Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Troubled Water for the Bay

The Bay news collection has the usual post storm analysis about how all the water and sediment washing down in to the bay will be the downfall of the bay:

Hurricane Sandy poses environmental threat to Chesapeake Bay
More than a hundred million tons of dirty sediment mixed with tree limbs and junk float behind the Conowingo Dam, and Hurricane Sandy, a giant faucet nicknamed “Frankenstorm,” could send it pouring into the Chesapeake Bay.

This is just one of the potentially devastating environmental scenarios biologists are fearing as Sandy churns up the Atlantic coast. In the Hampton Roads area that includes Norfolk — where the earth is sinking and the sea level is rising, a potential storm-water flooding nightmare — officials are hoping that meteorologists are correct in their prediction that the storm will pass them by.
Pretty much a cut and paste story by now, change the name of the storm, and you can publish this one every time a hurricane or tropical storm threatens the Bay.  I notice that this one was published on the 27th, a day ahead of the main effects of Sandy.

Meanwhile, another reporter rode it out on a place he wouldn't ordinarily visit on a bet: On Tangier Island, riding out Hurricane Sandy
Tiny Tangier Island hung on for dear life Monday as Hurricane Sandy lashed the fragile strand of land in the Chesapeake Bay, flooding its narrow lanes and sending rising waters into homes.

"My house is rocking, but I think she will stay here … hope so, anyway!" Bonnie Swift wrote in an email Monday afternoon. "We are under water … power goes on and off (but) still have Internet for now."
About the same situation I had, 100 ft above the bay (except for the flooding part).  At least until our cable died.  There's a reason we picked a house at the top of the hill rather than the bottom.

And finally, some real effects of the storm: Virginia portions of the Chesapeake Bay closed to shellfish harvesting due to flooding, rain
[Virginia] Officials say heavy rainfall from Hurricane Sandy has caused extensive flooding and that shellfish from those areas is currently unacceptable for consumption because of potential microbiological and chemical pollution hazards.

The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or other fish. The agency says eating shellfish from the closed areas could lead to illness.
And I expect a rack of trash to wash up on the beach in a week or two.  Remember you heard it here first,

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