Tag Archives: hurricane floyd

“We’re Cautiously Optimistic”

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, we have been keeping a very close eye on Hurricane Florence and making plans about preparations for a possible major storm event. Each time there’s an updated forecast, it’s changed since the last one: landfall between North Carolina and South Carolina, landfall in North Carolina, landfall between North Carolina and Virginia.   Rainfall up to 30 inches in some areas, and I don’t even want to think about the strength of the winds.

At this time, all the tracks show her making landfall well south of our area, then turning to the west. That means we’ll be spared the hurricane-force winds and “catastrophic” rains and flooding. “Catastrophic”: there’s a word that will get your attention. Although we’re relieved at this, we feel badly for our neighbors to the south and west. And we know that, one day, it’s inevitable that it will be our area that faces the destruction from a major hurricane.

Part of today’s post (in blue) and the photos are from a post I wrote in October of 2016. In it, I shared some memories I have of past hurricanes that have impacted our area of southeast Virginia.

The first hurricane I recall was Donna in September, 1960. I was a little girl, and my mom had just severely broken her ankle that summer and was still in a cast.  During the storm, we stayed with my grandmother, who lived about a half mile from our house. What I remember about the storm was: my grandmother’s bathroom floor flooded,  a nearby mobile home lost its roof, and there seemed to be power lines on the ground everywhere.

The next hurricane that comes to mind was Camille in 1969.  This storm went west of us and flooded areas in the mountains of Virginia.  I recall riding the Jamestown ferry days later and seeing debris from the western part of our state floating in the James River.

Hurricane Gloria threatened our area in 1985, but at the last minute, she went out to sea. Thankfully, we didn’t need the bathtub full of water we had drawn.

The next major hurricane was Floyd in 1999. That storm caused severe flooding in our area and washed out roads in the county.

car-in-washed-out-road-10-6-2016-3-10-29-pm

I’m not sure if you can tell the extent of damage in this next picture, taken in neighboring Surry county.  While there’s a vehicle shown in the above photo, a house could easily have fit in the area washed away here.  The frightening part is that Marshall, a teenager at the time, had visited a friend just a few miles from here earlier in the evening.

washed-out-road-10-6-2016-3-10-29-pm

Then, came Isabel in 2003. I’d say that Isabel was the strongest hurricane that I recall. I’m not sure if she was even a Category 1 by the time she made it to our area; she was possibly “just” a strong tropical storm. But we lost over 20 tall pine trees in our yard, had flooding up to our deck, and lost electricity for several days.

Motor Man and I stayed at home during Isabel, and, even in her weakened state, she was powerful.

Here’s our side yard just after Isabel:

And this is a photo I took of that same area – under normal conditions.

ducks-and-cedar-7-5-2016-8-18-44-pm

Isabel also wreaked havoc on the old “Brick Church” cemetery near Bacon’s Castle.  It was heartbreaking to see all the damage to the ruins of the old church (built in the 1600’s) and the tombstones.

Hurricane Sandy in 2012 caused us no damage except tidal flooding (and the following clean-up) here at home and more serious flooding in the Outer Banks.

In October of 2015, Hurricane Joaquin brought more tidal flooding to our area, but in the Outer Banks, washed away part of the highway in the Kitty Hawk area.

db and ocean wash 10-5-2015 2-50-00 PM

All of my hurricane memories are of strong tropical storms, perhaps a Category 1. I cannot even begin to imagine a Cat 4 (or even a 3) hurricane.

Yesterday morning, our county issued a mandatory evacuation as of 8 a.m. for all areas in Zone A. And yes, that applies to our home. But we didn’t leave.

We’re still waiting to see the last minute path Florence decides to take. We have a generator, food, water, batteries, supplies for the kitties and our vehicles filled with gas. We just pray that all that preparation will just be a good practice for us, all the while sending good thoughts to those that WILL be affected.

~These Days Of Mine~

Advertisements

My Hurricane History

We are feeling very relieved and thankful that the forecast for the track of Hurricane Matthew now does not include our area.  But, as promised, today I’m sharing some memories I have of past hurricanes that have affected southeast Virginia.

The first hurricane that I recall was Donna in September, 1960. I was a little girl, and my mom had just severely broken her ankle that summer and was still in a cast.  During the storm, we stayed with my grandmother, who lived about a half mile from our house. What I remember about the storm was: my grandmother’s bathroom floor flooded,  a nearby mobile home lost its roof, and there seemed to be power lines on the ground everywhere.

The next hurricane that comes to mind was Camille in 1969.  This storm went west of us and flooded areas in the mountains of Virginia.  I recall riding the Jamestown ferry days later and seeing debris from the western part of our state floating in the river.

Hurricane Gloria threatened our area in 1985, but at the last minute, she went out to sea. Thankfully, we didn’t need the bathtub full of water we had drawn.

The next major hurricane was Floyd in 1999. That storm caused severe flooding in our area and washed out roads in the county.

car-in-washed-out-road-10-6-2016-3-10-29-pm

I’m not sure if you can tell the extent of damage in this next picture, taken in neighboring Surry county.  While there’s a vehicle shown in the above photo, a house could easily have fit in the area washed away here.  The frightening part is that Marshall, a teenager at the time, had visited a friend just a few miles from here earlier in the evening.

washed-out-road-10-6-2016-3-10-29-pm

Then, came Isabel in 2003. I’d say that Isabel was the strongest hurricane that I recall. I’m not sure if she was even a Category 1 by the time she made it to our area; she was possibly “just” a strong tropical storm. But we lost over 20 tall pine trees in our yard, had flooding up to our deck, and lost electricity for several days.

Here’s our side yard just after Isabel:

And this is a recent photo I took of that same area – under normal conditions.

 

ducks-and-cedar-7-5-2016-8-18-44-pm

Isabel also wreaked havoc on the old “Brick Church” cemetery near Bacon’s Castle.  It was heartbreaking to see all the damage to the ruins of the old church and the tombstones.

Hurricane Sandy in 2012 caused us no damage except tidal flooding (and the following clean-up) here at home and more serious flooding in the Outer Banks.

Just last year, October of 2015, Hurricane Joaquin brought more tidal flooding to our area, but in the Outer Banks, washed away part of the highway in the Kitty Hawk area.

db and ocean wash 10-5-2015 2-50-00 PM

All of my hurricane memories are of strong tropical storms, perhaps a Category 1 storm. I cannot even begin to imagine a Cat 4 (or 5) hurricane.  We are keeping our neighbors to the south close in thought.  And although major damage seems imminent, we’re praying for a miracle to take Matthew out to sea.

~These Days Of Mine~

Irene, Don’t Be An Isabel

 
(But, PLEASE, don’t be any worse.)

Having always lived in southeast Virginia, the word “hurricane” was in my vocabulary from an early age. My memories of a few storms from my childhood include lost electricity, rainwater in the house, and power lines on the ground after the storm passed.

Since I’ve been an adult, there’ve been a couple that have gotten our attention. Floyd, in 1999, was one to remember, but probably the worst was Isabel in 2003.

We’re now under a hurricane warning, and preparing for Hurricane Irene. And she’s predicted to be a doozy.  So I thought I’d share some pictures of Isabel. Just to give you an idea of how our scenery changed around here while she was in town.

If you’re a regular reader here, you may recall seeing pictures of this pier out to the marina in front of our house.

During Isabel, it floated BY our house.

The following day, the marina was pierless.

This picture of our side yard was taken from our garage door earlier this summer, during our little Poker Run party.

This next photo is of the same side yard during Isabel. Yes, that’s the Pagan River IN our yard.

And finally, this is looking down on our deck from an upstairs window – on a “normal” day.

And this was taken during a most abnormal day, the day of Isabel. Once again, the river IN our yard.

We didn’t evacuate, our house didn’t flood, and although we lost approximately 20 trees during the storm, none of them fell on our house. Oh, and we were without power for several days.

Is it easy to see why we’re not looking forward to the next 48 hours?