Saxelby Cheese to Help Hurricane Ravaged Farms

As you have probably heard, farms in upstate New York and New England took a beating from Hurricane Irene.  Saxelby Cheesmongers in the Essex Street Market is doing its part to help. Here’s the blurb from their web site:

Saxelby Cheesemongers depends on the vitality and hard work of our regional farmers to provide our shop with some of the country’s finest cheeses. Though many of our cheesemakers were spared from Irene’s destructive path, some were hard hit. This week from Monday through Sunday, we invite you to help us give back to our upstate and Vermont neighbors by buying their cheese! Being a do-gooder has never been so delicious!! This week only, from Monday, September 5th through Sunday, September 11th, Saxelby Cheesemongers will donate 50% of the profits from the sale of New York and Vermont Cheeses at our Essex Market shop to Hurricane Irene relief efforts spearheaded by the New York and Vermont Chapters of the Red Cross.

After Irene: Even More Photos

Photo by Dominic Pisciotta.

Photo by Rich Caplan.

Grand & FDR Dr - Trees Down-1

Photo by Joel Raskin.

Grand & FDR Dr - Trees Down-2

Photo by Joel Raskin.

Trimming Trees

Photo by Joel Raskin.

Photo by Sarah Sheahan.

These photos are from Lo-Down readers and/or contributors. The first scenes are from East Broadway, where two trees toppled inside Seward Park. The other photos are from Grand Street near FDR Drive.

East River Park Flooded Near Delancey Overpass

Cyclists and joggers are passing through standing water along the service road.

East River Park Flooding at 6th Street

 East River Park fans were undaunted by wide pools of standing water.

Lower East Side Storm Watch: More Photos From the Morning

East River flooding - photo ©

Irene fells trees on the LES - photo ©

Lower East Side Storm Watch Sunday Morning: More Photos of Flooding

Dog in the storm - photo ©

East River Flooding at Manhattan Bridge


South Street is under water at Pike Slip along the river. The Weather Channel crew is here, along with plenty of curious locals, some of whom are wading. Trini the dog and a silver Mercedes both got a little wetter than their owners planned.

Hurricane Irene Devastates East Side Trees

The M14A and M22 bus shelter at Grand Street and the FDR was crushed.

Hurricane Irene took out large trees in Corlears Hook Park and the East River Housing Corp, crushing a bus stop on Grand Street and littering the roads and sidewalks with debris. More photos after the jump.

Trees Down on Grand Street


We’re checking out Grand Street near FDR Drive, where at least four trees are down. A police car just arrived on the scene.

Awning Down on Ludlow Street

A specialty foods supplier on Ludlow Street lost its awning to Hurricane Irene.

Tree Down at Seward Park (More Photos)

Trees down all around the LES after Irene - photo ©

photo ©

A few minutes ago we posted an iphone photo showing that big tree down in Seward Park. Just back from the scene — across the street from the Forward Building – here are some better shots.  From the sidewalk (on the north side of East Broadway) you can see the jagged edge of the tree trunk. The limbs and branches are hanging over the park fence. The westbound lane of East Broadway is blocked. No emergency crews on the scene. There were also some smaller branches down on East Broadway. Some of the bigger ones are scattered on in the courtyard of the Seward Park Library.

Seward Park Tree Falls Across East Broadway

A large tree in Seward Park crashed over the fence and into East Broadway early this morning.

Hurricane Irene’s rain and winds claimed a tree in Seward Park early this morning. It fell into the westbound lane of East Broadway, near Strauss Square.


What’s a Storm Surge, Anyway?

The water is rising.

There’s been a lot of media chatter about the potential for Hurricane Irene’s storm surge, which may be more dangerous than the average Category 1 hurricane because of the storm’s unusually large size and slow pace. But for us denizens of the concrete jungle, “storm surge” isn’t exactly a term we use in everyday parlance. So what does it mean, really? Here is the definition from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

The onshore rush of sea or lake water caused by the high wind and the low pressure centers associated with a landfalling hurricane or other intense storm. The amplitude of the storm surge at any given location is dependent upon the orientation of the coast line with the storm track, the intensity, size and speed of the storm, and the local bathymetry. In practice, storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomical tide from the observed storm tide at tide stations.

As of 4 a.m. today, the storm surge at NOAA’s station in Battery Park was showing that the waters around Lower Manhattan had risen about 4 feet above normal. In the chart above, the blue line graphs the predicted water levels, the red line graphs the actual levels, and the green line measures the difference between them. This chart is online and updated every 15 minutes; you can find it here.

At 1 a.m. today, Reuters was reporting that the FDR Drive was already beginning to flood, “with heavy pooling and tow trucks strategically idling on the sides of the road.”



Lower East Side Storm Watch 7:10am

Good morning.  Here’s our first look at the Lower East Side today as Hurricane Irene dumps on New York.  Winds are around 30 mph at this hour, with gusts up to 38 mph.  In the past day approximately 5 inches of rain have fallen in the city.  The hurricane made landfall in Little Egg Inlet (just north of Atlantic City), New Jersey at 5:35 a.m., with 75 mph winds.

During the next two hours, we’ll be feeling the brunt of the storm in New York City. The biggest concern at this point is flooding.  High tide is at 8 a.m.  Forecasters think conditions here will be dangerous at least through midday, when we’ll likely start to see some clearing. Storm surge of 4-8 feet anticipated in New York Harbor.

We’ll be covering the story through the morning. If you’ve got photos or video from your vantage point, send them along.  You can email us at:  Stay safe!


Hurricane Irene; Reporting Inside Seward Park Shelter

After days of watching and waiting, we’re about to find out how much punch Hurricane Irene is going to pack in New York City.   As you probably know just by looking out your window, the rain and winds have picked up quite a bit.  By midnight, forecasters say, the winds will be strong enough to take down power lines.  The most severe conditions should be felt between 6 and 10 tomorrow morning, when winds could exceed 70 mph.

Here on the Lower East Side, the shelter at Seward Park High School is filled to capacity. NY1 reporter Lindsey Christ has been reporting from inside the high school for several hours. About an hour ago she noted that Diane Sawyer had arrived. A sampling from Christ’s twitter feed:

Lower East Side NYCHA residents say the city did an incredible job getting them here. Margarita Gonzalez, 65, “And really fancy buses too!”

Diana Correa, 40, “I came here because of my baby, to get her out and keep her safe…

“…but also, I have a disability, and I wouldn’t want to get stuck on 11th floor and have my family not want to leave because of me.”