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Under the Weather

I saw this on Twitter last night:

Hurricane Sandy floodwaters rush down elevator shaft into NYC subway station

So many fake photos of Hurricane Sandy running around, but this one seems real. One of my vivid 1950s movie memories is from a cheap sci-fi flick called The Deadly Mantis. In one scene USAF jet pilots strafe it, only to watch it dive into the Hudson River. The scene then shifts to the inside of the Holland Tunnel as the enraged mantis kicks a hole in the roof and burrows inside, causing water to cascade in, washing cars and trucks away in both directions, drowning hundreds.

I wasted twenty minutes looking for a screenshot from the movie, but the only one I could find is this:

The Deadly Mantis (Universal, 1957)

All mantis, no water. Maybe it’s already crawled to a higher part of the tunnel, closer to the above-ground entrance. Or … I freely admit the possibility … my memory is faulty. Still, every time I look at the top photo I’m drawn to whatever that is sticking up through the top of the elevator door. Could it be … a mantis leg?

Last night three or four of the news and politics blogs I read daily wouldn’t load, presumably because they’re hosted on East Coast servers. Another First World problem, oh woe is me!

We are veterans of several hurricanes and typhoons in Florida, Okinawa, and Hawaii. None have seriously inconvenienced us. Our biggest scare to date has been the tornado and flood that hit Enid, Oklahoma in late 1973, when we were caught a few miles from home by fast-rising water and wound up knocking on a random person’s door and spending the night in her house. In the morning, driving back to our own house, we passed a boxcar in a tree, something you don’t see every day. In September 1986 we were living on a Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia when Hurricane Gloria hit the East Coast. Power was out for two days, but it was still summer so it didn’t get cold. We had a Coleman stove and lantern and plenty of white gas, so we could cook and read books at night. Actually that was a pretty fun time for us.

I would not want to be living on the East Coast now, with the power out and temperatures sliding down toward freezing. I hope the subways in NYC are not as badly damaged as some think, and that the city will be functioning again soon. But nationally we’re way overdue for major transportation and power distribution infrastructure repairs and upgrades, and maybe this storm will be the catalyst for badly-needed stimulus and public works projects. All the more reason to re-elect President Obama, ’cause you know what Romney thinks of that sort of thing!

Hang in there, East Coast friends!

© 2012, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.