Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Good Night Irene

I confess that I don't know what tone to take with this post.  I was conflicted and still am; do I write with the usual self deprecating snark or adopt a more subdued, solemn tone?  When Hurricane Irene didn't turn out to be the diabolic storm the media had anticipated, damage coverage dwindled.  A part from reporting on Vermont flooding, media outlets quietly packed up and left eastern NC.  As far as the world is concerned, life on the OBX carried on as normal.

My family home on the Outer Banks is slightly north of the hardest ravaged Rodanthe and Hatteras area.  An area, now cut off from the world when Highway 12 washed away.  Not merely flooded, but literally obliterated. Our house stands at MP6, oceanside.  We were lucky.  Very lucky.  Usually when storms hit, the surge pushes the Atlantic Ocean well beyond it's normal perimeters, flooding our road.  Flooding our house.  This time the storm hit harder on the sound side.  We escaped with minor shingle loss and window breakage. At the risk of redundancy, I reiterate--we were lucky.

Headed to the beach, we saw areas on Highway 64, flattened by the tornadoes spawned in the wake of a the hurricane.  Entire houses, gone.  Their foundations the only remaining hints that they once inhabited the landscape.   I would have loved to gotten pictures, but instead I respected the families, picking through the debris of what used to be and their right to grieve in private.

I was wary of what awaited on the island.  Given the state of the tornado stricken areas, I was honestly scared.  Once there, we rode around and got to see for ourselves what wasn't being broadcast to the world.  Here are a few pictures I took.
Hwy 12 to Hatteras.  Closed at the Bonner Bridge.

Our usual kayaking point, closed off because the public pier is no longer there.

Debris fields lined the soundside roads.

This debris pile was over 8' tall.
As we rode around, it became apparent that eastern NC people are resilient.  They were cleaning up and getting back to  normal the best way they knew how.  Some of them even showed an ironic sense of humor.

They decorated the debris.  Love that spirit!
If the people who were so harshly effected by Hurricane Irene could make the best out of their situation, then I can hold out hope for a speedy return to normal for them.  I continue to keep them in my thoughts.  I'm sure they will continue to amaze.  God bless!

P.S.  I couln't resist just one last pic to help me close this post with some levity.

Yes, this person had bagged up all the marsh grass debris already.  I'm sure he's also a morning person.  And drinks decaf.


  1. The resilience of hopeful spirit of people never ceases to amaze me. Thanks for you inspiring (and not at all snarky) report. I love this blog!

  2. Thank you so much! Hearing those words from someone who isn't my mother and thereby bound to tell me it's good, means a lot :)