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Prepare for Hurricane Sandy; ignore hype

Sandbags are piled in front of homes on

Sandbags are piled in front of homes on West Broadway in Long Beachin preparation for Hurricane Sandy. (Oct. 27, 2012) Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

It's not a nor'easter. It's more than that. And Sandy isn't your typical hurricane. So what exactly are we supposed to call this pre-Halloween weather monster that forecasters say is roaring at us?

Please, not Frankenstorm, whatever those heavy breathers on the TV weather reports might be saying now. That's a hype term, pure and simple, and none of the actual models is going beyond Cat 2 or 3. Shouldn't we save the Franken-anything for the truly monstrous?

Ditto with 100-year storm. Hundred-year storms keep coming far more often than centuries do.

Maybe winter-storm hybrid. That's one expression the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, usually a sober organization, has been tossing around this weekend, and it's at least halfway right. Sandy is part-hurricane and part-regular storm -- though winter is still nearly two months away.

Fall hybrid, anyone?

By any name, this much is already clear: It's too soon to say exactly where Sandy is coming or how much damage the storm will do. But it's likely to hit somewhere between the Chesapeake Bay to southern New England, and it's likely to hang around a while and do some weird stuff, too.

Like lingering maddeningly long off the coast of the Atlantic. Like dumping one foot or more of early snow on West Virginia. Like sending winds whipping through the Ohio River Valley and eastern Great Lakes.

Like locking us all in our homes for far too long, leaving plenty of time to review storm vocabulary.



1. Food

2. Water

3. Batteries

4. Flashlight

5. Huge loads of tolerance for the hurricane jargon and hype

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We're big boosters of rockCANroll, and not only because of all the fine performance venues where these music-oriented hunger-fighters tend to congregate. They collect food donations from public-spirited music fans. They restock the dwindling shelves at Long Island food pantries. They've fed thousands and thousands of hungry so far. Now, founder Aimee Holtzman and her band of volunteers are putting on their first major fundraising dinner. It won't be stuffy, I can promise you that, and the money will go to excellent use. It's Nov. 30 at Woodbury's Crest Hollow Country Club. Info at Good people, doing fine work, always to an excellent beat.


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