Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Frankenstorm, Also Known as ‘Hurricane Sandy’, as Seen by Tom Kinsella from the center of landfall

Various cousins and siblings chime in

From Tom in Absecon, NJ:

My preparations for the hurricane are complete. Some of you will remember my adventures with Irene back in August of 2011. Now the Frankenstorm is barreling up the coast and may take a left turn into my front yard (if not mine, then perhaps Pat's or Ted's -- good luck you guys). I hope not, but here's the plan if it does.

First, I have laid in a serious supply of Beans and Buns (as some Algonquin vets will attest, they are important staples). I have many candles (and a nice pair of antique candle holders, which I did not have during Irene -- then I was balancing candles in cups and mugs). I have flashlights, and some batteries, but there is no longer any "D" batteries within 100 miles, so I couldn't stock up -- so, candles.

I have bought bottled water and in addition I have frozen two big pans of water which I will take out of the freezer and put in the fridge when the electricity goes out (which all sources say it will).

The car is full of gas; money in my wallet; cans of low salt peas and carrots. I feel pretty good.

Tomorrow the storm is forecast to hit around 5 pm and go on forever and ever (at least until Tuesday night). The conjunction of a Northeaster (Nor'eastah for Massachusetts folk), hurricane (even if it is a tropical depression by tomorrow) and a full moon has caused the barrier Islands near me to evacuate.

Around 4 pm I will fill up the bath tub. I have pulled the canoe into the rafters and taught the cats to wear life jackets. I have an axe to chop through the roof if it gets really bad. And, again for you Algonquin vets, I have laid in a good supply of Champagne Chavignion (for those not in the know, this CC is a lot like paddle pain remover).

Wish me luck.

Much love from soon to be swamped South Jersey,

Spuds Waiting for the Storm to End
From Jim in Rochester, NY:

Looking forward to more updates from Tommy "On the Spot" (any relation to "Johnny On the Spot"?)

We may be in Sally's flight path this year though, being so far inland, won't get anything like what you will get. Good suggestion however...the Buns and Beans one. You never know...

Jimmy "On the Pot"

From Ali in Washington DC:

I suddenly feel sorely under-prepared in comparison. I have flashlights, candles, bottled water, and PB&J... no canoe, though. I'll let you know how it hits us down here.

From Jen in Syracuse, NY:

I don’t know what we were thinking – we just put the canoe up in the garage. At least it is easy to get it and the kayaks out easily enough if we have to. We did just fill up the dog’s water tank, so we can all drink out that if need be!

From Tom:

Okay, it's raining here and the wind has picked up. The latest forecasts have the storm hitting just north of Atlantic City. That means that I will get lots of rain (being just south of the center), from 6 to 10 inches supposedly. It's the folks to the north of the storm center that are worried about storm surges. Barrier Islands have been evacuated.

Bought the last of my staples -- a pizza, potato chips, and orange pop. Now I'll sit back and wait. Watching football now. I also picked a generous handful of kale from the garden: I can cook or eat it raw tonight (if necessary).

From Glenn in Acton, MA:

Looking forward to updates from you during the excitement tomorrow -- keep sending them until your internet goes out, then switch to signal lanterns in your attic window until you take them aboard the canoe with the cats!

From Tim and Rose in Syracuse, NY:

Tim and I are all set with food. We have a 2 pound carrot from our garden. That should last a few days at least. We don't need no stinkin' beans.

Rose with carrot

From Tom:

So, when I poked my head out of the covers this morning (warmed by two cats on the bed), I peered out the window and thought, "This is lame." A gentle rain was falling -- like springtime in Rochester -- all was safe. There was my car, tucked behind the house within arm's length of my window. No trees down. No flooding.

Then I turned on the news and started to process where we are in this storm. It's been raining for about 20 hours, a bit breezy at times, and the storm is still 200 miles away. The latest tracking suggests the eye of the storm will land somewhere between 20 Hobart Ave, Absecon and 23 Leeds Point Road, Smithville (home of the Jersey devil). That's a five mile stretch. That's my address and Christine's.

The big storm is supposed to hit tonight. Ferocious say the newscasts. Record breaking! FrankenFreakenStorm!?!

Okay, so I still wasn't disturbed till I began to look at the twitter feed for "AC Sandy." This is folks in or around Atlantic City. If this is to be trusted, they are evacuating the West side of the city now (the East side, of course, is the ocean -- the West is usually considered safe); Streets are flooding; the board walk is being torn up or washed away. And there are pictures to prove most of this. Storm surge is already worse than Irene and yet the storm is 200 miles away. The Atlantic City Expressway is closed from twenty miles north of me to its bottom in Cape May -- in other words the State of NJ just said, if you didn't get out yet, you're staying.

So, the story might get more interesting as Monday rolls on to night.

Kristin, you are right, there's a study to be done on what gets bought out in supermarkets when storms approach. Shopping on Saturday, I found all the bread gone except for rye and the multi-grain loaves (I happily bought a loaf of 12 grain). All white bread and even whole wheat entirely gone. A bit more odd to me, all but one creamy peanut butter was gone -- I got the very last one -- but there was plenty of chunky. What could that possible mean?

Electricity is flickering, but no serious outage yet.

Much love from a dampening South Jersey,

After the Storm, Spuds Inspecting any Damage

Another from Tom:

After 25 hours without electricity the juice is back (it kicked off around 4:30 yesterday afternoon, right after the TV newscaster said, "Hey, we've lost the feed . . ."). Right now my fridge is cooling down and my house is heating up. Yay!

The storm was hurricanish -- by that I mean came in bands, just like Irene. I'd look out the window and think, "nothing," then a few minutes later I'd hear a howling and see leaves and branches flying sideways by the windows. From about 5 pm through 3 am we had a pretty good blow (again, in those bands).

No damage in my yard. I took a walk around the neighborhood and lots of trees just leaned over. I guess the rain softened the soil and the roots gave way.

Christine had been blocked in in three directions by trees in her neighborhood, but she tells me she can get out now. Good, cause she still has no electricity. School is closed tomorrow for clean up.

Off to a dinner of warm beans and buns (I've been eating them cold).

Much love from South Jersey,

As we now know, Tom got off relatively easy for a New Jerseyite by the coast. Thank you everyone for keeping in touch during this siege!


Pat said...


SO GLAD you made it through so well! Thinking of you and Christi,


Tom K. said...

Hey, it's Wednesday November 7th, 8 days after Sandy and another Northeaster is bearing down on the Jersey coast. Come on!

It's spitting snow rain -- we are expecting 2 wet inches; Philadelphia closer to 4 or 5 -- 55 mph wind gusts later in the evening. And darn it, I'm out of beans and buns.

Many of my students, btw, are out of their houses. Tough stuff down along the barrier islands and shore towns.

Sue Kinsella said...

Hey, Pat, you left out my favorite part of the email chain, when Ali was horrified to hear about her parents organizing a chainsaw gang in your neighborhood in Acton [to be prepared to address any trees that come down], and Tim [presumably munching on his 2-lb. carrot] chimed in with, "What a cool family we have - a chainsaw massacre party in Acton, Mass [Pat and Glenn], a man canoeing his kitties around Atlantic City while eating beans on buns [Tom], a man delivering newspaper in the snow in flip flops while breathing through a snorkel [Chuck Lochner], and a Cicero, NY couple hogging their dogs water dish [Chris and Jen]. . . . All the while the "normal" person in DC [Ali Herdeg] sends emails that she is "worried" - about what? . . . What do the weird families do?"

Well, I'm glad that it appears that all the Taylor Baker Cousins made it through the storm okay, especially after seeing how much devastation it created for so many others. Take care in this new storm coming up now!

Kathryn said...

I have the greatest cousins in the world!

I am glad you all made it thru the frankenstorm ok. Try to stay ok thru the northeaster. Right now it is sunny in Norteast Ohio.

I love you all!

Mom/CB said...

Pat, you not only left out sue's points BUT you left out Tom's projected party with Winnie Churchill ! {after paddle pain stuff?} I really do wonder , as I giggle with snorts of laughter, whee these kids came from!! I am with Kathryn, tho, Greatest!!