Surviving Irene

Well – looks like I made it through the Hurricane with no major damage. Considering my home is on the ocean in an area which took a straight on hit from the storm – that’s no mean feat. According to the local weather service we were blasted by 85-100 MPH winds, and got considerably more than the 4-8 foot storm surge predicted at High Tide.

"House Moving" on the Eastern Shore is a Little Different Than You May be Used to.

 

Result this trip was a few shingles knocked off, and about 2′ of ocean nder the house at high tide. Since the house was (actually, the mover and I re-designed it with state of the art siding, roofing, and support structures) designed to withstand 140 MP Winds and a storm surge putting 8′ under the house without serious disruption or damage. So… Other than mucking out the “mud room” on the ground floor where I keep fishing gear and tools… I think we are OK.

Unlike the Hatteras North Carolina region of the Outer Banks, after a disaster in the late 1980’s with homes being washed away by the ocean, the Federal Government does not allow building on the barrier islands in my area anymore.  My house originally was located on one of the barrier islands, where a foolish builder had built a community, much like those on the Outer Banks. After the first half dozen or so houses got washed away by a new inlet (3 years, and roughly 20 houses into the project), it occurred to some folks that the reason folks didn’t build on the Islands in the “old days”…

Is that the Islands actually move every year.

Right at the 10 second mark of this video, you can see what happened to the nice houses – (and this is before the next storm buried them to their roofs.)

So they wound up moving all the houses back to the mainland, or in several cases demolishing them and removing all the materials. The move was the subject of a Mega Movers episode, where I think there is a shot of me in a ubiquitous Golf Shirt and Baseball cap helping to get the hydraulic system on the barge to work, and setting up crib blocks to slide one of the houses off the barge onto land along a temporary “railroad” track set up for the job.

The Outer Banks have been a 50 year struggle against the propensity of those Islands to move… The Ocean always wins.

Folks up there in New Hampshire and Vermont – My heart goes out to you!

Nor’Easter is Serious

I’ve ridden out a few hurricanes, including several in boats. One so bad we did the batten down the hatches and make like a cork and pray routine. This one is near as bad as I have seen. Winds are a constant 70 MPH, with gusts substantially higher. It is High tide right now and my house is an Island – because 2 1/2 of my 3 1/2 acres is under water. To leave, I have to wade about 150 yards, and then walk to a high point where I parked my car.

So far, the electric and internet are holding out – but I have no idea how much longer. Waves at the beach are over 20′, with 60 footers being reported offshore. The cities of Norfolk and Hampton Roads are suffering serious flooding – worse than when a Class 3/4 Hurricane hit us 3 years ago.

My house, which sits 13′ off the ground on pilings is vibrating from the severe winds. I had to tie down the gas grill and cast iron furniture because it was blowing across the deck. Currently I have between 1′ and 2′ of water below the house.

This one is for real.

 

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