Frankenstorm Update: Hurricane Sandy is Strengthening, Last Minute Preparations Needed

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As Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast, there is word that she is strengthening.  Here is more from the NY Times…

Forecasters cautioned that the course of the storm could change, but officials from the National Hurricane Center said that it was no longer a question of if the storms would converge — but where and with how much force.

Dr. Knabb of the National Hurricane Center said the storm’s intensity was unlikely to change. “The center of circulation is only going to be a very small part of the story,” he said. “This is not just going to be a coastal event.” People from Virginia northward should be prepared for a “long-duration event,” he said.

Utility companies were rushing to put crews in place to deal with power failures, which state officials warned could be extensive and long lasting. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey told residents that they should be prepared to go 7 to 10 days without electricity. On Saturday evening, Amtrak began to cancel train service to parts of the East Coast, including between Washington, D.C., and New York.

Also, Accuweather has some advise for preparations…

-Get prescriptions refilled now, especially if you doctor must approve the refill.

-Vote. If the stronger models are correct, power could still be out in some paces on election day. Regardless, that is one less thing you will need to do. The election will not (and shouldn’t be) postponed.

-If you can get an electrician to install a generator, get it done. Do not try to install a generator yourself. If you don’t have a generator, get a power inverter or two. Radio Shack and similar stores sell them. They are a “poor man’s generator” and will keep your cell phone, laptop, and similar charged.

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-Keep your car’s gas tank full. If you have a wood-burning fireplace and you know your chimney is clear, get wood. Keep some indoors to keep it dry during the storm. You may need it to heat your home.

-If you live in a 100-year flood plain (you can check at city hall or your library) or on the coast figure out your evacuation strategy now. Make your list of things you will take with you. Fill a few gas cans (the type you would use for your mower) to have extra in the event of power failures. Purchase extra staples. Without power, stores will be closed.

-Purchase booster batteries for your cell phone and other essential equipment.

-If you need insulin or other medicine that must be kept chilled make plans now. Consider what you would do if you were without electricity for a month. If you have an invalid living with you that requires electricity, there will be areas that will be without power for weeks.

-Be proactive. If you live in a heavily wooded area, does someone in your vicinity have a gasoline-powered chain saw? Does it have fuel and a reasonably good chain/blade? Test it, now.

-Get to an ATM. Without power, credit card readers and ATMs will not be working. In a disaster, cash is king. 

OK then, it appears that things are going to get pretty bad, so it’s best that if you haven’t done any preparations that you do so now.  Your humble admins lives by one simple rule-never live in a flood plain.  However, while the CH 2.0 Bunker is high and dry, a power outage has been planned for.

As for blogging, I may have to try the smart phone.  It won’t be able to do much, but updates will be possible.

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Hurricane Irene Update 8-28-11: New York is next, CH 2.0 Bunker is Soggy UPDATED

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For the latest on Hurricane Irene, here is the radar image for the Northeast at approximately 1:15 AM.

As you can see, much of  Eastern Pennsylvania is in Irene’s outer bands.  As the morning continues, the storm will make it’s closest approach to NY City.  And, as you might guess, the CH 2.0 bunker is under that blotchy yellow and red.  We’re getting some wind gusts, and some steady rain, but we have power, and the Direct TV is working about 1/2 the time.

As the day unfolds, we’re getting some ideas about the scope of the storm, as well as the damage.  Here is some more from Bill Deger of Accuweather…

1:10 a.m. EDT SUN: The eye of Hurricane Irene is located just to the east of Ocean City, Md., and moving north-northeastward. Wind gusts to hurricane force (74 mph or greater) will continue to be experienced from the center north and northeastward, along with a damaging storm surge. Doppler radar estimates over 19 inches of rain has fallen in parts of North Carolina and extreme southeastern Virginia with confirmed reports as high as 15 inches.

5 to 10 inches of rain has already been recorded over the Tidewater of Virginia and parts of the southern Delmarva. Rainfall was increasing rapidly across Long Island and southeastern New York state at this hour. Some locations across eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey have already picked up 3 to 5 inches of rainfall in the last 12 hours.

Power outages have had an impact on data collection across the mid-Atlantic. Over 3/4 of the Dominion Power customers in the Richmond Metro area are without power at the present time with nearly 2 million people total in the mid-Atlantic in the dark.

Rain bands moving onshore across the Delmarva, southern New Jersey, and southeastern Pennsylvania have been showing signs of rotation over the last few hours and numerous tornadoes have been reported. One tornado was reported just south of Wilmington, Delaware with another damaging 30-40 homes near Lewes, Delaware earlier in the day.

Winds have gusted to 62 mph in Cape May, N.J., 76 mph in Williamsburg, Va. and 71 mph in Richmond, Va., and to 66 mph at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, 74 mph in Elizabeth City, 70 mph in Morehead City, 74 mph in New Bern, and 88 mph at Cape Hatteras, N.C. Downed trees were blocking southbound I-85 near Petersburg, Va.

A gust of 115 mph was recorded at Cedar Island, N.C., which was in the northeastern eyewall at time of landfall around 8:00 a.m. Dare County Shoreline Management Commission reports that a new inlet may have been created on Hatteras Island, N.C.

Tropical storm-force winds continue to move north, and now extend from southeastern Virginia north to near New York City. Rainbands from Irene will continue to cause severe flooding and may even spawn a few tornadoes.

If I lose power, I won’t be able to post.  I will try with my “smart phone,” but for a smart phone, it rides the little bus.  I don’t think it’ll happen, so I hope I don’t have to find out.

On a more whimsical note, many people have been mistakenly thinking that “Irene” is “Eileen.”  Let’s set the record straight…

Yes, I know people are making parodies for Irene, but let’s remember the classic song.

BTW, it took me nearly 45 minutes to post this-it should not have.  The six-year-old Dell froze a bunch of times.  Hit the freaking tip jar!

Update 2:30 AM:  The wind and rain is picking up here.  Otherwise, we’re still in business.  Also, here is a title for a blog post…

Global Warming Kills Florida Surfer UPDATE: Thousands Without Electricity or WiFi; Bloggers Hardest Hit by Storm UPDATE: New York Braces for Irene; Women, Minorites, NFL Fans Hardest Hit

That’s simply magical.

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