Life Is A Beach: Something Heavy Looms

 

Something heavy looms overhead, something heavier than the clouds gathering above the shoreline. Even the air felt dense, like walking through thick fog. People seemed in tune, a little more gentle, a little more aware, soaking up whatever peaceful moments the remaining weekend held. The pier was packed. Many with cameras, of which I was one, even more with rod and reel. A few toted surf boards under their arms, brave enough to chance the rising waves. The birds were on red alert, I studied them as they all clustered together on the rooftop, taking flight every few sounds, only to settle again in the same spot. One high above the chaotic churn of the sea. We wait on Irene. Perhaps the elders at the end of the pier understood, as they stood, locked arm in arm, gazing out into the ocean. Perhaps they had heard the newscasters just as I had: “This hurricane could reshape the East Coast.” I shivered, put away my camera, located the girls and the grandparents somewhere closer to the other end, and headed back for shore. At least for now, the sand still tickled my feet as I walked back to the car. I wonder, will it be there tomorrow?

 

UPDATE: AUG 26/11 4:13 PM Thunder. Lightning. Rain. Winds. Power blips. Already, with the storm not even making landfall yet, 6,000 people without power and 250 people in shelters. The hospital is in lockdown. No one in or out until it’s lifted. The beach has a curfew, and lots of places have voluntary evacuations. The bridges are closing once winds hit 45 mph. I wanted to get some pictures today, but the weather didn’t cooperate. We are under a flood warning and a hurricane watch tonight. Not sure how much longer the power will stay. The house power is out according to the online map of outages. Glad we headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s. Signing off to the rhythm of the rain on the window pane.

UPDATE: AUG 27/11 5:08 AM Irene made landfall North of us at Cape Lookout. I woke to the news. The rain, gusts, and storms continue. This large storm, now 700 mile from end to spiraling end, is mostly behind us. However the effects are still to be seen. Outages continue, fortunately we have been spared.More than 55,000 people in New Hanover county are without power, my house included. There may be flooding between here and there. I don’t know if I can make it home. The rain is expected to continue throughout the day. The sound of the rain lulled me to sleep. The tide is high this morning, and into it the surge from the storm, and its easy to understand why flooding is the worst concern. My prayers are with all those still yet to see the historical size of this hurricane. Despite being downgraded to a Category 1 storm, the sheer size(now twice as big as the continent of Europe) is historical. New York City is running scared, with its first mandatory evacuation in the city’s history, and rightly so! Better safe, than otherwise. Maybe today, the wind will calm and the camera can go out and play.

 

UPDATE: AUG 27, 2011, 12:43 PM I made it to the house. The power is restored, very little debris. The cat, who has been part of my family longer than my husband, fared best of all. Fat, happy, and dozing when I went to let her out of the bathroom. En route to the homestead, I witnessed and photographed fallen trees, some snapped in two, swollen river beds, happy crows- all this rain dredged up succulent grubs of all varieties. There is minor clean up to be done, but all in all we fared better than most. As Irene makes her trek northward, I hope they find themselves so fortunate. Headed down to the coast to see what it looks like there….

 

UPDATE: AUG 29, 2011, 04:49 AM Its amazing what a two day time span can do to a shoreline. When we arrived Saturday after the rain stopped, the sand was all but gone, the beautiful white replaced by the flat black underlying clay. It looked as if the whole shore had been charred. I didn’t have the camera, so we walked along collecting shells, storms always wash up some treasures. I found an unscathed large conch shell and several open clam shells still intact. Happy with my finds, I returned to the car and headed home. I photographed some sunset pictures after the storm from the comfort of my driveway. Storms make for beautiful clouds.

 Yesterday I went back to the scene of the disaster and what a surprise to find a thin layer of sand washed in from the ocean. I took some photos anyway, mostly of the girls. We’ll see how they turn out. It wont be long and the dredging pipes will be set up. Massive erosion from the hurricane, that’s the biggest hurdle now. As of yesterday evening, they were still reporting an estimated 8000 New Hanover County residents without power. Hoping my northward friends fared okay in the storm. I saw Old Baldie yesterday on the news, she’s flooded, as I’m sure are many other lighthouses from here on up the cape, but the light still shines out to sea, welcoming weary travelers, its good to be home again.

 

Something Heavy Looms © 2011 Sarah Scott. Follow Sarah for more prose and stories—click here. Images by Sarah Scott, 2011 Visit Sarah’s blog.

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2 Responses to “Life Is A Beach: Something Heavy Looms”
  1. Ricky Martin says:

    Good post. Its realy good.

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