3:30 PM -- This one is clearly going to be an epic blowout, one for the ages. UDN says it's the most powerful typhoon ever measured in Taiwan, and I can well believe it. The typhoon won't arrive over the island for a couple more hours but already the winds are heaving things about the neighborhood, stripping things off local roofs, knocking tiles off of buildings, and bending the trees over. The gusts are amazing -- my Taipei friends report scooters being blown over now and signs flying about. The eye looks like it will head over Hsinchu at this point, crossing through Miaoli before hooking north a little. Fortunately wife is taking edge off typhoon with some madras-style chicken curry. Approx 1:10 of video up in a minute.....
3:57 power flicker just occurred. Chatting online with friend in Taipei. Says same thing.
4:10 Friend in Taipei reports lightning strike on river near Yungho. Very unusual.
4:20 I can't ever remember gusts of wind like this. It's going to blow Typhoon Herb away.
4:25 Scooters blown over in Taipei even in the alleys deep in the warrens, according to a friend who lives there. I'm eying the Norfolk Pine in our neighbor's backyard with trepidation...
4:40 Wind picking up considerably. Can't be sure, but think I saw neighbor go by on broomstick, cackling.
4:50 Video from 3:30 now up. Gusts are now tremendous.
5:05 Friend in Pingtung checks in, says very windy but not too rainy. Video of the noise and my poor dog:
5:10 Friend points me to http://www.cpa.gov.tw/ for checking on cancellations
5:10 Friend in Taoyuan checks in: "Over here in Taoyuan it's completely dull. Most of the local businesses on the street below me are open and selling food - even those facing right into the wind and rain. Probably 90% of the businesses in this block, only one or two were closed."
5:21 Showering and windy in Tainan, says my man there. Rain not so strong...
5:35 My man on the other side of Taichung passes me this pic from 20th floor:
5:45 Friend in Hualien reports in to say that there's no wind there. "I even got outside today and did some work on the house!"
6:10 Things seem to be dying down slowly. Has storm peaked here?
6:20 The following areas are closed tomorrow for both classes and work: Keelung city, Taipei City, Taipei County, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu city and county, Miaoli county, Taichung city and county, Changhua County, Yunlin county, and Nantou county. Friend told me announcements for the south will go up at 7.
6:23 A friend from south Taichung city checks in: "whaddya mean "dying down"? seems to be just getting started down here near Chung Hsing uni. - mind, that's just using my ears!" They are adding extra tape to the windows. I must be sitting in some local variation then... Xindian checks in too" "Here in Xindian the Xindian River has almost reached the level it was at in Typhoon Krosa. "
7:25 Wind is gusting only lightly, steady light rain is falling. I went out to 7-11 to buy something to drink. Roads were clear, very little traffic, but no trees down, except one in my neighborhood. Local governments announce that work and school are canceled in Chiayi city and county (http://www.cpa.gov.tw/), the east coast (Yilan, Hualien, Taitung), the islands, and all areas north of Chiayi, including Nantou. Only Tainan and Kaohsiung not up there yet.
11:40 Gentle rain falling for several hours. No wind at all.