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What a beautiful day!

The high pressure following the storm: Sunny, breezy, not to humid, not too hot. Glorious.

And best of all, no fallen trees or wrecked roof. Not even a power failure. Maine lucks out again!*

NOTE * Of course, as a good WASP, in the back of my mind is the feeling that "We'll pay for this" but for now, I'm enjoying.

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gizzardboy's picture
Submitted by gizzardboy on

From what I read, even though Irene has passed, over 10 million homes are still underwater.

Submitted by jawbone on

The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC had a segment with reporters from the Catskills on this morning. The Watershed Post is an on-line newspaper/news source for the area, which was begun by some former print reporters, and it had a live blog, has videos and photos of the flooding.

The local weather people had been emphasizing that Irene was not going to be a high wind event, altho' the winds in a Cat One could be destructive, but primarily a water event, either from storm surges or rain. Looks like rain has done the most damage, a la Floyd back in 1999.

When I was in the St. Barnabas Burn Center, one of the previous burn patients present for a burn survivors meeting (any of us ambulatory were asked to attend, for Perspective 101, I think) had been a first responder (not sure if a fireman or just local municipal employee) in rescuing people in Bound Brook, NJ, which suffered incredible water damage. The flood came up fast, caught people unwarned and unprepared, iirc. Many, many had to be rescued, and, like many places, those living in the flood prone areas were the poorest of the area.

He's seen fire and he's seen rain...and cancer.

This guy was working in water waist and chest high which was filled with unknown chemicals (there are refineries and chem factories in the watershed area) and who knows what. He developed cancer which was traced to that exposure. However, he beat that went back to work and was badly burned in a fire event (I can't remember exactly what -- at that point in time I was still on a fairly high level of painkillers and I think they affected my memory. Some memories stand out; others don't have all the details I think they should have.

These people who work for the public can be exposed to horrible conditions and dangers by just doing their jobs. He's one of the people I think of when the Repubs diss public workers and when Obama and now lots of Dems do the same, sometimes using words, mostly using legislative actions against them and lots of omissions in not speaking up for them.

But back to the "water event." Is there anyone here who has not been thinking this is a mere dress rehearsal for what's going to be happening to our land, our society as global warming increases? When even more moisture will be trapped in the atmosphere, ready and willing to be taken up by increasingly "massive" storm systems?

"Massive" seems to be the new word of awe when referring to what's going on in our current weather. Last winter it was used to describe huge storms stretching from the Great Plains to East Coast or from the Gulf of Mexico into Canada, same for the huge tornado spawning storms of the spring.

Maybe not a dress rehearsal; just tryouts for lead roles....

Glad to hear you were not hit hard, lambert; Vermont seems to be in horrible shape with the flooding, and I wondered if you were affected. A commenter described the Catskills area as over half the population being without electricity. In those rustic, beautiful areas, dirt roads have been eroded, bridges washed out, roads blocked by boulders washed down them, cell phones are iffy and some landlines dead.

Wow.

Ireme was not a wuss hurricane. She was, as is the trend, massive and weighted with moisture.

Amazing track away from the coast, right up through Montreal. I'd love to hear news about what the remnants of the storm are doing in Canada, but our weather people usually treat Canada as being walled off unless cold air is "coming down from Canada." I wonder if it's a curse of huge landmass nations to be so insular.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

Is there anyone here who has not been thinking this is a mere dress rehearsal for what's going to be happening to our land, our society as global warming increases?

I just read somewhere that the Texas drought/heat wave could last for a long time. Meanwhile, weather here on the Pacific coast is much wetter in the winter, cooler in the summers, plant blooming times totally screwy. Other areas must be changing, too.

I'm trying to find an upside here -- like the people who point out that melting arctic ice means more shipping lanes open, oh yay!! -- but so far, no luck.

Submitted by jawbone on

I learned about as I tried to go to Home Depot (my closest hardware store) and got stuck in a massive traffic jam due to major road closures. This flooding and road closure barely made the news at all until the rescue of people from the flooded area.

About 3-ish miles away heavy flooding of the Rockaway River led to closure of state Hwy 46, a major east-west traffic route in northern NJ. More Irene Irony--Many people who had been told to evacuate from Queens shoreline flood zones came out to the Holiday Inn just off I-80 westbound. The Holiday Inn was flooded and on late Monday, Tuesday they were finally rescued (if the TV brief news report had the timeline correct).

Going west of where I live, about 4 miles, I-287 southbound had one lane completely washed away by the Rockaway River and the other three lanes were undermined and cracked from the erosion. What I saw on TV was a large V running under the highway pavement filled with rushing brown water frothed to whitewater, which, on Tuesday was being filled in with truck after truck after truck after truck of small boulders and smaller fill of broken up stones. The river there is normally so small it's hardly noticeable when driving at highway speeds.

I finally realized why there were so many helicopters flying around my area!

To the south of me, under a mile, a formerly flood-prone area of my town which has been well protected for over a decade by a huge flood containment project, high berms topped and strengthened by corrugated mental walls, was, with this flood, once again flooded. As of yesterday, it had gone down by two of the three to five blocks covered when the flood began.

Today, people who had evacuated from other flooded areas were being rescued from motels in the Lawtenceville, Mercer County. There were many people there with their pets as this motel would accept pets--all were being rescued on inflatable boats and flat-bottomed boats. Poor people. Poor animals.

I'm gathering that the Passaic has finally crested, at least in the Patterson area. (Patterson falls are spectacular now, but accessible only on foot, per the TV people.)

These floods are higher than what people have seen in living memory, and higher by several feet. People are flooded who never expected to see flood waters. So most of these folks do not have flood insurance, since they were not in the marked flood zones. And there were many in the flood zones, which had not flooded in decades, who did not have flood insurance.

(Question: Can people get flood insurance for areas not labeled "flood zones"?)

I had brought the cat carrier up from the basement on Saturday, in case a tree came down on my house and I'd have to leave with my dearly beloved dying boy cat. I went to sleep fearing that if there was such a crash, he, being, like, ya know, catlike, would head under something where I wouldn't be able to find him.... And if my big oak hit the house, it would hit...the end of the kitchen and the master bedroom. Sooooo glad nothing like that happened. And, on a lesser but still important level of storm effects, that I did not lose electricity.

And that my leased car was not damaged.

It was also alarming that people were experiencing bad flooding, and I knew nothing about it. Could I have helped? Probably not, but, still, that people were in trouble with no way of knowing...kinda encapsulates the disconnected lives in suboonia.

Oh, my favorite video of NJ flooding. I think the video of the NJ National Guard 5-ton trucks continuing to drive with the windshield almost entirely covered with brown water has gone viral, but it is amazing. These are new trucks designed to drive through deep water. However, the Guardsmen did not know the depth of the water and had to abandon the trucks when they began to float. Pretty impressive technology, actually. Today, it was reported no disciplinary action will be taken against the Guardsmen. (Would reverse have worked? I mean, before the floating...?)