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Tagged with Hurricane Sandy

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Density helps New Yorkers keep the lights on

ConEdison, the electricity provider for New York City, says that überstorm Sandy caused the "worst damage" in its history. Which seems about right; some three-quarters of a million New Yorkers are without power.

ConEd (as it's better known) has a map of outages. Here's a section of it, as of early this afternoon.

Click to embiggen.

A quick geography lesson. At left is the island of Manhattan, the densest part of the city. In the center and to the right is mostly Queens; there's a bit of Brooklyn at lower left. At the top is a smidge of the Bronx.

You'll notice that most of the map has outages (those little triangles with numbers) pretty consistently distributed. But the long, finger-like island of Manhattan is different. There is a cluster of 50-plus outages at the lower end, but very few outages up north.

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy

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A boat on the train tracks, and other transportation effects from Sandy

New York's subways are closed indefinitely (probably for at least the rest of the week) due to flooding, but that one photo you may have seen of the 86th street station underwater is a fake. Still, the Metropolitan Transit Authority's Flickr feed shows some other fairly startling destruction from the storm.

Most surreal by far is this boat, which has apparently given up on water and wants to live its dream of being a train:

MTA

The boat is parked on the Metro North track near Ossining, N.Y.

Of course, in some places it's practically possible to drive a boat along the train tracks:

MTA
Harmon Yard on the Metro North Hudson Line.
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Romney doesn’t want to talk about preparing for or responding to Sandy

Pat Williams

What do you say if you're Mitt Romney? What do you say today, one week until the most important Election Day of your life, with the East Coast -- including swing states -- still trying to figure out what the hell hit it last night?

Mitt Romney is on record mocking rising ocean levels.

Mitt Romney is on record suggesting that emergency management services shouldn't be the province of the president. In fact, he thinks they should fall to private companies, which can then make a little money off the deal.

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Oysters could have helped save New York from Sandy

Paul Greenberg -- author of Four Fish, a book about the total disaster that is the state of sea life today -- was pretty well prepared for Sandy. But, as he wrote in The New York Times, he felt like he was missing an important disaster supply:

I wish I had some oysters.

I’m not talking about oysters to eat -- although a dozen would be nice to go with that leftover bottle of Champagne that I really should drink if the fridge goes off. I’m talking about the oysters that once protected New Yorkers from storm surges, a bivalve population that numbered in the trillions and that played a critical role in stabilizing the shoreline from Washington to Boston.

According to Greenberg, oysters really like to hang out in places like New York Harbor, where the water's not too fresh and not too salty.

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New York City’s latest massive disaster

The smartest thing we did when we got our apartment in Manhattan was the thing we thought about the least: We found a place on a hill. We watched Sandy hit New York in relative luxury. Working cable, internet, power, water. We were moderately, haphazardly prepared for the worst, but spared it. Many others were better prepared and fared far, far worse.

Hint.fm
The wind, at about 11 Eastern last night.

New York City feels like the epicenter of the storm not only because I live here, but because it's a microcosm. It's the largest city in the country, with skyscrapers and beach houses, tenements and suburbs. It's a massive, centuries-old build-up of infrastructure and architecture, a city that's not shy about its embrace of government. Sandy hitting New York was like Sandy hitting the diversity of America at its best prepared. And New York City got slammed.

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy

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The most stunning images from monster storm Sandy

Well, that was a hell of a thing. It wasn't too bad here in D.C., where only 21,000 people across the region lost power and we had this horse guy to distract us. But New York and New Jersey ... well, they have a lot more water than we do at the best of times. Here are the most staggering images I've found, so New Yorkers with internet can marvel at what you made it through, and people in drier places can appreciate the magnitude of the storm.

Flooding in a Hoboken PATH commuter rail station.

Here's video of that last one -- it happens about 40 seconds in.

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Your Sandy symbolism of the morning: An oil tanker stranded on Staten Island

There's much more to come on Sandy, from us and others, but this image seems to summarize the moment.

Michelle Charlesworth

That's the John B Caddell, a 712-ton oil tanker built in 1941, resting comfortably on a road in Staten Island.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Superstorm Sandy’s climate change connection

It's been a banner year for extreme weather conditions, from the drought that held the country hostage this summer to superstorm Sandy. But then, last year was a banner year for extreme weather too. And the years before that ...

Scientists are mostly agreed that climate change has had a hand in crafting the Frankenstorm. But how, exactly? From Boing Boing:

When the clouds have passed and everybody is done sleeping in airports, people are going to want answers. Was this an unavoidable act of nature? Or was this something caused directly by changes to Earth's climate that have happened because we burn fossil fuels which increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?

Well, both. There are multiple factors that came together to whip up Sandy, and no one causal judgment, however attractive, is fair. But given the evidence, it's likely that no matter how Sandy came in to this world, climate change has helped this storm grow bigger, go faster, and head farther than it might have in earlier times and cooler seas.

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Microgrids could bring big green changes to power systems

Sandy may look bad now, but could it (and the other Frankenstorms before it) actually inspire change? If enough power goes down, if enough damage is done, if enough people demand it -- well, maybe. But that change would be small. Micro, in fact.

rdecom
An Army microgrid.

Millions of East Coasters have already lost power this week and millions more stand to lose it in the coming days. Our reliance on central power plants and large grids has a lot to do with this. Enter microgrids, which can be detached and remain operational when the big boys fail. From The Connecticut Mirror:

A jargony techno-term, a microgrid is a small electric grid with its own generation source. It normally operates linked to the main electric grid, but when that suffers widespread interruptions, as Connecticut's did during Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm, a microgrid can automatically isolate itself and keep running.

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy

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Dude in horse mask is like ‘screw you, Hurricane Sandy’

We all have different ways of dealing with anxiety about the danger and destruction from Hurricane Sandy. Some people drink. Some people share fake photos. These idiots in New York's Zone A listen to their brand-new stereos instead of evacuating. I watch videos of baby gazelles and post jokes to dispel the tension. My dog stares at me and smells bad. And this guy straps on a rubber horse head and goes for a jog in the rain.

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