Hurricane Sandy has certainly reminded us here on the Outer Banks that there is a cosmic balance sheet for all the beautiful weather we’ve had this autumn.
The northern Outer Banks–everything north of Oregon Inlet–certainly took a beating, although by the end of the week, there won’t even be any evidence of Sandy’s passing. Hatteras Island, however, hasn’t fared as well. Confirmed reports indicate that the road just north of Rodanthe that was replaced after Hurricane Irene has been severely damaged by ocean overwash and the bridge that was built over the inlet that formed during Irene has sustained damage to its southbound lane.
We probably won’t know until Wednesday the full extent of the damage, but at this point in time, it appears as though there is no land route to Hatteras Island. Ferry service from Ocracoke will hopefully resume on Wednesday, although that will depend on wind and water conditions.
For visitors and vacationers who have made plans to stay on Hatteras Island, check with your property management company, and if plans need to be changed, give us a call at Brindley Beach and we’ll do everything we can to accommodate you.
Sandy has been unique in some ways–generally speaking hurricanes that form this late in the season are not this large. As hurricanes go, the winds have not been all that powerful, barely achieving hurricane force winds. But the size of this storm was astonishing and awe-inspiring in a fearful way.
I don’t think the center of the storm ever came closer than 300 miles offshore, yet we experienced almost two full days of tropical force winds–consistently in the 45-50 mph range with gusts somewhere around 60-65. A hard, driving rain came with it, and we probably have enough water in the ground to keep those late season gardens watered for two weeks.
The ocean overwash was the worst that I have seen–and people who have lived here their entire lives on the Outer Banks can’t remember anything quite like this. The entire Beach Road in Kitty Hawk had to be closed . . . sea water was standing 3-4’ deep along much of its length. The Atlantic Ocean covered the Bypass beginning at the Kitty Hawk 7-11 all the way to the Kill Devil Hills town line. The road had to be closed Tuesday night at high tide–another first.
The most visible reminder of Sandy’s power was the damage to Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills. The pier withstood everything Mother Nature threw its way for almost 60 years, but the force of Sandy smashed through the pier in two place and did what appears to be significant damage to what is left standing.
|Monday surf at Corolla beach access.|
Remarkably, everything north of Kitty Hawk seems to have gotten off remarkably well. There’s a little bit of dune erosion in Corolla and Southern Shores, a few stairs leading to the beach were torn up and there was bit of overwash from both the ocean and sound, but nothing the Outer Banks hasn’t experienced before.
Thankfully, there were no widespread power outages, and certainly nothing like the folks from northern Virginia to New England are experiencing.
I’m not sure what the lesson in all of this is. Maybe that we should be thankful for the perfect days because Mother Nature does seem to have a way of balancing things out. Whatever the lesson may have been, the Outer Banks seems to have come through this in very good shape, we’re open for business and definitely ready for the next big event . . . which will be the Outer Banks Marathon weekend, November 9-11.