Another night storm
It is the rare storm that shows up on the radar and quickly decides where it wants to go. Isaias was typical of the hurricanes that we see. One of the first tracks that I saw had it coming ashore around Cape Lookout, then it was Beaufort Inlet and at one time the Florida coast. Then it looked like it was going ashore near Georgetown, South Carolina. Isaias also tried to trick us with intensity. It dropped to a tropical storm and then slammed into the shore as a hurricane.
Eventually Hurricane Isaias came ashore near Ocean Isle Beach, NC which is south and west of Wilmington. Oak Island which is just north of there seemed to get the worst of the storm. Myrtle Beach also recorded the third worst tidal surge on record. This YouTube video gives you an idea of the destruction that Oak Island faced. I have not heard how Bald Head Island fared with Isaias other than a tornado might have touched down there. The nearby Southport Marina sustained a tremendous amount of damage.
Waiting for a hurricane, especially one that comes at night is no fun, but it ends up being a lot better if your power only flickers and you are outside the cone of most powerful winds. The Crystal Coast was on the right or more powerful side of Isaias but we did not get the worst winds or the worst rains. USA Today has a headline that Isaias left 3.1 million people without power. I have only heard of a couple of minor outages in Carteret County, but fortunately our area remained outside the area with the worst effects. There were thousands of people without power in other areas of North Carolina.
At our home, we were lucky, there was no damage. We only have to deal with a few of our neighbors' willow tree branches that blew onto on our patio. We did have a good tidal surge of a couple of feet but that is not much worse than a king tide. Reports from Emerald Isle confirm that they also sustained only minor damage.
We did receive a welcome one and one half inches of rain. It was the first serious rain that we have had in a month. It comes too late for much of the corn crop but it might rescue some soybeans. Isaias finished off our garden which was winding down anyway. It cleaned off the few green tomatoes that were still on the plants and my wife, Glenda, was so distressed with the damage to her zinnia bed, that she is pulling many of them out. We do have bouquets of zinnias around the house that she picked before the storm arrived.
Many of you might be wondering if people are still coming to the beach and the answer is yes. It is hard to gauge the crowds because we are staying home mostly but most of the beach houses seem to have people in them. I wrote a post about This Unusual Fourth of July and another more recent one about our Hot and Dry Summer of Masks. That post has some pictures of Third Street Beach taken just a few weeks ago. I have heard from people who have visited this summer that you can still have a great time at the beach.
If you are worried about coming to the beach to visit, I can tell you that the number of people wearing masks seems to be increasing. On my rare trips to Piggly-Wiggly, Lowe's, Publix, or Lidl, I find it is unusual to see more than one or two people without masks. We have yet to eat out beyond takeout food occasionally, but there are restaurants open. Today is our 47th anniversary and we grilled salmon at home instead of risking eating in a restaurant. Due to the COVID crisis, we have taken our home off the market. We will likely put our home back on the market in the fall. In spite of hurricane threats, I can think of no safer place to be than our home along Raymond's Gut. We did sell our skiff and I have yet to miss it. I especially did not miss tying it down for Isaias. We really enjoyed the boat for over a decade but they are a lot of work.
So the message from the Crystal Coast is that once again we have survived a hurricane. All the preparation that I did for Isaias was to buy some gas for the generator. Years of preparing have left us with all the emergency supplies we need and with the Coronavirus lurking, we keep the cupboards full. I continue my day job at WideOpen Networks but I have joined a site where I can post a wide variety of articles that I have written over the years. You can find it at this link.