Contraption at Schenectady museum simulates hurricane force winds

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hurricane Matthew is far from New York state,  but walk into a mall or museum and you might find a hurricane simulator.

Waves crashing into the shore line, palm trees tossing violently in the wind, and the inside Schenectady’s Museum of Science and Innovation (miSci) is a contraption meant to simulate these effects.

“People get inside and the wind starts blowing and it gradually, gets more intense and more intense just like it would during a hurricane. When it gets up to about 70 mph you get to experience that,” President of miSci Dr. Mac Sudduth said.

Dr. Mac says, thankfully, the machine falls short of the real thing in a big way.

“You have the luxury of not having to worry about debris hitting you in the head, which people have to worry about in the hurricane. You also have to worry about losing power and your house. Most people have to worry about evacuating and getting out,” Dr. Mac said.

Millions are fleeing to safety – staying in emergency shelters, manned by Red Cross volunteers like Gail Butler.

“Reading about the hurricane last night, following it, to see where it was going, I thought, you know what, I’m going to deploy this time,” Red Cross Volunteer Gail Butler said.

Gail’s used to helping locals recover from house fires, but it will be her first time deploying.

“Usually when there’s a home fire, a lot of times everything is gone, and people are trying to cope with it, and so I’m thinking that it would be similar but I’ll find out,” Butler said.

Gail has a one-way ticket to South Carolina where evacuees are escaping the hurricane’s destructive path, one that this gadget doesn’t begin to emulate.

Another way this simulator is in no way like the real thing is you can get out, it will turn off, and everything is just fine. For the real victims of this hurricane, the impacts are devastating.

There is a simulator at Colonie Center Mall. It costs $2 dollars and the Red Cross is offering a class for those who want to deploy to aid in Hurricane Matthew’s recovery on Tuesday.

If you’re interested, you can register here:

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