Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Riding out Hurricane Arthur- or not. July 3

July 3.....The original plan was for Pam to get me onto the island before they shut it down as part of the mandatory evacuation that was to take place on Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands. The storm was supposed to track over the ocean, and we were supposed to have 75 mph winds. It would gave been an exciting ride, but one that most locals and a lot of tourists would have ridden out. It was noticeable to me how confident Pam was that we could do it. I thought it would be one of life's great experiences, and I was willing to give up my ride to get to the island to do it. By the time we got to the island, forecasts began to change for the worse. The tropical storm was going to be a hurricane by the time it hit us now, with winds of 90 mph. We were still staying, but the anxiety factor was ramping up amongst the natives. Word began to circulate that the track of the storm was changing, more to the inland side, and the potential was there for the storm to track right up the Pamlico Sound, which according to history, presents more flooding and damage than an ocean side storm. Hurricane Irene came up the sound, and was absolutely devastating here. The sound water and the ocean water converged and met in our campground, and new inlets were cut through the land. Highway 12 was impassable for weeks, and Rodanthe was in ruins. I had to take an emergency ferry system to get onto the island to save our flooded trailer. Sound side flooding was not a thing to be messed with. We began to hedge on staying. Broadcasts were being made, asking the locals to reconsider any decisions to stay, and the hurricane was upgraded to a category two, with winds up to 105 mph. We spoke to people who had ridden out such storms, and it was pretty unanimous that they would never do it again. They feared for their lives. Considering that during the last storm of such magnitude, trailers from our campground were washed out until the sea, all of the stayers, became leavers. Campground acquaintances from the inland town of Edenton began relaying the names of available motels to us. We managed to get a room an hour and a half inland, when all other motels were filled, which made our decision to leave a no brainer. It would have been much more stressful if we were leaving but had no place to go.
So, we packed up everything that we ever wanted to see again into the Jeep, and left the still beautiful weather, for Edenton. I left my bike in the trailer, which was a tough decision, (can't believe he did that!!!) and we left the TV and some other things, but everything was put up to avoid  a flood as bad as Irene, where we had about ten inches in the trailer. 
We spent two days and nights at the Coach House Motel, watching the Weather Channel and networking text messages with a large group of people. On July 4, we watched a very nice fireworks display over the Albemarle  Sound at the town park, with a few thousand locals, and a few more hundred evacuees that congregated there. The town was a really nice little place, and it was enjoyable to visit this hidden little gem for a couple of days. The storm was nothing but some heavy rain where we were, but when we got up in the morning, the reports started coming in of flooding, and the aerial videos showed potential devastation. One friend, Giselle, did stay, and got to the campground as soon as the water receded and began sending out pictures of individual trailers on Facebook. North Beach got rocked, with many trailers knocked off their blocks, and trailers in the sound side storage area stacked on top of each other. Our trailer looked fine, but we couldn't tell how much water we had taken. Debris was all over our deck, and we were 100% certain that we took on water. 
Frustration began to mount with the lack of information after the storm, as far as when we could go back. They had to wait until the 6-10 foot waves in Oregon Inlet calmed, before they could send divers to test the integrity of the Bonner Bridge, which has been in terrible shape for twenty years. That took time. Highway 12 was buckled in places, but it looked like it was going to be passable. When they finally gave the go ahead, only local residents were allowed in. Frustration continued as tourists piled up in Nags Head. We decided to leave Edenton and battle the traffic, as opposed to staying one more night. Text messages were telling us that some North Beach people were getting on, and some weren't, so there was that suspense. We drove right to the check point at the bridge, with no lines of traffic, and produced our tax receipts which proved that we owned property on the island, and we got on with no hassles, as we looked over at the waiting line that was building at the Oregon Inlet Marina. We got to the campground, to find standing water and debris everywhere. It looked really bad to those who had not seen the aftermath of Irene, like I did. Some people will lose their trailers, including the people right next to us, but we got NO WATER, and no damage. The water missed our door by two inches or less! The roof of our shed is flapping a little bit, and our satellite dish got knocked out of whack. We had to clean junk off the deck, but escaped unscathed. People on all four sides of us got rocked, but we didn't. People closest to the ocean stayed dry, because the ocean didn't breach the dunes, like it usually does, even in nor'easters. Electricity came back on shortly after we got there, but the water took a day because of two breaks in the campground water lines. Pam had stored five gallon buckets of fresh water in our shower, so we were okay with that. The ice bags that she put in the freezers of both refrigerators kept everything cold during the outage, and the ice didn't even melt. We spent two days helping our neighbors cleanup and dry out, but we were totally spared. I thought I had used up all our luck in the roof fall episode, but once again, luck prevailed for the Roses.

In Edenton looking at Arthur's outer bands


Fourth of July celebration in Edenton



Confederate Soldier's monument in Edenton, NC

Sitting at water's edge waiting for it to get dark and the fireworks to begin!

The sun is going down!


While we waiting, a snake swam by......


Let the fireworks begin!!!

Edenton had wonderful fireworks!  Nice job folks!
This was a photo that we received before we got back to Rodanthe.  This is 1/2 mile from our campground!

Driving back after our re-entry - this part of the road was temporarily repaired

Still had some sand on the road
This crane was working on a bridge before the hurricane hit.  Unfortunately, it didn't fare too well!

The extent of our "damage"!!  We had water on the deck as you can see by the marsh grass and everything that was shifted around.



Unfortunately, the trailers in the campground storage by the sound didn't fare as well.



Three days after Arthur, we walked to Lisa's Pizza and this is what Hwy 12 looked like!

These are fish from the sound that were swimming (and dying) on Hwy 12.


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