As Atlantic hurricanes are wont to do, Florence’s land fall was unpredictable on Monday as she menacingly threatened the U.S. east coast. On Monday, Florence was a Category 5 hurricane. Today it has been downgraded to a Cat 2. With the least provocation flooding is sure to occur with all the bays, canals, creeks, lakes, rivers, sounds, and streams crisscrossing the below-sea-level east coast.
On Friday, October 7, my school held it’s annual fall mile run event on the boardwalk. A front was moving in from the west, coinciding with winds from Hurricane Matthew, which was curving east and heading out into the Atlantic. At least, that was what the National Hurricane Center and our local weathermen were predicting. The skies looked ominous, but not atypical of local frontal storms. The students ran their mile with the wind slowing their times.
It’s been muggy, hot, with afternoon thunderstorms and lightening. Last Thursday, my little school by the sea was caught in a mini-tornado that lasted all of a minute, was only an F-0 and was contained in a small 5-block area. It was gone as soon as it appeared.
Tornadoes aren’t the norm for our area. (Hurricanes? Yep.) F-0. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Tell that to the house next to our school gymnasium. They lost their top floor. Other homes lost roof shingles and windows.
The school gymnasium lost part of the back roof and had many windows blown out. The light pole (bottom of above photo) was ripped right out of its base – – onto parked cars.
Across the street, an old beach cottage lost windows and part of its slate roof. Next door, a surf shop’s windows blew out.
Beach goers use the gym parking lot during the summer. The two lot attendants’ hut was hurdled across the lot and thrown down into the street. They were hurt, but are mending. Many of the vehicles lost windows.
Many thoughts: Grateful our parking lot friends are going to be okay. Thankful that school is out for the summer. Humbled.
It’s been six days since. These photos were taken with my iPhone and do not convey the damage adequately. The images show the “cleaned up” after version. We are used to wind and rain, edge of hurricane storms. NOT tornadoes. Crazy weather.
w.o.w. – – Joanne