Two days ago, I was muttering imprecations about what I was going to do if I saw one more campaign ad for Elizabeth Warren or Scott Brown, a.k.a. the Only Political Game In Town in Western Massachusetts, let alone more news coverage. This, as a problem, has largely been solved by the advent of Hurricane Sandy. We’re far inland enough that we’re not directly in the line of the storm, but much more informed people than I have emphasised repeatedly that the major problem with this storm is that hurricane- and tropical storm-force winds extend hundreds of kilometres from its centre, meaning that where it makes landfall (on the coast of New Jersey or the Delmarva* peninsula) is far less important than whether you’re within that range. And we’re well within that range. Then it’s going to park up over the Northeast for a day or two, prolonging the agony (and the possibility of damage.)
You may remember that the last two years or so have brought us snowstorms, a tornado, a hurricane, and another, unseasonable, record-breaking snowstorm. (None of this, of course, has anything to do with climate change, or people would surely be talking about that. Which they are, quite deliberately and noticeably, not.)
The greatest impact for us is actually that Mike is currently doing contract work part of the week along the Connecticut coastline. This is not a good place to be for the next few days.
When he called to ask if it was OK for him to not go in this week, he was basically told he was a crazy person for thinking he needed to ask permission to not head directly into what was likely to be a disaster zone and that he was, in fact, officially forbidden to come down. So he’ll be staying in this week, then. Whether he works from home is highly dependent upon whether we lose power again, and for how long. We’re a little high for flooding to be an issue outside of the Connecticut River delivering a floodplain-engulfing deluge, but we’re only due a few inches of rain.
To put this into context, they think that the lowest pressure at the centre of Sandy will be lower than the New England Hurricane of 1938. It’s not as unusual as you might think for the remnants of tropical storm systems to hit us up here, but over the years the Northeast’s population has grown – a lot – and there’s a lot more infrastructure to damage when a storm does arrive. Exactly how bad Sandy is – both locally and regionally – will be seen over the next couple of days, and I hope very much it’s been over-played by the media. But I think any ideas I had about having moved to a quiet and peaceful area of the world – weather-wise – are well and truly wiped out.
*I would call Delmarva a neologism, but apparently it’s been used in that region to describe the peninsula which largely comprises the state of Delaware, but also (you’ll be so surprised!) includes parts of Maryland and Virginia, since 1913. It just doesn’t see a lot of use outside the local area unless something like a hurricane is about to hit it.