hurricane irene blog

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As Hurricane Irene gets closer our biggest issue remains heavy rain.  It comes in waves, sometimes pouring so hard it completely restricts visibility.  At other times it almost looks like the sun could pop out.  The wind continues to build steadily. I’ve heard of 50-miles per hour gusts in Annapolis.  Thomas Point Lighthouse has reported gusts up to 42 knots.

The strongest wind recorded so far has been atop the Bay Bridge.  They recorded a gust of 53 miles-per-hour at 4:11 P.M. and announced Phase III restrictions.  That means no light trucks or hitched trailers.  They will close the bridge when wind speeds reach 55-miles-per-hour.  I think they expect that soon because I noticed emergency vehicles staging to close the road at any time.

We’ve had a few limbs come down, but nothing serious.  Just after 2:00 P.M. the hurricane seemed to be taking a more northerly track that would have put it coming right up the Bay toward us, but she’s wobbled back east now.  Either way, it’s appearing that we might get more of a storm surge than was initially predicted.  Our house sits about 4 feet above sea level on a 2-foot foundation, so we won’t be worried unless the surge approaches 6 feet.  On the other hand, there are lots of waterfront homes and business that are much lower.  Some weather sites are predicting a 4- to 8-foot surge.

I looked around a little and the water in the Bay is coming up, but it’s nothing more than a high tide right now.  This is also the predicted high tide period for today, so there’s still nothing unusual on the water.  It’s a new moon, so wider fluctuations are normal. There are some pretty steep waves out there though with reports of some over 4-feet in the Mid-Bay.  That’s nothing by ocean standards, but a little rough for the Bay.  We are no where near the full impact of the storm yet, so we’ll see what happens.

For now, our major concern is flash flooding.  Most of the storm drains are overwhelmed and there is standing water on all the roads.  We have a long way to go before this one is over.