Meteorologist: #Irene is All Hype

While we brace for the arrival of Hurricane Irene here in Brooklyn Heights, one meteorologist is calling it “Hype-a-cane 2011.” Paul Douglas, writing for the Minneapolis Star Tribune says Category 1 Irene is no Katrina, which was a Category 5 storm before it hit land.

Star Tribune: Everyone wants to err on the side of caution and keeping people safe. I get that. But some of the stuff I heard Friday night on the national media made me a little crazy. An 8-12 ft. storm surge at New York Harbor? Not even close. “Storm of the Century?” Nope. The result? “Weather “experts” are crying wolf!” Apathy sets in, which could be tragic the next time a (real) monster-storm churns up the East Coast.
And can we stop with the reporters on the beach, reminding us that it’s windy? They urge viewers to evacuate, yet there they are, clinging to light poles, incoherent above the wailing winds.
Any hurricane is a big deal, but Irene hits Long Island today as a Category 1 storm, capable of a 2-4 foot storm surge in New York Harbor. Expect lowland flooding, but this will NOT be the “Big One”.

He may be right, but we don’t think that means you should be ignoring the advice of public officials to evacuate and/or stay indoors until Irene passes over.

According to the Weather Channel’s latest hour-by-hour forecast, winds in our zip code (11201) are projected to peak at about 46 MPH over the next 24 hours. Not hearing that info from the 24/7 local TV coverage.

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  • epc

    Isn’t tonight’s high tide a King tide? Or whatever you call the biggest tides of the cycle? The last really high tide I saw earlier this year flooded the walkways closest to the water in the Main St section of BBP, as well as about five inches of water on Main St (in the section that always floods).

    You know, all of these people claiming the city is overreacting would be the first people in line to complain that the city didn’t do enough preparations.

  • Greg

    One thing to keep in mind for those of us in tall buildings (and there are some in the Heights) is that winds get stronger the higher up you are.


    “More so than with most storms…the winds with Irene increase sharply with height above the surface. As Irene moves through areas with high-rise structures…these structures will experience winds significantly stronger than indicated by the advisory intensity. Winds at the 30-story level will likely be 20 percent higher than at the surface…”

  • stuart

    Telling people to evacuate and then shutting down all public transit is certainly easier and less expensive than for instance, getting crews to plow all the streets properly during a large blizzard. The government does what it can to show it is on top of things. ordering people to evacuate and leaving them to figure out how in a city where most do not own cars is certainly a cost-effective way to make a big media statement while really doing nothing to help.
    Most sensible new Yorkers can look up the weather stats and radar maps themselves and comprehend that a marginal category 1/tropical storm is not the same thing as a category 5 storm such as Katrina.

  • Ari

    Bloomberg is simply trying to redeem his miserable performance during the last blizzard and no thinking person is falling for it

  • Carol

    I concur with Stuart & Ari.

  • Nancy

    Katrina wasn’t a Cat 5 when it hit land and the problem occurred because of the flooding in the aftermath-not the wind

  • Nancy

    I also was just looking at the Daily News on line and it shows that a very large tree is down on Hicks Street by Clark, and one down on Columbia Heights.

  • David on Middagh

    Nancy, I went to take a look at the downed trees. The Columbia Heights tree was a small Honey Locust, and only the crown came down. But the Hicks tree was the old Mansion House elm, which broke through its low brick wall and crushed the iron fence across the street.

    BTW, the river is about three feet below Fulton Ferry Landing.

  • Orange Oscar Wilde

    Hurrilame. Typical over-hype in NYC of the apocalypse that never was. Have to admit I’m both happy nothing horrible happened and sad that I have work tomorrow.

  • BHer

    Better safe than sorry, but it’s a little ridiculous that you couldn’t even get a bagel this morning… because it rained last night! More than just a little absurd!

    Yes, there was a lot of rain and high winds, but certainly nothing that should have brought NYC to a complete standstill for 2 days!

    Bloomy should be well prepared for the headlines certainly being written about how much money the city squandered preparing for the storm that wasn’t.

    Doesn’t do much to compensate for the blizzard disaster, but at least everyone was/is safe with minimal casualties.

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    Mass transit, as you know, was shut down at noon yesterday.
    No surprise that most places were closed today as many people have to commute via subway or bus to their jobs.

  • Daniela Gioseffi

    I think the Mayor did a good job on Irene. BETTER SAFE, THAN SORRY, and there is no predicting what a hurricane can do, even a category 1 storm. There are plenty of big trees down today, Sunday, and plenty of roads are flooded, etc. I feel the hype was a good thing, BUT there is always the problem of some fools allowing apathy to set in next time, but apathy is ALWAYS the problem, or more people would be yelling about Karl Rove’s brain child CITIZENS UNITED VERSUS THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION, that destroyed our democracy for sure, and made us an oligarchy of corporate controlled elections. It’s what put the Tea Party nuts in control of Congress. Go to PUBLIC CITIZENS to learn more about it. Home Page Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress… It is a major org. fighting to get a constitutional amendment to undo corporate control of our elections. Check it out for your own good! Avoid apathy!!!

  • BrooklynTea

    In response to Daniela’s comment about the tea party and hurricane Irene. Frankly, I don’t see the connection between the weather and political parties. Unless you were referring to Mitt Romney, since he changes his mind as often as the wind blows. However, do you consider the Unions big corporations? I do. The unions control our elections too. The unions are just a big an issue as large corporations. They collect dues from the working class and funnel it to the corrupt politicians who then pass regulations that benefit the unions. In addition, unions print flyers to advertise who members should vote for and usually it is the politician who is willing to take the money offered by the unions. Next time you are in Starbucks try a cup of tea instead.