Here in NoVa, the weather is starting to get bad. The size of Isabel is impressive -- the storm just "came ashore" 250 miles away in N. Carolina, and we're already getting some serious wind and rain. Not expecting the worst part of it until late tonight. Wind is about 30 mph here in the western burbs at about 4 pm. We're not weather sissies -- really! I mean it. Northerners mock DC during snowstorms, and Southerners mock DC in rainy/hurricane weather. Oklahomans mock us when we have tornado warnings. Basically, we get our ass kicked by pretty much every disastrous natural phenomenon except earthquakes....
In typical fashion, the kids are living it up -- the liquid equivalent of a snow day. There are cascading effects here in the DC area. When Metro announced (yesterday) that they would close the above-ground trains and buses when winds hit 40 mph, the federal government had to assess when it would send people home. Something like 200,000 people ride the Metro system every day. When the federal government closes, all the schools close, and vice versa. Last night, they just called the whole thing off. There have been some occasions in the past few years when the feds were a little slow closing down, people got stranded, significant unhappiness ensued. So now we shut down at the drop of a dime.
Also in typical fashion, my wife sees today as a home-improvement windfall -- so my day is pretty well filled up. Hanging valences, moving furniture, spackling, tinkering, etc. In previous hurricanes (non-DC), I've just been getting started with the party right about now. With 2 small kids and a pregnant wife, a heavy two-day party seems like less of a good idea.
The massive power failures have already started. Hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in NC, VA and MD. And this is just getting started. Although the local stations are yakking endlessly about what to expect, we are not getting word about what's really happening in NC right now. They are reporting that the winds are still right around 100 mph, with higher gusts. But where? How are those folks doing?
Just heard that PEPCO (the power co.) will be handing out dry ice in the parking lot of RFK stadium. I can't even compose a sentence to react to that announcement....
Suggested hurricane reading:
J.G. Ballard: The Drowned World (Obsessive, makes me sweat profusely just thinking about it.)
John D. McDonald: Condominium (One of McDonald's best. No reason to think that the shitbirds that build condos on the beaches of NC and VA are any different from the shitbirds that build them in Florida...)