As I write this, Hurricane Sandy is within 24 hours of making landfall on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Reuters reports that it may be the largest storm to ever make landfall in the United States. Let that sink in a minute. By size, larger than Katrina, or Andrew, or Irene last year. Already there are reports of flooding in NYC. In Gowanus, Brooklyn, New York the storm surge is literally pushing toxic sewage into the street. Even of NYC does not take a direct hit, the immense size of this storm could be disastrous for the city. A storm surge correlating with landfall near high tide during the current full moon could flood the subway system and affect service for a month. While I admit my combined 13 years of living in Florida and riding out dozens of storms has made me cynical when it comes to heeding the hype, we saw with Katrina that sometimes not even the predictions account for the amount of damage potential.
As Mrs. AP pointed out while we were discussing the problems Sandy poses, what happens when all the rooftop furniture starts taking flight? We have seen lawn chairs split palm trees in half during storms in Florida. What is a handrail from a rooftop deck going to do when it hits the glass facade of one of the buildings in Midtown? What happens when the loose equipment from the various towers under construction gets an unobstructed flight across town? What happens when debris from Roosevelt Island splits a cable on one of the bridges over the East River? Okay, maybe that last example is an exaggeration. Nevertheless, we know in Florida that flooding and debris caught by the wind cause the most damage, and NYC is fraught with potential for both.
Today is Monday. August 27. The scheduled start of the Republican National Convention (now delayed), being held here in the Tampa Bay area. It is also the day forecasters expect the strongest winds and most amount of rain from Tropical Storm (possibly Hurricane) Isaac. To them both I say this: