August 29, 2011


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Well, we're still bewildered that we have power. No one in our immediate area aside from our neighborhood and an adjoining road does.

Most of the early part of today was spent cleaning up the yard.

This afternoon, I drove over to Newport News and later Virginia Beach to check on friends who weren't answering their phones...they are OK, modern landline phones don't work with no power.

Along the way I noted the damage, which consisted of a lot of blown down trees and missing signs.

Now, the storm lasted a LONG time here. It spawned tornadoes and its surge, which was abnormally high for storm of its intensity, came at the highest tide of the year. There was also a LOT of rain.

As hurricanes go, this was a pretty gimp event.

This is Virginia, which happens to be in the coastal southeast. We are going to get hurricanes. I don't think that sustained hurricane force winds were actually recorded at ground level in Virginia. We actually endured a CAT 0.8. Such a storm ought not to have left just under a million people without power. It ought not to have collapsed a bridge. We wasted all that money on bailouts, and in the stimulus, and we didn't do jack for the actual infrastructure. Given the disruption and damage caused by this"hurricane by technicality", an actual CAT 4 or 5 storm would not have just left almost a million without power, it would have left nearly as many dead and shut down the whole state.

These were all lessons that ought to have been learned after Isabel. We've had 8 years.

It should be noted however, that there were some good points.  The storm drains which had been such a colossal failure during Isabel and Floyd and contributed to so much flooding, seemed to work very well this time except in areas that were very low lying anyway...and physics comes into play there.   So there was one civil engineering win.

In other good news, all that rain surely put out the fire Great Dismal Swamp so we don't...wait...what?...OH YOU ARE KIDDING ME!1!!

Grrr...Fires, earthquakes, storms...if there are suddenly swarms of bugs I'm gonna...

Oh good grief...

Bugnadoes!? In MY neighborhood?

They don't show up well on the Blackberry camera but that's how thick the bugs are right now.

I'm off to work.

I hope everyone else is safe.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 12:06 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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August 27, 2011

Irene is Coming

It looks like flooding will continue to worsen in Chesapeake for a time, but aside from severe thunderstorms, the possibility of tornadoes and the strange phenomenon of the wind being worse in what should be the least dangerous quadrant the worst seems to be over or us.

The same can't be said for the rest of the country. Remember, we were having a mild drought when these rains came, the Northeast has been soaked already. The huge rain on saturated ground and the possibility of an 8 foot storm surge and a high tide arrival is going to be a very rude awakening to Northeasterners.  The storm is already reorganizing and strengthening a bit as I type this. Weather Nerd has more. 

North Carolina and Virginia took a hit but those still in its path may well get the worst of it.

If you are northeast of here, this storm is NOT spent and it is coming toward you.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:38 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Irene's Parting Gifts

The storm is now offshore, but she held the worst waited for last. WNIS, which is broadcasting from Dominion Tower, is reporting the Elizabeth River is now topping the Norfolk seawall, financial district flooded. Dominion Tower parking garage is flooded. 
Caller reports hip high water in Fox Hill in Hampton.
Water mains have broken in Norfolk.

UPDATE: Nags Head reports that Albermarle Sound is overflowing and breaching the barrier island west to east....this will sweep everything out to sea.

UPDATE: Governor McDonnell  sez: 877,470 without power. 3 Deaths confirmed 1 in Richmond area. ALL major bridges and tunnels out of commission.

UPDATE: The storm is 30 miles offshore but the wind is the worse yet. House is shaking.  Radio reports Tidewater Drive is impassable. 6 inches of water in back yard. Reports on radio indicate LOTS of flooding.

UPDATE: I've just been informed that Wonderduck has better flooding pics.

 UPDATE: Wind sounds like thunder. Lights flickering. Sounds like branches are breaking. Bizarre that we get this now.

UPDATE: Radio says Midtown Tunnel not reopening. Great.

UPDATE: Radio says Richmond and Fredricksburg have a really large number of power outages.

21:41 UPDATE: The storm is more than 45 miles off shore and Naval Air Station Oceana STILL reports 69MPH wings in the "safe" quadrant. We've been getting the worst winds of the day since the storm passed offshore.

21:50 UPDATE: Radio Weather Dude says that the storm is strengthening as it passes over the water which is why we are getting more wind. There is a posibility that the Midtown Tunnel may open by Monday.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:21 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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Curfew in Force

Portsmouth announced a go into effect after the worst has passed.

The Portsmouth curfew was in effect as of 8 p.m. and was to be lifted at 8 a.m. Sunday. No person shall be on any public street between those hours unless for an emergency or essential purpose or operation of a business, the city said.

Well then...

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:47 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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The Granby Street Bridge Has Collapsed

Info comes via WNIS.

No other info, but my commute to school from work has gotten longer.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 05:21 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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A Few Quick Pics

We had a break in the storm about an hour ago and as part of my overall policy of making bad decisions I ran out to move my car (which was being menaced by a steadily listing tree) and drove around the neighborhood for a few minutes.

15 -21 inches of rain is what they're saying.

Everything smells like rotting fish.

702,413 reported without power in VA. Our neighborhood is an anomaly that is not likely to last long.
The break in the storm is well and truly over. The winds are picking up rapidly and the rain is again coming down in sheets.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 05:06 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Yikes! ( Unrelated to Storm)

This doesn't concern the storm, but it's of concern nonetheless.

If the R.O.U.S.s team up with the C.H.U.D.s New York is in trouble.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 02:02 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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This should not be news but...In marked contrast to The Weather Channel, the local network affiliates and the local Talk Station  (AM 790 WNIS) are doing a stellar job of reporting the situation. Dave Parker the Talk Host is a consummate professional.

Weather Nerd is doing a fine drama free coverage of this on a national level.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 01:55 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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2 tornadoes have touched down in Sandbridge, a lowlying area of Virginia Beach near the NC state line containing the northernmost of the sounds and barrier islands. A caller on the radio reports considerable damage. The area is in the no go zone, no responders will be sent till after the storm passes.

Tornado warnings a bit ago in Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk but they have been lifted.

Via 790AM WNIS: Brookridge Apts in Newport News has been stove by a tree. A child is reportedly pinned.
Chid is dead.

Winds are picking up substantially.

350,000 380,000 without power.

Caller on radio reports Blackwater River is flooding the town of Franklin which suffered so much in Floyd.

5 hours till maximum winds. It looks like the dead center will pass right over us. There is expected to be a 7 foot storm surge or greater and will coincide with high tide.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 01:07 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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