didn’t prepare for Hurricane Sandy like other hurricanes that have
threatened our community in the past. The forecast was bad enough
to be taken seriously, but without evacuation orders issued by Dare
County, people didn’t seem intimidated by this thing called Sandy.
businesses and homeowners put up their hurricane shutters, but most did
not. There was some movement of vehicles to higher ground and
boats pulled out of the water. Grocery stores were a
little busy as people, both local and visitors, stocked
up just in case something happened. In general, though, most
folks didn’t expect it to be that bad.
Saturday, visitors were leaving from their week’s vacation while a
fresh group was just arriving. Most restaurants and shops closed
at 2 p.m. because there wasn’t much eating out or shopping going
on. The skies were dark and the rain was steady. The
growing northeast wind attracted kiters and windsurfers out to
play. Other than that, it was a rather blah day.
rain and winds increased overnight. Dawn’s early light revealed
that soundside flooding had already begun. In fact, the island
was being flooded simultaneously from the sound and ocean at high tide.
favorite high spots for storms were quickly filled with vehicles
because water was flowing in all over the island. Given the wind
speed, direction, and duration from weather forecasts, this was a smart
thing to do.
really wasn’t much for folks to do but drive around. Mass
was canceled at Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Church and there were no
services at some other churches. The restaurants and shops were closed
until after the storm. At high tide, the ocean stopped traffic in
Buxton and south of Frisco which meant there weren’t even a lot of
places to drive to.
So people drove around
looking for something to see. People clambered around the
motels in Buxton to witness the angry ocean pouring around Highway12
and terrorizing the oceanfront motel units. The old lighthouse
site was another popular stop because the ocean was so large that it
could be watched from the dry comfort of a vehicle in the parking lot
the water got too high on the road, people ventured south to check on
the Frisco Pier. Sandy has not been kind to this structure but
well-wishers hope that she will make it to see another day.
Supermarket in Buxton reported to have had a decent day.
According to Travis Salyers, “People were bored. Most had already
done their shopping before the storm but came in because we were open.”
retreated home to spend the day watching football or getting all the
latest about Hurricane Sandy from Facebook. Thank goodness the
island had electricity, though Hatteras village did lose power in the
was alive with pictures, videos, and information almost as quick as it
was happening. Suddenly, everything was common knowledge
just by following the news feed: where the road was passable and
where it wasn’t, who had lost a tree, when high tide was, who gets
headaches from these storms, which house fell in at Rodanthe, that the
road north of Rodanthe has issues and so forth.
of people stayed in touch with each other and experienced Day 1 of
Hurricane Sandy in their own personal cyber world. It is safe in
there, and the weather is always perfect.
But what will we do when the power goes out?
the weather is predicted to be more of the same but probably with
higher flood waters. How will we keep ourselves occupied for
another day of high winds, driving rain, and flooding?