The Rockaways and Hurricane Sandy

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Image source: George Takei – here’s hoping it won’t get this bad down there

We expect, because of their location and shape, that the Rockaways will possibly get hit harder than a lot of NYC during the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. They were told to evacuate yesterday afternoon, as they are in Zone A. NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt has been reporting on the scene in the Rockaways, where he lives (yes, he did not evacuate). As of this writing, this is his latest, artful, update:

Monday, 1:47 p.m.

The sky looks mean, like out of a scene in an occult movie where a demonic character casts an evil spell. Meanwhile, the trees in my backyard are getting a real workout from the wind. A quick jog up to the boardwalk was a challenge because of the wind and then — once on the boardwalk — the driving sand. I had to walk up the steps backwards, facing West so that I wouldn’t get a mouthful of sand, which then was pinging off my windbreaker like little pebbles. Besides my laptop and the house itself, my only other prized possession is my beach bike — which I just moved out of the basement and into my library. I’ve never had water in the basement in the 15 years that I’ve lived here but this could be the day where it happens.

This afternoon, Channel 4 (NBC) was saying there has been a lot of foot traffic along the water down there. People mainly curious, no doubt. Plus they want to get out before they are forced to stay inside for a couple of days.

Earlier this morning, this was the scene at Beach 98th and the Boardwalk in the Rockaways.

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Image source: AlertNet / CREDIT: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON

These amazing waves were spotted at Beach 96th (click to enlarge)

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Image source: @nycwipeout on twitter

On the way to the Rockaways was flooding in Broad Channel. This is on Noel Road.

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Image source: nmarie on Flickr

The WSJ reports that “die hards stick it out” here in the Rockaways, which is not surprising. Some people just are not worried. In the words of one resident, “it’s just water.”

Darren Franchok, 43 years old, shoveled sand into a wheelbarrow to make sandbags to protect his basement windows. His wife and children evacuated for Irene and went to stay at his sister’s house in New Jersey. That house lost power soon after Irene hit and was without power for almost two weeks, he said.

So this time, he and his family are staying.

“Irene wasn’t bad,” he said. “We had 2 feet, 3 feet of water going up the block but my house didn’t take a drop of water. But they say this will be worse.”

His wife, Kristin Franchok, said: “No one in the Rockaways leaves. They’re yelling at us on the news.”

Good luck, Rockaways folks. We hope you make it through the storm OK.

NY1 Blog: NY1′s Bob Hardt Reports From Rockaway Beach [NY1]