October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Enters the Ligonier Valley, PA., Oct. 29, 2012



 Monday, October 29, 2012:

10:00 in the evening:

Temperature 39 degrees Fahrenheit

Snow falling


The weather dominated the citizens from along the Atlantic coastline westward to Ohio—and, as I heard a television commenter state, Frankenstorm will reach its tentacles as far west as Chicago.

This morning, believing the weather reports that espoused wicked, ghoulish, once-in-a-lifetime storm weather, I decided to go to town to run an errand and have breakfast. After all, Frankenstorm might not allow me to travel far from home for a few days. Yes, we’ve hankered in. Yes, I appreciate being in-housebound because I’ve neglected my interior cleaning to favor outside work and I need time to do some major writing. I can do both by lantern light if need be. Unless a tree falls on our house (no snickering—there are many older trees in well-wet soil that will be watered far more thoroughly than necessary, making them vulnerable to falling) my husband Monte and I feel pretty safe in our snug little cottage home tucked in the foothills of Laurel Mountain.

Even so, Frankenstorm can be rough—three weather systems colliding during full moon. At least Washington Furnace Run has a pretty huge gorge to fill before we think of it overflowing the banks and seeking our home.

Frankenstorm’s arrival actually began Saturday evening. About 9:30 p. m. I went to my daughter’s house (yes, the daughter who’s made me angry twice, in August and this week—with a name like Sandy she can be blamed for Hurricane Sandy…) to photograph her husband’s Hallowe’en display using night settings, something new to me.

As I walked to her house (she lives around the corner from me) I could see a slight mist in the air—enough to make the rays from my flashlight artistic, but insufficient to interfere in the photography done under the protection of an umbrella of hemlock pine branches.

Sunday dawned and remained gray and overcast. It was raining by late afternoon.

As I walked to the café for breakfast there was a gentle rain falling—not enough to require an umbrella. In the afternoon the gentle rain continues, just strong enough to require an umbrella. Our thermometer recorded temperatures in the low 50s.

Frankenstorm at 4:00 p. m. Oct. 29, 2012

When I returned home the computer radar picture of the weather looked ominous, showing Frankenstorm blanketing all of Pennsylvania and Ohio. I cozied in and worked on a jigsaw puzzle depicting country store in New England.

I checked my e-mail. The Weekly Writing Challenge is: I Wish I Were… I quickly typed in the following comment:

I wish I were along the New England coastline, anywhere between Wallis Sands Beach (Rye, New Hampshire) and Lamoine Beach (East Lamoine, Maine on Frenchman Bay) or in Middletown, Rhode Island at the boat dock, to observe (at a safe distance) the surging tides of Hurricane Sandy.( Why Name Storm ‘Hurricane Sandy’?  )

At 7:15 p. m. the Frankenstorm’s eye hit the coastline and reports from New York City and Atlantic City began. At our house the rain was definitely heavier. At 8:00 p. m. Monte took a measure: in twelve hours we collected two and a half inches of rainfall.

Several times during the evening the lights flickered, threatening a power loss that didn’t happen.

By now the television commentators were saying that the storm should no longer be referred to as Hurricane Sandy. It had morphed into a n’easter or winter storm. Or a combination of a winter and summer storm. They said it measured 900 miles wide, twice the size of Texas. They are predicting torrential rains throughout Pennsylvania, and they mentioned Pittsburgh—which is west of us.

At 8:35 p.m. there was thunder.

Snow picture taken using camera’s night setting

A friend called just before 10:00 p. m. While talking to him Monte told me I should see what was happening outside. I walked to the door to see snow. While continuing the conversation I attempted to position my camera, on its tripod, outside the back door to photograph the phenomenon. After shooting a few frames I glanced at the thermometer. It was only 39 degrees. When I finished the conversation I took a few more photographs, some on night setting and others with flash. While doing so there was threatening thunder.

I realized I had some plants outside, not covered. I threw on a jacket, went outside, brushed the snow off the plants, and brought them inside.

Snow picture taken using camera’s regular setting with flash

Now, at 11:30 p. m., I’m ready to call it a day. What Frankenstorm will do while the night passes—well, what will be, will be. But for now, my sympathies extend to those who felt the brunt of the storm today, those persons along the coast who were evacuated indefinitely and who will face the destruction of their property later. Maybe I really don’t want to be on the coast during this storm…



Why Name Storm ‘Hurricane Sandy’?

Are You Prepared for Frankenstorm’s Onslaught?



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