Thursday, August 25, 2011

New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones (Tentative)

Current tracks show Hurricane Irene is likely to hit all major US cities along the coast from North Carolina through New England, making it the worst the US has seen since 1821, when a hurricane wreaked havoc from Norfolk to Rhode Island. One scenario (see video above) shows the eye of the storm passing directly through New York city. According to one preparedness expert: "We're talking about something that could be cataclysmic if it goes full-scale."

New York city officials will announce Friday at the earliest whether to evacuate areas of New York City in danger of flooding. New Jersey and Delaware are also preparing for mass evacuations, although the geography of the New York Harbor makes it particularly vulnerable to become the storm's harbor. The city's Office of Emergency Management has prepared the following hurricane contingency plan should the storm's path warrant evacuations (via Business Insider; PDF available here):

  • Residents in Zone A (Orange) face the highest risk of flooding from a hurricane's storm surge. Zone A includes all low-lying coastal areas and other areas that could experience storm surge in ANY hurricane that makes landfall close to New York City. 
  • Residents in Zone B (Yellow) may experience storm surge flooding from a MODERATE (Category 2 or higher) hurricane. 
  • Residents in Zone C (Green) may experience storm surge flooding from a MAJOR hurricane (Category 3 & 4) making landfall just south of New York City. A major hurricane is unlikely in New York City, but not impossible.
An interactive map can be viewed here.

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Are you in Hurricane Irene's path? Be prepared:
  • Stock up on batteries, non-perishable foods, first-aid supplies, drinking water and medications. Get supplies NOW, not later, as streets may be blocked by fallen trees. 
  • Fuel and service your vehicles. 
  • Have cash on hand in case power goes out and ATMs don't work.
  • Park your car indoors if possible 
  • Do not open windows during a hurricane 
Sources: MSNBC, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Hurricane Center. See Long Island's Hurricane Preparedness Guide for more suggestions

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The first verse of this week's Haftorah, along with the two verses preceding it, speak of the destructive power of water, as opposed to the unshakable love of God for the Jewish people:

כִּי-מֵי נֹחַ, זֹאת לִי, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מֵעֲבֹר מֵי-נֹחַ עוֹד, עַל-הָאָרֶץ--כֵּן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מִקְּצֹף עָלַיִךְ, וּמִגְּעָר-בָּךְ

כִּי הֶהָרִים יָמוּשׁוּ, וְהַגְּבָעוֹת תְּמוּטֶינָה--וְחַסְדִּי מֵאִתֵּךְ לֹא-יָמוּשׁ, וּבְרִית שְׁלוֹמִי לֹא תָמוּט, אָמַר מְרַחֲמֵךְ, יְהוָה

עֲנִיָּה סֹעֲרָה, לֹא נֻחָמָה; הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מַרְבִּיץ בַּפּוּךְ, אֲבָנַיִךְ, וִיסַדְתִּיךְ, בַּסַּפִּירִים

For this is to Me [as] the waters of Noah, as I swore that the waters of Noah shall never again pass over the earth, so have I sworn neither to be wroth with you nor to rebuke you.

For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.
O afflicted city, who was not consoled, behold I will set your stones with carbuncle, and I will lay your foundations with sapphires.
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Israel Rising points out that the first US state to feel the storm's hit is North Carolina, where Jonathan Pollard has been held inhumanely for over 25 years.

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