Saturday, September 20, 2003

Hurricane Isabel Journal

18 September 2003

+9:30am: Power went out about 10 minutes ago. Dominion Power reporting 120K w/o power. This, 10 minutes after I blogged that we still had power...

+10:20am: Our classic rock station is, predictably, playing REO's "Ridin' the Storm Out." This serves to remind me how much I hate REO Speedwagon, and how stupid most classic rock fans are. For the most part, however, this station is simulcasting one of our local TV stations, so I'll deal.

+10:45am: The apartment's already starting to get hot. Grrr. The windows seem to be fine, so far.

+12noon: 300K w/o power [in SE VA/NE NC]. Isabel starting to make landfall between Ocracoke and Cape Lookout. Tornado watch continuing until 8pm. Winds getting a lot stronger here - sustained tropical storm-force winds (over 35mph - maybe nearing 50mph). Isabel's picking up steam, now moving at 20mph, still a Cat 2. High winds expected to continue through the p.m. It's just getting worse. Going to try to head outside and take a few pics. Wish me luck.

+12:20pm: Wow, what a rush! Walked out to the corner of Shirley & Colley - saw a few cars, saw 3 pedestrians, the Max's* canopy is nearly toasted, Sam's* & Kelly's* aren't even boarded up but the Naro is, got some (hopefully) great pics. Wow!

+12:45pm: 430K w/o power. It's worth noting that the TV stations are running totally commerical-free - but the radio stations simulcasting them aren't, which I find incredibly offensive. I want, and need, information - not commercials for Hardee's and car dealerships.

Surprisingly, there was no debris in the street when I went out earlier. WAVY keeps talking about the Sea Ranch 2 hotel in Kill Devil Hills, which it sounds like is about to take a header into the ocean.** It's 7 stories high - and Isabel hasn't even fully hit yet. Once high tide hits along OBX, there's gonna be some even more major damage.

+12:55pm: I wonder how they're doing down at Howard's Pub on Ocracoke?***

+2:30pm: Wind field extending up to DC, according to 'fer. Apartment getting warmer. Roomie napping. Moved my flat-screen monitor from in front of the window, as the winds continue to ramp up - hurricane-force nearing, if not already happening.

+3:30pm: The big ol' fishing piers at Buckroe Beach, Oceanview, and the VB oceanfront**** have all been taken out. Newport News reporting 8" of rain, 5" in Chesapeake, 6" in Norfolk*****. 85-90% of SE VA Dominion customers - over 600K - w/o power.

*=These are all restaurants within a couple hundred yards of our apartment building.
**=I've never heard confirmation either way about this story.
***=Jeffy found a great story from Reuters about the Pub weathering the storm.
****=The VB oceanfront pier lost its first 30 feet, but is still standing, but the Buckroe and Harrison (Oceanview) piers went down.
*****=Norfolk ended up reporting a little over 4" of rain at the airport.

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