I hope this note finds you doing well and that those reading it from the eastern coast have weathered the storm. I know that last weekend was an extremely trying time and there is still much to deal with in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
I find myself looking back one year ago this week and reliving the fact that Hurricane Earl chose to visit the Outer Banks and the eastern seaboard, interrupting the last summer holiday weekend, Labor Day. Giving consideration to all the weather information, we chose to ride the storm out with friends and stayed on the island. Luckily for us all, the hurricane never came ashore and the flooding was minimal. With Hurricane Irene coming ashore this weekend, the island along with all the residents that chose to stay have not fared quite as well. Massive flooding, strong winds and high surf have left the Outer Banks with out communication and due to two breaches in the only road in or out, Hwy 12, the islanders that did stay are currently stranded and cut off from the mainland.
I was fortunate enough to have corporate travel scheduled and had left the island a few days early. Knowing that there was a
possibility of a direct hit on Hatteras Island, I chose to pack up the most vital things and left the rest behind for Mother Nature to deal with. Throughout the weekend I watched the news with extreme anxiety knowing that I had left friends behind and wondering what was to be left of the island on my return. I was able to stay in contact until late Saturday and then all went silent. It appears that the islands and those that stayed have fared fairly well but now there is allot that they will need to deal with. The first and most important thing to do is find a way to repair the breaches, reconnect the communication channels, allow the flooding to subside and start the repairs. I am currently unable to reach anyone or know the extent of damage that may have occurred to the Hwy 12 Gallery.
The good news is this is not the first time they have dealt with a hurricane, or the loss of access to Hwy 12 and the island.
Hurricane Isabel paid them a visit and it was months before things were back to normal. Until the repair of Hwy 12, the ferry systems that service the islands will be in overtime, picking up new routes ferrying people and vehicles back to their homes and businesses. I can only sit and wait until I hear the news of the island and wonder the fate of my friends’ homes and business.
Until then … may god bless them all and to those all along the eastern seaboard that are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
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Best regards ……….