Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Can't Get There From Here

I should have had an inkling of how bad the afternoon was going to suck when I received the call at 2PM on my day off. The gent who was supposed to work the 5PM-9PM shift phoned to tell me that he was stuck at his primary job, speaking of downed trees, a transformer fire, and a power outage. We made plans to switch shifts, and I resigned my self to power up, shower up, and head out. The second indication that the afternoon would suck was the amount of small branches, formerly attached to my nextdoor neighbor's oak tree, strewn throughout the backyard. Tropical storm Isaias had hit the county, and hit it hard, with wind gusts of up to 80mph/129kph.

There were tree limbs down in the neighborhood, but I had parked in a treeless stretch. I headed north to work on I-87, then made a strategic blunder when, wanting to avoid the Rockland County bound traffic on I-287, I exited onto the Saw Mill River Parkway and into the wanderings of Odysseus. The Saw Mill River Parkway, an unkind road at best, was down to one lane due to downed trees, and the exit I wanted to use was closed entirely. I proceeded to the next exit, and took a local road, only to find it cordoned off about shortly before the intersection I wished to take... a U-turn later and a turn onto another road which would ordinarily lead to my destination terminated in yet another dead-end and U-turn. Every road I ventured onto ended up in a closure, until I decided that the only way to get to work would be to turn back south, taking the Sprain Brook Parkway south, then in a counterintuitive manner, taking I-287 east in order to go west, exiting at the next interchange and getting back onto the roadway, westbound. Yes, I had to go south to get north, and east to get west. I then stuck to the major roadways, the ones less susceptible to blockage by downed trees. All the while, I had an old REM song running through my head:





I arrived at work right on time, having left myself an hour and a half of travel time for a trip which usually takes half-an-hour. Of course, when I arrived at work, half of the site had lost power and one large pine tree had snapped in half, accompanied by numerous smaller branches. The sky had cleared, but the winds were still fairly high. The server was knocked out of whack, suggesting a power failure on the other half of the site. I checked out the site, noting no damage to any buildings, then fed the cat, and checked in with my boss to let him know the conditions onsite. I took a moment to yell at some people who were noodling around our parking lot- a couple with a baby in a stroller and a guy with a kid on a bicycle, "One, we're closed, and two, from a liability standpoint, I can't have you onsite with the danger of falling branches." Meanwhile, I was thinking, "What kind of asshole takes their kid out for a stroll at the tail end of a friggin' disaster?"

The rest of my day was pretty uneventful, thankfully I have plenty of e-books to choose from, and after my initial 'chucking out' period, nobody came onto the property... I guess the sight of a huge pine tree snapped in half dissuaded most people from getting a closer look.

At 9PM, my relief came, and the first question from his mouth was, "Who made all this mess?" Without hesitation, I replied, "Isaias!"

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you and those idiot parents are safe.

And it could be worse - you could live in Beirut

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-53659282

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

That Beirut explosion is bizarre. I don't think we'll hear the truth about it any time soon.

Anathema Device said...

I don't think it's much of a mystery. Just incompetence and lousy record keeping combined with a substance that is not to be messed with

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/lebanon-blast-ammonium-nitrate-industrial-accidents-200805081801872.html

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

That was the substance used in the Oklahoma City bombing. Nasty stuff!

Tim said...

Beirut. Wonder how much more explosive shit was hidden, forgotten and sweating in cellars right now.