Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Hard Rain’s-a-Gonna Fall

Like everyone else who lives on the East Coast, I am bracing myself for the impact from Hurricane Irene. Fortunately, where I live in Northern Virginia is well inland and not even near the tidal Potomac River. The last time we went through this was with Hurricane Isabel in 2003. That time we lost power for a day-and-a-half at my place and had to boil water for a few days after that. Isabel, however, tracked much farther inland than this storm, which is looking to severely impact the coastline from the Carolinas northward. Though initially more powerful, Isabel was also a much smaller storm. Irene is monster-sized.

Back in 1999, I happened to be on a work trip down in Georgia when Hurricane Floyd roared up the East Coast. That time I had the unfortunate experience of getting caught up in the largest civilian evacuation in U.S. history as much of the state of Florida bugged out before that monstrous storm, only to have it make a last minute turn and slam into the Carolinas instead. Such is a reminder that, even with all of our modern forecasting technology, these things still have quite an element of chance to them. For me it was an awful 14-hour drive to find a hotel room in North Carolina, only to wake up the next day with the storm bearing down on me anyway.

I hope everyone within the path of this monster stays safe. Don’t take any foolish chances out there this weekend. Subject to the power going out or the Internet going down, I’ll report back in with the effects as we experience them here in the DC area. As of right now, it looks like the first rain bands are a couple of hours away.


  1. Stay safe. I rode out Floyd in Central NC and just the tiny experience with hours and hours of ferocious winds and rain, was enough hurricane for me. I'll take my chances on a Tornado in the Midwest.

  2. Be safe, Bill (and all of you in the monster's path.) We'll be keeping you in our thoughts.

  3. Thanks, guys. So far, we've had about six hours of on and off light-to-moderate rain and just a few moderate gusts of wind.