Reporting from a diner in Paoli, PA, near 40°02′27″N 75°29′24″W.

Power went out in Malvern about 2AM this morning. After sleep, we have fled to where there is power and light and steak and eggs. 

It feels like aftermath. The NOAA seems to no longer be issuing track updates and the storm track has disappered from the Google crisis map, suggesting that the anticipated conversion to a large but normally (un)structured nor'easter has completed.

This area got off lightly, especially compared to the ration of apocalypse-now the storm handed New York City.  Exploding high-power transformers are very bad news - they tell us that all that tunnel flooding seriously damaged the downtown end of the Manhatten power grid. That kind of equipment is extremely expensive and difficult to replace, and the halogen compounds they use as insulators are hazmats when they get loose. The prompt repair costs are going to be a large fraction of a billion dollars.

But that isn't the worst of it.  Considering that this will have have paralyzed the largest node in the international financial system for some time, downstream economic losses could easily crack a trillion dollars. The impact will be global and manifest as higher prices for everything with cross-border supply chains, rippling all the way down to Third-World farmers buying fertilizer.

By comparison, the handful of treefalls we got here was nothing.  We were braced for hurricane winds but didn't even get get gusts of more than gale force; sustained winds never got higher than we see in a normal nor'easter, and there were lulls.  With temperatures now around 40F, conditions are not life-threatening for anyone who can find even minimal shelter, and road travel passed from being dangerous to merely slightly difficult hours ago. We see worse local effects than this in most years.

The remaining question locally is how long the power will be out.  Normally the worst case in exurban Southeastern PA would be well under 24 hours, but while the damage is relatively light anywhere in particular it's spread over a much wider area than usual.  The line crews are going to be way oversubscribed. 

Thankfully, all this nets out to a great deal of inconvenience but no tragedy. We did indeed dodge a bullet.  The collective sigh of relief is nearly audible.

#HurricaneSandy
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