Here Comes Sandy
The wind is starting to gear up. I was washing the dishes and looking out the window at the backyard, and a very scary gust came through and just tossed the trees around. The last map I saw showed the hurricane coming over us tonight. Tropical storm winds could stick around as long as Wednesday morning. This is insane. Tonight, we could get wind gusts up to 80 mph (129 kph) with sustained winds around 40-50 mph (64-80 kph).
But, as far as it goes for those hit by the hurricane, we are lucky. Even though it looks like we will have hurricane-force winds--a first for my lifetime, at least as far as I can remember--we will be on the outskirts. We are not near water, here in the foothills, so flooding is not a concern for us as it is for so many towns and cities along the east coast. We will not take a direct hit. My thoughts go out to those on the coast and in Jersey and New York, who are looking to bear the brunt of it.
Ocean City has been whalloped.
ETA: The video won't post, so you'll have to use your imaginations with the images below. ;)
The fishing pier is gone, at least up to the fishing shack at the top of it. Here is the pier at the start of the storm yesterday. As someone who has been out on this pier more times than I can count--it's fifty cents to sight-see, so Bobby and I usually walk out on it every time we go down to the inlet--and who knows how high the pier is, and has leaned on my elbows on those railings many times to look for skates in the water below, those waves are huge.
And ... gone. :(
It is being reported that, in places, the sea on one side and the bay on the other have met, so parts of the city are completely underwater at this point. Geographically speaking, Ocean City is a tiny strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Assawoman Bay (no, I am not making that name up) on the other. There is a small inlet at the south end that separates it from Assateague Island, which is 100% parkland and best known for its wild ponies. OC was apparently carved out by a hurricane, and local harbingers like to speculate that it will one day be wiped off the map by a hurricane. In places, the amount of land between ocean and bay is negligible; if you stay in a bay-side hotel, you walk to the beach on the "opposite side" of OC.
The storm surge coming over the barriers on the Boardwalk, ocean side.
The inlet parking lot. What you see as water, ordinarily, would be a huge parking lot with a wide beach behind it.
Bayside and 9th Street.
This appears to be Coastal Highway, the road that runs the length of OC, so shows the convergence of ocean and bay.
ETA2: The Boardwalk shop Ocean Gallery has a Boardwalk webcam but, just like during Irene, I can't get it to load anything but ancient images. I guess I should expect that of a webcam attached to a building that is literally covered in garbage!/ETA
Here, the wind gusts are getting stronger. From my window, I can see the white pines that border the back of our property. The winds aren't strong yet to bend the trunks, but they are giving the branches quite a thrashing. It's frightening to see. I remember Tropical Storm Floyd (on my 18th birthday!!) when I was still living with my parents, watching the winds play with the tuliptrees in the woods behind the house. (Tuliptrees are the tallest deciduous trees in our area, reaching 150 feet or 45 m.) I've no doubt it will reach that point here soon.
I don't know how much longer I will have Internet access, but I will keep trying to post updates. In the meantime, to all who are in the path of this monster, be safe. I am thinking of you.
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!