Irene! Batten down the hatches. Or take a jog on the river.

With Hurricane Irene approaching, I went out to breakfast this morning thinking that it might be the last time I’m outdoors for at least a couple of days. After finishing a bagel and iced coffee (and witnessing surprisingly long lines at various delis), I headed with my roommate Meredith towards Stuyvesant Cove, a bike path that runs along the East River a short ten minute walk from my apartment. There were plenty of joggers out, probably out for the same reason I was, and it hadn’t started raining yet.

Initially it looked like this:

As we walked further along, we spotted a homeless man camping under a tent and a golf umbrella. It’s a little worrying especially since we were walking along a Zone A, or mandatory evacuation zone. We walked a little further, contemplating whether to dial 311 to report his whereabouts to a shelter.

Suddenly it started pouring, and my little green umbrella proved completely useless as my Keds and jeans were completely soaked through. We ran underneath the FDR and noticed it was leaking. Good maintenance! I did manage to capture this panorama of the river as it poured though:

Currently, it is pouring, and I am a little worried because my neighbors still have not taken in their patio furniture. They have caught their cats though (priorities!) but their patio door is still open. We’ve duct taped the windows, have our go bags ready, and I am currently downloading the entire season of Boardwalk Empire. I’ve called 311 and they transferred me to shelter services, where I told them the location of the homeless man.They’ve sent out someone to look for him and will call me back once they find him.

Wish us luck – will keep updating as things progress.

Update: Shelter services called me back and told me that while they found the man’s tent and umbrella, they didn’t find him. They said it’s possible that he was already taken to a shelter by police since the police are patrolling Zone A to make sure people are evacuating. Hope that this is the case!

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