Wednesday, August 08, 2007
When it rains...
Strong storms brought down a tree onto an SUV in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday morning.
The "360" newsroom is buzzing now. But it was mostly empty for much of the morning.

Earlier today, violent thunderstorms pulverized the New York region with torrential rains that flooded roads, subways, and the elevators at the Time Warner Center (that's where we work).

It was a mess getting into the office. And for some folks here, it was a nightmare.

One producer rode (very slowly) in a packed subway car for more than two hours with her two-year-old and six-month-old sons. She had it bad.

So did our executive administrative assistant. He spent three hours driving to the city. It's usually a quick commute. By the way, he says he saw a funnel cloud crossing over from Staten Island to Brooklyn this morning. Forecasters are looking at reports of a tornado.

And pity our poor copy editor. She's stranded in Jersey, getting the water out of her apartment.

While it was frustrating for many of us, it was downright dangerous for others. Thousands are still without power. Hopefully, it will be back on soon.

As for me, well, the only bright spot of a dismal day may be the fact that I had to climb seven flights of stairs to get to work. I sure can use the exercise.

-- By Gabe Falcon, "360" Writer
Posted By CNN: 3:45 PM ET
  19 Comments
Gabe,

I work on the 16th floor, so if we lost power I would just call in sick. Yikes, what a storm. Hope everyone is OK. AC missed the heat wave in NYC last year and now this storm. What luck. My daughter is heading to the Big Apple tonight so I hope things are in better shape by tomorrow morning. Stay safe. Signing out from sunny, mid-80's Northern California.
Posted By Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 4:08 PM ET
Hi Gabe,
Mother Nature has a way of overdoing a good thing. Hopefully, you guys will dry out soon.
Now if you could just send the water to my area! We are consumed in a terrible fire out here in Santa Barbara County. It's been burning since early July and now one of our main ways to get to Santa Barbara is closed! There's only two ways to get there and one down isn't a good sign. So rain would seem pretty good right about now. Such is life!
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 4:42 PM ET
That is some freaky ass stuff! Can we all say planet in peril?
Stairs on the other hand are a good thing!
Posted By Polly Anna, Shreveport,LA : 5:05 PM ET
This has been a year of really weird weather, guess Al Gore was right about global warming.

Don't fret, Gabe the sun will come out eventually and all will be right with the world.
Posted By Marcia, Warren Mi : 5:06 PM ET
Global warming, coming soon to an island near you. Move to higher ground?
Posted By Arachnae : 5:09 PM ET
Global warming is changing our environment and I suppose we can expect more and more of these dangerous storms and other strange weather patterns.

I don't know what it will take for the Bush administration to realize these changes are occurring, but I expect nothing to be accomplished during the remainder of Bush's term of office.

If ever this nation needed an environmentally focused President and supportive Congress, it's now.
Posted By Jospeh Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 5:11 PM ET
I say you guys throw up two 1 hour special editions of 360 and head home to dry off.
Posted By Marcy B., Mobile, Alabama : 5:17 PM ET
Sounds like the commute from hell. I'm glad you were able to make it into work safely. I know the news never stops, but you guys at 360 are a remarkably dedicated bunch.

Out here in West L.A. we've got temps in the 70's. Eat your heart out; we've got way too much traffic here already, as Anderson found out last week.

Here's hoping your bad weather clears up soon.
Posted By Barbara, Culver City, CA : 5:30 PM ET
Hi Gabe, wow, the weather sure has been merciless for you guys today. I'm glad you're OK, sounds like the others had a rougher time. Is everyone else OK though? Is Anderson OK? I hope he missed all this and that he's in a warmer and safer place.

Lilibeth
Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 5:33 PM ET
Gabe/AC360:
Not to respond without sensitivity, but the Midwest wouldn't mind some of the "wet stuff." We are burning up with 90 - 100 temps!

Here in the Midwest we stock up on bottled water and make sure your flashlights have new batteries during tornado season. Also, consider investing in a weather radio (it is good for snow too!).

In addition, designate a place to meet/contact family members in case of a power outage or a disaster. Yes, sometimes cell phones do not work after a bad storm/tornado hits.

New York City, good luck with the clean up! Sounds like CNN staff members were greatly inconvenienced but at least none of them were injured.

Keep the eyes on the skies!
Posted By Sharon, Indianapolis, IN : 5:42 PM ET
Gabe, I really love your post. I am glad you are getting more posts up on the blog

Crummy weather is horrible and it sounds like you and the staff had a heck of a time today, especially your producer with those poor kids.

Looks like Anderson choose a good week to take a "vacation" (to do some more work since we all know how well he does on vaca :P)
Posted By Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 5:49 PM ET
Gabe:

I can relate big time. Where I live, we had similar storms go through here yesterday with pretty much the same result. I'm sure it's even scarier when you live in the big city. My backyard is still flooded and on top of that it's hot and very humid. I suppose we were all lucky, it could have been much worse. Stay dry!
Posted By Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 6:07 PM ET
It seems like it always works out this way; one part of the country gets too much rain all at one time while another section desperately needs rain and swelters in intense heat. I wish everyone would finally agree that something is wrong with the weather and fix it or say lots of prayers.

Is this why Anderson is off this week or just on assignment somewhere? I hope he's okay. It would be so thoughtful if his substitute would just tell us if he's on assignment, before the worrying turns us all grey!

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Posted By Christina, Windber, PA : 7:10 PM ET
Hi Gabe, I am not sure what the Universe and Mother Earth are trying to tell us, but I am sure that it has something to do with your "Planet is in Peril". Sound familiar!!!
The 360 staff is truly dedicated to us viewers but don't place yourself in danger for a days work. We get that same message from CNN when we decide to send in I_Reports.
Anderson picked a good week to be away from New York, didn't he?
Posted By Judy Stage Brooklyn MI : 8:31 PM ET
I can certainly relate to you all. Where I live, we have also been drenched with rain for over a week.

I just hope that we don't have a repeat of last year's monster storm that caused flooding in many areas of the city. That storm caused flooding in many houses, buildings, and cars. Interstate 10 had to be shut down in the downtown area because of water that was as deep as 6 feet!

Hope you all at 360 stay safe and don't go anywhere unless you really need to. At least till the storm is over.
Posted By Genevieve M., El Paso, Texas : 9:48 PM ET
Hello, New York!

I send Greetings from Tornado Alley! Some you win, some you lose. Guess it was your turn to lose!

Want to trade off next week?

Thanks,

Maggie
Posted By Maggie, Grain Valley, MO : 9:56 AM ET
Hi Gabe,

I have send to AC360 a "keeping them honest" tip about how slow 311 responded and MTA hotline did not pick up to answer the phone.(corrected version)

I've been watching NY1-channel on this matter and about 61% of New Yorkers blamed MTA for malfunctioning as supposed to nature disaster.

If New York ever gets flooded, my biggest fear is how water will mix in with Con-Eds electricity street outlets. Would be hazardous for rescue workers.

Anyway! I am a worrier, but I think it is justified to worry!
Posted By Ratna, New York, NY : 5:36 PM ET
I was in New York City visiting friends and family (especially my two fun, adorable nephews). I had to come back to PA yesterday because I had an annual doctor's visit a few months overdue, and it was insane getting across town, let alone home!

I was at my sister's house when she got what I asssume is a mass-mailing to all New Yorkers from the Office of Emergency Management about the possibility of hurricanes in NYC. In the brochure, there was a flood zone map of NYC. Different weather issue, but I thought it odd timing arriving just hours before the rain when we got a taste of some real flooding. Most worrisome: I found it disturbing that the brochure listed shelters for those in low-lying areas and nothing about what to do to get out of the area if you couldn't afford to evacuate on your own (for example, if you don't have family elsewhere, you might call ahead of time to see where in another city you could shelter in an emergency or try to work ahead of time with others through your faith/community group to perhaps find a sister group in another area that could put people up). It also didn't really advise people out of the flood zone areas to evacuate if they could (and who knows how crazy NYC might be after a major hurricane?). Didn't we learn in Katrina that "vertical evacuation" is really not a good idea???

I know I might have eleven New Yorkers, two dogs, and one cat come to my place if there is a problem. One bathroom, but we'll just have to make it work!

I also worry about global warming and how it is contributing more and more to these record-breaking weather events. Not a good sign when you see the Wicked Witch of the West whizzing past your house in Brooklyn.

Thanks to Sharon fron IN for the reminders about emergency preparedness. For a complete list, visit www.ready.gov and www.redcross.org.

As annoying as my trip home was, I know it is not anything like what the survivors of the monsoon are going through, where people are fighting over food and disease is rampant. I am praying for all of those people, and hoping that we all can do our part to fight global warming to make such events less likely and less deadly.
Posted By Norah, West Chester, PA : 7:10 PM ET
Hey Gabe,

I strongly believe that most of the changes in temperature is due to global warming,helped by a human hand.
But those kind of storms are not new. In 1987,I was working a summer job in Montreal,and one day,this huge storm fell accros the city,it was scary! I'm not afraid of thunderstorm,but that one geeze! There was so much rain in a short time that the road going under an overpass flooded and a man drowned in his car.We had to go down the stairs from the 10th floor,the subway was submerged,tiles lifted from the water. It took me 5 hours to get home.
And last summer,twice in a few days we had so much rain,that a road going under an overpass was flooded and people had to climp on the roof of their cars and wait for help.
So, it has been happening for years but yes, it is definitly happening more and more.There are some flooding also in some regions here. It always seems to happen during rush hours though. Mother nature having a little fun at our expenses.
As for your producer,stuck on the subway with two small children,ykes! Glad every body's doing well. Aren't we used to our little comforts? We have to admit it.

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Joanne R,.Laval QUebec : 2:21 PM ET
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