Hurricane Sandy of the thousand foot windspan…Hang tight everyone!

A note on Hurricane Sandy as she menaces the East Coast of the United States.

The Hope River in spate - Varun Baker photo. Email:
The Hope River (Kingston, Jamaica) in spate – Varun Baker photo.

UPDATE! Seven people came to this blog today searching for “hurricane sandy in jamaican patwa”. Can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

SANDY. A hurricane event with a windspan so broad (1000 miles wide) she’s menacing the United States from New York and the East Coast all the way to Chicago. And this after ravaging us in the Caribbean from Jamaica to the Bahamas, through Cuba and Haiti. People don’t understand how a Category 1 hurricane can do so much damage. Satellite shots make it look as humdrum as buttermilk seething in a giant churn but Sandy is dangerous because she’s slow moving and large–as i said her windspan is unusually wide, and she’s adept at the slow creep. So though not packing as much power as a Cat 4 or 5 storm usually does over a much narrower radius Sandy’s still deadly because of the water she brings with her. She dumps so much rain on affected areas as she creeps along in slowmo that the earth gets sodden and trees and poles are no longer securely anchored toppling over once the wind starts plucking at them. Its the flooding Sandy produces that will be the real threat, especially to people in what are called “low-lying areas” (like the homes in the photos by Varun). Meanwhile the relative height of one’s locality is just coming home to people. As the writer Hari Kunzru (@harikunzru) said on Twitter:

Beginning to appreciate the ‘hill’ part of Clinton Hill. #sandy

The Hope River in spate - Varun Baker photo. Email:
Varun Baker photo.
A view of the coast at Palmyra Rosehall, St James - Hoween Griffiths Photo. Email:
A view of the coast at Palmyra Rosehall, St James – Hoween Griffiths Photo. Email:

At any rate that was our experience with Sandy here in Jamaica. A lot of trees went down or were brutally pruned. She seemed to have something against banana plants…people think they’re trees but they’re not, they’re large plants…so yes, we’ll have no bananas for the next 6 months because both Portland and St. Mary, the banana parishes, have been devastated.

So good luck to all the folks in the US of A who aren’t used to tropical weather events such as hurricanes…its like a wet tornado i guess. And hopefully by the time Sandy has swept through the East Coast you won’t be emerging into a political cyclone as the Republicans and the Democrats go head to head and Mittens and Big O face off for the big one on November 6. We hope that whichever candidate wins he will take the threat of global warming seriouly. Again i turn to Twitter for some instant wisdom on the matter:

RT @TonyKaron: Sandy’s disruption of electioneering is nature’s poetic rebuke to both candidates for their silence on climate change #fb

PS: Breaking News! As of 8 pm EST it was declared that Sandy is now a post-tropical storm. She has morphed into a cold weather event.

and i eavesdropped on this twitterati convo:

SalmanRushdie's avatar
Salman Rushdie @SalmanRushdie

Lights flickered off/on. Wind crazy.Watching the big old tree out back. It’s a tough New York tree. It can take it. Right, tree? Am I right?

IamDeepaMehta's avatar
Deepa Mehta @IamDeepaMehta

@SalmanRushdie You absolutely are , right that is. Hang tight tree. Hang tight Salman XX

harikunzru's avatar

@IamDeepaMehta @SalmanRushdie having same feelings re tree outside our place in Clinton Hill


and look at this photo posted by @nycarecs
Official Twitter feed of the New York City Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Service (NYC-ARECS)

AN OCEAN ON NY’S LOWER EAST SIDE. Never happened ever like this. #sandy #nyc via @nycarecs

Hang tight everyone!

Got this from
“Sea water flooded the Ground Zero construction site.”
Photo: John Minchillo/Associated Press

oh my various gods! will the US Presidential elections have to be postponed…? at this rate? things are deteriorating rapidly in NYC, don’t think they can recover by Nov 6…

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