Saturday, October 27, 2012

Frankenstorm: Prelude 2

It’s alive and, at the moment at least, we are pretty close to ground zero. According to the 6:30 AM posting on the Foots Forecast Central Maryland page, we are now looking at “12"+ of rain for coastal Delmarva and up to 8" for the western shore including Central Maryland.”
“The Maryland Team is working new graphics and statements to be issued here and on the main site this morning. This is part of our usual round of pre-storm consults with local emergency management. We always make sure they're informed of the bad news first. But don't wait for us, if you haven't made the trip to Sam's Club or Costco, go now while there's still a parking space left.”

More than a few of us started getting ready yesterday. Around noon, Costco in Gateway Crossing was packed. One of the employees told me that they had already been through several pallets of bottled water.

I bought a case, along with batteries and a rain jacket for Peanut.
If you wanted to grab a generator you were probably already too late. According to this story by Scott Dance in The Sun “portable generators were in high demand and short supply at local hardware stores.”

And people are going to lose power. BGE currently estimates that 700,000 of their customers will lose power during Frankenstorm. They are already bringing in crews from out-of-state to handle the expected workload. With sustained winds expected to exceed 50 mph over two days, even the extra crews won’t insure a timely restoration of power. You can’t use the bucket on a bucket truck once winds exceed 35 mph.

If you need help in deciding how to prepare, FEMA has a smartphone app with “disaster safety tips, interactive lists for storing your emergency kit and emergency meeting location information, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs).”

Right now it’s the proverbial calm before the storm. At WSw it’s currently 63.4 degrees  67% humidity, and pressure is steady at 29.68 inHg but trending downward. There is no wind.

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