Batten down the hatches, here comes Earl. And if Earl doesn’t get us there is Fiora out there and then some unnamed menace behind her. Yes, the hurricane season is upon us.
Right now, the most eminent danger is Earl who is classified as a category 4 hurricane at present. The Outer Banks and coastal North Carolina are right in his path. The weird thing about hurricanes is that they have a mind of their own. Earl could slam North Carolina or it could veer right abruptly and head on out to sea, to die a slow death as it reaches colder waters. No one totally understand hurricanes.
A century ago, before weather instruments were as exact, people didn’t have much warning about hurricanes. Huge killer storms were right on top of people before they knew what hit them. Hundreds, even thousands were killed. I am sure people felt the air, the fallen barometeric pressure , and saw extra mushrooms coming up in unexpected places. But they didn’t always heed what little warning they did have. Folks in Texas, along the Gulf Coast and Florida probably have been beaten up the most from these killer monster storms. They are not alone, however.
The Atlantic coast has had its share of hurricanes. They can zip right up the coast, all the way to Nova Scotia. Some of our hardest hit areas have been in New England. Hurricanes can also come inland. They quickly become tropical depressions and storms but still pack a wallop. Hurricanes named Anges, Betsy, Camille, Donna, Hazel and Isabel all are evidence of the damage and flooding that can happen inland.
Long time residents of Manassas will never forget Agnes. Although downgraded to a tropical storm, Agnes dumped tons of water in our area and towards the mountains. Bull Run and the Occoquan both flooded. Some houses at Lake Jackson were under water. The old bridge in the Town of Occoquan was taken out. The worst hit area was West Gate/Loch Lomond. Many houses were under water and all you could see were roof tops. People were rescued from these roof tops. The project to keep such disaster from striking that area again was just finished a few years ago.
As we wait to see the course of this latest threat, we need to make sure we have plenty of bottled water, candles, cell phones charged, laptops charged, rx’s filled, batteries for flashlights, weather radios, matches and lighters etc. I am sure our readers can contribute ideas for hurricane preparation. Even if we don’t get a direct hit, we can get enough rain or flooding to cause diruption in our lives or even danger.
Hazel Path through Virginia, 1954
Update: 9/1/10 4 pm