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waiting for izzy

[click for bigger image]This is my cousin Isabel. This post has nothing to do with her except for the fact that the hurricane I will refer to is also named Isabel. That, and it's a great picture.

Hurricane Izzy (and I call it Izzy because that's what I call cousin Isabel) is back up to a category five and headed for the east coast. As of now, it's got its eye on the Mid-Atlantic region but it is a very fickle storm and has not yet settled on a precise direction, nor has it made apparent where exactly it will touch down on land. So we are waiting.

Long Island is just that. A long island. Hence the name. It juts out into the water like a finger pointing at the southern Maine coast. It's not nearly as wide as it is long and one can traverse from one shore to another in the time it takes to write to read a Denbeste essay. So if I stand in front of my house, which is right about where the blue dot is on this map, I would have water to the left and water to the right. That's north and south to you map afficianados. Basically, any hurricane activity would come from the south or the southeast. But where would one go to escape that activity when you are on an Island with nowhere to go but water?

Oh yes, there's Queens and Brooklyn and New York City. That's what the Coastal Evacuation signs along the parkways are for. I will dutifuly ignore those signs if and when the signal comes to get out of Dodge.

No, I'm not one of those people who wants to go down with the house. I don't have that much attatchment to my material possessions that I would brave the wind and rain and flying street signs to guard my DVDs and action figures. I would rather, as I have stated here before, get sucked into a whirlwind of debris and water than be swept out to sea while stuck in traffic on the Grand Central Parkway. Think about it - there are about three million people living on Long Island. Imagine the sirens going off, the radio emitting that long beep that signals an emergency, the local news anchor crying in a panicked tone for everyone to leave town. Three million people packed into cars and trucks and SUVs all with one point in mind: a bridge out of town.

So we all head to the Triboro or the Throgs Neck and we all get stalled in traffic that backs up to Montauk and Izzy comes hailing down on us while we sit in our cars watching the sky turn black.

Not likely. I'll just sit at home, probably poised at the window with my camera, delighting in the high speed winds and bending branches. Maybe, just maybe, I'll put some duct tape on the windows so they don't blow inward and I'll put the garbage cans in the garage and lock the kids in a closet. But nothing will make me get in my car to head west, and nothing will keep me from staring at the storm close up.

The last big one that came through here was Gloria in September of 1985. We lost power, lost some trees and had a grand time the next day driving around surveying the damage. What can I tell you, I'm one of those bad weather freaks; the Weather Channel is my favorite station. In a way, I welcome the excitement of impending hurricanes. I'm sure I would feel differently if I lived in the Carolinas, who get hit much harder than we do up on Long Island. When we do get hit hard, and all those rich folk out in the Dunes lose their homes I sort of shrug my shoulders and say something like "that's what you get for building your million dollar homes on the water, in a spot that is known for its ongoing erosion."

Anyhow, I'm waiting on Izzy now. Got the camera battery charged up, got film for the SLR and I have duct tape on hand, just in case. No need to fill the gas tank; I'm not going anywhere.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference waiting for izzy:

» The Weather Channel is Her Favorite from The American Mind
Michele, weather freak. "Waiting for Izzy" [Read More]

» Isabel on the Move from suburban blight
After I posted this entry on my fascination with storms, my friend Greg M. in Florida wrote to me to offer to let me house-sit during the wrath of Isabel. Heh. Greg, as much as I would love to meet... [Read More]


I live in Wilmington, NC, which is pretty much the catcher's mitt of the United States when it comes to Hurricanes.

Great picture! I was there for Gloria. Am now NW of Atlanta, if she tracks the way they are projecting, and keeps up her momentum, Savannah could take a pounding. These storms spend their energy pretty quickly when they hit land, as you know, but this one could plow inland, and we could effected, maybe.

My cousin got married during Gloria, up in Saugerties. It was brilliant, water up to the windows and no electricity, and the chick teaching my 70-year-old aunts to macarena never batted an eye.

Oh come on over here. I'll mix up a pitcher of drinks for ya'll.

Sorry, Kevin, I think we've got you beat along the gulf coast (Texas to Fla.) It's even shaped like a catching mitt. But we're all awed by the inhabitants of the Bahamas, who seem to get it every time the wind blows.

Seriously, though, a real big hurricane is nothing to mess around with if it's heading straight for you. My family stuck it out through some tropical depressions, but we headed for higher ground when the big storms came in.

Once, my wife and I drove over a bridge connecting the bolivar peninsula to the mainland during a tropical storm, trying to get back to our house. The sound of that wind is unlike anything I've heard before.

We've been keeping tabs on this one down in Florida. Frankly, having been through Andrew (not to mention several when I was very young) I'd rather this head up into the north Atlantic and dissolve. It doesn't look very likely that that will happen, though. Ugh.

I live in the Keys,we either get 1 or we get winged by 1 or 2 a year it seems.Iv`e never left.That`s not to say that I wouldn`t leave if a Moose of a storm like Isabel were to come head on.Winds?Rain?Lightning? No problem. Storm surge?
Time to go.

damn I hope the if nothing else the collisum and the indian point nuclear reactor is still standing when its all wash away.

Oh yeah and the UN too.

I live in Newport News VA which is pretty much in the current theorised "bulls eye".

Even better, I live in a trailer....and I just had knee surgery....so I'm looking forward to a wacky week.

You are absolutely right to be getting your ducks in a row now. If it heads north the hurricane supplies will disapear quick so go by them now. Mostly there the same things you'd buy for any preparedness kit but people always forget bugspray...hurricanes drop a ton of rain as well as break things so afterwards there is a mosquito hell.

I don't know enough about the area to give you a good evac plan but if you are 100+ feet above sea level you should be free of the storm surge at least. I hope you don't have to deal with this but you New Yorkers have really impressed the rest of us with your cool headedness the last few years.


But where would one go to escape that activity when you are on an Island with nowhere to go but water?"

Absolutely nowhere. That's what I did ten years ago when we got hit with Hurricane Iniki. The anticipation is nearly as scary as the storm itself, and of course that was compounded by seeing photos of Andrew for the prior week.

Stop by here http://skywarn.gigdot.net/lists/ and join one of their mailing lists. Atleast give yourself the benefit of advance warning.

Now would also be a good time to stock up on the essentials. Batteries, Flashlight, Candles, Water etc...

All about the tracking....

and you've probably seen this too....


I live 4 miles from the Chesapeake Bay.