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Home » Stories, True and Otherwise

Oh, Sandy: Your Frankenstorm Open Thread

Submitted by on October 27, 2012 – 10:18 PM82 Comments

I’ve got your landfall right here. IN MY PANTS.

Hey, friends. A misty rain is starting here in Brooklyn as of this writing, so it’s time to open the Sandy thread. Information, anecdotes about travel, local updates, and meltdowns if your significant other is like “hey could you CTFO about Frankenstorm maybe, ’cause we live in Santa Fe” — it all goes here.

And does anyone have a storm tracker that’s a bit less opaque? I’d like to see one with a better key. And a crystal ball, since I’m supposed to get on a plane Tuesday morning, like, three minutes after this bad boy hits New York. (Spoiler: probably ain’t happening.)

Carolinas and Florida, keep us posted; everyone stay safe.




  • Julie says:

    I’m in Austin, but I have family in Pennsylvania, so this storm is relevant to my interests.

    For all my obsessive storm-tracking needs, Weather Underground has provided every time. Because why watch a hurricane-shaped dot move across the map when you can see it on radar, satellite, wind map, and wundermap, too?

  • Suzanne B. says:

    Philly here! Phlashlights available at the hardware store at 45th and Walnut. :) Thank you for posting this, Sars. +1 to the storm tracker request. I usually poke around Weather Underground – – especially Jeff Masters’ blog; I’d love to have alternatives, too.

  • Dayna says:

    See if this site helps. Good luck to everyone in the path of this storm. Stay dry, stay safe.

  • Barb says:

    I’m in Northern Virginia, barely outside of DC. One of the radio stations started every-ten-minute updates of the storm yesterday, except there is almost nothing to say yet. They have recommended we bring our Halloween decorations inside. Most stores were selling out of batteries and water LAST night. I just sent out a mass email to friends, letting them know I might loose computer connections for hours to days. Even if we get NO effects from the storm here, there is a high likelihood of loosing my computer connection; our electric company has been known to collapse from a loud “BOO!”

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Boy, those weather satellites chose a great time to poop out, huh?

    Be careful, everybody, especially my inlaws in Maine!

  • Liz says:

    It is 6am and a light rain is falling in Wilmington, DE. I just found out the Governor has finally declared a state of emergency and the home inspection on my new house is definitely cancelled on Monday. And, I’m wicked hung over and supposed to go to Baltimore for the day today. Fun times….

  • Leah says:

    In Philly at 1046pm and I have… nothing. Cloudy, gloomy but not a drop of rain has hit my back patio. I did buy two cases of water and a case of Diet Coke on Friday, plus a bag of dry cat food. My father pulled out the cat carrier from the basement, just in case we are told to leave (we live right near the Delaware river). Right now, I’m baking oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies and listening to NPR.

  • Leah says:

    1046AM. Not PM.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Looks like transit is shutting down here in NYC at 7 PM tonight; school’s closing for tomorrow (not sure about that, but not relevant); and evacuations pending for Zone A. My house is at the top of Brooklyn, so storm surge won’t be an issue, fortunately.

    For right now, though, it’s pretty quiet. The mist from last night seems to have been just that — up this high, it does happen that we are IN a cloud at times — and everything’s bone dry so far. But there’s a steady breeze, and it just seems kind of ominous.

  • Katherine says:

    I am in suburban southern NJ and all I’m seeing right now is clouds. I haven’t heard about schools tomorrow here – I’m an elementary school teacher so I get a call from my district. A lot of surrounding counties are cancelled tomorrow, however.

  • Suzanne B. says:

    Ha ha, hat trick on Weather Underground! It’s 2pm here in Philly – the wind is starting to pick up a bit. No rain yet. Universities have cancelled operations for tomorrow and Tuesday.

  • Reader Gretchen says:

    Take care out there everyone! Hope you and your families, cats, dogs, etc. are safe!

  • Lore says:

    My flight for Tuesday has already been canceled, so I am cranky and not going to Barcelona AND on hold with Travelocity for the past hour. And getting sick. And debating whether to hang out in my apartment or decamp to the BF in Queens. Who can’t decamp here because of hideous allergies to the cat.

  • Jenn says:

    Barb, I’m in the same area. The lastest is that they’ve closed the schools for Monday and Tuesday. I get being prepared, and I appreciate that the utility companies are on top of things (unlike after the freak storm in June when people were without power for a week), but it’s not even raining yet.

  • Jonesy says:

    In Astoria/LIC area; steady strong wind and cold. Grocery store is packed with people although not cleared out of food. Was able to buy one of last few cheap headlamps at the camping store near my boyfriend’s apartment, which was also packed with people buying expensive lamps and flashlights. CUNY Queens College (where I take grad classes) is closed tomorrow.Hunkered down w/ cat on lap. Saw some people raking, bagging leaves and thought, “Why?”

  • Jeanne says:

    I’m Boston, the schools are going to be closed and all non-essential city workers are to stay home. So I get at least one day off. I’m not terribly worried for me, I have family in the NJ/NYC/DC area that I’m more worried about.

    The name of the storm kinda bums me out, because my next door neighbor growing up is named Sandy and she was like a second mom to me while I was growing up.

  • attica says:

    I only just learned about the transit shut-down. I’m kinda pleased — a forced day off!

    The latest update of the storm path looks to miss my wee corner of the county, although we’ll undoubtedly get outer bands of wind and rain. I have plenty of water and batteries (and a battery powered radio — old skool!), and if precedent holds, power should too. If it does, I suppose I’ll have to do some work remotely. Which, it’s not like I can go sledding instead, and I get to stay in pjs, so not so bad.

    Good vibes, everyone!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Jonesy, to keep them out of storm drains, which then back up and aggravate existing flooding-runoff conditions. (We FINALLY got our tree planted by Parks the other day; they advised us to deal with any leaves now. Meanwhile said tree will probably be blown onto the Belt Parkway.)

    Getting colder here. Sky looks like snow.

  • Bea says:

    It’s getting veeery windy here in South NJ. We’re evacuating ahead of the storm and before they kick us out of here because we live next to a creek and I’m assuming that flooding is a foregone conclusion. I’m kind of freaking out.

    The latest update from the local branch of the NWS service basically said, “EVACUATE IF YOU’RE TOLD TO. IF YOU DON’T, THINK ABOUT HOW TRAUMATIZED THE RESCUE WORKERS WILL BE BY YOUR DEAD FUCKING BODY.”

    Oh my.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Wow. Good luck, Bea!

    Just realized the Starburst was right at the corner and I did not want to find her on her side and full of bilge tomorrow morning. While moving her, I felt a few raindrops.

  • Katie F says:

    Baltimore City Schools are closed, which is good, because I’m stranded in New York (There are a couple of bridges in Delaware and MD that I did not want to deal with in high wind, even if I beat the rain). Out in Floral Park, the trees resemble The Happening, and we’re hunkered down. Here’s hoping I make it back to Maryland before school restarts.

  • Katherine says:

    I’ve been watching the pictures appearing on msnbc all day. Stay safe everybody! You’ve got people thinking about you just west of the outer edges.

  • SarahBeth says:

    I’m in Central MA and we’ve had drizzle all day, some wind but not too much. Pretty much the entire STATE is closed down, no school, a lot of businesses have closed and now they’re saying that it’s not going to be so bad inland where I am.

    I still have to work tomorrow though, bah.

    Stay safe to all in Sandy’s path.

  • Kat from Jersey says:

    My parents, in their 70’s, live on a lagoon off Barnegat Bay, Ocean County, NJ (ground zero for Sandy making landfall) and were told this afternoon that there is now a mandatory evacuation for their area. They are totally blowing it off, and have decided to have a pre-hurricane party with their neighbors, none of which are leaving either! Go figure! We’re in Middlesex County, NJ, and are just hoping the power stays on so our basement doesn’t flood.

  • Profreader says:

    Here in Baltimore, it’s been grey and misty all day. The first rain began about twenty minutes ago. Our neighborhood has been very lucky in the past (knock on wood) with not losing power, but trees have come down here and there and smashed people’s cars (tree wells too shallow.) So we’re moving the cars to a nearby parking garage tomorrow…

  • Abby says:

    I remember after Hurricane Ike, there were stories on the news about people in Galveston (who had refused to evacuate despite PLEADING by the Houston and Galveston mayors) who had called EMS during the storm when it got really bad and were told to find a permanent marker and write their social security numbers on their bodies for ID purposes…chilling.

    On a happier note, CVS’s Dora the Explorer Adventure Kit includes a flashlight and is probably more available/cheaper than camping supplies. Plus you get binoculars!

  • angela says:

    Safe wishes to all Tomato Nation!

  • Barbara says:

    This is a fun weather site:

    It’s usually Seattle area stuff but he’s got posts up about Sandy. Good for people who like lots of maps and details.

  • kategm says:

    Philadelphia (suburbs, Montgomery County), ahoy!
    We had some wind and light rain earlier but I think it’s quiet now. Ooh wait, I just heard some thunder. Or possibly the high-school marching band (yeah, I’d totally believe they’d be practicing at 11 p.m. on a Sunday night). Most of the businesses and schools have already closed/canceled classes through Monday and Tuesday. SEPTA is suspending all service beginning at midnight.

  • RC says:

    I’m on the wrong coast for this, but those of you in the storm’s way who are interested in community science (or are just bored from everything else being closed) might be interested in helping with this project: Basically they’re interested in the isotopic composition of the precipitation. Science is awesome! (but be safe!)

    The short version (from the above website, instructions there):

    1. Be safe
    2. Start collecting precipitation as soon as possible
    3. Try to collect a separate ‘integrated’ sample over each 12-hour period from 8am to 8pm
    4. Each time you sample, fill a sample container w/ water from your collector, seal it securely, label it w/ an ID and record the info requested in the spreadsheet
    5. See the letter for suggestions for sample collection devices and sample containers
    6. Keep on sampling and hang onto your samples until we get in touch later in the coming week

  • Barb says:

    Northern Virginia: it has already been announced that schools will be closed Monday AND Tuesday.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Mist now steady in the BK; winds gusting harder. Going to bed, hoping power holds. Hang tight out there, Nation.

  • Suzanne B. says:

    Woke up in the morning / Got myself a – ACK, asjdgka;jkd;afjl.

    which is to say: in Philly, it is raining and gusting wind much more strongly now than last night. My cats have fluffed up and are peering up at me from the carpet.

  • Leah says:

    Dispatches from Center City Philadelphia.

    My workplace is open. I work at a bank. For real, who is going to the bank in a hurricane? Lunacy!

    However, I am stuck at home because there is already a tree down on my block and they have closed my street. I walked out of my house and the electric company guys were like “GET BACK INSIDE!! IT’S NOT SAFE!!!”. I called my boss and said “No. Sorry, but no.”

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    The storm has started in earnest here, although apparently this is child’s play compared to what we’re in for overnight. I’m trying to get everything turned in fast in case the power goes out.

  • Meagen Voss says:

    It’s cloudy here in Chapel Hill, but it seems that we’ll be missing out on all of the really rough stuff. I just moved from DC though, and it must be a ghost town up there with the Federal government closed down. Plus, a light breeze tends to knock the electricity out in Montgomery County.

    Hope everyone in the Tomato Nation has their hatches battened down as well as a steady supply of candles and books.

  • --Lisa says:

    Hello from Florida,

    I highly recommend these two weather sites: for Dr. Jeff Masters blog. He tells you in plain English what to expect and why. for their wind field maps

    Good luck to all the northeasterners!



  • Yoshi says:

    Hello from Somerville (next door to Boston/Cambridge), MA! All’s still well here, though the cat’s gone mental and the dog’s morning walk repeatedly threatened to blow us all into neighbours’ front gardens. My gf and I are both home (my work’s closed; she’s working from home and cussing extravagantly enough to give me new insight into her professional life), and I’ll be spending the day cleaning the house and roasting a chicken. Trying to work out the over/under on a day off tomorrow as well, given that reports are now saying that it’s likely to continue longer than previously expected.

    I hope the Nation and its loved ones are all safe, well and happy. Good luck all. XOXO

  • Sandman says:

    I hope everyone in the Nation remains safe and dry. (Gotta say, on a somewhat – okay, blindingly – selfish note, I’m beginning to feel a little of what you must have felt, o bearer of the Tomato Suit, during the SARS outbreak. Hey, thanks a lot for bandying my name about, culture! I ain’t no Frankenstorm. Sigh. As I say, not a real worry at all, in the overall scheme of things.)

    Hold on tight, everybody.

  • Julia says:

    I’m in Texas but I’ve felt compelled to check in on Sars and the Nation every time there is bad weather or other terrifying events in the NE since 9/11. I worry about you guys!

    I hope that you all have adequate food, water, other supplies, and shelter. I worked with medically unstable Katrina evacuees, many of them elderly, who had no medical records or medications with them and were unable to give doctors and nurses accurate information. If you have a medical issue please make sure you have medical records and your medications (a month worth if you can get it) together in a water proof container. If this doesn’t apply to you please consider helping elderly friends and neighbors get these things in order.

    Please be safe.

  • attica says:

    Leah: I would not be surprised if your bank is busy today. I used to work for a bank. On rainy days, it would be empty. On snowy days, jampacked. I theorize it has to do with the primal urge to provision — the more dire the storm, the more people have to touch their money.

    Here in Westchester county, we’ve gotten some gusts and some light rain. County officials have closed highways already. I bank online. :)

  • Jenn says:

    I’m at work but don’t plan on staying long. It’s not doing much outside – moderate rain, getting windier – but it’s super-dark. Only about half a dozen people are in the office and we don’t have the usual white noise of the AC/heating system, so it’s much quieter than usual. This is the part in horror movies where things start to go horribly wrong.

  • jmd says:

    Upstate NY here, it is gray and windy. Most schools here are doing early dismissal and no afterschool activities, south of us (Albany and points south) have already closed.

    No rain yet, but it is predicted for noon-ish. Really hoping that the winds don’t knock the power out. I have cold water and water for flushing and snacks that don’t need cooking and Diet Coke and flashlights.

    My family is in Brooklyn and they are hunkered down.

  • Elisa says:

    Good luck to everyone on the East Coast! Stay warm, safe, cuddle your cat/dog and hide under the blankets! That’s what I’d do. Heh. Plus a Veronica Mars or Gilmore Girls marathon.

    Here, the radio won’t shut up about “Frankenstorm” and we live in the desert. Then there was a lengthy radio debate on whether it should be called “Frankenstorm” or “Frankenstorm’s Monster” because (he was so proud)DJ Mike on 93.1 read the book. Heh.

  • Germaine says:

    Just started raining on the south shore of Long Island and wind is really picking up

  • Dsayko says:

    Leah: I would also not be surprised if your bank is busy today. If the power goes out, ATMs and credit card machines won’t work. People should be stocking up on cash (as well as gas, batteries, candles, water and food).

    Good luck to everyone in the storm’s path.

  • FloridaErin says:

    Checking in from Florida. We’re actually still windy down here, though nothing like what we saw over the weekend. I can’t imagine the scope of this thing if we’re still getting wind in Central Florida and you guys are starting to get the storm up there. The temperature dropped about 10-15 degrees over the past 48 hours, as well, so I imagine you’re in for some cold weather when this is all said and done.

    Stay safe! I went through the 2004 storms in Central Florida and it was no picnic. Take the warnings seriously, people. Always assume they’re right about their predictions. You can be mad about being overcautious later when you’re safe.

  • kategm says:

    Rain and wind picking up in the Philly suburbs. I live with my parents and sister we’re all home from work/school today. Except my mom, who has to go to work tonight (she’s a hospice nurse).

    Stay safe, everyone!

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