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This is the image I woke up to from the Weather service this morning. See where it says Morehead City? That's where my folks live. Very early this morning, the storm was sitting more on top of them. Their neighborhood had a mandatory evacuation because they are 1/4 mile from the water. Luckily, they've been here in Illinois for a couple weeks now. Unluckily, that means if their house need to be boarded up, there was no one to do it.

I heard early there was damage to a pier in Atlantic Beach (just a few miles across the Pamlico Sound. Technically part of the Outer Banks). Well there are not too many piers to choose from since of the 3 piers on Atlantic Beach, one was almost completely destroyed by Floyd and Dennis a few years ago and Isabell took out another one last year. So it would have to be the Iron Steamer pier.

This one that got hit.

Sad because it's the one I always walk to when I'm visitng the folks.

Mom is in contact with her neighbors in NC, some of whom have stayed. They are saying high winds, lots of branches down, some flooding. Nothing to really worry about though. Last weekend, one of the networks had a lame story about Katrina evacuees who were relocated to Wilmington, NC and who were now going to have to go through another hurricane. I consider that a cheap shot by whomever dreamed up that story. It's really comparing apples and oranges. Mom and I were discussing the differences between gulf coast hurricanes and Atlantic Coast Hurricanes.

First off, in the Gulf states, the coastal dwellers talk about things like, what will happen if we get hit by a category 4 hurricane? The Atlantic coast states dwellers talk in terms of how many category 4's do you thing we'll get this year?

Some of the big talk with Katrina was with the folks who don't own vehicles and had no way to evacuate. In most of the Atlantic coastal areas, the population is more spread out so people, even poorer people have to have some access to vehicles to get to work or buy neccesities. Plus Atlantic coast communities are used to hurricanes and evacuations. One of the first things you notice when you drive down to the NC coast, are the well marked hurricane evacuation routes. Emergency agencies are used to handling evacuations and things go pretty smoothly when they do happen. Emergency agencies are also aware of where people live who might need some extra help getting out.

I've lived through both Gulf hurricanes (Andrew in 92) and Atlantic coast hurricanes (several in the 70's and a direct hit by Hugo in 1989). My folks have stayed instead of evacuating through Floyd, Dennis and Isabell and countless smaller ones in the last 20 years and before in the 70's.

There is just no fair comparisson between hurricanes in the two regions. So I really wish the news media would stop acting like Ophelia is such a bad ass storm. It's a raindrop compared to what the gulf coast just went through.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
The Iron Steamer Pier was always my favorite because you could see the old Iron Steamer at low tide.
Sep. 15th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I love that part of the coast. I worry about Ft. Macon with the storms though. One of these days they will get a storm that will drown it for good.

Sep. 15th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
i guess i don't think of andrew as a gulf hurricane because i lived in florida in 1992 and i remember too well when it hit homestead from the atlantic... so to me andrew it an atlantic hurricane with all of the damage it caused. even though katrina caused problems for almost the same area of florida this time around, the damage was so much more severe in the gulf coast region, i would think of this one as a gulf hurricane. *shrug* i suppose realistically, they are both atlantic and gulf hurricanes, born in the ocean and causing problems in both places. i prefer the storms that arc up the coast and never impact land. :)

my parents are finally leaving florida on saturday. they are moving to greenville, sc, away from prime hurricane real estate, thank goodness. last year, hurricane charley was supposed to make landfall over tampa, but when i got home from work that night, i found out it had taken a premature eastern turn over ft. myers and went right over my parents' house. they were lucky; it only tore off some of their shingles. however, the 3 days it took before they were able to reach me on the phone seemed so long before i confirmed they were ok.
Sep. 15th, 2005 09:24 pm (UTC)
I had gone to a wedding in Mexico a few days before Andrew gained strength. On my return trip, I'd passed by Houston on the I-10 and was headed for Louisiana. I was going over those bayou bridges and everything was completely deserted. A National guardsman stopped me and told me to turn north and get the hell out of there, Hurricane Andrew was due in a few hours and the whole region was being evacuated. I turned north and still ended up driving through some really bad weather. But places like Lafayette and Baton Rouge got it really bad. That's why I think of Andrew as a gulf hurricane. Because it didn't go on up the east coast. Good for your parents. Greenville is a nice place. I always worry about my folks during hurricane season.

Sep. 15th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
Everybody here is paranoid after Floyd. "A hurricane? WE'RE ALL GOING TO FLOOD! OH NOSE! SANDBAG THE HOUSES!"

And by everyone I mean the media. They're so bored now.

Is it wrong of me to giggle like a 14-year-old boy whenever I hear of Morehead City?
Sep. 16th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
There was this radio DJ down there for some time who called himself Craven Morehead.

Sep. 16th, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC)
I. Approve.
Sep. 15th, 2005 11:45 pm (UTC)
One of my other friends just went through Katrina. He said he and his brother are thinking of moving farther north now. Though how far I don't know. I was worried about him while it was blowing through. Before it hit, I had called him up and told him to come up here and bring his family.

He decided to ride it out just like a man.
Sep. 16th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
The thing abou a hburricane is, no one knows what they arwe going to do from storm to storm. A Category 2 can sometimes do more damage than a category 4 depending on where and how it hits. So the people who say, "Well, I stayed for Floyd and I'm still here so I'll stay for Ophelia" may be completely fucked, no matter how manly they are.

Sep. 16th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC)

I don't understand it, but I feel somehow richer and more connected to what's real because of this reminder about context and place. I'm watching TV again for the first time in 20 years and I find myself beginning to understand the homogenation of perception that so bewildered me not long ago.

Unlike you, I HATE to travel -- too much overwhelm. Recently, I've had to travel a bit. I'm shocked how much comfort and stabilzation I experience from the replicated edge city sameness of Starbucks, McDonald's and all the rest. It gives me a kind of stabilizing comfort that allows me to function where I would otherwise be overwhelmed.

I'm aware in the midst of it that it's a dangerous albiet comforting delusion. Things are not the same here and there. The differences matter.

Don't you think all the media nonsense is a group consciousness reflex? After being so blase about the threat in New Orleans because of historic bad human choices Nature demonstrated human vulnerability and the media is acting out pointless hypervigilance because the organism of the culture is trying to distract from the real problems?

Anyway, thanks.
Sep. 16th, 2005 02:58 pm (UTC)
You know I love to travel but like you, I sometimes seek out things that are the same. Reason being, my digestive system is sometimes fragile when I travel, so while I love trying new foods, I sometimes won't get overly adventurous when I travel. When I head down south, I'll eat at least one meal a day at a Crackderbarrel. I know the menu is the same everywhere I go and I know I won't have digestive problems with what I order. Now when i go southwest, I eat all Mexican but stay within the realm of a few perennial favorites. "Lets see who has the best huevos ranceros on this trip." Hard to mess up eggs and salsa.

I agree with your assesment of the media. I think the mainstream population hasn't a clue as to what is happening with Nature.

As I told my Dad some time ago, The Earth is a living and concious organism and you can only irritate a concious organism for so long before it reacts to protect itself. That's what all these so called "natural disasters" are. They are only disasters to humans. The Earth will endure after we are gone. But while we are here, we have a good deal of control over how the Earth treats us. We are only reaping what we have sewed. For me, I'm happy to live in the midwest where I only have to deal with floods and the occasional tornado.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )