Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Sandy’

Private enterprise to the rescue!

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

How Victoria’s Secret Saved the National Guard During Hurricane Sandy

The initial call to the Victoria’s Secret crew came at about 7:20 on Tuesday morning. Consulting producer Dave Shapiro and his co-workers were staying a block away at the Hotel Giraffe. They came over, and ran some feeder lines from the Aggreko generators through a transformer and into the building. Some basic lights in the hallways and the basement’s hot water heater were back up and running. It was enough to get started.

Then one of the associate producers suggested they might be able to power the whole armory up. They went into the basement and found the main switch connecting the century-old landmark to the lines of Con Edison, the local utility. The idea was to shut down the connection between Con Ed, then attach the Victoria Secret lines during to the armory’s busbar — the long metal strips that conduct electricity to a switchboard. It was a kludge, and it had to be done right: the producers didn’t want to fry the building when the local Con Ed substation finally started generating electricity again. “I have to admit, I was very skeptical,” Shapiro says.

But it worked. By 7 p.m on Tuesday night, the armory was fully powered; even the elevators worked.

The soldiers were still having communications problems, though. Many of the local cell towers were down, and so was the armory’s internet’s connection. Luckily, Shapiro had answer for that, too. For the show, he had leased a T1 line connected to a microwave dish on the roof. “We plopped two routers in their command center,” he says, “and now they’re sitting on our internet backbone.”

The troops also needed help distributing food. The Federal Emergency Management Agency had begun bringing tractor-trailers’ worth of emergency provisions to the armory. It was up to the troops to break up the pallets, load them in military trucks, and bring them to the seven distribution centers in Manhattan where the Salvation Army would hand out meals to Hurricane victims. One problem: the 69th didn’t have a fork lift. So again, they turned to the Victoria’s Secret crew.

Here you have it!

Meanwhile, Bloombito decided the Marathon wasn’t a good idea.

Over at the White House,

Where’s Obama? In Vegas, with Eva.

Princeton update 3: Need a shower?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

In Princeton: the John Witherspoon school

In Plainsboro: Got an email from a friend,

Princeton Plasma Physics Lab has opened its cafeteria and locker rooms to the public until 8pm tonight. They are offering heat, hot showers, phone and laptop recharging, wifi, vending machines, microwaves and CNN.

Scudders Mill Rd to Campus Drive to Stellarator Drive (!!!) to the guardhouse where you show id. They have staff to direct people to the cafeteria.

Princeton update 2: Heat, electric on!

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Public Service Electric and Gas crews of 3-4 trucks are working street-by-street. The traffic lights from Princeton to Kingston on Lincoln Highway (Rt. 27) are now working.

Fortunately the electricity at casa de Fausta’s back on.

At the same time that PSE&G is working, several other crews from private tree services are clearing the hundreds of fallen trees, so many roads and local streets are blocked. Downtown, Van der Venter is still closed by the movie theater.

All the public schools remain closed until Monday.

All things considered, we are blessed to have come through with relatively minor damage.

Princeton update: No electricity, no heat

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Downtown is the only part of town with electricity; the only traffic lights that work are downtown on Nassau street, from Harrison to Marquand park.

The Sunoco on Nassau street, and the Getty and Gulf onn Rt 1 & Washington Avenue are open, with very long lines.

McCaffrey’s is the only business open at the Princeton Shopping Center. All others, including the pharmacy, are not. The traffic lights in that area don’t work and some of the streets are blocked. I didn’t see any workers.

Many, many fallen trees and downed electrical lines have not been repaired, including on the street where I live. You’re better off staying away from the area.

I urge anyone who’s able to donate or volunteer to the Salvation Army.

Thousands are homeless in NJ. Obama had his photo op with Christie, and headed west.

The reports on New York City are horrible. Bloomberg is going ahead with the Marathon tomorrow, even when Staten Island is in desperate need.


The NY Post has the photo of the generators,

Generators power up marathon tent as rest of city struggles without electricity

Bloomberg cancels marathon; let’s hope the generators are on the way to where they’re most needed.

Big storm, big politicking

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

I’m staying at a local hotel, not feeling well, and not sure if I can find a place with heat/electricity later today.

Shelter situation solved for the tonight, thank goodness.

All over the media there’s a big push to show Obama as some kind of savior, saying “we leave nobody behind” and forgetting Benghazi, where four were left behind. The NYTimes pushes the idea that “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” and Taranto takes them to task,

The title was “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” and here’s the nut: “Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of ‘big government,’ which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it.” That’s a straw man, as the Times itself admits at the end of the editorial by linking to a Politico story reporting “Romney would not abolish the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

“Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” Politico quotes a Romney spokesman as saying. “As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”

It’s not clear if the Times disagrees with Romney’s actual position, which more or less describes the status quo. If you spent hours yesterday watching local TV news in New York, as we did, you saw a lot of Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and you heard a lot about state and local policemen, firemen and other emergency personnel. The federal government’s role was largely invisible.

The Times is also aghast that supposedly “Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job.” For our part, we’d like to thank Con Edison for the uninterrupted electricity.

Let’s stipulate that FEMA is a vitally important agency, a point on which there seems to be no serious disagreement anyway. How exactly does that make the case for “big government”? FEMA’s annual budget is $14.3 billion, according to lefty Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein. That’s approximately 1/272nd of total federal spending, estimated at $3,888.4 billion by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

To be sure, there are other crucial government functions, such as defense, that cost more than FEMA does. But the Times has it utterly backward in suggesting that necessary government justifies extravagant government–that FEMA’s work somehow redeems everything from ObamaCare to Solyndra to Big Bird. (Speaking of which, further to the Times’s contempt for profit-making companies, yesterday afternoon all of New York’s commercial TV stations pre-empted their regular programming for news of the approaching storm. PBS’s Channel 13 was showing a cartoon.)

Enlarge Image

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Washington demobilizes for the storm.

Making our point symbolically, Government Executive reports that most of the federal government responded to the storm by shutting down: “Washington-area federal agencies will remain closed Tuesday as Hurricane Sandy continues to unleash its wrath up and down the East Coast. . . . Emergency employees are required to report to work. Everyone else affected will be granted excused absence.”

And here’s President Obama, speaking yesterday afternoon at FEMA headquarters: “My message to the governors, as well as to the mayors, is anything they need, we will be there. And we’re going to cut through red tape. We’re not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules.”

Even the most leftist president in American history is suddenly touting deregulation. Of course, he’s faced with responsibility to act in an emergency, not to mention a tough re-election challenge. The only real-world pressures on the Times editorialists were a deadline and an empty page. Still, you’d think a modicum of professional pride would stop them from filling it with such nonsense.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again.

#Sandy: I thought the rise of the oceans began to slow 4 years ago

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

but you wouldn’t know it if you owned property near the shore.

And then there’s this.

Things at home are unharmed, & I’m so pleased!
No heat, no electricity, but OK.

Thank you for all your prayers.

Getting ready for Sandy UPDATED

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

That middle arrow runs right through here.

First of all, if you’re traveling to the Northeast in the next few days, don’t. Read Airline Crisis Survival Guide, reschedule your trip, and save yourself the hassles.

Coalition of the Swilling has the exhaustive list of preparations, which you must read if you live in this area.

If you live in Princeton, you can count on extended power outages, which means no blogging if my neighborhood has no electricity – almost a certainty.

Here in Princeton, with the combination of Third World infrastructure (i.e., electrical cables not underground, and not enough cell phone towers) and huge number of large trees, most people prepare by mobbing the Princeton Shopping Center, especially McCaffrey’s Supermarket.

Of course, I had to stop by and check ou the place. The parking lot was nearly-full, but I was able to find a spot right in front of Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, and picked up some fuel for my small camping stove. It turns out they had them on sale. During the last power outage, I had stopped at Radio Shack and bought a cell phone recharger for the car. (Call ahead and ask if they have any in stock.)

I walked by McCaffrey’s, which of course was packed. I only needed some powdered milk and a newspaper but decided against it when I saw the lines. It looked like people heading to a Romney rally. Since the store was out of powdered milk, I decided against standing in line for 1/2 hour just to buy a paper.

At home, anything that can fly must be taken indoors

The most important thing we did, and have always done, is CLEAR THE AREA OF POTENTIAL FLYING OBJECTS. Anything and everything in our yard AND the neighborhood that could be turned into a missile (including that 100lb garden pot you don’t think can fly…it can), goes into the garage.

Most importantly, you must get all your preparations done TODAY.

Once you have that done, stock up on wine, get all your laundry washed and dried, make sure all your battery-powered gadgets are fully charged, and hope for the best.

Ace posted a link to a BLACKOUT AND POWER OUTAGE TRACKER, which may come in handy.

Gov. Christie’s press conference,