Thursday, October 25, 2012

FRANKENSTORM Hurricane Sandy & NY Impact

UPDATE 4:04pm ::: Among the good places to follow the storm: CNN's Breaking news blog.

UPDATE NY Time 11:05 AM 10.28.12
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will begin the orderly suspension of all subway, bus and commuter railroad service at 7 p.m. Sunday to protect customers, employees and equipment from the approach of Hurricane Sandy.

The New York City subway system will begin to curtail service after 7 p.m., and the New York City bus system within the following two hours. Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road will start their final trains by 7 p.m. Subway and railway stations will be closed after the last trains.

Customers who need to travel today should do so as soon as possible and not wait until the last train or bus is departing. Anyone who does not leave for their destination before 7 p.m. runs the risk of being stranded when service is suspended. New York City Transit, Metro-North and the LIRR will cross-honor each other’s passes today to speed the process of returning customers to their homes.

“The transportation system is the lifeblood of the New York City region, and suspending all service is not a step I take lightly,” Governor Cuomo said. “But keeping New Yorkers safe is the first priority, and the best way to do that is to make sure they are out of harm’s way before gale-force winds can start wreaking havoc on trains and buses.”

The MTA Hurricane Plan calls for suspending service hours before the approach of winds of 39 mph and higher. That gives MTA crews time to prepare rail cars, buses, tunnels, yards and buildings for the storm, then return to safety. Winds of 39 mph and higher are predicted to reach the metropolitan region during the predawn hours Monday.

Chicken Little has spoken - the sky is gonna getcha! This morning Frankenstorm Snowizilla Sandy continues to be a hurricane and now the REAL waiting begins. Over the next 24 hours the storm will make a turn to the west and move into New Jersey.

According to the professional weather-watchers, the wind is of greatest concern because it will impact the most number of people. High winds take down trees and those fallen trees will impact the power situation. Readers, do what I'm doing right now:

CHARGE everything electronic. Charge your laptop, smartphone, tablet, portable TV, radio and DVD player, etc. Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. By the way, those winds should be quite strong down in NYC and probably Boston too.

For those of you in the Catskills, my friends Julia and Lissa are planning to be posting 24/7 via THE WATERSHED POST - so bookmark it on your lappies and smartphones!







New Yorkers are being warned there may be some battening down of hatches to-do come this weekend as Sandy moves up the US coast from Cuba. Have a look at the Weather Underground's storm tracker model HERE.

CBS2 New York says the "potentially huge weather event could hit the Tri-State Area as early as Sunday night." Late Wednesday night National Hurricane Center Chief Hurricane Specialist James Franklin said a hit on the Northeast was growing more likely, but that could change. I recall when Governor Cuomo issued that "big alert" for New York City, which was bypassed as a hurricane opted to take a path up thru the Catskills instead.

In Guantanamo, Cuba, a 76 mph wind gust was recorded earlier today. A long radar loop from Pilon, Cuba captured the Jamaican and Cuban landfalls, and a loop from Miami shows the storm presently (sites further north will be available as the storm comes within range).

Hurricane warnings are in effect for parts of the southeast Bahamas and central and western Bahamas. Tropical storm warnings cover much of the central and southeast Florida coast on the Atlantic side. Wind gusts to 40-45 mph, 1-3 inches of rain and 7-11 foot waves are possible in southeast Florida through late Friday.

A US weather service official warns Sandy will be every upstate New Yorker's "worst nightmare." YOW! All this BEFORE Halloween! Hence the moniker "Frankenstorm?"

This morning, accuweather posted an article referring to the October storm as a potential "atmospheric bomb." Quoting here - "the worst-case scenario is for Sandy as a hurricane or hybrid storm to be captured as chilly air and strong upper-level winds join in from North America... a storm with hurricane strength turning inland over New York City would have tremendous impact from New York to Boston and inland to Albany, but there would likely be a sweep of dry air, gusty offshore winds and minimal concerns farther south from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C."

Curley and General Bow have the right idea: they're heading for higher ground. Expect milk and bread to be hard-to-find this weekend if not sooner on supermarket shelves. 

"We're talking about a confluence of events," David Bernard, chief meteorologist for CBS News' Miami station CBS 4 said. "We have a powerful hurricane ... in the Bahamas. That's a lot of warm air, a lot of heat, a lot of energy and of course we're deep into fall now and we have an unusual strong jet stream dip with winter-like cold air, and you put those two things together, that's the possibility that is on the weather maps right now and that could lead to a powerhouse low pressure forming Sunday and Monday.

Forecasters say there's a 90 percent chance that the East will get high winds, heavy rain, flooding and maybe snow starting Sunday. While it's too early for precise forecasts, New York City and New Jersey could get the worst of it. Consolidated Edison has a webpage for Westchester County customers.

Most of the utilities will post power outage maps on their websites. National Grid also sends text messages out to customers during major storms. Their hot line is 1-800-867-5222.

Central Hudson can be reached at 1-800-527-2714 and they offer customers mobile apps for Android, Apple and Blackberry devices.

Orange and Rockland offers computer and telephone support at 1-877-434-4100

What happens next? Stay tuned!

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