Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We came home October 18th from the Outer Banks NC

We came home on October 18th ~ Got out just in time

They were not even calling for a storm to hit that area when we left

This article is from the Island Free Press Newspaper

Go to and check out the slideshow of damage

October 20, 2008
A small storm causes big trouble on Hatteras Island....By IRENE NOLAN
A rather unremarkable coastal storm has caused a remarkable amount of damage on Hatteras Island.The storm system formed on Saturday night, Oct. 18, along the remnants of a cold front that dumped almost an inch of rain on the island. As the storm deepened, the pressure gradient between the low to the east and a high pressure system to the north sent the winds to gale force along the coast and had huge waves crashing onto north facing beaches.At least one oceanfront house in northern Rodanthe was destroyed, and Highway 12 was closed to traffic off and on both Sunday and Monday during the high tide.The house that was destroyed was a three-story, five-bedroom rental cottage on Sea Haven Drive, built just five years ago and valued at $942,400 by Dare County.Other oceanfront properties were condemned because of more minor damage, such as steps that were washed away or damaged septic and water lines. A total amount of property damage and number of condemned houses was not available from Dare County on Monday evening.The destroyed cottage, called Caramore and owned by Daniel and Lindora Sargent of Whitehouse Station, N.J., was pummeled by the big waves on Sunday morning. It started leaning precariously to the south and continued swaying and groaning through the high tide at noon on Sunday. By afternoon, all of the pilings had collapsed, and the house was resting on the beach and in the ocean.“Dan and I were shocked,” Lin Sargent said in a telephone interview. “We didn’t even know there was a storm.”Sargent said she and her husband had a call from Surf or Sound Realty, their management company, on Sunday afternoon, but that they did not find out how badly damaged the house was until they were called by a newspaper reporter on Sunday night who sent them a photo.“When you see it in a photo, then it’s real,” she said.The Sargents have been visiting the Outer Banks, she said, for 33 years. She is a teacher, and her husband is a retired police officer who works in construction. Finally, she said, they were able to buy property. They finished building their “dream house” in September, 2003, just before Hurricane Isabel.The professionally decorated house had five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, a swimming pool, a hot tub, a game room with bumper pool and a wet bar, and many other amenities, including a spectacular ocean view. It rented this year for $5,495 a week in the prime season.“We always worked to keep that house up,” Lin Sargent said. “My husband spent time every year rebuilding the dune, planting beach grass, and installing sand fencing.”However, the dune could not hold the ocean back on Sunday morning. The ocean knocked down Caramore and damaged other houses. The famous – or perhaps infamous – cottage known as Serendipity, at which much of the current hit movie “Nights in Rodanthe” was filmed, was again sitting in the ocean – surrounded by water and waves on all sides. It’s newly repaired septic tank was once again damaged.On Sunday at the noon high tide, traffic was backed up on Highway 12 as visitors tried to leave the island and others were trying to get on to check into their week-long rentals. The North Carolina Department of Transportation tried its best to move sand and water off the road between high tides to let vehicles through. Still, many of them were moving through a foot or more of saltwater.This same scene was replayed at the high tide at mid-day Monday.The coastal low that brought the high tides was not a classic northeaster, according to Casey Dail, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Newport, N.C., and Frank Rosenstein, a forecaster at the Hydrometerological Prediction Center in Maryland, who owns a condo in Hatteras village and keeps islanders updated on long-range storm forecasts.The wind, both Dail and Rosenstein agreed, was much more northerly than northeasterly.And the wind did not blow all that hard. The official reading on Hatteras Island from Billy Mitchell Airport measured a sustained wind of 25 and a highest gust of 41 on Saturday. On Sunday, the highest sustained wind was 23 and the highest gust was 30.Dail that that unofficial reports measured sustained winds in the lows 30s with highest gusts up to 43 mph.Rosenstein warns that another weather system is setting up for later this week, which also could be problematic.“I may not be quite as windy,” he said, “but the winds will be more northeast.”That, Rosenstein said, could be more trouble for the vulnerable Rodanthe area. Tides, he said, will continue to run about a foot above normal this week, and the moon will be new at the end of the week, which means astronomically higher tides.So even a lesser storm with more northeast winds could bring trouble.Stay tuned to the forecasts.

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