October 27, 2012

Are You Prepared for Frankenstorm’s Onslaught?



Would, should, are words that dominate our activities at the end of a week of a perfect Indian summer weekend that is expected to be capped by a triple-whammy Hallowe’en storm dubbed Frankenstorm2.

We would, should, must, be prepared for ghoulishly horrible winter-white weather this week as Hurricane Sandy barrels down upon us. As the forecasts continue they become gloomier, and more convincing. And we must, like boy scouts, be prepared.

Yesterday was sunny, hot (temperatures flirted in the 80s all week), breezy, enabling me to complete weeding the second of my three small raised gardens under a rainstorm of yellow and bronze leaves. This morning I moved some of my plants indoors. I moved others to the back porch, and left some on the front patio—I still have to cover them to protect them from the predicted low temperatures and snowfall.

We already have a supply of food which includes items that don’t have to be cooked. We have oil to fill the lanterns in the event of a power outage. A small log pile will allow us limited heat to supplement our supply of blankets and layerable clothes.

We have flashlights and batteries. My laptop and notebook are charged, allowing me to easily work away numerous hours. I have files I can review, by lantern light if necessary, in case a power outage lasts longer than my batteries. Fortunately, neither my husband Monte nor I have any pressing engagements to attend to in the next few days.

We live eight miles inland from the Atlantic coastline, just over an hour from Ohio and the Monongahela River. However, as with previous historical Nor’easters and hurricanes, significant inland effects will penetrate into the Ohio Valley. Indeed, along the southwest flank of Sandy, extremely heavy snow will fall in West Virginia amounting to blizzard or “snowcane” conditions1.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to collide with both an early western winter storm moving east and a blast of arctic air from the North at a time when the moon is full, affecting Atlantic tides and increasing potential for coastal flooding. The resulting storm is dubbed both the Perfect Storm and Frankenstorm (because it is expected Hallowe’en???)

Although we feel prepared to greet the storm and wait it out we may experience some difficulties. Monte is a member of the Borough Council. He could be called out if there is an emergency in the community. Falling trees constitute one of the biggest threats in our park-like, small, rural community in the foothills of three Appalachian mountains/hills.  A secondary threat is heavy, pounding rain on our gravel roads.

As I did yard work yesterday afternoon there were increasing clouds in the sky. Much of the time, however, the skies were blue accented with white clouds, the type of sky we’d had all week. This morning the sky was overwhelming overcast, with little blue. I could feel the temperature dropping.

What weather will tomorrow bring? Will the children—of all ages—in our community be disappointed if Hallowe’en activities are interrupted? My friend, neighbor and writing colleague will celebrate her birthday on Tuesday, the day the worst of the storm is predicted. Will she be housebound?

We can only wait and see…and hope that the effects of the storm are not as drastic as predicted.

Perhaps we can wear our Hallowe’en costumes after all.

What precautions are you taking to prepare for this first blast of winter weather?



Why Name Storm ‘Hurricane Sandy’?









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