The last time I liveblogged anything, it was the birth of my niece, Aviva. That was a good day. Today is a stupid day. I came up from New Orleans last week and so far have gone through an earthquake and a partial evacuation of the island of Manhattan. So much for lazing on the beach all week. They've closed the MTA and it has been very hard to find beer and batteries on the Upper West Side. Wolf Blitzer has been deploying his lackeys to rainy coasts down the shore of New Jersey. We've decided not to tape the windows, and I have no choice but to settle in for my third cocktail and hope for the best. ¡Olé!
Nothing has happened, except a little rain. Wolf Blitzer continues to deluge the public with his threats of natural and unnatural violence. Like I said, nothing has happened.
A few people have died in Virginia, it seems. One of them had a heart attack while hammering plywood to his windows. This is why hurricane preparations are bunk, for the most part. This is also how I feel about exercise. Why take the risk of having a heart attack during a jog when you can just have a heart attack sitting on the couch eating Cheetos?
We took Rudy the dog for a walk. We are not supposed to go down to the pier in Riverside Park, but we braved the soggy yellow "CAUTION WET PAINT" tape and went anyway. Nothing like a hurricane to bring out the hidden thrills of the Upper West Side.
ConEd is threatening to cut off power to Lower Manhattan, and Bloomberg says he will not evacuate Rikers Island.
Nassau County is opening shelters for residents of storm surge zones. There are reportedly 500 customers without power on Long Island. We can see lightning from our window. Rudy is snoring on the couch, embodying the true meaning of the calm before the storm.
The good people at Critical Resistance are pushing a petition for Mayor Bloomberg to evacuate Rikers Island, as it is at risk for major flooding. From the linked article: "Its ten jails have a capacity of close to 17,000 inmates, and normally house at least 12,000, including juveniles and large numbers of prisoners with mental illness–not to mention pre-trial detainees who have yet to be convicted of any crime. There are also hundreds of corrections officers at work on the island... 'According to the city’s Department of Correction, no hypothetical evacuation plan for the roughly 12,000 inmates that the facility may house on a given day even exists.'"
They closed the George Washington Bridge. Two Staten Island kayakers had to be rescued by NYPD harbor officers. I have no comment on that last one.
A member of the press corps asked Bloomberg why Rikers Island isn't being evacuated. He said "there's no reason to." Referring to homeless people, he also said that the MTA isn't "100% sure" that the subways have been evacuated. "Bottom line is, you shouldn't be living in the subways." Looks like somebody should take some sensitivity classes at mayor school.
The Fung Wah buses are being used to transport residents of public housing in Lower Manhattan to temporary shelters. I wonder if they'll put the folding chairs in the aisles like they do during regular business hours.
Haha "feisty senior citizens" yell at the CNN reporter in Atlantic City about how they're from "good stock" and won't evacuate.
CNN is asking Police Commissioner Ray Kelly if we should be concerned about the "looting and violence" that New Orleans experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He says that the police will do their best to "maintain order" but people should not leave their valuables at home.
Ugh too many Katrina references on the news. Let's hope we don't have an MP crackdown in New York if this thing really is as bad as they're saying.
Soaking wet and windblown CNN reporter: "I didn't know you could have tornadoes in the middle of a hurricane."
CNN Weather Guy in the studio: "Uh, yes."
I've had enough of this nonsense. Hopefully nothing will happen. Good night, Irene.
Sunday, August 28th
It's still raining. I'm going back to sleep.
Still raining. I'm having such a weird dream about Lyndon Johnson. He's asking me to make him a list of college-bound students who can sing well and fix the highway.
Me: "Did I miss the hurricane?"
My sister: "It's a tropical storm now."
Mom: "Don't go in the park. All the trees are falling down."
My sister: "Want to go to the Food Emporium?"