Growing up 100 yards from the Chesapeake Bay, but just high enough to thumb my nose at the storm surge tide gave me an unhealthy skepticism of the power of hurricanes – for a flatlander.
We rode our bikes through the waves on Shore Drive, during the storm and after, explored local streams, nearly fell in, were somewhat impressed by the strength of the current and our proximity to the Bay, and witnessed fish raining from the sky.
Then Isabel came and ripped away 20 yards of shoreline, nearly condemning a half-dozen homes and leading to a massive public works bulkhead to save my parents’ neighborhood.
Now I work with Robert Gutro - a serious NASA weather-nut and hurricane fan who can cite statistics on every hurricane, cyclone or tropical cloud formation that looks like a duck if you hold your head just so.
So this weekend has been a sort of extended holiday of being just slightly-more-than usually aware of the weather as I go about my business, getting extra beer and wine and talking my wife into baking extra chocolate chip cookies, because – survival.
And it’s starting to get interesting. From the record setting barometer reading of 940 mb to the oak branches dancing outside our window.
So Monday when I would usually be taking the free holiday (federal facilities closed) to help my kids work on some creative Halloween costume ideas, I find myself logging into work through VPN to post hurricane updates and wondering if this is all Sandy’s got to deliver.
Also praying. Saint Barbara (no relation to my wife) is the patron of deflecting storms.
So far we still have power, and are keeping everything fully charged as long as we can – no telling when PEPCO will restore power if it goes. Still, we have family in three parts of the state if we have to get out of Dodge.
On the other hand, we’ve been practicing emergency preparedness for several years – keeping a well-stocked pantry as well as two bins of non-perishable food up to date and one bin of emergency essentials in a closet close to the front door and another bin of camping supplies in the attick. We don’t have a solution for heating our 1950s row house, other than many, many fuzzy blankets, but will more likely bail if it comes to that.
Also I had this one editor who seemed to enjoy sending me into harm’s way or wake like Katrina – nothing really major. I wonder what he’s doing now? Oh, yeah, asking me to blog the hurricane.
As I write this, the first flickers hit our power system. …