NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly 300,000 people were ordered Friday to evacuate flood-prone areas and subways, buses and trains prepared to shut down a day later as Hurricane Irene steamed toward New York, the most powerful storm to target the city in decades.Good luck with that, Mayor. No one in New York City remembers what it's like to be evacuated. I doubt that the yuppies understand what that means.
It was the first time the nation's largest city was evacuated. And never before has the entire mass transit system been shuttered because of a storm. Despite the unknowns of how the city would react, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he was confident people would get out of the storm's way.
Brendan Loy, over at Pajamas Media, is doing a good job of explaining wind and surge to the uninitiated, but maybe y'all don't understand the scale of this monster. Yeah, it's weakened some, but it has a lot of water moving.
However, since Irene is such a huge storm–tropical storm force winds extend out up to 290 miles from the center–it has set a massive amount of the ocean’s surface in motion, which will cause a much larger storm surge than the winds would suggest.Let's do a little math. If the area of a circle is pi times the radius squared, then with a 290 mile radius, you've got over 264,000 square miles of water moving under the hurricane. That's where the surge comes in. That much water, piling up on itself and slamming into land is a problem. A huge problem, and there's not a damned thing you can do about it.
I don't wish any bad luck on New York City, nor on Philly, nor Maryland, nor the poor souls in North Carolina who look to take the brunt of the initial landfall. It's going to be an interesting weekend. I hope you folks made those reservations I talked about yesterday.