People said the daily commute, long working hours, and nor'easter snow storms would be the hardest part of adjusting to life in New York. Seems somebody forget to mention earthquakes and hurricanes.
But that's the reality I'm finding, as the earthquake shook New York Tuesday and forecast models show Hurricane Irene is now making its way toward the metropolitan area for a possible Sunday strike at Category 1 strength.
Suddenly, the daily commute to work doesn't seem like such a difficult task.
I'm not unaccustomed to New York's interesting array of possible disasters. Before moving to the area I had spent a lot of professional time in the city and region over the years. I was here during the Blackout of 1993, for instance. When the northeast power grid shut down that hot day in August, the entire city of eight million people came to a hot, slow, friendly crawl.
My hotel room boiled like a sauna. I had to walk with thousands across town with subways not working, while drenching with sweat. We wanted cold water, but stores had quickly sold out. For almost three days, we had no power, and little to eat in the way of prepared food, since refrigeration and deliveries stopped.new
So I wasn't too surprised on Tuesday when sitting at my desk in downtown Manhattan to see that everything around me was shaking. I had experienced one earthquake years before, as a child living in a college town in Northern Mississippi. That earthquake fault line which runs near Memphis is supposedly one that holds real potential danger.
On the east coast, the fault line which caused the Virginia earthquake which rippled through New York after the 5.8 shake damaged buildings and rattled nerves in New York is not such a big thing. Its more shallow, and less capably of major damage. But try telling that to so many people who left tall buildings in New York Tuesday, afraid somthing bigger was coming.
For most, however, it was just a curiosity event that did rattle nerves yet since everybody was okay, it was just time to get back to work.
But now comes the next big threat from mother nature: a hurricane forecast to strike the New York area. If that happens, I'll officially be able to say that in my first months of living in the New York metro area as a full time resident anything is possible.
We joke that anything can happen in California, from earthquakes to fires. But perhaps only New York can experience an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week. Its rare for a storm like Irene to make landfall in the region at hurricane strength, but at the moment, forecast models show likelihood for that very thing.
The latest reports say Hurricane Irene could make landfall at Long Island Sunday packing winds of 80 miles per hour or more, causing havoc with torrential rains, downed power lines, flooding and more. Let's hope not. But we can't rule the reality out.
It's New York, where most anything can happen -- long, difficult commutes, big snowstorms, and even an earthquake and a hurricane, both in the same week.