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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fringeville Edition #29, August 25 2011

The vacation weight damage has been undone. I’m at 201.8 pounds. No fad diet at work here. I eat a little less. I exercise a helluva lot more. It’s not glamorous but so far it works.

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So far this week we’ve had an earthquake. (I didn’t feel it, but our phones cut out at work for about a minute.)

Next up: A hurricane, and the media is already building us up to a frenzy. I’m sure there will be lines at Wal Marts from here to Nantucket for everything from bottled water to heavy weapons for the post-Apocalypse world the storm leaves in its wake.

About all we need now is an announcement from NASA that a giant asteroid is on a collision course with Al Gore’s house. Or maybe a gamma ray burst will emanate from some part of the sky and give us all permanent sunburn.

Actually, I don’t like to jest about hurricanes. They're scary as hell.

Back in 2005, I downloaded section 3 of a draft of New York City’s Comprehensive Mitigation Plan. I did this after hurricane Katrina, because I was curious about the impact of a major hurricane on New York City.

It ain’t pretty, kids.

Here’s a snippet from page 24:

“…While heavy rainfall, powerful winds, and tornados pose serious dangers, storm surge is the greatest hurricane-related hazard. Historically, storm surge is responsible for causing nine out of ten hurricane-related deaths. In New York – which is particularly susceptible to storm surge – a Category 4 hurricane could produce a 30-foot storm surge in certain areas. In this worst-case scenario, storm surge may reach five miles into Brooklyn.”

And for you financial Apocalypse fans, here’s another snippet from page 32:

“…During a hurricane, financial services may shut down in the event of heavy winds, power outages, or flooding. The Financial District, located in Downtown Manhattan, is particularly susceptible to the dangers of storm surge. Even though many financial institutions have their own back-up generators in the event of a power disruption, the potential flooding in lower Manhattan could make these businesses inoperable.”

Again, that was from the 2005 draft. I thought I’d check out a more current version, so I found the 2009 plan.

There's some scary stuff in here, too. There are also some snazzy charts and tables. Here’s a lovely little snippet from the 2009 document:

“…A Category 2 storm would completely inundate the Rockaway Peninsula and a Category 3 storm could put Coney Island under 21 feet of water. With more than 21 square miles of land within a Category 4 surge zone, a significant hurricane would affect millions of New Yorkers and compromise the City’s aging infrastructure.”

Well, that settles it.

If things go just wrong enough, it’s the end of the world as we know it.

‘Scuse me, I’m off to Wal Mart for an AK-47, sandbags for the gun emplacements, and some claymore mines. And mutant repellant, just in case a reactor melts down.

See you after the Apocalypse...

 "...every damned chicken wing joint is gone!"

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