Thursday, September 2, 2010

An Unwelcome Guest - Hurricane Earl

As Hurricane Earl marches closer to the U.S. East Coast and prepares to slam into the Outer Banks... BTW, I use to live in Nags Head on the Outer Banks.... one of the key dangers from this storm is the tidal / water surge. This satellite image shows the current wave heights (in feet) from Atlantic Ocean buoys. You can see that some of the higher wave heights are being measured on the westward leading edges of Earl... and it will be these leading edges that will pass directly over the Outer Banks! Yikes! There will be wind damage... but the local flooding may be much worse. For reference purposes, I live approximately in the area of the NC state abbreviation. Our area, much farther inland, is not forecast to be impacted by this hurricane. I pray that all persons, in the path of this storm, will obey all mandatory evacuation orders... and stay safe! Obviously, no yaking... or boating on the East Coast this weekend... but I am looking to squeeze in a paddling adventure (safely inland) sometime this long Labor Day weekend.

Update - 9/3/2010 "After the Storm"

Both Nags Head (where I spent much of my teenage years) and Manteo (where I went to high school)... took their "licks" from Hurricane Earl. Check out both the video and news story from here. In the video, the damaged Shell station is located on the causeway between Nags Head and Manteo. I use to travel that route daily to school. The fallen tree and damage in the town of Manteo was approximately one mile from the old Manteo high school I attended! Sobering images and a reminder of what even a "down graded" hurricane can do.


  1. Hi Mike,
    Robbin and I are heading down to Nags Head on October 18. A cousin is getting married on the beach at a cottage near Oregon Inlet, so we decided to make a Fall vacation out of it. Hopefully the Blue Heron weathered Earl unscathed. I've never been down there that late in the season. What the weather usually like at that time of year? We plan to do a little paddling on the sound while we're there. We're not taking our boats but there doesn't seem to be a shortage of places to rent kayaks in the area. Got a recommendation for a good restaurant or two?
    Keep up the great work.
    Mark -

  2. Hi Mark. Glad to see that you and your wife will be visting some of my old stomping grounds! BTW, the Blue Heron is located at Milepost #17 and I once lived at Milepost #11 in Nags Head. In fact, one of my first jobs (as a teenager) was to work as a "handy man" at the Beacon Motor Lodge, also located at Milepost #11. The one thing you can count on at the Outer Banks is that the weather can be pretty fickle. But, if you restrict your paddling to the sheltered waters on the sound side, remember that you need to deal with both wind and current, check out local weather conditions prior to put in, wear your PFDs, wear layered, water resistent clothing (wicks well,)err on the side of safety, you and Robbin will have a great time! There are several kayaking outfits that setup shop along the causeway between Whalebone Junction and Manteo. Finally, a couple of restaurant recommendations: RV's Restaurant (located on the causeway) has great views of the sound and a nice selection of fresh seafood. Recommend you and Robbin come at dusk to enjoy the sunset over the sound waters. If you are interested in a good pizza, check out the Jolly Roger Restaurant & Bar in Kill Devil Hills on the beach road. Interesting atmosphere - check out the ceiling decor for a real hoot! Look forward to reading about your Nags Head paddling adventures on "Rambling On."


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