Tag Archives: hurricane joaquin

“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~

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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~

Shipwreck

On our most recent trip to the Outer Banks to see the horses, Motor Man and I made a stop before we came to the 4-wheel drive section of the beach. We had learned that the remnants of Hurricane Joaquin had uncovered a shipwreck on the beach at Corolla. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Joaquin uncovered MORE of the shipwreck; sources say that portions of it were actually unearthed earlier this year.

This is what remains of The Metropolis, which sank off the coast of North Carolina in 1878.

jr with shipwreck 10-24-2015 11-15-21 AM

When we stopped to see it, we hadn’t researched any of its history.  There’s extensive information about it on the internet. This is from the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker site.

Few stories in North Carolina history are as filled with drama (or as oft-told) as that of the wreck in 1878 of the Metropolis. Built in 1861 and originally called the Stars and Stripes, the futureMetropolis was outfitted for naval service in September 1862. Later that year she saw action in the Battle of Roanoke Island. Sold at auction after the war, the Metropolis was refitted for freight and passenger service but eventually fell into disrepair, rendering her inadequate for the lengthy trips. Nonetheless a Philadelphia company in January 1878 chartered the Metropolis to transport 215 workmen, iron rails, coal, and other supplies to Brazil to build a railroad.

      By the time the ship reached the Chesapeake Bay, the cargo was shifting dangerously causing seams in the hull to leak. The water overtook first the pumps, then the engines. The disabled ship was carried southward in the gale, parts of the vessel torn away by the heavy waves. At 6:45 AM on January 31, the Metropolis struck the shoals 100 yards from the beach at Currituck, halfway in between two lifesaving stations. Alarms were sounded and heroic efforts mounted but, with the weather conditions making maneuvering difficult, subsequent rescue attempts were ineffective. As the passengers on the Metropolis perceived the inevitable destruction of the ship, they began jumping overboard. In the water with dangerous debris, many were knocked unconscious or killed. The last of the survivors reached shore at dusk. Of the 245 passengers, eighty-five died in the wreck.

Thankfully, because of this shipwreck and one a few years prior, legislation was passed to build more lifesaving stations along the North Carolina coast.

shipwreck iron bolts 10-24-2015 11-18-01 AM

The only thing we knew about the Metropolis when we saw it on the beach was that it was destroyed in the 1870’s. After learning so much more about it, I’m glad we saw it in person.

dbshipwreck 10-24-2015 11-19-27 AM

Further up the beach (in the 4-wheel-drive area), it’s obvious that The Metropolis wasn’t the only thing to be uncovered by Joaquin.  Prior to that storm, most of these tree stumps were covered with sand and driven over by motorists on the beach.

tree stumps 10-24-2015 11-45-20 AM

We saw sixteen horses on this trip, including these three having a drink.

3 horses drinking water 10-24-2015 11-55-06 AM

And this blonde-haired beauty.

horse by water 10-24-2015 11-53-22 AM

Seeing a bit of history, riding on the beach, “my wild horses” …

sun and sand 10-24-2015 1-14-17 PM

…another beautiful fall day with my Motor Man.

~These Days Of Mine~

These Days R5F

We’re on hurricane alert here in southeast Virginia, so let’s begin this week’s Random Five on that subject:

1.) At this time, Hurricane Joaquin is expected to pass just off our coast. We’re hoping that track will continue. We’ll still have strong winds, rain and tidal flooding, but it will be much better than a direct hit.  It’s been raining here for several days – unrelated to Joaquin. Yesterday morning, my rain gauge was full: 5 inches, and we could get 8 more.

morning 10-2-2015 7-12-37 AM

On a lighter note, yesterday, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund posted a picture of one of this year’s foals (born in May), with the comment: “This is the version of Joaquin we all love”.  As it turns out,  Joaquin is the foal in this picture I posted on Monday (and submitted as an entry in the 2017 Corolla calendar).  It’s nice to know his name.

mombabe 9-10-2015 1-44-43 PM

2.) Tuesday evening, I realized I’d missed a text message from my neighbor. This is what she had to say:

This was pathetic – white swan just banged on your back door several times with his beak and squawked, then walked away dejectedly – what a scene!! Should have thought to take a pic!!

Rest assured, I apologized profusely to Antoine, and he has received ample nourishment since that time. I’ve discovered that he likes “corn soup” (water and corn) in a repurposed Cool Whip bowl. And yes, he has now officially been IN our garage. The can to the left holds corn for him and his duck buddies, waiting outside.

swan1

Doesn’t everyone have a swan in their garage?

3.) It’s usually around lunchtime each day when I get to our shop.  Most mornings, Motor Man will send me a pic of Gypsy – usually it’s a selfie of the two of them, and she’s lying on his chest. Wednesday morning, he was holding her and took this picture.  Sweetness!

jrgyp2

4.) Since I try to remember to always have my camera near at hand, that usually means that, when I’m in a vehicle, it’s on the floorboard.   Wednesday afternoon, as I was getting out of the car,  I bumped my camera with my foot, and it hit the asphalt pavement.  My heart sank, but, thankfully, it seems to be fine. Whew! Close call.

5.) As I  mentioned in an earlier post, this week marked five years that I’ve been blogging. I enjoy sharing pictures and snippets of our life with my readers. But, once in awhile, attempting to keep to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule seems like having homework that must be done.  So…don’t be concerned if my posts are a bit more sporadic.  Blogging should be fun, not work. Isn’t that right, fellow bloggers?

Happy weekend, and let’s all hope that Joaquin (the storm) heads out to sea.

~These Days Of Mine~