As Hurricane Irene fast approaches America's east coast, here's why our man in New York won't be battening down the hatches.
Hurricane Irene is on her way. There are three evacuation zones in New York City. A, B and C. I’m in Zone C. Though Zone B stops about 10 yards from my flat. I can only hope the Hurricane understands and religiously follows the grid system.
There has already been a mandatory evacuation of Zone A, the first ever in the history of the city, with the movement of over 250,000 people. Zone A is a huge area all around the city, covering much of the World Trade Center site and financial district along with parts of Long Island and Brooklyn. The Subway system is shutting down at noon on Saturday. Mayor Bloomberg did a poor job during the heavy snowfall this year so it appears he is taking every precaution.
I watched a news report on Hurricane Irene last night entitled “Worst Case Scenario.” It did nothing for morale by predicting power outages, flooding and flying debris. One estimate said even if the storm is Category 1, the lowest level; it will cause nearly 10 billion dollars in damage, along with potential loss of life and injury.
The only thing I’ve stockpiled are packets of reduced Prawn Cocktail crisps…Like a child I have since eaten all but one of them.
Now, this all sounds very serious but right now it is a sunny Friday afternoon in New York. When I came home from work there was a sign on the building door that suggested locking all windows and stockpiling drinkable water. This has led to a wave of panic buying by the general public. Walking into a large chain shop today in Chelsea they didn’t have any bottled water. All sold out, even San Pellegrino. So far, the only thing I’ve stockpiled are packets of reduced Prawn Cocktail crisps bought from the British Import shop. Like a child I have since eaten all but one of them. I’m not made for this sort of thing. This whole situation has made me yearn for England where we bypass the whole Hurricane part and just go straight to the looting.
No one really knows what is going to happen but it appears everybody fears the worst. My co-workers were all going crazy, I was told to give my Next of Kin details today. Messages have been flooding in (4-5 emails) from friends wishing me safety but one of my biggest worries are the rats. There are millions in this city. Millions. There are more rats than people with estimates of around 32 million rodents. Where are they all going to go? Zone C probably. The last thing I want is to be cowering in the corner of my flat sharing stale crisps with a rat.
One estimate said even if the storm is Category 1, the lowest level; it will cause nearly 10 billion dollars in damage.
Earlier I received a phone call today from my girlfriend who has gone back home this weekend to the Midwest:
Her: “Tom, I want you out of the City.”
Me: “I’m not leaving. I’ll just stay here, lock the windows it will be fine.”
Her: “No, you are in a tall building, you know they are attracted to tall buildings.”
Me: “What’s they?”
Me: “It’s a hurricane”
Her: “Whatever, I want you to leave. You’ve seen “I Am Legend.” Everybody died.
I’m not going to bail; I reckon it will all peter out to just a heavy storm in New York. Ideally going the same way as the little earthquake we had this week. Though if I’m spending Monday morning in an Evacuation center I’ll unhappily admit I was wrong.
It would seem those places south of New York such as Philadelphia and North Carolina will be the worst hit so we can only hope everyone stays safe as possible. There are some shamefully huge homeless populations across the cities in the US so hopefully they can find safe shelter and everyone else can keep out of harm’s way.
Right, I’m bedding down now, locking the windows, filling the bath with back up toilet water and rationing out the last packet of Prawn Cocktail crisps. Wish me luck.
I’ll be tweeting @twgreaney till the internet cuts out.
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