Friday, November 13, 2009

We Interrupt This Program . . .

The "November Nor'easter" of 2009 will be remembered here as having the 4th highest storm surge in the last 100 years. It missed 3rd place by only a few inches.

In the #1 spot is the 1933 hurricane (naming of hurricanes had not yet started) which had tides of 9.8 feet above normal and caused massive damage as the eye of the storm came on land directly overhead here.

#2 honors goes to the "Ash Wednesday Storm", dubbed by the US Weather Bureau as "The Great Atlantic Storm" in March of 1962 wasn't even a hurricane. It was just a plain ol' nor-easter.

#3 bronze medal belongs to Hurricane Isabel when she spanked us in 2003. "The worst of the effects of Isabel occurred in Virginia, especially in the Hampton Roads area."

So, now we have the November Nor'easter, which is really the remnants of Hurricane Ida (click that link to see some awesome pictures from around here, also part 2, part 3, & part 4). She topped out at 7.3 feet. Doesn't sound like much, but those of you in coastal areas KNOW.

Now, for the rest of this, remember to click on any picture to enlarge it.

My backyard backs up to protected wetlands, so I basically have a marsh in my back yard. Or a swamp, really. But among the tall marsh grasses, there is a little creek that goes out to the Elizabeth River. See here:

Here's my back yard during the storm's LOW TIDE:

At the tide's highest, it was lapping against the backs of those peoples' house behind mine.

At my house, each of my neighbors was surrounded by water . . .

. . . and the back half of my shed was under water overnight when the tide was at it's highest
(here it's at low tide),

. . . but my house is on a bit of a rise, so it was fine. The streets, though, not so much.

These next 3 pictures are in sequence. Did he just do this for fun?

Soon I will go back home and start to clean up. I think every pine needle in my pine trees is now in my yard. Limbs & branches. Crap everywhere, but the leaves are pretty, eh?

Now, keep in mind that the flooding in my neighborhood is minor compared to some of the other areas in my corner of the state (especially after looking at the pictures on the links above), and we lost power for over 24 hours. Not so bad, but I have well water. It uses a pump to suck the water out of the well.
The pump is electric. No electricity = no water. Bummer.

So, here's the plan for such things - I have a cistern that I collect rainwater in. Buckets get filled and brought to the bathroom for toilet flushing. Hey, even in a howling storm, one must maintain certain standards.

Anyway, the first night without power, BS has enough juice left in his laptop battery to let us watch some "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" (don't ask). Then his battery needed charging, so he ditched his poor helpless mother in the dark to go to his Granny's house to bask in the glow of electrical bliss. I sat in the living room with whatever reflected glow was in the sky outside and 3 flashlights at my side.

Twiddled my thumbs.
Sat some more
Aw, hell. I'm going to sleep. Nuthin else to do.

Next day - got up early (that's what happens when you go to bed at 8:00) and drove through lots of water to get to work. Left early to get home and see if any damage control needed doing while it was still light enough to see. Still no power. Damn.

So I did what any good contestant on "Survivor" would do. I came to my mother's condo on the Chesapeake Bay to take a shower, wash some clothes, and sleep in a warm bed. I'm such a wuss.

The Lynnhaven Fishing Pier succumbed to the forces of nature again (as it did during Isabel), and yes, they will rebuild. Again. (movie reference. anyone?)

Lastly, I would like to say to the hundreds of tireless workers of Dominion Virginia Power who have been working round the clock to restore power to the over 370,000 people left in the dark because of this storm,
"Thank you and God Bless."

In a day or so, the last of my musings about the Bahamas. First, I want to go home.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Should've come stay with me.

Anonymous said...

Nasty weather down there. Thanks for stopping it at your house and keeping us relatively safe up here. ;-)
If Rosie won't have you, you can come up here.

Sista G said...

Ooh, ooh, I know - my name's Forrest Gump - you can call me Forrest Gump.