My Live blog for Hurrican Irene (Norman Costa)
by Norman Costa
1:01 PM, Monday, August 29, 2011
The clouds have gone,
The sun is shining,
Goddess is in her Heaven,
And all is right with the world.
4:34 PM, Sunday, August 28, 2011
|Wind mph||22 W||39 W||46 W||45 W||44 W||42 W||40 W||34 W|
I'll be honest. I was looking for some excitement from Irene. What a disappointing date. The kitchen window is not leaking. I don't see any downed trees, or even limbs. There are some scattered leaves. The sidewalks and streets almost dry. Big friggin deal!
My friend in Connecticut called to say they have trees down and no power. Her cell phone battery is going dead. She won't be going to work, tomorrow. At least they have some bragging rights.
The remaining stats on rain and wind, above, say we will have a little rain and maybe the wind will blow. Well, whoop di doo!
I think it's summed up by a headline on CNN.com: "New Yorkers unimpressed by Irene." I live in Poughkeepsie, now. But, I'm a New Yorker. I'm not impressed by Irene.
Wait a minute. The trees are swaying. There's a wind. Really. Let's see what happens.
12:38 PM, Sunday, August 28, 2011
I guess is was too much to hope for, but water is now dripping from the soffet over the kitchen window. I put toweling on the sill and the counter top. Last winter an ice dam on the eave of the roof caused the dripping to extend beyond the counter top. I hope it doesn't get that bad. It's still raining but reduced in intensity.
I heard the first claxon sound on the radio from the Emergency Broadcast System. There are flash floods all about, but not in my immediate vicinity. Drivers are cautioned about driving into flooded streets and misjudging the depth of the water. My Father made that mistake 50 years ago. Dressed in our Sunday best, with water up to the lips of the front and back seats of our 1950 Chevrolet some of us had to get out and push the car off the exit ramp of the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn.
In the mid 1960s there was a tragedy in Endicott, NY, where we had lots of family. Five teens were in a car. They came upon the part of a road that paralleled a creek. There had been quite a rain storm. At one point the road curved sharply where the creek curved just as sharply. The creek was at flood stage and just stating to overflow onto the road. It seemed to be only a few inches above the road's surface.
The car was on dry pavement, and across the overflow, only about ten to 20 yards, the dry pavement continued. The driver went on. He did not see that the road was not flooded. It was washed out. All perished. Among the five were members of a Synagogue, a Protestant church, and a Catholic church. The community came together in grief and prayer in an ecumenical service for all the dead teens and their families.
What's this? The rain is reduced, now, to a light fall. The trees are swaying, but not in great anguish. The grey skies are translucent and brightening up the neighborhood. I thought we were supposed to have a hurricane. Irene, did you get me all in a stir for this? What gives?
10:49 AM, Sunday, August 28, 2011
For two hours I've been wondering where Irene went to. I was supposed to have 40 and 50 mph winds by this time. The winds reduced to a gentle breeze and the rain was light. This morning I listened to an Internet News report that said Irene was due to hit early TOMORROW morning. WTF!!! What the hell day was this? Then I realized it was Brian Williams doing last night's late news.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a glutten for punishment and destructive forces of Nature. But, I was looking forward to a little bit of excitement.
It appears that the excitement is arriving. The wind is picking up. The rain is steady and heavier, now. I just heard a rumbling of distant thunder. The landlord's/lady's temporary repair of flashing seems to be working - no water dripping into the kitchen.
I'm looking at some very tall trees across the street. They're swaying nicely, but I wonder how nicely will be the swaying in a sustained wind of 50 mph. We will see.
The gutter and leader system of the Cuneen-Hackett Cultural Center is holding. I mention this because it came down three times in the past 3.5 years from heavy rains. The side of the building is 60 feet from me as I look out this window, across our shared parking area. However the backstage extension of the theatre (where the scenery, scaffolding, curtains, etc. are positioned) has a gutter that is so clogged that grass and other vegetation of significant mass has been growing. Water is pouring over the gutter because the path to the down pipe is stopped.
There is another rumble of distant thunder. Periodically, I am hearing the wind, not just seeing the trees swaying. Thunder!! I think I'm going to get some excitement now.
[The chill wind and the cold rain brought us to an incipient shiver. The right thing to do was to put on a sweater and keep the warmth inside us. "I'll get something to put on for both of us," I said. "Yes, please Norm," she remarked. As I walked toward her to pass and go into the hall, she turned and asked, "Won't you put your arms around me for just a bit, and take away the chill." Of course, that is what I did. For some moments we just held each other close, not moving, not speaking, just closed eyes and waiting for the warmth to suffuse us both. Her forehead was just under my chin. I pulled away, slightly, so I could turn my head down and touch my lips to the flesh above her eyes. A sigh, and then a smile, and then a more gentle squeezing of our arms around each other. The warmth was permeating our bodies, and now our souls. What was warmth was now becoming heat and the dampness that covers hot flesh. The need for a sweater seemed not only unnecessary but distracting. There was no longer a chill to be reconned with. We were in a very different climate zone. Soon, we would need relief from the heat.]
7:04 AM, Sunday, August 28, 2011
I didn't sleep very much. Hate to say the obvious, but the sky is quite dark and menacing. The rain is heavy and steady. Thank God there is no water dripping in the kitchen.
One good thing about a hurricane is that you start noticing trees that never caught your eye before. Why is it that I never noticed how close these trees are to the house?
I've got power, two laptops with 4 hour battery life, no immediate problems. Except the wind speed is picking up quickly. OK, now's the time the fill up the bath tub with water. Better make coffee now and have something to eat. Maybe I'll just go back to bed and try to sleep through it.
12:20 AM, Sunday, August 28, 2011
10:24 PM EDT, Saturday, august, 27, 2011
What is going to happen in Poughkeepsie, NY, USA? Here is the hour to hour forecast.
|Poughkeesie, NY||Time||Wind MPH||Weather|
Read previous commentary below the fold.
4:36 PM EDT, Saturday, August 27, 2011
I got a call a few hours ago from my friend Rhea. She and Steve are inviting folks to stay with them, if they don't feel secure in their own place. I wanted to take her up on the offer, just for the company. However, I need to stay here because water will drip from the soffet above the kitchen window. It only happens during very heavy rains and wind. Irene has satisfied both conditions.
Up to now, the water went no farther than my counter top and the sink. The forecast is for rain starting at 6:00 PM, and going non-stop for about 14 hours. After that, my apartment in Poughkeepsie, New York, USA will get rain for 9 of the next 15 hours, bringing us up to 11:00 PM on Sunday, August 28, 2011. I'm afraid the intruding water will become a deluge and cause some damage. Once I forgot that my kitchen sink was filling. By the time I remembered, water spilled onto the floor and made its way to the downstairs apartment and caused some damage.
My landlord/lady scheduled a repair of the decking and roof for the two apartments above me. That's going to be in September, and Irene didn't get the email notice. Ron and Ruth, my landlord/lady, did some temporary flashing and arranging of plastic sheeting upstairs to hold back the tide until help arrives sometime in September.
I'm staying in my apartment so I can verify that the temporary flasing is doing its job. And if I can't attest to a satisfactory temporary solution, I hope to verify my ability to improvise and step up to the task. Improvization will probably take the form of sopping with toweling and ringing them out into the kitchen sink. Hopefully, it won't get more complicated than that.
I didn't buy any extra water. I have one of those electric water pitchers for making tea, etc. I boil 1.8 litres, let it cool and fill up some containers. Why the boiling? Poughkeepsie water supply comes from the Hudson River, and is treated with chlorine. When there is a lot of runoff from rain, or whatever, the bacteria count goes up, and they throw a enough chlorine into the water supply to kill, not only bacteria, but small animals up to the size of a King Charles Spaniel. Just open the tap on the sink and you can smell the bleach. It's that bad. Boiling the water gasses off the chlorine, and the water is pretty decent.
I'm about a third of a mile from the Hudson River. It's all uphill so there's no danger of being inundated. Just to do a reality check, though, the highest water levels in the Fukushima Tsunami, earlier this spring, were about 30 to 40 metres. That might very well have reached my house. My building is situated next to the Cunneen-Hackett cultural Center. I'm in an 1888 Victorian, lovingly restored and renovated by Ron and Ruth, and is solid. There was a noticable shaking during the Virginia earthquake earlier in the week. The Old Lady stood firm.