Saturday, 27 August 2011

Battened Down!!

So I'm not sure about the rest of the city, but there's a palpable air of excitement about the approach of Hurricane Irene (follow Irene on twitter here, she was in 'spin' class the last time I checked. Ho ho!!) on the Upper East Side. Some people are almost giddy in fact. It is quite thrilling I admit, as long as no-one gets hurt of course and I suppose fears are assuaged somewhat when you live in one of the gray areas on the evacuation map that isn't expected to be in any danger of floods as a result of storm surges and you get to ride out the storm within the comfort of your own apartment.

It was almost business as usual for me this morning; my 8.15am Total Body Conditioning class was still on at NYSC and there were tons of people using the treadmills on the main floor of the gym. Supposedly the location nearest me is operating as usual with the exception of the classes which are cancelled after 11am. I'm surprised they're not closing earlier. They normally stay open until 9pm on Saturdays and Debs told me yesterday that even though the worst of Irene was expected between 2am and 4pm on Sunday the city was recommending people not be outside between 9pm Saturday and 9pm Sunday, so how are the staff expected to get home, especially with the MTA stopping all services at noon today?? Hmmmm!!! Hopefully they will all be safe. Even the Fairway Market that had tweeted they likely wouldn't be open today ended up opening from 6am - 10am, although Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds were all closed.* I popped into Fairway and got a few bits - cut fruit, milk, tofu, the usual hurricane essentials ha ha - it was busy but not insane and the shelves looked to be as full as they usually are. I was reading yesterday that there were bread shortages, but Fairway had a decent amount this morning and there hadn't been a run on the beer aisle. Perhaps wine and cocktails are the drinks of choice for a hurricane. I've definitely seen a lot of Facebook postings from people planning to hit up the liquor store and stock up -
personally I'm going to have a teetotal hurricane experience - and according to one friend there were about a 100 people in line at the Trader Joe's wine store near Union Square last night. The line to pay at Fairway was pretty long too, but most people were pretty mellow about the situation and I got to check out some of the Upper East Side hotties while I queued. Silver linings ;-)

Anyway I'm pretty much all set for Irene. I've got 3 flashlights, lots of spare batteries, something like 5 gallons of bottled water plus a couple of large containers of tap water in the freezer should I need to use them for cooling other foods if
the power goes out. I heard on the news that Coned is considering preemptively cutting the power in downtown Manhattan below Canal St, which is the area they are expecting to be most at risk for flooding. I also have:

- Season 5 of Dexter on DVD
- Two fully charged laptops, two fully charged cell phones and a fully powered Kindle
- 4 Cadbury's Curly Wurlies
- Cans of tuna
- A loaf of wholewheat bread

I also have a bunch of fresh food that I've cooked up and just need to reheat, power permitting. I also plan to fill the bathtub with water later tonight, just in case I should need it for flushing the loo. Just have to pack my 'go bag' and I'm ready.

According to the latest weather report Irene has apparently been downgraded to a category 1 hurricane, but we can still expect 40-50mph sustained winds, with the potential for 80mph gusts. Later in the day on Sunday we're expecting sunshine and a high of 81F, which just seems bizarre. The city is taking it extremely seriously anyway, too seriously some say, speculating that Mayor Bloomberg is very keen to avoid another f*** up on the scale of the mismanagement of last year's post Christmas blizzard. Better safe than sorry in my view. The fact that some residents of low lying areas that are under mandatory evacuation order are deciding to stay put just beggars belief.

"I built my castle, I gotta protect my stuff," said one buffoon who plans to ride out the storm in Far Rockaway.

How exactly is he expecting to protect his possessions from a hurricane? Is he under the impression that if he lays on the top of his stuff he can stop it from blowing away? Board up the windows and get yourself to a safe(r) area you big numpty; your stuff isn't worth having if you're dead!!!

Other than watching back to back episodes of Dexter I plan to get my domestic on this weekend and have a whole pile of clothing that's either missing buttons or has come undone at the seams, so it's on with the TV and out with the sewing kit and then cleaning, so that the place gets a good scrubbing before my parents arrive in a couple of weeks. Bring it on Irene, hopefully it will be a storm in a teacup, but stay safe kids!!

*Make my OWN coffee??? Seriously ;-)

3pm. It's excruciatingly humid but very quiet out there right now.

P.S. In other nature related news there have now been TWO large sharks spotted off Mission Beach in San Diego. Two!!! There go next week's surfing lessons for sure :-(


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Kitty said...

haha, you big numpty!!!

I have to say, we NYers though city folk, can be resourceful. Sounds like you had all bases covered, Fish.

We are really lucky in Manhattan and Brooklyn to have our electricity underground. Blackouts would be very rare. Mark and I cooked all day. Well, I did. Then he fell asleep and refused to budge when I nudged him about the winds.

I really doubt hurricanes would do the amount of damage they do elsewhere because there are few freestanding buildings (except the tall ones). Walk-ups and other small scale buildings that form our blocks are sheltered. If you live on a corner or higher up, then you're more vulnerable.

We have a couple clients at 15 central park west on the 30+ floor. I had to wonder how they fared. Probably keeled over with heart attacks!

Glad we're all ok, Fish!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Kitty,

Irene was a big non-event for most of the city eh, but the pictures of the damage to the Catskills and Vermont are just heartbreaking!!