Part of why I like DailyKos are the well researched, well-substantiated stories by the community of experts. I remember in the 36 hours before Katrina hit, there were very thorough articles identifying the risks to New Orleans.
This latest hurricane report does not mention risks on quite that scale, but it does identify that the current path of the hurricane in New York City and that if it stays on the exact current track there could be significant damage and risk of casualties.
Looks like, if it stays on track, Sunday might be a fairly miserable day for me at the Renaissance Faire that I'm working at. We'll just be at the very edge, but that could be enough to make a mess.
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quote: think this'll be a mixed bag. On the one hand, winds will probably come in far under what some have been advertising. If New York City itself (at the official observation site at Central Park) comes in with sustained winds exceeding 50mph at any time, I'll be surprised. On the other hand, Irene has remained pretty strong aloft. Part of her weakening is her inability to transfer those winds down, because of weaker convection. Normally, the winds the reconnaissance planes get (when they fly at the level they've been flying at) can be taken at 90% to estimate surface winds. Not too long ago earlier this morning recon clocked a wind to nearly 100kts, which would've supported Irene being about 90kts. Yet she's only at 75kts now and, frankly, that may be a little generous. Anyway, I explain that all to point out that what it does mean is that any good squall could transport down MUCH higher gusts. So, these winds are, as I said, a mixed bag. Sustained winds will be modest, but there could be some impressive gusts embedded within there.
The biggest problem from winds is going to be tree damage... taking out power lines, blocking roads, falling on houses and cars, etc. But it's going to be spotty. I don't think the sustained winds will be enough to yield excessive, widespread tree damage. But to my point above, anywhere where one of these heavier squalls moves through could see briefly, much higher wind gusts. And at those locales there could be some pretty hefty tree damage. Given the sporatic nature I expect the damage to be, this is a great case of "expect the worst, hope for the best". Be prepared for a multi-day power outage, get all loose stuff indoors, don't park you car under a tree, etc.
Rain: Rain is going to be pretty excessive near and a little west of the track. This could be a pretty big deal. Rainfall is one aspect that doesn't minimize with a weakened storm. In fact, some of the worst rainfall totals in tropical cyclones have been in mere tropical storms. Here's one model's rainfall prediction.
...It's just a model. It won't be perfect, but it gives the correct idea. Near and a little west of the track rainfall amounts of 6-10" will be the rule. That's a lot, especially in areas where the ground is saturated by heavy rains over the past couple of weeks. Small creeks and streams will likely flood. Low lying areas and poor drainage urban areas will flood. Anyone who has issues with basement flooding, roof leaks, etc is probably going to have an issue with this storm.
Storm Surge: This has really been talked up. From a scientific standpoint it will be interesting to see what really happens. Irene will barely be a hurricane (and may not be) by the time she hits the Northeast tomorrow. With that, surge heights would normally be pretty minimal... 1-3 feet. On the other hand, she's a large storm and moving relatively slowly for an East Coast storm, allowing her to really pile up the water. So, maybe a 4-6 foot surge could occur... and on top of the near new moon high tides. Another case of "prepare for the worst, hope for the best". Though I'd add, perhaps lost in all the media hype, even a worst case with Irene won't come remotely close to the "big one" that is talked about (a Category 3 hitting the city with a bit more of a NNW motion). The surge will be, at worst, "moderate".
Tornadoes: In the front right quadrant tornadoes can be spawned by landfalling hurricanes. This is a pretty minor issue, as they're relatively weak tornadoes and are few and far between. Nonetheless, they can occur and any tornado is going to have stronger winds than Irene herself. So, folks east of the forecast track should be aware of this threat.
Pretty bad flooding in the Philadelphia area. Darby (1/2 mile from me) is basically underwater. Emergency management here has been good, though--no deaths in the metro area that I have heard, though there is a building collapse in north Philadelphia with people trapped in the rubble (dunno how closely related to Irene it is).
Edit for linky Video was taken last night--the water is now 6 ft or more in most places in the Borough. Geez.
Large parts of northeastern PA are without power. We got 5-6 inches of rain, but the wind wasn't much worse than a thunderstorm. Obviously there were much higher winds relatively nearby, since our house is still without power.
A few miles to the east of us only got about 3 inches, while about 20 miles to the west got 10 inches.
quote:I have no running water (not just no hot water but NO RUNNING WATER) , no electricity and no internet(obviously) I will not have power for days. Possibly up to a week. For me to use the internet I have to drive 40 miles to my mother in laws. For me to use my phone I cant be at my mother in laws. I finally got to a spot where my phone can work. The 3G network for apple is so overloaded you cant do anything. My sons school was canceled – was supposed to start tomorrow. My daughter's day care is closed so my husband and I get to argue over whose conf call/job is more important. I had to go to a hotel last night that had no power to take a shower in the dark and wash my daughter's bottles in the dark. At least they had hot water from the generator. Oh and Im also deathly ill. Have pity on me. I actually cried today. I'm at wits end.