waiting for izzy
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.