I’ve been through two big storms before: Hurricane Donna in 1960, as a lad of 10 in Norfolk, Virginia; and Hurricane Camille in 1969, both of them so bad-ass that they retired the names. Even though I now lived nowhere near landfall, I was actually in Portugal for Katrina, so was spared as it ravaged the turf where I used to reside: I guess this is one more revolution of the karma wheel, headed straight for me today. More as it gets closer, until we inevitably lose power.
Earlier glimpses so I make sure I don’t forget ’em: Mayor Bloomberg ordered all mass transit to cease at noon today, Saturday; first time in history. (I wonder if, like Standard & Poor’s, he’s overcompensating for a previous institutional gaffe, for him last winter’s blizzard.) NYC airports have essentially shut down, all are permitting only outbound flights, and those only as weather allows. My gym was open this morning, but not the Starbucks on the corner: closed today and Sun. That is deadly serious, and maybe even instructive for folks who aren’t paying attention. The NYTimes, busily building its paid firewall, opened everything regarding the paper’s so-far-exemplary coverage of the impending disaster to anyone who can log in. Classy. Linda sez she’s not at all sure we’ll lose power, but we took all the precautions anyway, even filled our tub with water so we can make the toilets flush without electricity. (We live on the 21st floor, where you need Con Ed’s help to pump the water up and defy gravity, but adding water to the tank and flushing employs Prof. Newton’s discovery just fine. I learned that little trick during the 2003 multi-state blackout.)
6 am Sunday: Power’s still on, but the storm basically just got here. Very heavy wind and rain. One rubber seal in the kitchen window is bad; water was leaking inside until Mr. Fix-It stuffed a towel in the offending corner. Damn, I’m good.
10 am. The center has passed over us, and Irene has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Take that, Irene. Con Ed’s juice still flowing.
6 pm. All that’s left is a little wind. Good night, Irene.
SOME TIME LATER: But then came…