NEAL CONAN, HOST:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. We've followed Sandy for more than a week now as the late-season storm developed in the Caribbean, pounded Cuba, Haiti and other islands, brushed past Florida and headed up the East Coast.
Unusually, it's taken a sharp turn to the west. Even more unusually, it's combined with a more winter-like system to become an enormous event that's already dumping snow in the Appalachians, surging water ashore in Lower Manhattan and slashing winds and rain from Virginia to Massachusetts.
Before it's done, Sandy's expected to continue curl north and west through parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio, western New York state, the Great Lakes, on into Canada. Expect heavy rain, floods, power outages, transportation tie-ups and, well, you tell us.
What are you seeing, and how are you feeling the impact? Give us a call, 800-989-8255. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the conversation on our website. That's at npr.org. Click on TALK OF THE NATION. Later in the program, retired Army officer John Nagl joins us for The Opinion Page to argue against the pervasive pessimism about Afghanistan.
But first, Hurricane Sandy, and we begin with NPR correspondent Joel Rose, who's on the line with us from Long Branch, New Jersey. Good of you to be with us.
JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Thanks, Neal, glad to be here.
CONAN: And a major concern along the coast there is storm surge. How's it looking there?
ROSE: Well, so I'm in Monmouth County, New Jersey, in the town of Long Branch, and just a few towns to the north of me, the storm surge is already being felt pretty severely. You know, we saw whole residential blocks underwater, basically, with the water sort of beginning to lap at the front steps of houses, and in some cases even heading up into the houses.
So, you know, and what's amazing about this is that this is low tide. You know, we saw water crest this morning around seven and, you know, and recede, but we're bracing for an even higher tide this evening, and, you know, already we're seeing a lot of water in the streets. So it's, you know, going to be a long night here, I'm afraid.
CONAN: We can hear the wind pushing around your microphone. How bad is that?
ROSE: It's pretty impressive. I mean, this has been a wind event more than a rain event in this part of New Jersey for most of the morning, but now the rain is mixing in, as well, and we're getting huge gusts of wind. I'm looking at these trees just across the street from where we're parked, and, you know, I'm literally watching branches snap off and blow away in these giant gusts of wind. You know, it's pretty remarkable for this part of the country to see this kind of hurricane.
CONAN: Have you seen power out?
ROSE: Actually, the lights are still on here in Long Branch, and even in Monmouth Beach and in Sea Bright, which are a couple of the towns to the north that are - that have taken on serious floodwater, power outages have not been the problem we expected yet, although everybody here seems to be expecting them.
I know, you know, we talked to a lot of people over the last few days who have generators at home. They lived through Tropical Storm Irene last year, and they saw what happens when the power goes out, that it can be off for quite a while. I think people were without power for a week or two here. So a lot of people have generators at home, are prepared for these power outages that they expect are coming. But as I say, so far the lights are still on here.
CONAN: And you talked about the people there. Have many people evacuated? Is this one of the mandatory evacuation areas?
ROSE: A whole number of towns in Monmouth County have issued mandatory evacuation orders, from Asbury Park right on up to Long Branch and Monmouth Beach, where we are. I don't know how widely obeyed the mandatory evacuation orders have been. I mean, certainly it's not business as usual here, but, you know, we have seen a lot of cars parked in driveways. We have seen a lot of people, in fact, driving into the neighborhoods to try to check out their houses, just to see if they're underwater yet.
You know, so I've seen a lot of people around, despite the mandatory evacuation orders. But, you know, maybe people will begin to head for higher ground as the wind picks up here because this is pretty remarkable.
CONAN: And the wind is not only picking up, as you mentioned it's low tide now. The storm is expected to come ashore at just about high tide.
ROSE: Yeah, that's what is on everybody's mind, from the emergency officials in Monmouth County that I've talked to to the homeowners who, you know, as I say are kind of checking out their neighborhoods to see what's what. And we're pretty dismayed to find that the water is already as high as it is because when the tide comes in this evening, as you say, Neal, that's about when - you know, that's closer to when the storm is expected to really make landfall and when the highest storm surge is expected.
So if we're already seeing this kind of flooding in Monmouth County now, you know, it's going to get a whole lot worse, people are afraid, around 8 o'clock, 9 o'clock this evening.
CONAN: Joel Rose, thanks very much.
ROSE: Anytime, Neal, thanks.
CONAN: NPR correspondent Joel Rose, with us from Long Branch in New Jersey, just about the place where the storm, the center of the storm, is expected to make landfall sometime this evening. We want to hear what you're experiencing where you live. Give us a call, 800-989-8255. Email: email@example.com. Nancy's with us from Framingham, Massachusetts.
NANCY: Yes, thank you for putting me on TALK OF THE NATION again. This is my fourth time, went through a rather uneventful night and morning. Over the past, oh, 45 minutes, the wind and the rain have picked up here. I went to Boston, I'm 20 miles west of Boston. Two communities contingent to Framingham have had some power outages. Other communities southeast in Massachusetts have had some power outages.
So far, so good. I still have power. As I said, it's - as you've been saying, there's going to be a high tide in this (unintelligible) area, (unintelligible) area later tonight, along with a big increase in winds, at least along the coast, along Cape Cod and the island of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
But I'm prepared, and I must say my own community, the public works department is very adequate, more than adequate.
CONAN: What about your neighbors? Are they ready?
NANCY: My next-door neighbors, I just - as I was on hold, one neighbor did come home and put her van, minivan into the garage. Last year at Thanksgiving - at not Thanksgiving but at Halloween time, it was worse. There were three huge limbs that came down in my front yard and almost, almost penetrated the windows in my home, did not. How I did not lose power a year ago I don't know, but that was very fortunate.
CONAN: Nancy, be careful, good luck.
NANCY: Thank you.
CONAN: NPR science correspondent Joe Palca is with us here in Studio 3A. And Joe, I know we had an update from the National Weather Service, the Hurricane Center, what, just about 15 minutes ago.
JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Right, they've been updating, they do it I guess - full updates every six hours, intermediate updates every three hours, pretty much the same as we saw at 11 a.m. this morning Eastern Time. The storm is, as you say, starting to turn more to the West. Still winds, highest winds are 90 miles an hour. The tides, I'm just looking now, the National Weather Service provides a real-time measurement of the tides.
And as Joel was speaking and also our friend from Framingham, I'm looking at the tide changes, and they're just remarkable. I mean not - it hasn't come to Boston yet, but what you can see is that the tide in New Jersey, the low tide, is at the same level as the high tide typically is and maybe a little higher.
So you know what's going to happen: The storm's going to push in more water, and the natural tide, coupled with the fact that it's a full moon so it'll be as high as a tide you - more top-of-the-line tide, you're going to get a lot of water coming onto low-lying areas.
CONAN: And as we're seeing this storm, I mean, that was Framingham, Massachusetts, as you said west of Boston. We're getting reports of effects, you know, south of Richmond in Virginia.
PALCA: Well, if you think about it, the National Weather Service and the Hurricane Center has been describing this storm as having tropical-force winds. Now, these aren't as strong as hurricane winds, but they're definitely enough to cause some damage to trees and what have you.
They're talking about the winds extending 485 miles out from the center of the storm. Well, that's one direction. And you go 485 or something near that in the other direction, and you're seeing a storm that has a huge footprint in terms of the kinds of winds that it's bringing with it.
CONAN: And those are tropical-force winds. The hurricane-force winds are expected to affect places like, well, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York.
PALCA: Yes, absolutely. I mean those - and again that's a huge circle because at least for now they're saying that hurricane-force winds, which go into the 70s and 80s and 90s, are 175 miles from the center. So even though the hurricane is still officially offshore, it's having an effect.
Now we have to make it clear that this thing that we're calling a hurricane started out as a hurricane, now it's something else. It still has an eye or somewhat detectable eye. So you can say oh, here's the center of the storm, and it's coming ashore. But it's become very diffuse because as you've said, it's sort of merged with another storm system that would've dumped some snow on, you know, on the states you mentioned anyway but is now going to be worse.
CONAN: So is that common? I mean, I don't remember that.
PALCA: These kinds of merges do happen. This was the perfect storm in the '90s when you get a hurricane coming together with a winter storm. But even in that storm, the hurricane part of it had begun to dissipate before the two storm systems merged. So this one, as the people I've been talking to tell me, is not in recorded memory.
Now what does that mean, Neal? I mean, you know, 200 years ago, they weren't tracking these things by satellite. So it's possible this has happened before but not in the era in which - or not in the modern era of hurricane and storm tracking that I'm aware of.
CONAN: And the perfect storm, that large tracked out to sea, it affected, as we famously remember, fishing boats and tragically, but nevertheless, isn't it unusual for storms to come up the East Coast and turn left?
PALCA: Yes, well that's - it's not unusual to have a hurricane at this part of the season, but these - unlike early-season hurricanes, which start off the coast of Africa and then move across the Atlantic Ocean and then curve to the north or sometimes stay to the west and then curve to the - anyway, this one started in the Caribbean and just kind of goes north, and yes, as you say, and mostly it turns off into to the North Atlantic or the Mid-Atlantic someplace.
But because it met this other system, and I have a great analogy if you want to get to it later, it wound up being dragged inland and, essentially, as you say, making a left turn. Like you got lost, go out to sea. No, sorry, going left.
CONAN: NPR science correspondent Joe Palca. We also want to hear what you're experiencing where you live. Give us a call, 800-989-8255. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We're talking of course about Hurricane Sandy, still churning in the Atlantic just off the East Coast. This is TALK OF THE NATION. Stay with us. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.
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CONAN: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. We're talking about Hurricane Sandy. At one point, its clouds extended from Florida to Canada, the biggest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic. The Superstorm, as some call it, has already been blamed for the lives of many in the Caribbean. It forced the crew of the HMS Bounty to abandon that tall ship and knocked out power to thousands.
And Sandy continues to gain strength as it barrels towards landfall in New Jersey later tonight. Meteorologists warn that New York City could see a storm surge of up to 11 feet. We'll talk with NPR's Margot Adler in New York in just a moment.
What are you seeing and how are you feeling the impact? 800-989-8255. Email email@example.com. You can also join the conversation on our website. That's at npr.org. Click on TALK OF THE NATION. Science correspondent Joe Palca, our weatherman for the day, is with us here in Studio 3A. And let's get Armand(ph) on the line, Armand with us from Long Island.
CONAN: Hi, go ahead.
ARMAND: Yeah, this is crazy. Hurricane what's it called, the Tropical Storm Irene, that was probably just not as bad it is right now, and it hasn't even touched land.
CONAN: So it's as bad as Irene or worse than Irene already, and it hasn't even arrived, really?
ARMAND: Yeah, it's crazy. I'm seeing - I live in a little bit of a woods here, and I'm seeing branches, trees, everything falling right now, and the trees are pretty much slanted like constantly. The gusts are crazy.
CONAN: And what are you doing at your house?
ARMAND: I'm hiding.
CONAN: Any last-minute preparations underway while you're hiding?
ARMAND: Yeah, I'm grabbing whatever I see food-wise, and I'm charging my computer and my phone so I can listen to music and sit in my basement. That's basically it.
CONAN: Well Armand, your basement sounds like a good place to be, as long as it's dry. Good luck to you.
ARMAND: Thank you, you, too.
CONAN: Here's a dispatch from - this is from Ocean City in Maryland: Downtown floodwaters reach three to four feet. About 200 people, or 80 percent of the downtown residents, chose to remain there in their homes despite a mandatory evacuation south of 17th Street there in Ocean City, that according to Police Chief Bernadette DiPino.
Joining us now from our bureau in New York is NPR correspondent Margot Adler. Always nice to have you on the program.
MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: It's always nice to be with you, Neal.
CONAN: And as we're saying, we're seeing pictures from The Battery, with the water already sloshing ashore. That can happen, high tide in a bad thunderstorm, other occasions, but this is low tide, Margot.
ADLER: Yes, and what I've noticed, and I took a five-mile walk today, I actually walked from my home to the bureau, passing some various places, and what I noticed really was what I would call a real disconnect between different parts of the city.
On the one hand you have The Battery, where you have all kinds of flooding. You have, you know, you have the Rockaways, where the beach has disappeared, where water is all over the boardwalk, where there are cars that are under, like, a foot of water already. You have all these things happening there.
You have one of the heliports to be seen from various places in Brooklyn that looked like it was flooded. And then, you know, I went out of my house, Upper West Side, most doors were open. I could have taken my clothes to the cleaner. I could have gotten to a café. I could have gone to D'Agostino's and bought groceries.
I walked down, I was walking down Central Park West. Gusts, yes, heavy gusts. There have been some gusts up to 58 miles already. But there were scores of runners, scores of runners running, you know, and that's why? Because the marathon is in six days. And there are all these people from all over the world, and they're not going to let a storm get in the way of their training.
You know, they're going to do it before the real impact hits. So here I was seeing all this strange stuff, you know, that looked like it was pretty normal. Traffic was pretty normal. And yet probably I would say maybe, oh, 10 minutes away, if I had walked to the piers, it would've been completely different. All the stores would've been closed.
Even around here, where the bureau is, basically every single store but one is closed.
CONAN: That's interesting - the bureau is on 42nd Street, and you have amazing view south down across Manhattan. What does it look like from the windows there at the bureau?
ADLER: It looks pretty normal from there. The traffic is normal. I went to the 59th Street Bridge to see what was going on. Traffic was moving pretty easily, although basically on many bridges, they have said that cars can only 35 miles an hour, and if gusts get to a certain level, they're going to close the bridges.
There are about 41,000 people who have already lost power, but that's still not a lot. And the main thing is, you know, 375,000 people were supposed to evacuate. I've heard a number of reports. There's no, you know, we don't have any real figures about how many people have adhered to those orders. Apparently only about 3,100 are in the 76 shelters so far.
And from most of the reports that I've heard on local radio, about 80 percent of people have not evacuated. One of the weirdest stories is that the housing projects and some of the high-rises have turned the elevators off, and that makes some sense in case there's a power outage, but have also turned water off in an attempt, I think, to get people to leave those buildings and to go to safer ground.
CONAN: And, well, some of them will, and some of them won't.
ADLER: That's right.
CONAN: What would happen in the event that water floods into the subway system?
ADLER: You know, I really - I think they're trying to really - they've got all kinds of crazy technology to try to prevent this. I saw one report in which they had some huge balloon that they were putting up that would probably take water away.
I think, you know, the problem is that some of that water is saltwater, and some of that water can basically erode certain lines, lines of not only subway lines but water lines and so forth. So I - you know, who knows what would happen? But I think it's a very bad thing if it does.
CONAN: And as you look out ahead, again we've been talking with Joe here in the studio, this is low tide. We're expecting another, what, six, eight feet of more storm surge?
ADLER: Absolutely, and the fact that the high tide and the full moon is making the tide even higher. But I think the most fascinating thing about this is that a lot of people are not taking this seriously in the city. And the reason they're not taking it seriously is that there's only maybe - there's only going to be about one or two inches of rain here.
It's not going to be like the foot that might happen in some places in Virginia and North Carolina. So, you know, they're walking outside, they're not seeing a lot of rain. There is some wind, but they're not taking it seriously because they don't really understand what could happen if water really pushes six feet, eight feet in the future.
CONAN: Joe Palca's here with us in the studio. Joe, explain to us some of the geography of New York City and Long Island as it - if the storm comes from the right direction, as this one is, it's going to act just like a funnel and push water up into the harbor.
PALCA: Yeah, you have to form a mental image of which way the wind is blowing and where the water is adjacent to the lower end of Manhattan, the Battery Park, where the tides are expected to be as high as - or the storm surge is expected to be as high as anywhere.
So you've got the South Bay, where a lot of water's going to come pushing into that, and then you've got the Long Island Sound. So this is - not only is the south shore of Long Island being battered, but also there's going to be a pushback on the sound on the north side of Manhattan.
So this is all pouring into an area that doesn't have any drainage. I mean, the drainage is the other direction. So what happens is the water gets pushed in by the wind, pushed and pushed and pushed, and it has nowhere to go but up, and that's why we're getting these extremely high tides and these unusually high levels of water.
CONAN: And Margot, as you suggested, there was a storm last year that did not turn out to be as bad as people feared. Is that part of the reason they may not be taking this one quite so seriously?
ADLER: That's right. When Mayor Michael Bloomberg made all these - what seemed like very Draconian orders to close this and close that and everything, and then Irene sort of bypassed New York City. I mean, a lot of people in Connecticut had really bad experiences...
CONAN: And Vermont, yeah.
ADLER: And Vermont and so forth. But New York City pretty much escaped it. And so that may also be leading some people to think ah, can't be that bad.
CONAN: Well, Margot, we'll stay tuned and listen to your reports and see how bad it gets. Thanks very much.
ADLER: You're certainly welcome.
CONAN: NPR's Margot Adler, with us from our bureau in New York. Let's get another caller in on the conversation. Richard's(ph) with us from Charlotte, North Carolina.
RICHARD: Well hey, how are you?
CONAN: I'm good, thanks.
RICHARD: Good, good. Well, I have a chunk of steel about 30 miles out in the ocean called the Frying Pan Tower. We saw Irene go right over us, and Sandy came close to us, but we only saw 20-foot waves out of it. So I would say people that are listening, button up and buckle down.
CONAN: So it's pretty well past where you are now?
RICHARD: Yeah, it is indeed, and like I say, a Coast Guard light station that was built for the hurricane, had a lot of them go over it, and we turned it into a bed and breakfast, although we didn't have any guests over the last couple days, as you'd expect.
CONAN: As we'd expect, but you were expecting people for the Thanksgiving holidays?
RICHARD: Absolutely, you bet. We come out by helicopter, and like I say, for us it'll be a pretty mild-mannered type of event. We're about 30 miles out in the ocean, and about the only thing we see are whales and big sea turtles and things like that.
CONAN: But 20-foot waves, that's still pretty impressive.
RICHARD: Well, if you look at the Frying Pan Tower, you'll see that we're about 80 foot off the water. The biggest waves we've ever seen were many years ago when we had some 65-footers. But, like I say, it's no laughing matter for folks that get caught in it, so be ready for that surge those folks who are close to the coast.
CONAN: Richard, thanks very much.
RICHARD: You bet. Take care.
CONAN: And, Joe Palca, just wanted to ask an email question. This is from Nancy(ph): What makes the low pressure of this storm so bad? Why is it dangerous? What does it mean exactly?
PALCA: Ha. Well, the low pressure is more relevant to the type the storm when it's still a tropical cyclone or hurricane as we typically think of it, and that low pressure is - we can think of it like a drain in the center of the hurricane that's draining stuff towards it. Well, in this case, the stuff is winds. And so the winds - as the pressure gets lower, the winds get higher as they try to race into the center of this thing, and that's why the pressure at the core of the hurricane is an important measure of how bad the winds are going to be.
In this case, now that it's transitioned from something that was mostly hurricane and now is something more like a nor'easter, a winter storm, the level of the barometric pressure, the atmospheric pressure inside what's left of the center of this storm isn't as important.
CONAN: And why does it matter that it's a full moon? The moon is the same size it is no matter what phase it's in.
PALCA: Right. But you get the tug of the moon being stronger during a full moon, that's why.
CONAN: All right. Let's get another caller in. This is Marilyn(ph). Marilyn with us from Burnsville, North Carolina.
MARILYN: Hi. Thanks for having me on. I just wanted to share that I - unexpectedly to me, I didn't think it would come this far in, but at our elevation, we're starting to see snow. I've got a dairy goat farm, and on our little mountaintop, we had to stop putting up our fencing and put the whole crew on to getting the animals closed up and the barns closed and water and feed and everything ready. In fact, I've had to come in to town to get a little extra feed. Up on the mountains, you can see that there's heavy snow up on Mount Mitchell now and the Black Mountains, which are the highest mountains on the entire East Coast, so they would be expected.
But we're supposed to get seven inches of snow down in Ashville, and they're saying we'll get 10 to 12 tonight. The flurries have already started, so it's kind of urgent. I let everybody go home as soon as we finished getting the animals put together, so we're just going to fill up our bathtubs so we can still flush our toilets once in a while if we lose power and really get ready.
CONAN: And you've got enough feed for all of your animals?
MARILYN: Yeah. I've actually come in to our local feed store right now. That's where I'm headed right now to get some extra just in case the power goes out or it lasts more days than we expect it to.
PALCA: Quick update on tides. It's the moon and the sun that are combining when there's a full moon to make the tides larger.
CONAN: All right. Marilyn, we hope you and all your critters are safe.
MARILYN: Oh, thank you. We have no worries about it. We do get snow and cold every year, so we're prepared a little earlier. That's all.
CONAN: Thanks very much.
MARILYN: OK. Thank you. Bye-bye.
CONAN: We're talking about Hurricane Sandy and its effects as you hear from North Carolina all the way up to Massachusetts. You're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. And Jennifer(ph) is on the line, calling us from Detroit.
JENNIFER: Hi, Neal. It's very nice to speak with you.
CONAN: Nice to speak with you. What's it doing there?
JENNIFER: Well, actually, I'm a semi driver. I live in the Detroit area. I'm headed to Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the moment, but we are experiencing about 40- to 50-mile-an-hour wind gusts.
CONAN: I assume that's no fun in a truck.
JENNIFER: It's not a lot of fun. As I was explaining to a nice gentleman that answered the phone I'm actually glad to be going towards Indiana because it's died down a little bit, but we are expected to get 48 hours of rain, and it's going to turn into snow because of the temperatures here. But we have two counties north of us that are in high wind warning, so we are expected to get gusts from the storm of up to about 70, 75 miles an hour.
CONAN: Do people drive differently in these conditions?
JENNIFER: You know what, at first, necessarily no. I think - I don't think they're expecting, you know, something to come out of nowhere at that rate of speed, and I do experience a lot of people kind of coming out of their lanes a little bit. It is hard to maintain a vehicle with wind gusts that high, for sure. I wouldn't recommend going out unless you had to.
CONAN: And, well, I'm just looking at the - trying to imagine the geography on your route. I don't see you crossing any large bodies of water or any big bridges.
JENNIFER: No. Thank goodness. But where I live in Grosse Pointe, I am actually less than I would say an eighth of a mile from a large lake and from the Detroit River. So the lake that I'm near is Lake St. Clair, and it actually gets extremely rough in weather like this because it's very shallow. So we are expecting that, I'm sure, to come up over the main road that runs next to it a little bit with some high, believe it or not, waves we do get off of that lake.
CONAN: Waves off of the lake. Well, thanks very much for the call. Drive safely and our condolences on the Tigers.
JENNIFER: Thank you so much.
CONAN: Here's an email that we have from Alyssa(ph) in Massachusetts: Update from Nantucket, we still have power, but winds are picking up, gusting close to 60 miles an hour. Much of downtown is underwater. You can hear the ocean from almost anywhere on the island. Schools and some businesses are closed, but some people are still out and about. I was just at the hardware store, and it wasn't too busy. So either people are not taking it seriously, or they feel prepared already. We're pretty used to high winds, but the storm surge could really be something.
This from Sandy in Downingtown, Pennsylvania: Heavy, heavy rain. Winds are kicking up. You can see the tops of the trees swaying dangerously. We have a standby generator we just got yesterday. I'm cooking dinner now, so if the power goes out, I can plug the microwave into the generator and reheat. And, Joe Palca, that points to the differences. Yeah, not a lot of heavy rain in New York. Yes, in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Location, location, location. You don't know.
PALCA: Yeah. Well, this storm has got many characteristics, and it just depends on where in the spiraling winds and pressure changes that you're sitting. So it will be varying depending on, yes, as you say, location.
CONAN: Let's see if we can squeeze one more caller in. And let's go to - this is, well, if I can make this work. Doug's(ph) on the line. Doug with us from Stanton in Virginia.
DOUG: Thanks, Neal. Thanks for taking my call. Luckily, we've seen showers since about 10 o'clock last evening. The showers have been light. We're expecting heavier showers this afternoon. A lot of locals are very concerned about forecast to the western mountains from here. 50 inches of snow. It's Snowshoe Mountain. Personally, I'm concerned about issues related to weather modification in radar burst from Wilmington, North Carolina, at 8:55 on Saturday night as well as radar burst in the nation's capital since. Any of your listeners that would be interested in looking at these bursts, please go to dutchsinse at YouTube or ResoNation group.
CONAN: All right. Well, thanks very much for the call, Doug. Appreciate it.
DOUG: Thank you.
CONAN: I'm not familiar with radar burst or how they might affect the weather, but might see about that. Anyway, thanks to everybody who called and wrote. And everybody who is preparing for this storm, please be careful and take care of yourself. Take your safety very, very seriously. Coming up, we'll go to the opinion page where an Army - retired Army officer that we've - argues that we've forgotten what losing a war actually looks like. John Nagl will join us. Stay with us. I'm Neal Conan. It's the TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.