Mother Nature seemed to have given us a break with the weather yesterday. The sunshine enabled Staten Islanders to flock to supermarkets for emergency supplies, as well as to gas stations to fill up their tanks before Hurricane Irene comes our way. Today, however, a thick fog has spread over the Island. Close to nobody is on the road, aside from ambulances leaving the hospitals and buses looking for evacuees.
In the five boroughs of New York City, the entire MTA will be shutting down at noon today. Extra transportation will be available for people, as well as their pets, to evacuate, with fares absent in evacuation zones. However, as stated, all transportation will be stopped at 12p, so that the buses can be safely transported back to their respective depots before the storm makes it impossible. Bridges in the evacuation area have also removed their tools for people in need of evacuation.
Storm Surge Will Be A Significant Problem:
By 9am, a light rain began to fall over Staten Island. This will certainly not compare to what we are in store for. According to the news sources, the first effects of the storm will be felt late this afternoon, with torrential rain and heavy winds. The worst of the storm is expected late tonight into tomorrow afternoon. Heavy winds are expected to begin after midnight, with flooding rains and coastal flooding.
Coastal Flooding will be a major concern for the Raritan Bay, specifically in the Tottenville Community, according to the NOAA storm surge model. Although small, there is a possibility for the storm surge to reach nine feet, which is tremendous.
Pets are allowed at evacuation shelters. If you are planning to bring them with you, you must bring a leash, a muzzle if necessary, vaccination documents, medical records, and enough food for your pet.
Even if you do not live in an evacuation zone, everybody must prepare for the coming storm. No matter how much the storm weakens, it is still very life-threatening. As low as the winds may become, the real problem is storm surge. The damage that it could do will potentially give us a hell of a lot of work to do this coming Monday.
Other important issues
According to the MTA, mass transportation may not be completely available on Monday, depending on the effects of Hurricane Irene. Con Ed will be shutting down power in Lower Manhattan because if saltwater gets on the underground cables, they will burn out. As a result, many people will have power outages. They have informed us that we should treat all wires on the ground as if they are live. If you see a damaged power line, call them at 1-800-752-6633.
You must make sure that you have everything you need for the coming storm, as we do not know what effects it will have on us. Make sure you have your “Go Bag”, as well as emergency supplies. If you have a generator, make sure that you DO NOT keep it inside, as carbon monoxide fumes do kill. If you have a car, make sure you park it away from poles and trees. If you have pets, make sure that you have enough food for them, as well as for yourself.
You must prepare.