November 1, 2012

On Weather

Well. A lot has happened in the past few days. Frankenstorm, also known as Hurricane Sandy, the collective of storms that recently battered the East Coast, has come and gone. We were mainly spared in the D.C.-metro area. There were downed trees and branches, some flooding of businesses and basements, and extensive power outages, but the damage we faced was nothing (nothing) compared to the devastation in New York and New Jersey. As with many natural disasters, there aren't words to describe what's left in the wake of the storm. The Atlantic has some vivid photos of the aftermath here and here and here. (Side note: Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, has earned his Super Mayor title.)

Breezy Point, Queens

Manhattan without power

Queens, NY

Seaside Heights, NJ
(photos via The Atlantic)

As a Mississippi gal who grew up visiting the Gulf Coast, from Houston to New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle, I'm not a stranger to hurricanes. I was at school in Tuscaloosa when that bitch Katrina came barreling through, and we had substantial damage even then, several hundred miles from landfall in New Orleans. My family was vacationing near Destin, FL when Tropical Storm Alberto came through back in 1994. There are countless other storms that caused my hometown plenty of residual flooding and damage; Andrew, Ivan, Rita, Camille back in the day, and of course the innumerable tornados that hit the Southeastern U.S. each spring.

I don't mean to say that I survived these storms, because that's not at all fair to those who actually lived on the Coast and lost homes and loves ones. My point is, this storm was such a rare occurrence that it would have been terribly devastating to those who expect weather events like this; I can't imagine what it must feel like for the NYers and NJers who were blindsided by this storm. (Kind of like in 2009 and 2010 when D.C. experienced record snowfall amounts and the city shut down. President Obama, a Chicagoan, couldn't understand why three-plus-feet of snow sent D.C.-ers into a panic and received some flak for it.)

The District has experienced some pretty odd weather events over the past several years. There was SnOMG in December 2009, which dropped 16 inches of snow in D.C.; Snowmageddon/Snowpocalypse in February 2010, responsible for three-plus feet of snow and an epic snowball fight in Dupont Circle; an earthquake in August 2011; Snowtober on Halloween 2011; a derecho in June 2012; and now the Frankenstorm in October 2012. The Washington Post even wrote about it, and here's another breakdown.

Anyway, my neighborhood tends to lose power at a brisk gust of wind, so I packed up and camped out with my sister and her boyfriend in Arlington. We were lucky enough to maintain power the entire time, and had our own three-person hurricane party, complete with beer, PlayStation, scary movies, and homemade pumpkin waffles the next day. All in all, not a bad way to spend a couple of days.

Please consider donating to the Red Cross's Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

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