It was a girl, and then another girl!
Two Hatteras babies born in latest coastal storm
By IRENE NOLAN
latest in a never-ending series of coastal storms that have brought
rain, high winds, and ocean and soundside flooding to Hatteras and
Ocracoke since November brought more misery and even more excitement to
the islands yesterday.
This storm had less rain than the others, the last of which pounded the
islands just last weekend. However, as forecast, the winds
higher and the soundside flooding was more intense, at least on
The winds blew a sustained 30 to 40 miles an hour with gusts to 50 and
60 on the islands. While Ocracoke escaped soundside flooding,
most of Hatteras was underwater, beginning early Wednesday morning,
Feb. 10. At least on the southern end of Hatteras, from Avon
Hatteras village, the tides were the highest we have seen since
Hurricane Alex in 2004.
However, we’re not about to wallow in our misery – when our
friends to the north were buried under two or three feet of snow.
There were several bright sides to the latest storm.
Unlike most other northeasters, we got walloped under sunny, blue skies
– on the backside of the storm after a night of rain as the low
moved away and deepened. That made it all a little more
The tide that started rising quickly Wednesday morning, also receded
quickly by late evening. While there was water in some
especially in Avon, damage was limited.
And two Hatteras families welcomed new baby girls during the flooding.
John and Jane Metacarpa of Frisco, who own the Sandbar and Grille in
Buxton, were ready to add a daughter to their family, which already
includes 4-year-old Johnny.
Jane was scheduled to deliver the baby by Caesarean section today at
Outer Banks Hospital.
When she got up early yesterday and the tide started rising everywhere,
she called her obstetrician and the delivery was rescheduled for Friday.
“The last thing he said to me was, ‘Don’t go into
labor,’” Jane said in a telephone interview today from the
Outer Banks Hospital. “I think that jinxed it.”
By mid-afternoon, her water broke and there were definite signs that
this baby was not going to wait until the storm was over.
By evening, Jane and John were persuaded that they need to call 911 for
help, which they did about 6:30.
Dare County Emergency Medical Services and the Hatteras Island Rescue
Squad came to carry them through wind and high water to the Hatteras
Medical Center in Hatteras village.
They were met by Dr. Al Hodges, and the decision was made that Jane
needed to go to the hospital immediately.
So EMS and the rescue squad loaded her back in the ambulance and took
them through the high tide to the Avon Volunteer Fire
Sound water covered the road most of the way.
At Avon, they met Chicamacomico Banks Fire and Rescue with its
deuce-and-a-half – a two-and-a-half ton Army truck with an open
and uncovered back.
The driver, Mike Daugherty of Chicamacomico Banks, Jane, and an EMT
climbed into the cab.
Two other rescue personnel and John, now outfitted in a waterproof fire
suit, climbed into the back.
They headed north. The trip took about an hour and a half.
“I’ve never seen so much water on the road since I’ve lived here,” Jane
She watched it splash up and over the windshield as the driver kept on
a steady pace up Highway 12, which at that point was closed to traffic
from Rodanthe to the Bonner Bridge.
Meanwhile, the expectant dad and the other two first responders rode in
the open back, getting soaked by the water splashing over them
Just south of the Bonner Bridge, the rescue party met another EMS
ambulance, and Jane was transferred into it, accompanied by John.
“In about 10 minutes,” she said, “the contractions started and were two
She was starting to get really worried, but she said the responders
kept her calm, though she said the driver did speed up some for the
last part of the trip.
They arrived at Outer Banks Hospital at 11:15, Jane said, and Molly
Rose Metacarpa was delivered by C-section at 12:12 a.m.
That’s not much time to spare.
Molly Rose is 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 19 inches long, healthy, and,
according to her parents, “beautiful.”
“I really want to thank all the amazing people who got us here in
time,” Jane said. “It was truly a Hatteras birthing
Meanwhile, just after Molly Rose was born at the hospital, EMS and the
rescue squad answered a call to assist another pregnant
According to Bob Helle of the rescue squad, they met the expectant
parents, who have not been identified, about 1 a.m. in the parking lot
of the Avon Medical Center, where they had gone looking for help, and
took them to the Hatteras Medical Center.
The tide had receded somewhat by then, but with both EMTs in the back
of the ambulance attending the mother who was in labor, a member of the
rescue squad drove the ambulance as fast as possible through the water
to the medical center.
They were met by Dr. Al Hodges, who delivered the baby – another girl.
The baby, Helle said, was born about 10 minutes after their arrival at
the medical center and weighed four pounds, 1 ounce.
By then, the tide had receded enough that mother and baby were
transported to Outer Banks Hospital by the EMS in an ambulance.
In addition, EMS and the rescue squad evacuated a patient yesterday
afternoon from Avon village, where the water was at least three feet
high. That rescue happened with the help of a heavy truck
provided by the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative.
And those were the highlights of this latest storm, enough excitement
for one day for a small island.
A few other notes:
The highest sustained wind at Billy Mitchell Airport was 31 mph from
the west with a 49-mph northwest gust. No doubt it blew harder than
that at other less sheltered locations.
Sound tides were running about three feet above normal in most places
on the island, and higher in some spots.
Dare County Schools closed at 11:30 a.m. yesterday and were closed
today. A make-up day is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 13.
Ferry service between Ocracoke and Swan Quarter and Cedar Island was
shut down in the morning yesterday and in the evening for the Hatteras
Inlet route. Ferries resumed normal schedules today.
Highway 12 was officially closed for much of the afternoon and evening
from the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe. It was impassible, or
passable, in some areas from the tri-villages to Hatteras village.
Another coastal storm is forecast to pass to the south of Hatteras and
Ocracoke tomorrow night and could bring a chance of snow or rain and
snow, though no accumulation is predicted at this point.
And it’s going to stay cold as far as the forecast goes into the
future. High temperatures since Christmas have run about 10
degrees below normal.
We’re cold. But we’re not complaining too loudly when we talk
to our family and friends up north.
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