Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back in 2003 There was a Storm Called Isabel...

And it was big.  Real big.  It reached maximum sustained winds of 165 mph.  And it was VERY predictable in its path with all computer models pointing to the same track and landfall location some 4 to 5 days in advance of its predicted landfall.

So it was that I turned to my wife and said "I'm going to go drive into that Hurricane to see what its like".

In retrospect it probly wasn't the brightest idea but I had spent numerous vacations on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and had been evacuated a number of times before for hurricanes.  This time I wanted to go there and stay and experience it myself.

I bring this up as the Hurricane Irene is projected to at least skirt the Outer Banks if not hit them directly and is now seen as making landfall along the RI/CT border on a day of astrologically high tides.

My trip to Isabel was successful.  I drove down in a single day watching thousands of cars stream in the opposite direction I was heading, crashed at a (concrete structure) hotel.  As the waves got bigger, the sky got darker and the wind stronger I headed out to a bar/restaurant where all the TV people who had flooded the area were hanging out and wandered around piers, streets and houses that would soon be turned to piles of sticks and stones.

I would survive the hurricane and witness the damage done and end up being separated from all my belongings (left in my hotel room as I was cut off by police and flooding) and have to have them mailed back to me in NH a few weeks later.  I waited in line for gas for my truck for an hour at the only gas station in 70+ miles that I could find that was operating.  My truck (still my truck to this day, a '00 Nissan Xterra) waded through saltwater flooding up to the windshield (no lie) without an issue.  I saw a dead sea turtle larger that the hood of my vehicle and houses floated out to sea.  It was truly an experience I will never forget and glad that I had.

I am looking forward to this Hurricane Irene as it heads towards where I live in New Hampshire.  From the safety of my own home.

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