Hurricane Sandy Poised To Remind Residents That, Yes, Sheepshead Bay Is A Flood Zone

[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

Personally, I love it when the major media whips into a frenzy trying to out-do each other on ridiculous names for storms – be it hurricanes, snowstorms, whatever.

Frankenstorm is definitely going down as one of my favorites.

Frank·en·storm (noun): Dubbed a “super storm,” and by those in media who try too hard, and yet, somehow, not hard enough, as a “perfect storm,” a Frankenstorm is the potentially catastrophic merging of Hurricane Sandy with a large snowstorm and high-tides due to a full moon, and, of course, the important ingredient of occurring on the days surrounding Halloween, to further justify the “Franken” in Frankenstorm.

Pure genius. I hope whoever came up with “Frankenstorm” gets a huge raise and a hug.

Despite all the lunacy surrounding Sandy the Frankenstorm, it’s one to watch. Barreling up from Cuba and the Bahamas, up the east coast, the Category 1 (current status) hurricane has already taken more than 30 lives and caused millions of dollars in damage. It’s expected to further weaken as it works its way up – staying over water – to North Carolina, where it will collide with the snowstorm and veer inland, coming ashore anywhere from Chesapeake Bay up to Long Island or lower New England.

Government forecasters say there’s now a 90 percent chance the East will take a beating, up from 60 percent just two days ago.

Now, some news outlets are doing their best to panic the public. Daily News quoted all the ripe parts of government warnings. Here’s one of their leads:

Hurricane Sandy has the potential to be one of the worst storms  in New York City history, with major flooding and sustained winds of up to 80 mph for at least 24 hours,  says Jerome Hauer, Gov. Cuomo’s Division of Homeland Security commissionerr..
New York could face even worse storm surge flooding  than was anticipated during Hurricane Irene last year and the evacuation of parts of the city susceptible to flooding could be possible, Hauer said. Such decisions could be made by mid-day Saturday, he said.

There’s a lot of “could be” and “potential” and even some “likely” scattered about the article, but one thing the government official makes clear – there are a lot of unknowns at the moment, and hurricanes – like any storm – can take some unpredictable tacks.

All of that is to cut through the media hype for you. But do not get me wrong on this. PREPARE.

Too often when storms like this haul ass towards New York City, neighbors start spouting off conspiracy theories. “Oh, it’s all for ratings,” or “They just want you to buy stuff to help the economy.” Take a look at your Facebook feed. If you didn’t post a message like this yourself, I bet plenty of your friends did.

Listen. Don’t go crazy. Don’t panic. But do prepare. Sheepshead Bay and Southern Brooklyn – as you’ll remember from Hurricane Irene – are within the flood zone and are evacuation areas.

We got lucky with Irene. We may not this time.

Read the Office of Emergency Management’s tip sheet for hurricanes, with locations of evacuation centers, checklist for your go bag, and more. And don’t wait for the last minute – it won’t hurt you to have this stuff at the ready anyway.

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