Storm, Power Outages, Heat Weigh Heavy on East Coast

July 1, 2012

A reliable observer writes me what sounds like a postcard from the future:

I’m In WV. It’s desperate. No food water gas. Post email help!!!!!! If near WV bring food and water. Oxygen patients flooding hospitals. Many people with no phone service or gas to get help, water or supplies.

Post this to our Facebook. If you can come into wv with food water and check on people  I have not seen 1 emergency vehicle. People in hollers with no way to get help or leave. No one going house to house to check. 79 50 all clear no traffic. Come with aid

Where the fuck is the national guard.  Cars and people are stranded at closed gas stations. No gas or lights from Parkersburg to Clarksburg. Then none in Braxton Upshur or Lewis Co.  Apocalyptic.

Really people must call friends a d family to check on them. Go there if possible if they cannot contact them. People in falls mills to get relief from almost 100% heat. Creeks dry.


Millions across the mid-Atlantic region sweltered Saturday in the aftermath of violent storms that pummeled the eastern U.S. with high winds and downed trees, killing at least 13 people and leaving 3 million without power during a heat wave.

Power officials said the outages wouldn’t be repaired for several days to a week, likening the damage to a serious hurricane. Emergencies were declared in MarylandWest VirginiaOhio, theDistrict of Columbia and Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell said the state had its largest non-hurricane outage in history, as more storms threatened. “This is a very dangerous situation,” the governor said.


Maybe you’re wondering how a storm on the East Coast killed access to your favorite photo sharing app, which is based in San Francisco. That’s because Instagram, like many major web companies, uses an even bigger web company — Amazon — to host its traffic and data.

An enterprise cloud-computing product called Amazon Web Services (AWS) powers businesses in 190 countries worldwide — “hundreds of thousands” of startups and mature companies, all told, according to Amazon’s website. Pinterest, Netflix and Heroku are among the notable sites and services you may be familiar with — in addition to, of course, “your Instagram.”

Some call AWS the Coke of the web hosting industry, so that gives even more of an idea of just how prevalent it is.

AWS operates out of Oregon and northern California in addition to northern Virginia, but only the Virginia facilities were affected in Friday’s storm. Still, that’s enough to have people wondering how they’ll see filtered Saturday brunch photos, as well as enough to make “My Instagram” trend worldwide on Twitter for several hours. (Pinterest and Netflix were back up by Saturday morning.)

3 Responses to “Storm, Power Outages, Heat Weigh Heavy on East Coast”

  1. climatehawk1 Says:

    Nice work on the “postcard from the future” meme. I predict a long and productive life for it.

  2. witsendnj Says:

    Grrrrrrr. From Wiki: To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph (33 m/s; 64 kn; 119 km/h) (Category 1). The highest classification in the scale, Category 5, is reserved for storms with winds exceeding 156 mph (70 m/s; 136 kn; 251 km/h).

    SUSTAINED winds, not occasional gusts up to 79 mph max. The reason this thunderstorm is being compared to a hurricane isn’t because the winds were comparable – it’s because the TREE DAMAGE and consequent power outages are THE WORST EVER.

    So (predictably) the cart is being put before the horse. The problem is trees falling and branches breaking, and THAT is happening because they are all dying, from pollution!

    We are having BOTH unprecedented fires and storm damage – and can expect far worse – because vegetation is dying off from exposure to air pollution. Many people believe air pollution isn’t a problem anymore because the visible component of smog – SOx – has been reduced. However, the background level of invisible tropospheric ozone is inexorably rising, even in rural areas, and it happens to be quite toxic to vegetation, including annual agricultural crops. Trees that have cumulative injury are more vulnerable to insects, disease and fungus.

    There have been many controlled fumigation experiments in the US and Europe that have proved over and again: plants exposed to elevated (over natural) ozone – which is a pollutant derived from reactive nitrogen whether from burning fuel or artificial fertilizer – become significantly damaged. The first effect is that root systems shrink because the plant has to repair injury to leaves or needles. This makes vegetation less tolerant of drought. Another major effect is that plants lose their immunity to insects, disease and fungus.

    Thus, the now-ubiquitous persistent background level of tropospheric ozone is THE ultimate reason that trees all around the world are dying off, even though foresters and scientists are wont to blame whatever localized pest is most apparently attacking them. For some reason, they don’t want to recognize that we have a catastrophic, global decline of vegetation.

    Plants are damaged internally before visible injury appears, but it’s just about ubiquitous now that you can see symptoms on leaves even of plants being watered in pots – tropical plants used to heat. I encourage you and anyone interested in this issue to go outside and look at leaves and needles. Ozone interferes with photosynthesis so they lose their normal color and eventually turn brown and shrivel up.

    According to a UNEP report referenced at Climate Progress, ozone is responsible for the loss of 30 million tons of crop yields annually (an underestimate because it only includes major annuals like grains, corn and soy – not fruits and nuts from trees, or perennials), which begs the question, how much wild vegetation is being lost?

    Link here:

    A free book on this topic can be downloaded here:

  3. rayduray Says:

    Thunderstorrms continue…

    Last night there were more deaths and much destruction in North Carolina. Realtors noted that sea level rise was normal…

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