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Jim

Hurricane Sandy

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On Sunday, I drove to Woodstock which is deep in the Catskill Park. While much has been repaired, the evidence of Irene's damage is everywhere: rebuilt roads and bridges, ruined houses, washed out hillsides. And it was even worse in the north country in the ADK Park. Now, with Sandy approaching, the entire state is under an alert and NBC says sustained winds could hit 80 mph with perhaps 7--8 inches of rain. We're going to have our third storm of the century in the space of six years. I can prep for a blizzard but have no clue about a real hurricane.

This could be the region's biggest hit since Hazel in 1954 which was a direct hit on upstate NY and southern Ontario. That storm caused great damage and took many lives include over 100 in Toronto alone. It, too, was an October storm. Very strange. This Sandy storm is expected to cover all of NYS and reach into southern Ontario and Quebec.

Just a couple of weeks ago we had a thread about how NYS and the Northeast is generally spared such problems. Something is certainly changing.

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We're due, that's for sure. Haven't had a real super hurricane since I was a kid in the 1950s. Not looking forward to this. I did see the ADK damage this year on the way to Lake George. Wow... and that was mainly a rain event there.

We're also due for a blizzard. Had one in 1969 and the infamous Storm of '78, but nothing has even come close to those in 35 years in the Greater Boston area.

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Don't forget Hurricane Agnes 1972. We were just moving to Schuylkill County, with the worst flooding. Devasting from Harrisburg to Scranton and beyond. Made landfall in Gulf and diminished but reintensified at sea off Hatteras before hooking back ashore.

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Last year, two hurricanes in Aug/Sept, one huge regional rain (third week of Sept) that compounded the high water table effects of the previous storms (and forced a cancellation of a weekend visit to Bill Young in Wisconsin)- and a snowstorm that temporarily left about a foot of snow and blackouts galore at the end of October! NOT looking forward to all of it at once! Am battening down the hatches, emptying the basement of my various collections (Doug Seed and Bills Cotter and Young KNOW how much work that will mean for me!) and prepping sump pumps and the emergency generator. And the effect in Wurtsboro should be mild compared to other parts of the Catskill region! Yikes! Hoping for a huge direction change for this little party - preferably WAY out to sea!

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Have to say I am very concerned about this storm. The warnings here are dire and I am deep in upstate NY. On some level it does not seem that this is possible but I clearly remember Irene last year, Agnes in 1972 and the stories about Hazel, which was a direct hit on Toronto after slamming upstate NY, are epic. I have no clear idea of how to prepare for a hurricane of this magnitude. If this has to be, I wish it could be a blizzard with three feet of snow. That I can understand.

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The most likely scenario for folks inland is a power failure.

Prepare for that and hope it doesn't happen.

I've never experienced one here in cold weather. Another layer of complications, I'm sure.

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I have no clear idea of how to prepare for a hurricane of this magnitude.

Besides the online advice, there are many simple precautions that go a long way

Put anything you don't want wet on high shelves and away from windows. Speakers. Electronics. Important papers, put in plastic bags.

Know where flashlights are, make sure they work, get batteries, candles, kerosene lamps, matches.

Fill car gas tank.

Weeks' worth of sardines, similar foods that do not need preparation.

Battery operated radio. Possibly the most comforting preparation. So you know what's going on out there. Or use car radio.

I've been through many hurricanes and you start to feel real alone when that wind howls and walls shake. Helps to hear people talk, let alone give emergency info.

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And the effect in Wurtsboro should be mild compared to other parts of the Catskill region!

Are you in Wurtsboro Gary? I went to Camp Fordham summer 1969. Cabin Four. That was my Woodstock. Rained, wrote a lot of letters home.

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I've lived here since 1996, although the Holmes family has called Wurtsboro home since the early 1800s. Grew up in Liberty, 25 miles NW of Wurtsboro, moved to NYC, Boston and London, then made my way back to the Catskills. My brother, in fact, lives in our great-grandparents' house and he and I run a store where our family has run a business since 1869.

Camp Fordham was known to me, although I think I only went there a couple of times when my grandfather had some sort of business with the owners. DOn't even know what is left of it. There are, however, a few of the old camps still around (Camp Lakota is the one I can think of right now.)

Too bad you didn't get to Woodstock - a few of my adventures at the fest have been recounted here, along with Doug Seed and Bill C. In fact, tonight, I'll be pulling my collections, including all my Woodstock Fest memorabilia, out of the basement in prep for Sandy!

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I saw this one and thought it was pretty good....

Rule #1 for Florida residents. Put away the lawn flamingos. They can become deadly projectiles in a hurricane. :D

I guess the bottom line is... the biggest danger in high winds is from projectiles flying through the air. So.... do NOT go outside no matter HOW much you want to see what is happening! Wait for it to blow over. If you want to 'see the show', clip a cheap webcam out front (or back) to a fence railing or something, and run a usb line to your computer.

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Thankfully, we're not in a cold period. The temps are mid-to-high 50s during the day and 40s at night, so if we lose power, we won't be during a cold snap. See... we don't consider 50s to be cold! (yuh, right!) Sounds like we probably will lose power, which makes the whole thing seem way worse. We're not prepared for the reality of spending over-nights in our basement, though we may, to be safe.

We have a lot of tall, scary trees very near our house and the "mighty" oaks are terrible. They lose branches in moderate wind... they surely won't do well in a really strong, sustained wind. One tipped over against our house in Hurricane Bob. All we lost was a screen! Sandy sounds like (he or she?) has a lot more potential.

I did have a great idea a few years ago. I take my Sebring convertible to the mall parking garage during wind storms and snow storms. We only have a one-stall garage here, so one car comes inside and the other rides out the storms at the mall. They don't give me any trouble about it, and I only have to clean off one car when it snows!

I'm moving my work computers to a low level close to the core of the house. We're on a well, so we're filling pails and water containers for future toilet flushes. And 88 cents a gallon for spring water at Walmart just now... thought that was a deal considering that they're busy with hurricane preparedness (public panic). I saw people leaving the store with gallons and gallons of milk. What the...? If we lose power, what's going to happen to the eight gallons of milk that guy has in his cart? At least I can use the water later. Maybe he's going to drink it during today's Patriots game.

Seriously though, God bless those in the direct hit zones.

Signing off until Sandy passes through.

Good luck, all.

Doug

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I hope all in the path of the storm get thru safely.

On a more selfish note, I am starting a 3 week US vacation on Nov 3 and travelling to NYC on Nov 7. Hopefully my hotel room wont come with mask and flippers!.

Stay safe.

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Thanks, Doug. Upstate NY is now 24 hours from a direct hit and I have never been through anything like what is predicted. Irene, last year, was a destructive rainmaker but the winds had diminished when it hit here. It is the wind which causes so much misery. I hope we all come through safely. I, too, am signing off until this is over. I hope it is sooner than later. And I hope everyone in Sandy's path is safe.

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To all of my fellow board members and Fair enthusiasts, who like me (I'm in Morristown, NJ) are going to have to ride this out, my prayers and best wishes go to you and I ask for them in return as well.

It has been a long eerie day of waiting in a calm before the storm atmosphere. Last year, with Irene, by a miracle we only lost power for two hours and it cleared out fast. But the danger of this storm is that it is going to linger for a long while and while I don't anticipate flood damage in my neck of the woods, the coastal areas are going to be a scary place all around as this is bar none the worst storm to ever hit the NY area.

I expect the power to go sometime tomorrow but before it does, I'll try to keep checking in, and I certainly will again after it's all over.

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Thanks Randy. We're okay where we are, all sealed up in our house. Cleaned out the gutters yesterday and squeezed all the deck furniture into the garage and now its been a waiting vigil ever since. Morristown is part of the north NJ region that so far has not had a drop of rain or a bit of major wind so its been an eerie dead calm thing outside while conditions worsen all along the shore. So far regions west of us like in Delaware have been getting dumped on big.

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Back for a quick check-in . Like Eric and Jim, we woke up to an eerie calm this morning, but the wind has picked up already, and it's just coming up on 9:00 AM. I sniff a bit of a backing-off by the forecasters, at least for the Greater Boston area. Of course, a "bit" of a back-off still could mean a nasty storm, so the jury's still out. We definitely have wind and attention-getting gusts out there now.

The way the storm is expected to curl around Boston - going all the way west almost to Ohio then curling back up to the Northeast - means we'll have a long-duration event instead of a storm that passes straight through then dissipates.

As fearful as I am about the wind damage and falling trees, I can't imagine the terror of watching the California wildfires creep toward your property like Bill Cotter did a year-or-two ago.

I was shocked to see a cruise ship leaving NYC for a cruise, yesterday. They showed it on the news. Seriously, they're going out in this? There's a cruise ship in Boston that's going to stay in port, but the people are still boarding for their "cruise". That I understand. Everything on the boat will be the same except the scenery and that the casino will be closed.

Again, good luck to all. I'll check in again when I can.

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Noon here in Wurtsboro and the winds just started to really pick up! No rain yet. Was outside at 3 A.M. - no wind, no rain, just cricket sounds...the calm before the storm!

Terrible news about the two guys on the (now sunk) Bounty! Hoping they are found safe!

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I'm seeing communities on the shore I went to as a kid literally being destroyed today. Seaside Heights, where there used to be the best waterslide in the country (converted to a miniature golf course in the 90s). There's a town called Ocean Grove with an historic auditorium building that dates back to the late 1800s that's likely to suffer major damage and the family friends of mine who gave me those IBM pavilion cards from the Fair a couple months ago when they were clearing things out of their summer home in Ocean Grove are likely to see that home gone by tomorrow.

My part of the state will get through this fine even with power outages that haven't happened yet, but the New Jersey Shore as I think all of us knew it is going to be irrevocably changed.

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I just saw a photo of water almost covering the runways at Laguardia.

Anybody know what the report is, from FMCP? has the high tide backed up the Flushing River into the park? How far is Meadow Lake overrunning its banks? Hope the candela structures at the marina hold up okay, but they seem vulnerable.

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