It was a little more than a year ago that Connecticut last got slammed with a tropical storm/hurricane. There was massive coastal flooding in which a number of homes were completely destroyed and the power was knocked out for days. That was a relatively quick storm that blew through, dumped an immense amount of rain, and left a wake of destruction behind it. This time around, we are not expected to get the full head on collision that we had last year, but with the size of this storm, I don't think it really matters. We won't get the absolute worst of the wind and rain, but with hurricane force winds extending some 170 miles out from the center of the storm and tropical force winds extending over 500 miles out from the center of the storm, we are essentially still in the path of this hurricane as is much of the eastern seaboard of the United States. While officials are expecting 50-70% of the state to be without power come Tuesday morning, that is not the worst that the storm has to offer. Due to the unusual track of the storm, veering out to sea before taking a westward turn and slamming head on into New Jersey, the storm surge coinciding with super high tides is expected to do the most damage. One of the areas that is expected to see some of the highest water levels is Long Island Sound with water rising 6-11 feet above normal. Take into account the waves and you have the potential for devastating flooding. If you look at the radar and the storms track, it all makes sense. In essence, Long Island will act as a giant funnel with much of the surge entering from the East end of Long Island and building as it heads west. For anyone living along the coast, this is crunch time to get out and get to higher ground. From what some forecasters are saying, the flooding from this storm could be record breaking, either meeting or exceeding the record set in a 1938 storm. What we have could potentially be a 100 year storm.
But enough of the doom and gloom. While there is cause to be concerned, we should also be grateful that we have this much advanced notice to stock pile supplies, get out if necessary, and hunker down wherever we can. And lets be perfectly honest, if you live near the ocean, you should expect a horrible storm to rumble through every so often. Obviously we all hope that it never happens in our lifetime, but if there is one thing we have no control over, its the weather. We can complain all we want, or we can simply prepare ourselves for the worst and hope for the best. This isn't Armageddon that will leave people without power or food for months or years on end. We may be without power for a week, or we may not. One thing we can be sure of is that within a few weeks, provided that your house doesn't get washed out to sea (which I hope doesn't happen to anyone), life will return to normal. While I understand the emergency preparedness that is necessary, I also think that the media creates a certain frenzy around storms like this that make it seem as if Armageddon is just around the corner. Lets all take a minute and consider what it must have been like in 1938, the year of record flooding that this storm might exceed. Nobody then had the capability of knowing a week in advance that a storm of this magnitude was going to hit them. Especially with the unusual track of this storm, I am betting that anyone living back then would have been caught completely unaware and that the destruction and death associated with the storm would have been much worse. Don't get me wrong, the population back then was a lot less than it is now, but at least we have modern technology that at least helps in predicting what a storm might do. In the end, despite all the predictions, we do not know exactly what will happen. Perhaps it is that unknown factor that completely unnerves people. Who knows, I sure don't. All I know is that I live on an inland hill far away from coastal flooding and that I am good to go. I personally love hurricanes and large unpredictable storms. Despite the mayhem that they cause, there is also something beautiful about watching nature unleash its fury.
Please keep in mind that I do know a lot of people who live in flood prone areas along the coast and I hope that they don't suffer excessive damage. Yet, I still can't help but notice the beauty in any storm like this. To me, there is this raw energy that is unleashed with this type of storm. I could sit for hours either in a car or in front of a window simply watching a storm like this unleash its fury. To know we have no control over it is humbling, yet also in a sense, it is relieving. It is relieving due to the fact that no matter what we do, we can't change the course of the storm or in any way curtail the damage it will inflict. We are merely ants in a cage when it comes to a storm like this and all we can do is gather our nuts together, clamor for higher ground, and sit and wait it out. Yes it will mean people won't be able to go to work or engage in their normal daily routine, but massive interruptions like this storm will cause into our daily lives isn't always a bad thing. It makes us slow down a little, take stock of what we have, the loved ones we are with, and cherish them a little more. At least it does for me. In any case, the storm is upon us, or will be shortly, and all we can do now is hope for the best. If the power goes out, lets hope it isn't out for too long. Let's simply be thankful that it isn't 30 degrees outside. If the power is still on tomorrow morning, I will be back on the computer writing. If it isn't, I will be back when I can. For all those living in the storm's wake, good luck. Lets just hope that not too many homes get washed out to sea.