Hurricane Sandy’s butcher’s bill

Hurricane Sandy hit last week, but the regions most affected–especially New Jersey, New York, and particularly Staten Island–are still struggling with the devastation.  That includes shortages of food and fuel.

Living conditions remained severe for tens of thousands of people unable to return to their homes, and some 1.4 million homes and businesses were due to endure another night of near-freezing temperatures without power or heat.

The devastation could also send ripples through Tuesday’s presidential election, with President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney locked in a close race.

An exhausted region now faces the prospect of a new storm. A strong “Nor’easter” was forecast to bring freezing temperatures and more rain and wind by the middle of the week, possibly flooding coastal areas that have yet to recover from Sandy.

The U.S. death toll rose to at least 113 and thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged by the gigantic storm, which slammed into the U.S. East Coast a week ago, bringing a record surge that flooded low-lying areas with seawater.

via Sandy still causing nightmare commute, housing crisis | Reuters.

Victims have been complaining about relief efforts, from the Red Cross to FEMA.

Digging out

Superstorm Sandy did a lot of damage, as forecast:  Sandy Death Toll Climbs To Over 30 As Millions Remain Without Power « CBS Connecticut.

We escaped pretty much unscathed.  We’re over an hour from the ocean in northern Virginia, so we missed the worst of it.  Yesterday we had quite a bit of rain and wind all day, but it wasn’t until 8:00 p.m. that the wind really started to roar, with the trees lashing and the skies opening up.  Remarkably, though, we did not lose our electricity.  Other people in our area did, but we were spared.

There is flooding in the area, but we aren’t on low ground or by a river.  A tree across the street was blown down.  Ours are fine.  Two screens blew off and one of our gutters was blown so that it sticks out from the house, strangely.  But that’s the only damage I’ve seen at our place.

So I’m very thankful, while also grieving for those who were harmed, in their persons or in their property, by the storm.

Were any of you impacted by Sandy?  (I realize that if you are one of the millions who lost power that you have also lost access to the internet!)

Frankenstorm

We’re battening down our hatches, getting ready for what they are calling “Frankenstorm,” a monster begotten by Hurricane Sandy becoming one flesh with a Northeaster.  The brunt of the storm is supposed to hit us today and/or Tuesday.  We’re in northern Virginia, not the coast, but we may get lots and lots of wind and rain.  We’ve stocked up with food, batteries, and other necessities.  We’ve pulled inside the lawn furniture, my prized Hasty-Bake BBQer, and everything else that might blow away.  So I guess we’re ready.   A soft summer breeze is enough to blow out our electricity where we live, so I can only imagine what a Frankenstorm will do.

But at least, as my wife says, people here in the D.C. area are talking about something other than politics.  The storm is going to affect Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and the undecided, all equally.  We are all in this together.  The storm is a unifying factor.

At any rate,  if I don’t post anything for the next day or so, that means we lost power and got knocked off the internet.  Stay tuned, and I’ll report when I can.

Hurricane Sandy Will Affect Millions and Cost Billions.

 

UPDATE:  Since my school has been cancelled, until the electricity goes out, I think I’ll put up some posts timed to appear on the next couple of days.

Republicans postpone convention

Good thing we don’t believe in omens.  (Or do we?):  The Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, was supposed to start today.  It’s been postponed until Tuesday, for fear that Tropical Storm Isaac might turn into Hurricane Isaac, which may very well wreak havoc in the Sunshine state and with Republican convention plans.

Republican National Convention reworking schedule because of Tropical Storm Isaac – The Washington Post.

He could-a been the champion of the world

Our week that began with an earthquake ended with a hurricane.  But, as it happened, the latest graphic of Hurricane Irene’s path showed the outer edge of the system passing by just 15 or so miles away.  So it really missed us.  We had some rain and wind, but it wasn’t bad at all, and the power stayed on.  (Which, for this part of Virginia, is remarkable, since gentle breezes are often enough to put us in the dark for hours.)

The hurricane as a whole wasn’t as bad as feared, though it killed 18 people, knocked out power for millions, flooded some areas and did other damage.  Now comes the second guessing, criticizing the governors for evacuating areas and making a bigger deal of the thing than it turned out to be.  But I think the officials did what they needed to do.  No one could tell what the hurricane would do.  An excess of caution and of preparation is better than the blind optimism and lack of preparation that we saw with Hurricane Katrina.   A storm whirling like a buzzsaw (a splendid description I read in one report) running along the entire East Coast is surely something to worry about.  That it lost power and turned into a mere tropical storm by the time it hit New York City is something we should just be thankful for.

But I do need to report something:  Many of the plants in our garden were blown down.  The result was something I can only describe as a crop circle.  Which means that aliens landed in our garden!   In a hurricane!

Do any of the rest of you have hurricane stories?