Urban Farmhouse: Your Hurricane Center By
They’re calling for some rain. Maybe you heard. No really, if you look outside you’ll see that it’s a good day to have some soup and a delicious Starr Hill beer. Or maybe some soup and a dozen Starr Hill beers. Just saying.
But it really is pretty nasty out there. We got a bunch of photos from some friends in the Outer Banks, and it ain’t pretty. The Beach Road looks like someone crumbled it up like a great big cookie, and water is coming in from the Sound. Our pals in Kitty Hawk are going to surf to Charlotte.
Another friend is giving us updates from Delaware. She’s a few miles from Ocean City, Maryland and reports that about 8 feet of water is washing over the main drag. Pretty much connected the Ocean and the Bay. No crabs or Thrashers fries for a while.
And then the update from our friends in the mountains. These folks live in Asheville, North Carolina, and they’re frolicking in about a foot of snow.
Really? And isn’t it a bit ironic that every news channel has a “Hurricane Center?” Don’t you want to avoid being near the center of a hurricane?
Truth be told, we kinda dodged the bullet on this one. Sure, a great deal of wind and rain, but looking at our history it could be a heck of a lot worse.
Remember walking around after Irene? Most of Richmond looked like a bomb hit it, and Western parts of the city are probably still cleaning up tree debris. Irene brought a bunch of wind, but not much water, unlike Gaston. Tropical Storm Gaston was a hurricane for only a day or two before parking over Richmond. During the afternoon of August 30, 2004, Gaston deposited a little over a foot of rain on Central Virginia, with most of coming right over The Urban Farmhouse. The old Main Street Station, just down the hill from us, was splashing in 10 feet of water. City busses and tractor trailers from Lovings Produce were floating down Main Street like rubber ducks. On the other side of Shockoe Bottom, entire sections of East Grace Street disappeared. The Army Corp of Engineers said that at the height of the flooding, more water was flowing past the Farmer’s Market than was flowing in the James River.
Let’s buy some tomatoes. Got your surfboard?
But Gaston was only a year behind Isabel, and that one hit in September of 2003 with some pretty severe results. Like Irene (what is it with the “I” storms?) it was plenty blustery but not much rain. Those winds, however, left most of us in the dark, and for some folks that was for days and weeks. And Agnes? That was way back in 1972, but we’ve seen pictures of people canoeing over the Farmer’s Market. OVER the Farmer’s Market.
And keep in mind that what we’ve seen recently hasn’t been the best of what Mother Nature has to offer:
When Hazel came through in 1954 it hit our area with 100 mph gusts. In 1944 the Great Atlantic Hurricane lashed Cape Henry (at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and really not THAT far away) with sustained winds of 134 mph. Those aren’t gusts, but wind. That one kicked up 20 foot waves in the Bay and 70 foot waves just off of Virginia Beach.
Many are also grousing that Sandy is coming to us so late in the year. Aren’t hurricanes a summer thing? Well, hurricane season actually runs through the fall and officially ends on November 30th. But, if conditions are right, you can have a hurricane any darned time you want to. September is a very popular time for the storms to visit, we’ve had many in October, and every once in a while in November. We also had one that hit Virginia in early December of 1925. The classic Nor’Easter is basically a hurricane without the palm trees anyway, so Merry Christmas.
We’re hoping that our friends in the Outer Banks, Delaware, and the mountains weather this storm (and the coming blizzard in Blacksburg). In the meantime, where did we put that bottle opener?