Saturday, October 27, 2012

Frankenstorm - Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best

We are preparing for a storm that could be 'history making', but equally could be kinda windy with some rain.  The Tropical Storm Formerly Known As Hurricane Sandy, is coming up the Atlantic coast in our direction.  When it gets here it will meet a cold front from Canada and another storm from the west,  which will pull Sandy back onto land, from the ocean. The combination of these three storms, plus a full moon so the tides are very high, makes conditions ripe for a really big storm.  But, it all depends on which storm goes where, when.  One thing it could do is to stall the storm systems over us for several days. We're hearing 4 to 5 days, but are unsure what that means.

At this point, Governor Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency and applied for some kind of federal assistance.  The National Guard is standing by. We have received a number of robot calls from the city emergency services warning us to prepare for a big storm.  FEMA is collecting water and blankets and designating contact points. There are shelters being set up etc.

 We are told that we should have supplies prepared for at least 3 days without power.   We have purchased a battery operated radio, some new flashlights and batteries, bottled water, and a power-free menu consisting of bread, peanut butter, tuna, baked beans, cereal, UHT milk, graham crackers and cheese.  Yum.  I also got lettuce and we are having roast chicken tomorrow so there will be leftover cold chicken.  What is kind of funny is I bought the groceries before I got the list of recommended groceries and I had bought everything on their list.

We dug out our old Coleman stove, which still had fuel in it though it had not been used for 20 years or so. It started right up and we bought more fuel.  Our cars are full of gas, the generator is ready and there's also extra gas for it.   And we've tried to bring stuff that could blow around,  inside.

What we have not done is nail plywood over our windows and sliding glass doors.  Nor have we bought a plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid and plastic bags to create a 'toilet'.  I just can't wrap my mind around that. Plus, we are quite sheltered in our location.  The large storm surges caused by heavy winds and high tides won't reach as far as our house - 3 miles inland.

At this point, they are saying that it will begin to rain tomorrow evening with temperatures in the 50s and winds of 10 to 20 mph.  The rain will continue and the wind will pick up on Monday and be 35 -45 mph, gusting to 55 to 65 mph, possibly higher.  High tide at midday on Monday will be a crisis point along the coast,  with large storm surges expected.  The coastal areas just a couple of miles from us will have it much worse  than us, because of these surges.  The evening tide will also be a crisis point.  Heavy winds and higher than normal precipitation will continue into Tuesday.

The most likely problem for us is power outages.  We have been told that they are nearly certain to occur because high winds blowing against trees that are still fully leafed, means that the trees are more likely to blow over and damage power lines.  We just don't know how long we will be without power. The last big storm was in March 2009 or 2010, I think, and we were without power for 2 1/2 days.  It was kind of fun actually.

I read that the waves will be between 25 and 35 feet high and I hope the weather will allow us to go see them. I'd really love to see that.

I'll update the blog, as long as we  have power.


Vivi said...

Do your pellet fireplaces work without power?

Thanks for the compelling descriptions.

The Bride said...

The pellet stoves have an electric ignition, but once they are going they don't need electricity. We use the extra outlet on the generator to get them started.