Tuesday  September 16, 2003

Hurricane Isabel is coming our way.  We are taking our  RV 4 hours inland to stay in our daughter's yard and wait out the category 5 hurricane with 150 mile an hour wind.  It is only Tuesday, but we are leaving a little early to avoid the long traffic lines of people getting out of the hurricane's way.

This is Cape Lookout in normal times (above). I hope somebody takes the wild ponies off the island.

We live at the star below.   The power company will probably turn off the power some time Wednesday.  And who knows when they will be able to get everybody back on.  Some times it is as long as 5 days. It is 86 degrees now.  And for some unknown reason, the storms always hit at night so you can't see what's going on. 

They have already issued a mandatory evacuation for Ocracoke Island. (Monday noon)

We live very close to the blue star below.


Saturday September 20, 2003

We were lucky.  We were on the left side of the hurricane as it made landfall.  The right side is where the most damage is done. It was a category 2 when it came ashore with winds of 105. The only damage in our yard is  branches and leaves. The house did not get hurt at all.  One of Jim's ham radio antennas is a little bent but still standing. 

Hurricane Isabel killed 24. One was a local electrician who lost his balance and got electrocuted.  The storm hit our area during the afternoon daylight hours this time.  The storm surge did not get to us.

There are over 1 million homes and businesses in North Carolina still without electricity on Monday Sept 22.  Ours was off for only 5 hours.

We rode around this afternoon to see what damage was done.   Morehead City looked pretty good.  Beaufort had a service station with the roof on the ground.  Everybody was out cleaning up their yards and burning trash. 

Harkers Island and Marshallberg had alot of tree damage but we did not see any structures damaged.  The water did get up to several houses. We did not see alot of evidence of water getting into the houses.   These places are within site of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse but evidently they were on the left side too. Marshallberg is where my parents and Aunt Julia had houses on Goose Pond Rd.  No electricity yet. 

On further "downeast"  at  the communities of South River, Davis, Stacy, Williston, Sea Level, Atlantic, and Cedar Island, they did get  the water surge that entered homes and businesses.  We saw several churches with the pews sitting outside drying.  Many, many houses had all their carpets, and most of their furniture outside.  Many trees fell. The Driftwood Motel at the cedar island ferry evidently got water in it too as they had all their room furniture outside. I understand there was from  4 to 14 feet of water inside the  homes and businesses.   Their electricity is not yet on.  The Red Cross and Salvation Army had trucks  with food and clothing, etc. in all places.  It was very, very sad.   It sure made our messed up yard look good when we got back home.


Above this shows the hurricane at the Oceanna Fishing Pier,
 Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, the day before  hurricane hit.


This is a fire station from the Downeast community.  It's doors were all bent out of shape and could not be opened or closed.  The fire trucks were destroyed.  I understand the building had 4 feet of water in it.

I took some pictures of houses and trees "Downeast" but they did not turn out as good as I had hoped. 

Our Cousin Cynthia lives up near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. She stayed with her house.  She said "No way have I worked all my life to leave now".  They have major, major damage there.  Her house is ok, but she lost 5 trees. She said there are motels and houses in the middle of the road in Hatteras Village. The one road (Hwy 12) that runs the length of the banks has huge chucks cut out of it from the sand, wind and water.  It will be months before it will be fixed. The storm cut a new inlet there and nobody can get to these people.  They brought supplies in by helicopter. 

My son-in-law is the manager of an insurance agency here in Morehead City.  They have their work cut out for them.  They have the entire coast of North Carolina for the claims.

I got the note below from one of our friends who was hit harder than us. They live in South River.

We had some damage and loss but feel very fortunate and blessed.  Almost everyone within a nine mile radius of us had water inside their homes and we didn't.  Our floor is 12 ft above mean high tide and the water came underneath the house!! Can you imagine?  Who would have ever thought the water would get that high?  Thank God it didn't come inside the house!  It did get into our out buildings.  One of them (the pump house on stilts) has a floor level higher than my head and it had about 3 inches of water in it.  Our big shed behind the pond which has a floor level about neck high to me had about 12 inches of water in it.  The foundation on James' new "rabbit shed" was damaged when two 4x4 posts broke which made everything that was stored in the top of it fall to the ground.  Some of it we found, some of it floated away including a picnic table that was upside down on the dock and 10 telephone poles that were behind the pond.  He is at the shop now trying to see if he can salvage the tiller, pressure washer, water pump, lawn mower, and weed-eater.  I think some water may have gotten inside the little pickup, but it's so nasty that a little water wouldn't have hurt it!  The motor still runs so that says a lot for an old Toyota with almost 200,000 miles on it.  Our well was flooded so we can't drink the water and I have to check with the health department tomorrow about having it tested.  Good thing I stocked up on bottled water.  I found out Friday that our flood insurance doesn't cover anything but the house and it's contents.  This week I intend to add an amendment to it to include the out buildings if that's possible and I would encourage those of you that have flood insurance to check your policies! 
 I would like to ask that you say a prayer for the people in this community.  Most of them will have to relocate because their homes and contents were ruined by the flooding and the majority didn't have flood insurance.  The Salvation Army and Red Cross are down here with food and essentials including bug spray.  (There are millions of mosquitoes and I'm worried about somebody else contracting West Nile Virus)  In the past FEMA has come in, took a look around and never to be seen again.  Hopefully, they will come in and actually help this time. 
Also on your prayer list, add our friends, Paul and Ann , who had catastrophic damage to their home.  They actually had waves breaking against their house and they were in it!   Ann said the next time someone mentions a storm, she's outta there!  Also, J. C. and Elaine. They were remodeling and living part time in a very old house and the water got about knee deep in it.  All their work was for nothing. 

10-9-03 North Carolina had 22,383 people ask for help in rebuilding their homes.  FEMA is using  motorhomes as temporary homes also.


This picture shows just how big Hurricane Isabel was.  Big, Big, BIG


Some one sent the above  picture to me.

Graphics by Anniebel
9-15-03 updated 9-20-03