost in shops… like less than 25%.
    Mike

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 12:25am

    #52

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    Kunstler's take on things...

     

    The same creeping nausea that followed the CNN ‘all clear’ sign in New Orleans six years ago happened again yesterday. Anderson Cooper seemed a little peeved that the lights didn’t go out in Manhattan, but then the remnants of Hurricane Irene stomped up the Hudson Valley and stalled a while and commenced to rip apart the Catskills, the eastern Adirondacks, the Mohawk and upper Hudson valleys, and then almost all of Vermont, not to mention New Hampshire and western Massachusetts, and I can’t even tell you much about whatever’s going on in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland this morning. Connecticut, Long Island, and Rhode Island are in there somewhere, and surely there’s more than a few things out of place in North Carolina.
         This is nowhere near Katrina’s death toll of over 1800 souls, but the damage to scores of towns, businesses, houses, and basic civic armature is going to be very impressive as the news filters in later this week and the disaster is still very much ongoing Monday, even with the sun shining bright. Towns all over Vermont and New Hampshire are still drowning. The Hudson River is still on the rise. The Mohawk River is at a 500-year flood stage and is about to wipe the old city center of Schenectady, New York, off the map. Bridges, dams, and roads are gone over a region at least as big as the Gulf Coast splatter-trail of Katrina. 
         That story is still developing. A lot of people will not be able to get around for a long, long time, especially in Vermont and New Hampshire, where the rugged terrain only allows for a few major roads that go anywhere. Even the bridges that were not entirely washed away may have to be inspected before people are allowed to drive over them, and some of these bridges may be structurally shot even if they look superficially okay. There are a lot of them. If you live in a flat state, you may have no idea.
         The next story is going to be the realization that there’s no money to put it all back together the way it was. The states don’t have the money. The federal government is obviously broke, and an awful lot of the individual households and businesses will turn out to not have any insurance coverage for this kind of disaster where it was water, not wind, that destroyed the property. I don’t know what the score is insurance-wise along the mid-Atlantic beachfront towns – but remember, insurance companies were among the biggest dupes of the Big Bank mortgage-backed securities racket, and when the new claims are toted up they may find themselves in a bail-out line.
         This is a warning to America that the converging catastrophes of climate change, energy scarcities, and failures of capital formation add up to more than the sum of their parts in their power to drive a complex society into a ditch – no matter what a moron like Rick Perry might say. But, of course, political ramifications will follow. There will be a lot of pissed-off people in the Northeast USA. Maybe they’ll even start giving the grievance-bloated folk of Dixieland some competition in the politics of the bitter harvest. Oddly, the Siamese twin states of Vermont and New Hampshire are political polar opposites. Vermont, the land of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and other squooshy culture tropes from the attic of Hippiedom, is about as Left-progressive as it gets. New Hampshire’s license plate says, "Live Free or Die," and that same draconian mood defines the state’s politics: hard Right. It’s like a few counties of Georgia shook loose and drifted north somehow. My guess is that the political rage will be about equal on both fronts, as folks are left stranded, or homeless, or without a going business they thought they had only a day or so ago. And my further guess is that their mood will afford some insight into the extreme impotence, incompetence, and mendacity of both major political parties. As I’ve said before in this space, think of these times as not unlike the convulsive 1850s, preceding the worst crisis of our history.
          Apart from the fact that the hurricane season is just gearing up, and that a procession of tropical storm blobs has commenced to pour out of West Africa, there is that other alternate universe of storms, brushfires, and fiascos called the fnancial system, which everybody sort of forgot about over the weekend. Well, it’s ba-a-a-ck this morning, too, and the financial weather was deteriorating sharply last time I looked. You can stick a fork in the Euro Zone. Bank of America is panhandling for spare change like a dying wino as it whirls around the drain. Nobody knows what the shadow bets on all this action is, but you can bet on one thing for sure: the counterparties can’t pay.
          Oh, by the way, anybody remember that we had an earthquake here in the Northeast a few days before Irene rumbled in? Probably not, unless part of your building fell off. God’s wrath, some might say, as we beat our path to a world made by hand.
     
    Tuesday August 30
     
         God’s wrath, all right.  Michelle Bachmann said it, wouldn’t you know.
         Vermont got whacked badly, as did the northern Catskills. Whole towns drowned, localities cut off from the rest of the world by road and bridge washouts. Lots of buildings of all kinds lost. As is the case with these disasters, many people out there now who have lost everything, are poorly insured, and have no idea how they are going to carry on. It will be several more days before the scope or this thing is really comprehended. It lacked a single dramatic focus, the way that the Superdome galvanized the nation’s attention after Katrina struck, but I suspect the damage to the region is just as bad.

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 12:29am

    #53
    joemanc

    joemanc

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2008

    Posts: 138

    Communication

    Hey Dogs – Glad to see you and Cat made it through ok. Thanks for sharing the tips. I’ll be buying the helmet light soon.

    You mentioned communications – same issues here. I’ve heard something like 300 cell towers are/were in bad shape, whether damaged or lost power and running out of backup power. I’ve had spotty cell service since Sunday night. And I don’t have a landline so that is out, although some of my neighbors don’t have internet, landline service or cable. I’ll have to think of something there.

    I’m frankly shocked that not 1 tree in my immediate neighborhood snapped. I’m on a ridge and it’s normally windier here than down below so maybe the trees have adjusted themselves to the winds over the years. But I’m not an arborist so I don’t know for sure. What I do know is the 3 trees that are in striking distance of my house will become next year’s firewood.

    Mike – As far as water, at least here in the Northeast, we have plenty of fresh water and ample amounts of rain fall in any given year, somewhere between 40-50 inches of rain. There’s the occasional drought, sometimes severe as in a few months, but they don’t last like they do in Australia.

    Let’s hope this was the only hurricane we have to deal with this year and for the next several years, if not decades.

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 1:57am

    #54

    Wendy S. Delmater

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2009

    Posts: 1425

    Dogs, glad you're back.

    And glad you and Cat weathered the storm so well. It’s a great feeling when you know you are as ready as you can be. Love the tip about knowing where they will set up shelters in advance.

    I have some peach jam that became ice cream or waffle topping as well.

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 2:24am

    #55

    Full Moon

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2008

    Posts: 265

    just wondering

     Were any of you watching your barometers ?  How much of a warning did they give and how far did they dip?     I was just wondering in the event that news is unable to warn people .    Did you have Red sky at night or morning ?

     

     FM

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 2:37am

    Reply to #53

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    water security

    [quote=joemanc]Mike – As far as water, at least here in the Northeast, we have plenty of fresh water and ample amounts of rain fall in any given year, somewhere between 40-50 inches of rain. There’s the occasional drought, sometimes severe as in a few months, but they don’t last like they do in Australia.[/quote]

    I just wouldn’t want to be relying on utilities for MY water supply WTSHTF, hurricane or no hurricane……
    Mike

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 7:36am

    Reply to #55

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 816

    Barometers.....

    [quote=Full Moon] Were any of you watching your barometers ?  How much of a warning did they give and how far did they dip?     I was just wondering in the event that news is unable to warn people .    Did you have Red sky at night or morning ?
     
     FM
    [/quote]
    I watched ours drop from about 958 to 950 in the two hours before the storm hit.  Pretty sobering when the reported eye pressure was the same as what was measured outside the house – looking up to see blue sky when we were in the eye was definitely eerie.
    We had a golden red sun Friday night and couldn’t see the sun Saturday morning.  So much for weather adages.

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 2:28pm

    #56

    Full Moon

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2008

    Posts: 265

    thanks DIAP

     Thank you .    I   do not  think I will give up watching the signs anyway .

     One thing crossed my mind is how they were reporting the $ amount of damages before the wrath of the storm was even over …

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 4:15pm

    Reply to #56
    joesxm2011

    joesxm2011

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 17 2011

    Posts: 149

    radio question

     I had one of those little red cross radios to listen to during the storm.After it was over I wanted to listen to NPR on the FM band while my power was out and I found that while the AM worked ok with the straight antenna, the FM only seemed to work if I was holding the radio in my hands.  I assume I was acting as the FM antenna.
    Anyone care to explain this?
    Thanks.
    Joe

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 6:01pm

    Reply to #56

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 816

    It's the recombinant lizard DNA sprayed from airplanes....

    [quote=joesxm2011] I had one of those little red cross radios to listen to during the storm.
    After it was over I wanted to listen to NPR on the FM band while my power was out and I found that while the AM worked ok with the straight antenna, the FM only seemed to work if I was holding the radio in my hands.  I assume I was acting as the FM antenna.
    Anyone care to explain this?
    Thanks.
    Joe
    [/quote]
    No not really on the lizard DNA part….
    The human body has an electromagnetic near field effect that boosts FM antenna performance in some cases by as much as 10 dB. 
    Twiggy probably boosts antenna response only 3 dB. Rosie O’Donnell or Michael Moore?  Maybe 48 dB.

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 9:22pm

    Reply to #56
    joesxm2011

    joesxm2011

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 17 2011

    Posts: 149

    Thanks Dogs.Unfortunately

    Thanks Dogs.
    Unfortunately that explains why I was able to boost the antenna response by such a large amount 
    One other thing that came to mind today while I was looking at better quality headlamps to buy is that with good quality LED flashlights you are not supposed to use rechargable batteries, at least the CR123 kind.  I am not sure about AAA or AA.
    My main pocket light is a SureFire LX2 LumaMax and I purchased a less expensive Fenix flashlight to put in my emergency pack.
    While reading the instructions for the Fenix I saw a comment stating that you cannot use rechargable CR123 batteries.  Too bad I purchased a charger and some batteries from Amazon at the same time as the Fenix.
    I called SureFire technical support and they explained that the rechargable batteries can give off more than the nominal 3 volts and it damages the circuitry that controls the LED.  They said that these rechargable batteries are probably ok for cameras, but not for the LED lights.
    Today I was looking at an LED headlamp from Streamlight and came upon their FAQ page that said the same thing.  The FAQ page seemed a little vague when it was discussing AA or AAA rechargable batteries and almost sounded like they could not test every battery type so they were sticking with the story that only the approved Alkaline batteries were guaranteed to work.
    http://www.streamlight.com/faq/
    It seems that the lithium CR123 rechargables are definitely not to be used.
    I decided to not be a slacker so I did a little more research in the middle of writing this post.
    The streamlight web site shows that they have a series of rechargable litium ion lights.  They take a special charger.  I am guessing that they have better control over the overcharging issues with these dedicated lights.  Some of the chargers take DC so they can be perhaps more easily wired to a solar setup.
    I suppose if you are getting into built in rechargable batteries the power tool companies that make tools with battery packs probably have work lights in their product offerings that might be battery compatible with the power tools.
    That solar powered headlamp dogs mentioned is starting to look better all the time.  However, on Amazon the reviews said that it was not very bright.  It is probably ok for a headlamp, but I would also like a nice duty light for my pack or pocket.

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 11:37pm

    Reply to #56
    capesurvivor

    capesurvivor

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 12 2008

    Posts: 220

    flash

    I posted this somewhere before. It’s the one I carry on my keychain (not pocket). It is unbelievably bright, light, and small. If you buy the accessory pack, you can solar recharge it on your hat while walking around, charge via USB, or via 9 v batt. You could duct tape it to the top front of a ball cap and it would be a great headlamp and weigh nothing. It does not shine forever without being recharged. 
    http://www.amazon.com/LRI-REX-Rechargeable-Micro-Light-Keychain/dp/B001EOS36O?ie=UTF8&tag=surviinargen-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969
    This one is in my pocket, the brightest 1 AA indestructible flash around, IMHO. This guy is great:
    http://shop.gregmcgeeengineering.com/C3-907-170-Lumen-002.htm
    CS
     
     
     
     

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  • Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - 11:48pm

    #57
    New_Day

    New_Day

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 06 2011

    Posts: 25

    Lessons learned

    Our place in southern Vermont is high up so we escaped flood damage. A real wake up call.

    @capesurvivor – thanks for mentioning that term – "anti-prepper" – it keeps me laughing. 

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  • Thu, Sep 01, 2011 - 1:14am

    Reply to #57
    capesurvivor

    capesurvivor

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 12 2008

    Posts: 220

    !

     CS

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  • Thu, Sep 01, 2011 - 2:40am

    #58

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1100

    Glad you and Cat are ok,

    Glad you and Cat are ok, DIAP. 

    We made out fine in Central NY.  But a couple towns down south where my husband used to sell hardware years ago, Prattsville and Windham NY, were hit really hard by flooding.  They’re nice old towns; we were sad to hear about them getting hit so badly.  Here’s link to a video about the damage in Prattsville (sorry about the ad at the beginning): http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=KzG_2Ay4Klo 

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