Friday, September 9, 2011

Wow trip

After escaping hurricane Irene by mere hours, (leaving at 04h00 on Saturday) I returned the following week to the very same area to see first hand the damage. From Richmond VA., on the I-95, there were trees down all along the highway. Not just little one's either. Some completely uprooted, others snapped like twigs. Lots of work was still in progress but the roadway was cleared, with logs and branches stacked on the outer right sides. Weather was overcast all the way down with intermittent rain.

  By the time I reached my final destination, Garner, NC. it was very dark, though it was early afternoon. I had a portable weather radio that tunes in of NOAA and the built-in alarm continuously went off announcing 5 actual tornadoes along with numerous flood warnings and severe thunderstorms.  All of this was happening around me but fortunately not over me.

The flash flood warnings spoke of 1.5 inches of rain in a 15 minute period. That's a lot of water!
This was due to hurricane Katia that was just off the coast.

Another event was on Tuesday morning, at 00h50, where I was awakened by the truck moving violently side to side. My first thought, still groggy, was, "Shit! Some asshole has hit me!" (There are a lot of those out there.) I got out, half dressed, with flashlight in hand, to find no one around or moving in the lot. No damage anywhere to the truck. Confused a bit I was! (thinking in Yoda speak). Turns out that it was an after shock (mag 3.4) from the earthquake that happened in Virginia a week before that was felt all the way up to Ottawa.

On the way back, I had pick-ups in Rural Retreat, Va., and Beaver, WV. It had been raining steadily the previous day and was more forecast  for the following day. I-81 in Pennsylvania was closed at exit 90 due to flooding. The Susquehanna river had overflowed its' banks in numerous places. 100K people had mandatory evacuation notices in PA. Numerous exits on I-90 were closed between Albany and Syracuse.

Fortunately, I managed to avoid all of this mess and get home safely.

Now I'm going on vacation for 2 weeks. The first week, believe it or not is in North Carolina on the outer banks. Wish me luck!