As a weather nut, Hurricane Sandy is a fascinating thing to watch even as I wait nervously for her arrival. I live in Central Massachusetts and as you can see on the chart, we are going to get hammered.
Our yard is populated with oak trees and one in particular at the end of our driveway is of concern. That tree used to be two trees together. During a microburst several years ago, we lost one half and it barely missed our neighbor’s house!
The other half stands menacingly close to our house; should it fall, hopefully it will fall away from the house; the trajectory seems to suggest that it would.
Winds around here are going to run between 40-60 mph and last two full days! That can do a lot of damage. Needless to say, whatever leaves remain on the trees will be down for cleanup next weekend.
I am concerned too for our son, Stephen, who lives in Brooklyn, NY. The storm surge in that area is predicted to be quite dangerous. As you can see from the map, if the ocean waters surge into the bay, they have nowhere to go but towards the East River and Manhatten. Brooklyn is close by …
Still, despite the concern, I also have an insatiable and morbid curiously about this storm. The last time a storm of this magnitude happened was in 1991; it was dubbed The Perfect Storm. Immortalized through the book by Sebastian Junger and the movie starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, this Halloween Nor’easter was a combination of tropical moisture from Hurricane Grace and two other storms. Among the casualties was the crew of the fishing vessel, the Andrea Gail.
Hurricane Sandy is taking a similar path. Blocked by a large high pressure ridge over Greenland, the storm has nowhere to go but straight at us. Taking an unusual curve inland, it will merge with a powerful cold front advancing from the west. The crashing of tropical into arctic air will cause the hurricane to explode, forming a super storm. The strong winds and rain will extend out over 800 miles covering the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Weather.com provides all the details.
Needless to say, we are hunkered down with water, canned goods, LED lamps and an emergency wind-up radio.
Let’s all hope and pray that everyone in the affected area will come through unscathed. Fr. James Martin, author of Between Heaven and Mirth and My Life with the Saints, offers the following prayer for the over 60 million people in the path of this storm:
God of the Universe, at the dawn of creation, your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness. You created the oceans and rivers, and all that dwell within them, and at your word the wind and the waves were born. The seasons follow your plan, and the tides rise and fall on your command. In both calm and storm, you are with us. On the Sea of Galilee, even when the disciples began to fear, Jesus showed that he was Lord over the waters by rebuking the storms, so that all would know that even the wind and the waves obey him. Creator God, we ask you to calm the wind and the waves of the approaching hurricane, and spare those in its path from harm. Help those who are in its way to reach safety. Open our hearts in generosity to all who need help in the coming days. In all things, help us to remember that even when things seem dark and stormy, you are in the boat with us, guiding us to safety. Amen.
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