Tag Archives: hurricane sandy

“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~

OBX – After Hurricane Sandy

Motor Man and I were on the Outer Banks this weekend. Although that area certainly didn’t come close to having the devastation that the northeast did from Hurricane Sandy, it’s obvious that she came through town.

This is the “beach road”. The ocean is just beyond those cottages on the right.  It’s normally a regular paved street, not covered in sand.  You can see on either side where the sand was cleared from the street after the storm.

Sunday morning, we rode up on the beach past Corolla, where we normally go to see the horses.  Although we saw hoof prints, it was the first time we’ve been there that we didn’t see any horses at all.  Probably because most of the little side “streets” that we normally are able to drive on, looked like this.

We spent a lot of time backing up, turning around and heading in a different direction.

Obviously, the owners of this cottage went to great lengths to protect it, but those huge sand bags weren’t enough to save it from the tide.

We were sad to see that Sandy caused so much erosion to the dunes.

The unpainted portion of the steps shows just how much sand was lost during the storm.

We DID find some humor in our trip though. Remember my amazing shoe story? Both of us were reminded of my shoes when we saw this.

Although we missed seeing the horses, it was a beautiful morning on the beach.

Saturday, I’ll share more sunrise early morning pictures from our trip.

Barn Charm – Peanut Field

Over the weekend, Motor Man and I were driving on some back roads in Surry County, my “home” county, and the neighboring county to where we now live.

We came upon a field where peanuts had been harvested, and the peanut vines had been baled. And in the background…..a barn.

This picture is a bit misleading, because there’s actually a narrow road between the field and the barn. So we were able to get a closer picture. It was very overcast, so not a good day for photos.

For those of you not familiar with peanut crops, after harvesting, the vines are baled and used as cattle feed.

And a weather update.  Hurricane Sandy obviously just skirted us as she trekked up the East Coast. We’re feeling very fortunate this morning. We had only minor tidal flooding, certainly nothing as severe as we’ve seen in the past, a little over six inches of rain, and we never lost electricity. Just as so many of you kept us in your thoughts and prayers when it appeared that we were in danger, we’re paying that forward as we think of those that were ultimately in the path of this storm.

Linking up to Barn Charm.

Monday, Monday

One thing I’ve learned after a couple of hurricanes and countless nor’easters, while living at this location, is that it’s nearly impossible to get good pictures during the storm. Not only are you fighting the wind, but also a driving rain. And taking pictures while trying to keep your camera dry isn’t an easy task.

This was taken yesterday morning (through our bedroom window). You can see from the trash in the yard, that the tide had receded just a little at this point.

In comparison, here’s a picture I took through that same window back in June.

Today’s predicted to be our worst day in dealing with Sandy, so we’ll see what she has in store for us. I should say that we really don’t expect the water to reach our house.  There’s more of an incline between the water and the house than is visible in the picture.  The tide just comes up really close and leaves LOTS of trash in its wake.

Over the weekend, I was reminded of one of the reasons I’m so glad to be involved in blogging.  It was touching to read the concern fellow bloggers have for folks who may possibly be in Sandy’s path.

I add to those my prayers that Sandy will make a last minute detour and spare our neighbors to the north any hardship.

Watching And Waiting

Here in coastal Virginia, we’re still keeping a wary eye on Hurricane Sandy, who’s been dubbed “Frankenstorm”.

Even with all the modern technology, it’s still difficult impossible for the weather forecasters to predict exactly where a hurricane will make landfall this far in advance. But Sandy is such a huge storm, that we’ll have tidal flooding, strong winds and heavy rain regardless of where she comes ashore.

So we have our batteries, canned goods and bottled water. Our vehicles’ gas tanks are topped off, and we’ve brought in everything from the yard that could be blown away.  The worrisome things are those over which we have no control: damage to our home, falling trees, rising tide from the river that flows by our house, loss of electricity for an extended length of time.  And we know from past hurricanes/nor’easters that all of these are not only possible, but very likely.

For those of you who may not know, I thought I’d share a map of Virginia and point out exactly where we’re located. That way, when you’re watching the news, you’ll be able to pinpoint how far we are from the “action”. (Hopefully a LONG way.)

The point of the arrow is exactly where we live.  You’ve most likely heard of the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach; they’re located within that red area in the southeastern corner of the state.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue to post, even without electricity, with the laptop or my cell phone.

And now, since it’s Saturday, and to end this post on a bright note, here’s a sunrise from last month.

Not calm or beautiful here this morning. Sigh

Friday’s Fences – And Hurricane Watch

My Friday’s Fences entry this week is the little fence in our side yard.

Later today, I’ll move the corn stalk, pumpkins, etc. to our garage in preparation of Hurricane Sandy’s possible visit. If the weather forecast holds true, this area will be flooded within the next few days.

We’re hoping and praying that gal hangs a hard right. And the sooner, the better.

Linking up to Friday’s Fences.