The winds are picking up here to the point if I didn’t know what was coming in, I’d think we had a pretty bad fall Nor’easter coming through. I’ll keep posting updates here as long as we can power the blog. The good news is the sump pump is hardly working rather than working hard as it did in Irene. We have water coming in, but slowly enough I am certain the backup pump can keep up. My big concern is now trees, and I believe that will remain my chief concern. We have a very small lot, but we have a lot of trees. Several red maples, and a Sweetgum tree. Some of them could damage the house if they came down, or damage a neighbor’s house, which wouldn’t really be any better.
But, most importantly, the beer is still cold. I repeat, the beer is still cold. We have not yet begun to panic. I’ll keep updating this post from time to time throughout the day. If we do lose power long enough we can’t power the blog, we’ll keep updating on Twitter and Facebook, the links to which you can find on the sidebar.
UPDATE: 11:35AM. Still mostly a typical fall storm. I’d still be unconcerned if I didn’t know what was coming. The real fun begins in the afternoon.
UPDATE: 12:31PM. Situation largely unchanged. The beer is still cold. I just got a good strong gust that made the house creak a bit. I’ve never liked it when that happens, but I’ve been in wind storms in this house before where the house groaned a bit.
UPDATE: 1:36PM. Wind is picking up a bit. Still not scaring me out of my pants yet. But I’m starting to nervously eye one of my red maple trees.
UPDATE: 2:43PM. Wind still picking up, but not unprecedented yet. Water is picking up. The basement is getting wet, but the pump still isn’t working remarkably hard. I had to put a pot in the fireplace. The wind is whipping the rain under the cap. Power still on.
Been listening to the local news radio station off and on. Mass hysteria! It’s the storm of the century of the year! As you can see above.
UPDATE: All state liquor stores closed today at 3:00PM due to hurricane. It may now be time to panic.
UPDATE: Here’s a great resource for tracking winds. We’re almost at the peak. I’ve seen winds like this before. It’s not bad yet. Rain has been not very bad yet either.
UPDATE 4:36PM: This is from Bitter: We have been listening to radio by internet, and we’re now hearing our local creek as one of the likely to flood areas, and the residents around there were given a mandatory evacuation order a few hours ago. We’re far up hill from there, so that water isn’t a concern for us. They also report that heavier rains on their way. While there are elements about Sandy that are worse than Irene and elements that are better, I’m most appreciative of the fact that it’s happening during the day instead of the middle of the night like Irene.
UPDATE: 5:02PM: Power just went out for a few seconds and came back on. On the bright side, I pulled my dad’s old electric chain saw out of the shed, which hasn’t worked for a while. The motor and the gearing all work fine. I think it just needs to be cleaned up a bit, and it’ll be in good shape. Hopefully we won’t need it.
UPDATE: Power continues to be a little flaky.
UPDATE: 6:23PM: It’s dark now. The wind is blowing pretty good, but not unprecedentedly so for here. The problem for the trees is this is going to go for a while, compared to a normal winter or fall storm. We’ve cracked out the pepperoni and sharp cheddar. Power is doing OK.
UPDATE: 7:00PM. The National Hurricane Center has now reclassified Hurricane Sandy as Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy. This means that Sandy is no longer a tropical cyclone, and is out of the NHC jurisdiction. She has been consumed, and will now turn into a Nor`easter, or Naw`eastah for those of you in New England.
UPDATE: 8:05PM. Winds have now picked up a good bit now, getting into unusual territory. This is as bad as I remember the Halloween Nor’easter of 1991. Lights are flickering, I’m seeing blue fireballs appearing nearby. Watching trees very very nervously now.
The sort-of-local update:
Listening to scanner, they are literally plowing fallen trees off PA Turnpike #SandyCenPA
— Rep. Stephen Bloom (@RepBloom) October 30, 2012
The not-so-local update:
BREAKING:FDNY headquarters on Grand St. being evacuated by boat.#Sandy
— Hurricane Central (@twc_hurricane) October 30, 2012
UPDATE 9:15PM: I get annoyed by all the attention on NY while many other states are taking a big hit from Sandy as well, but I have to admit that it is news when the subway system used by so many millions is now being flooded by four feet of seawater (so far) and there are reports that it could be out for a week.
Locally, our county has the most power outages in Southeast Pennsylvania, but we’ve been pretty fortunate so far. *keeps fingers crossed*
UPDATE 9:38PM: NJ is getting hit hard. Gov. Christie has promised kids that he’ll sign an Executive Order to reschedule Halloween in case it’s not safe for them to go out on Wednesday. In the meantime, these are two reported photos from Hoboken – one from a PATH station and the other on a street there.
UPDATE: Con-Ed offers us from fireworks in Lower Manhattan (About 18 seconds in). I was reading about New Yorkers dismayed because ConEd was preemptively shutting off power to Lower Manhattan. People: your lines are buried. When the high voltage, high-capacity main transmission trunks end up under seawater, bad things are going to happen. They are right to be preemptive.
UPDATE: 11:13. All this tree watching is tiring. We were up early this morning. So far I’d rate this as a replay of the 1991 Halloween Nor’easter, also called “The Perfect Storm.” My experience has been far too boring to write a book or make a movie about. I am hoping it stays that way, and tomorrow all my trees will still be upright. We well return to our normal blogging schedule tomorrow in that instance.