Arriving Home in a Hurricane?

YIKES! I am arriving home tomorrow early afternoon, in the middle of a dying hurricane. If my flight manages to land without problems (unlikely), I still have to rely on the train to get home and NYC subways tend to flood when the rain gets heavy, as is predicted for Sunday, especially the subway line I need to ride home. The thought that I might end up trapped at the airport or worse, on a stopped train underground is not comforting.

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About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Arriving Home in a Hurricane?

  1. Dexter says:

    The projections put the remains of Tropical Storm Hanna over New York on Saturday evening and over Boston (where I am) later Saturday night. By the time you get home, it should be over Nova Scotia. Here’s a link to a tracking map on Weather Underground
    http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200808.html#a_topad
    Hope this is reassuring!

  2. Bob O'H says:

    I’m off to the original York tomorrow. It’s been raining so much here in the aptly named Lake District that we’ve already had this month’s average rainfall (Dad, pers. comm). York is in a flood plain, so I’m a bit worried it will have floated away.
    Just buy a couple of cans of bitter, and make sure you haven’t broken the coke glass. You won’t be worrying if the train breaks down then.

  3. it’s reassuring that i will be able to make it home without having to resort to a canoe. thanks for that, Dexter.
    bob — since there are no bathrooms (toilets, facilities, heads .. whatever!) in the NYC subways, i am in trouble if i am trapped on a train with anything to drink. especially since it’ll take me at least 1.5 hours to get home AFTER i’ve gotten through customs, immigration, etc.

  4. I’m so glad all the places I’ve ever ended up living (so far) have been both on high ground and nowhere near a river. Still a little late summer sun wouldn’t go amiss right now.
    Whenever I do the 4 hour (at least) journey down to Kent I like to relax with a couple of pints during the longest stretch (Stoke to Euston), but then those trains DO have toilets.
    It might be a good idea to use the facilities at the airport before getting on the subway.

  5. yogi-one says:

    New Yorkers need to start thinking about these things. It is entirely possible, and with the rise in surface sea temperatures, increasingly likely, that NYC is going to face a hurricane which has not dissipated by the time it moves up the eastern seaboard. Computer modeling indicates that if a hurricane survives as it moves up the coast, the speed at which it is likely to travel increases as it moves northward.NYC and even Boston are not outside of hurricane territory, they just haven’t been hit in a long time.
    Here is a list of hurricanes that have traveled up the eastern seaboard to New York:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_York_hurricanes
    the highlights:
    — The New England Hurricane of 1938 makes landfall on Suffolk County as a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Wind gusts of 125 mph (200 km/h) and storm surge of 18 feet (5 m) causes 60 deaths and hundreds of injuries. In addition, 2,600 are destroyed, and 8,900 house are destroyed.
    — The 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane makes landfall on Long Island as a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale at a high forward speed of 40 mph (64 km/h). Wind gusts of well over 100 mph (160 km/h) breaks previous wind records in New York City, while a minimum pressure reading of 28.47 inches is recorded on Long Island. 117 homes are completely destroyed, while 2,427 are severely damaged and almost 1000 businesses are destroyed or damaged. In all, six people are killed, and one person is injured.
    — 1954. Hurricane Carol makes landfall on Long Island and produces wind gusts of 120 miles per hour (190 km/h) on Montauk Point. On eastern Long Island near where Carol made landfall, a pressure of 960 mbar is recorded. Winds on the island gust to 120 mph (195 km/h). The hurricane’s storm surge covers the Montauk Highway in Montauk, effectively isolating eastern Long Island for a period of time. Due to the compact nature of the storm, most of Long Island is largely unaffected by the hurricane. Specific damage totals for New York are unknown, although the storm in its entirety causes $460 million (1954 USD) in damage.
    1976 — Hurricane Belle makes landfall on Long Island as a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, producing up to 6 inches (150 mm) of rain.[39] 30,000 people are evacuated in New York in anticipation of Belle. Wind gusts of up to 70 mph and tides of 7.2 feet (2.3 m) above normal are reported in New York City and Long Island. Moderate river flooding occurs, as well as minor crop damage. In all, one person is killed by a falling tree, damage is reported at $257 million (1976 USD, $980 million 2007 USD).
    2003 — Hurricane Isabel effects the state with high winds and flooding. Damage in New York totals to $90 million (2003 USD, $98 million 2006 USD). In and around New York City, about 1.1 million customers were left without power, though most outages were fixed by the day after the hurricane passed through the region. Offshore of Long Beach, rough waves killed a man while bodysurfing.