Friday, August 26, 2011

Here she comes


Hurricane Irene is slowly closing in on North Carolina. She is still a few hundred miles out, but the Carolina coast is already feeling her waves and winds. Things are going to get much, much worse out there over the next day or so.

Immediately after that, things are going to much, much worse around here in the greater New York area. New York City has been right in the middle of the hurricane's "cone of unpredictability" since early on. Current projections call for the hurricane to pass right over New York and into western Connecticut.

At this point, we expect significant flooding throughout the region. On approach, Irene's winds will likely force a great deal of extra seawater into the funnel of Long Island Sound. That plus a foot of rain could be bad news for coastal areas.

Many are also likely to lose electricity as a result of the storm. CNN anticipates that as many as a half million will be without power for up to a week. It could possibly be worse than that.

All of that is reason for tremendous concern. But, for me, there is another nightmarish possibility. It now seems likely that the long awaited relief of the kids' first day of school, scheduled for Monday, will have to be put off in Irene's wake.