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Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Posted by novaplantguy_z7b_8a Alexandria VA 7B/ (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 25, 11 at 12:52

Well, as the hours and says roll by it is becoming more and more clear / likely that Hurricane Irene is going to have dramatic impacts all along the east coast from North Carolina/Virginia, all the way up into New England and beyond. So I thought I would start this thread now for everyone to post their condition reports, damage reports , photos, etc, and to discuss affects on / damage to our plams.

At any rate, the forecast models have been pushing the track of this storm back west over the past day or so, and that trend is continuing now. With each model run the track is shifting slightly back west and now almost all models have it making at least 1 land fall on the outer banks, NC. However, the two most reliable and accurate models (The European: ECMWF and the GFS) take this storm basically almost up the 95 corridor / Chesapeake bay / DelMarVa. Even the GDFL (still considered very reliable) Takes this more west, and has many cities taking direct, or very near direct hits. Places of most concern at this point are Eastern NC, Southeastern VA, DelMarVa, as well as the Jersey shore, and NYC, LI, and even Boston. That is not to take away from the fact that if these tracks hold cities like D.C., Philly will also have big impacts what at least gale force, if not hurricane force sustained winds, and LOTS and LOTS of rain. This could be another event that is as bad, or even possibly worse than Isabel was for Washington D.C. back in 2003, ESP if it follows the most westerly model track which brings it directly over Washington. Even if this tracks just off the coast, the circulation is so incredibly large that Tropical storm force winds with much higher gusts will be felt 200+ miles inland. The storm, being as large as it is will likely also take alot longer to weaken once it does interact with / come over land. Worst case is that it blows up into a CAT 4, and makes multiple landfalls in NC, Southeastern VA / DelMarVa Peninsula, and again along the Jersey shores / NYC / Long Island, and again near Boston / Cape Cod MA.

Either way, the majority of the Mid Atlantic / Northeast is going to be dealing with very high winds, and very heavy rainfall, and as with all landfalling tropical systems, the thread of spin up tornadoes. This is, and likely will be a very dangerous storm for those areas, the likes of which we have not seen in quite a long time.

So, all that said, here is the latest spaghetti models.

As you can see it is looking more and more like a very large problem, for a very large number of people, over a very wide area.

I have also placed a link at the bottom. This animation shows 4 of the models runs through the track / duration of the storm until it exits the US. These do not paint a pretty picture for any of us. It is an animated map of 4 different models. You can use the controls to the side to speed up, slow down, or stop the animation. It looks scary in deed.

Anyway, I hope everyone battens down the hatches and stays safe. Please post your reports / photos etc here.

Laura and Dixieboy, a special note to you two because I think out of all of us on here that are going to be impacted, you two stand to take the absolute WORST brunt of this storm. Please eep us updated as best you can. You will definitely be in all of our thoughts. My partners mother also lives down there near you Laura, so she is going to get about the same as you. We are a bit worried for all of you. Be safe!

Here is a link that might be useful: Animated Model Run of Hurricane Irene up US East Coast.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

They are expecting Hurricane force winds or close to it here! Im really worried for NC and southeast VA because it is expected to still be a major hurricane when it hits there. Definitely something to take seriously. Im hoping for the best, but I have many plants ready to go inside!
-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

I made the same observation; although most models are tracking Irene right over or close to NYC and its trending westward, the weather channel is(was?) hesitant to move the strike cone with NYC or Atlantic city as direct targets. There's just too many folks living in these parts and it could be a bad hit.

Alex, the most relieable model currently takes a cat 2 storm over the city - winds up to 111 mph not counting gusts. They are being very careful not to call it too soon for NYC and I get the feeling they keep waiting for the model to change away from the populated areas. As time goes on the prediction models are actually showing it even worse then previously thought.

Strike Zone Residents: Be certain you have bottled water, canned food, a battery operated radio, flash lights and cash on hand with a full gas tank. Stay away from fallen powerlines and street puddles until you know its safe. Park your car away from big trees.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Ken,

To be pefectly honest....Im really nervous!!!!

I have a bad feeling about this one...im hoping im wrong...but i am not feelin good about this beast...

Winds here are already strong, and its not to hit until late friday or sat morning...

I have decided to bring in everything...

Not going to chance it...my trees mean everything to me..

Today me and my DH are taking the lines to tie up all of the furniture together...im watering some of the large containes to keep them heavy and clearing out anything that cn become a projectile...

Stores are nuts...people at the grocery are acting like they wont live without the last can of soup...LOL

So imm just going to get a few basics and be done with it...

What else to do...

What drives me nuts? We just had a new roof put onn last week...Uggggg!

SIding is being put on today...LOL its what ill be watching fly off of the house soon...

Hope u are doing well up in Nova...

ill keep u posted...

if im not on the forum...u will know why..no power...

Take care and thank you for thinking of us!!!

Laura in VB


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

What a year for weather(etc).
Esp in the east,all time record highs,tornadoes,flooding,
earthquakes,record snowfalls and now....
possibly a hurricane.

Maybe a Tsunami this fall to put a bow on things?-Argh!

Amazing!

Here in the mid-west(other places too I am sure)we
get 60-70mph winds at least a couple times a year.
They usually don't last for 2-4 hours though....
that is truly rough,just relentless!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Laura, yeah we are nervous for you down there as well. I have not started preps just yet, but I will tomorrow morning especially if this track holds. I think I may leave out my largest palms. My once little pigmy date palm is now got almost 3 feet of trunk and my largest one is now 8 feet at its leaf tips. I will be able to secure those, and the large one is VERY VERY heavy when wet. I have steel rebar stakes that are 5 feet I can drive into the ground and secure things with those. Most everything else will likely be put up against the side of the house the winds WONT be coming from, and the small plants will all come inside, as will all the lighter furniture, umbrella, cushions, etc. I'm probably going to tape up the front windows as well. They are HUGE, plate glass, with no panes in them, and if those things blow out we will be in trouble.

Isabel did a fair amount of damage to my partner's mother's home in Smithfield, VA. Im almost glad they no longer live in the big farmhouse directly on the James River in Rescue. The house was (is) literally right on the river, and as you know the river is a very wide and huge body of water down that way. Winds have a very long time to gain speed with no obstructions coming across the river, and the storm surges may have that house under water. They still live close to the river, but probably not in a storm surge flood zone. But, their new home, while big, IS in an area that is heavily forested. LOTS of very large, tall trees, especially loblolly pines right near the house. During Isabel they were stuck there for 5 days, and had no power for two weeks. Fortunately the two ladies that live across the street have a large generator and did run them a power cord to power essentials like the fridge. If there is one thing she is good at, is having MASSIVE amounts of food on hand at all times! LOL! I swear we would both be fat if we lived anywhere near her. The other good thing I suppose is that she is not alone. My partners sister, and her two kids and husband live there with her now (its a BIG house) so at least she wont be left alone.

Seems like hour by hour, this situation is growing more grim. I think the gov of VA has now declared a state of emergency, and the Navy is sending all of its ships out of port out to sea. It is looking more and more like Norfolk is going to take a DIRECT hit, and VA Beach could very well be in the right front (northeast) quadrant which puts it in the very worst part of the storm. Then either up the 95 corridor, or directly up the Chesapeake Bay. BOTH of those scenarios are fairly horrific, for Va Beach, DC and Baltimore. If this thing comes up the bay, were talking HUGE storm surge even all the way up to D.C. (on the tidal Potomac river) and Baltimore. When Isabel came up it was 50 miles west of DC and was a weak Cat 1, and even that produced the second highest water mark ever recorded here in Old Town Alexandria on the Potomac river of 11.5 feet. The high mark was 12 feet and I believe that was Hazel that did that. Add that on top of the hurricane force winds we are now almost expecting up here and things are going to get ugly up here too. Then it could ride the coast, keep it near yet MORE water, and give NYC a direct hit as well. The longer this goes on the more and more consistent the models are getting now with only a couple hundred miles of divergence between the farthest east and farthest west. The farthest EAST model still has it hitting OBX, NC, and the farthest WEST has it just west of DC and moving NE away from us towards NYC.

This storm is now showing up on most of our local weather forecasts as "tropical storm conditions" for Saturday into Sunday and showing winds speeds of 40-50 mph with gusts over 70MPH. And thats our LOCAL forecast here! The last time I saw this kind of local forecast was when Isabel hit.

If I were you in VA Beach, Norfolk, or anywhere in Eastern NC / Southeast VA, I would seriously consider boarding up windows, or at the very least making a tape star on each window with very strong duct or opaque packing or other strong tape. We are probably going to do that here since we have two very LARGE plate glass windows on the front of our house with no panes in them. I did this during Isabel and have done it before. Its not uncommon for people to do even up here. I lived on the 14th floor of a high rise at the time and we faced east / southeast and took the brunt of the winds for most of the time. Being that high the winds were much worse, around 95MPH up there. About 20 of the big plate glass windows we all had in those places did blow out on my side of the building and the ones that were taped like mine at least did not blow glass all over and some even partially stayed in place. THe ones with no tape, blew completely out and filled the units with flying glass Do you live near a water way? That could be another thing to consider.

I also hope we hear from Dixieboy as well. I know those of you on the jersey shore and NY area are also in harms way (as all of us on the east coast are) but really eastern NC and SE Virginia is probably going to get the very highest of the high winds. We will all be thinking of you and those nearest the coast and hope that things come through relatively unscathed.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Hurricane Warning now posted for Eastern NC, including the OBX. Hurricane Watch now from the VA/ NC border to Delaware Bay. Tropical Storm watch for entire Chesapeake Bay, including Washington, D.C., Tidal Potomac River, Patuxent, and all other adjacent tidal waters of the bay, and all the way north to Baltimore City, MD.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Ken,

It's going to hit us....

Trying to prepare the best as i can.

Trees are all coming inside, not into the greenhouse.

They have mandatory evacuations for the city of Va. Beach!!!

Ugggg!

Taping up windows tomorrow, boat is tied to lift.

Gas stations are out of gas...

Good Luck, everyone...

Expecting to loose power for at least a week...

Laura in VB


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Get ready for the dud of the century.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

LOL @ Jim! You know, I was out today just picking up some things running errands, some in prep for Irene, and some just everyday things we need, etc, and some I have just been meaning to get. Anyway, It was an absolute MADOUSE here today. (D.C. Area) You'd think that the world was about to end tomrrow or something. The stores were absolutely insane. Parking was insane. Empty shelves, no flashlights, radios, batteries, nothing. Thank goodness I have stockpiled most of that stuff already so I dont really need any of it. Anyway, As I was going about getting things done today, I was having the exact same thought that you posted. I just got this feeling that this very well could turn out to be the biggest DUD of the century. The run up to every hurricane is always intense, and always way over done 24/7 media coverage. That is a given, and I suppose that is a good thing to keep people in formed. Again, a good thing. BUT, This one just seems almost over the top. Maybe its because its taking aim on the east coast. Who really knows. Wouldn't it be something if it just turned out to be a big old fashioned DUD? LOL. I know its not funny, and I know there is probably going to be damage, etc, but really, I'm not too certain this is going to be the "storm of the century" or anything like that, and in fact it very well could be a DUD. Its starting to look less organised, and now they the models are showing a Cat 1 when it crosses Va Beach / the southern Chesapeake Bay. Still, a big deal to be sure, and its wind field is absolutely HUGE, as is the whole storm. I think the big stories wont be some much mass destruction as it will be with large power outages and thousands or more of downed trees, and some flooding. I dunno, I just get the feeling that this storm is NOT going to be the massive dooms day storm of the century. Will it be bad in places, sure. Will some people likely get hurt or possibly die, well unfortunately, probably. But it just seems/ feels like its going to be more of a big giant, very long, very windy almost severe thunderstorm. Maybe im wrong. Maybe this thing will bomb out and turn into a cat 4 before it hits, but my gut all day has just been telling me that it would not, and sure enough when I got home a bit ago and checked, its now only supposed to be a CAT 1. Not diminishing its dangers, but a CAT 1 is no where near a Cat 3 or 4. Anyway, Most of my things are taken care of, stocked up on food, water, etc, and most things outside are now moved to secure positions. I suppose it is better to be safe than sorry right?

Looking forward to everyone's reports, photos, videos...etc. Everyone please be safe and stay out of harms way! All the best to all that are affected!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

I hope it is a dud!!! LOL!!!

Laura in VB


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Yea,where else is there so much **** in the way of a Hurricane
than on the east coast-it really is staggering to think what a major Hurricane could do
and they don't just go away as they really have a staggering amount of energy within but-
heres to hoping it just completely flops!

The eye-wall collapsed early this afternoon and will
not really redevelop before making landfall,now
we just need some dry air to discombobulate it a little more(-:

Good luck guys/gals!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Jim, a small bit of dry air got into it, but I don't think that is going to do much. There are signs that it is trying to reorganise, and the eye is trying to get its act back together. Weather or not it will have time to do it is still a question mark. The conditions are VERY FAVORABLE for that to happen though, and it is over the warmest water it has encountered. That said, with all the massive swells and sea churn, it could be causing upwelling along the coast and that could temporarily cool the surface temps considerably, which would help inhibit it. It is a MASSIVE STORM though. We already have the clouds over us, and they are moving from the ESE. From side to side, the could deck stretches 1,000 miles about. From Atlanta, GA all the way to Bermuda. The tropical storm force winds are almost 300 miles from the center, and hurricane force winds are about 100 miles from the center. Anyway, while it may not intensify much if any more, it is going to take a VERY LONG time for it to decay. It may be slightly less of a storm, but still it is going to remain a hurricane for a very long time, and even a TS very long after that. I think while winds are going to be a big factor, the DURATION of the heavy rain, and those winds will exacerbate that. The wetter the ground gets, the easier the trees go down, esp with 40,50,60,70, on up to 100 mph winds for such an extended time.

It did take a slight jog east, but the last couple of radar frames look like it is wobbling back towards the west now. My guess is that its probably going to wobble for a good while before it starts to really make that NE turn.

It has also been producing tornadoes as well, which is another thread from landfalling tropical systems.

Anyway, I'm sure well all have plenty of stories / pics/ videos to share. Should be a very interesting weekend to say the least. Be safe everyone!


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Interesting tidbit to add

Lady Liberty not in danger from Irene
The Statue of Liberty is not vulnerable to a storm surge, since the good lady stands atop a 65-foot high foundation and 89-foot high granite pedestal. However, the 305' height of the lady's torch above the foundation means the statue will experience winds a full Saffir-Simpson category higher than winds at the surface. The statue is rated to survive a wind load of 58 psf, which is roughly equivalent to 120 mph winds (Category 3 hurricane). However, a mid-strength Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds will be able to generate 120 mph winds at a height of 300 feet, and would theoretically be capable of toppling the Statue of Liberty. Winds from Irene should stay below 80 mph at 300 feet, and not pose a threat to the Statue of Liberty.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Thank God that the Statue of Liberty is in no danger! They have been having a lot of problems with it aging in the past years and Im not sure if people can go to the torch of it any more (or maybe they fixed that and they can again). Either way, think it will be fine because the winds wont be too terrible. The bridges might sway, but I think they will be good too.

-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Here on the north shore of MA it's pretty much still business as usual. It's HOT and MUGGY outside, there is no rush at the stores (maybe because I did my regular shopping yesterday for the weekend??).

I am putting all my small potted plants either up against a fence, behind mature plants, in a tucked away corner, etc. to keep these first year babies safe. I don't want to put them in the plastic shed that gets way too hot sometimes and then have them cook by accident.

Initial predictions of rain starting by 12PM have now changed to starting by 3PM. And with the latest path information, I'm only expected to get 40-50 MPH winds. Not too bad if that is really what it amounts to.

I am amazed at the very extreme weather this planet has experienced in the last couple of years, and really makes me wonder if Armageddon is coming.

Good luck everyone!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

While it is only a CAT 1, this storm is HUGE! Its still in eastern NC, and we are already feeling very heavy rains up here in the DC areas with 20-30MPH NE winds with gusts around 40 at times. Tonight is going to be hairy here I think. This is going to be a LONG duration event, and now they are saying it could last even longer because of the storms HUGE breadth, and slow forward speed. They have moved up some of the close by counties in Southern MD to a hurricane warning now as well, and they are going to experience gusts up to 85 mph. Ours are expected to reach 65MPH here in the immediate D.C. area, espeically along large bodies of water such as the Potomac River. The Chesapeake bay as well could see gusts over 75MPH. We are also probably going to get more rain than initially thought. Possibly 3-6" now here in the D.C. Area. Basically they are slightly shifting the worst affects a little bit west, and for a longer duration. We have only had 40 mph gusts at times so far, and already there are reports of a few trees down. The ground is fairly saturated and I'm sure that is helping to make the toppling of trees even easier. Minor flooding is already occurring along the Potomac River in Old Town Alexandria as well. Hard to believe that this storm is still some. 500 miles to our south/ southeast! Probably going to be a long night tonight for sure. Oh, and now parts of the area are under tornado watches as well. This thing seems to be spinning up a fair number of EF0 to EF1 "spin up" tornadoes already. What's going on in your area?

Stay safe everyone!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

I raced back from New England on thursday, a few days early to prepare. Spent Thursday night bringing in porch furniture and potted plants. Thankfully I don't have as many as some of you. Spent yesterday securing the house and putting away valuables in closets, drawers, cabinets and chests. Helped neighbor trailer his catamaranand otherbeach toys. Them packed car to evacuate. Tough decision on what to take and what to leave behind.

I live just on the edge of the Governor's mandatory evacuation zone. Some of my neighbors in Historic Lewes, Delaware are riding outand other left. I bugged out at 8 am this morning to a friend's house in Milford, DE just 20 miles NW of my home.

Track looks like it will crawl right along the northeasterly leaning coast of the DelMarVa towards the Jersey Shore. Be safe everyone.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

VERY HEAVY and STRONG bands coming in now. Just in the last half hour things have really ramped up. VERY heaving rains, and sustained winds of 35, but the gusts are going at least to 50, if not better now. Hard to believe this storm is STILL in NORTH CAROLINA!!! WOW! No wonder they keep telling us that the overnight is going to be the worst for us. This thing is still very far away and its doing this to us already. Incredible. The radar spread now extends from southern MAINE, yes MAIN, all the way to South Carolina. That is incredible!!!! WOW!

As you can see from the radar below, Most of VA, MD, DC and Baltimore are getting pelted. there is a band just east of here producing 65 MPH wind gusts that should come into DC in the next 30 to 40 minutes. Well see!

Be safe everyone.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Yikes, if thats happening in the DC area, I dont want to see what will be going on here in NYC since all the models (that I can find on the net) are now agreeing that the center of the hurricane will hit somewhere from just west of NYC to just east of NYC. Some heavy bands here, but nothing more than a rainy day so far.
-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

its right on top of us right now....

flooding all around....

power is on and off

no loss of palms yet...thankfully

winds are prettty powerful and the height of the flooding will be around 9 at high tide..

we are concerned about our boat in the backyard....water is over the bulkhead and the jet skies are about to float off of the lifts.... they are all tied down but the tide is still rising. DH is outside watching the boat right now...

Wind gust are up to maybe 75 plus but for the ,ost part we have been lucky...the eye is over us right now...

take care...

Laura in VB


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Oh, my gosh,laura. I hope everyone and everything will be ok. Im watching the news on the hurricane right now. It says: Nearly 900,000 customers without power. Alex,Laura and anyone else in the storm I hope you are all OK!
-Hunter


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Just got through about 3 hours of the absolute worst of it. They say its going to continue into tomorrow morning with increases and decreases in intensity going back and forth. Winds ramped up to about 40-50mph sustained with gusts around 60+ MPH. Trees and large branches started coming down, and there is some street flooding. The Potomac is washing over its banks in places mainly due to some slight surge, and the very LARGE waves (for a river) on top of that. 2-4 foot waves.

Took a quick trip the 8 blocks down to the river and here are a couple of photos I managed to get with my iPhone which got soaked. Fortunately after drying it out with the hair dryer it seems to be ok.

The rain was coming down so hard at times you could only see about 50-100 feet. It was going completely sideways and really stung your skin when it hit you. The "roar" of the storm was so loud you had to yell to even try to say anything to anyone. Anyway, heres the couple or so pics I did manage to get.

Both are on the western shore of the Potomac River in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

Looking across the Potomac into D.C. from Founders Park in Old Town. Small willow tree being flattened by a 60+MPH wind gust. This was the "worst" I could get, because when it was much worse than in the photo I could hardly stand up and everything mostly just turned white, with no real visibility. The River is about 1 mile wide at this part, but most of the time you could not see across it at all. During the worst parts, even the boat / dock in he background disappeared in a wall of white and it appeared like nothing was out there.


Looking across the Potomac to the east, this time from one of the many bulkheads in Old Town's waterfront. Winds were about 40 with the occasional gust to around 50. The rain, while still heavy, was much lighter in this photo. That with the lower wind speeds allowed me to actually see the river and the whitecaps on the 2-4 foot waves. This was just before the intense band we just went through moved in. When the band it, you could see nothing on the river, and even the tops of the waves were
being blown off into spray.

And one more, this is the boat that you can see part of in the last photo. Again, this was before the intense band hit with its 50-60+mph winds. The dock this boat is attached to is a floating pier, and it is already damaged partially, being ripped away from the bulkhead. Only 3 of the 8 giant steel screws are left holding it in place now and it is crooked. I hope they hold.

While we saw worse with Hurricane Isabel, this is still pretty incredible given that this storm is still all the way down in Virginia Beach, VA. Only gonna get worse here for the next 7-10 hours, then it should slowly start to improve.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Good luck Laura! I hope that you dont get too many problems from this storm! It sounds like your palms are doing well and Im very glad to hear that! My fig tree is already doing a 45 degree angle in this wind and we only had 30 mph gusts so far! Not sure if its going to make it through this storm in one piece.

Nice pics Novaplantguy. Im surprised to see boats by docks still. Must be a pretty expensive risk! The waves look very choppy and Im sure the wind must have been pretty brutal at times by the ocean!

Thanks Hunter!

Good luck everyone! Manhattan was a ghost town today and thats saying a lot considering that most cars usually drive at 20 mph because of the traffic!

Its pouring here now! Between the humidity and the rain, it is absolutely impossible not to get soaked! We got a little more than 1 inch of rain so far with up to 12 inches on the way. Winds arent too terrible, but some of the gusts are getting strong. None of my potted plants have fallen down yet, but I have to admit, I probably brought about 1/4 of them indoors.

-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Alex: Did it take you a long time to bring them all in? Are you going to put them back out when the hurricane passes or leave them in for the winter?


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

It took about 2 hours or so and I am going to bring them back outside because we still have a good 5 weeks of active growing season and a good 3 months of the growing season left.
The weather is getting cooler though and the most tender plants will be going inside in just a little over a month :( Pretty depressing to think about, but it was a good year!
-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

We are absolutely getting HAMMERED now. Just as predicted, the worst of the storm is between 10PM and about 4 or 5AM. The winds are now slightly switched out of the north instead of the northeast. VERY STRONG winds hitting now. Even stronger than the earlier band from when I posted the photos. Sustained around 40 or so MPH and gusts of 60 to 65MPH are coming very frequently now, along with VERY heavy, sideways rain. The rain at times looks like snow flying through the air and drifting along the streets. So far we have gotten (by my rain gauge) 3.1" of rain, with another 2-4" still to come. The worst is just now beginning to affect us. The winds on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay are now gusting to hurricane force. Chesapeake Beach just reported a gust to 74MPH, with sustained winds at 52MPH. That is just south of Annapolis MD.

In a few of the gusts in the last hour there have been flying debris, small tree limbs, and almost white out conditions because the rain being pushed and blown by the near hurricane force wind gusts. Many trees now down, large branches down. We have also gotten some lightening. It's the very odd 'purple' lightening that sometimes accompanies landfalling tropical systems. I could not hear of there was thunder because the wind was way too loud. It also was overhead, and moved away to the south along with that particular storm band. There have also been many power flashes which are blue, and come from the ground, and very loud "BZZZZT" and several very loud explosions. We have only had the power flicker, but no loss of power yet. The next 3-6 hours are probably going to be the worst and be VERY hairy here. Old town has flooded and receded twice now, and it could flood again.

Update on my partners mother who is in Smithfield, VA. We finally were able to get through. They have been without power since 5:30 am this morning. THere are numerous trees down blocking the way in and out of their neighborhood. Minor flooding. They have lost some roof shingles, and two large trees. Fortunately the trees fell away from the house, but the blocked the street. They do have 1 gennie, and are able to power their fridge and microwave. Not the best, but at least they are OK and things are not as bad as they could have been. For them this so far has been about as bad as Isabel.

For us up here, its not quite as bad as Isabel, but the winds are approaching the same levels we saw with Isabel, especially in the last hour. There are now more reports of damage coming in, and many roads closed, and a few injuries due to falling trees. And as I type this , there was just a huge flash and explosion, and the block across the street from us just lost power. Hopefully we wont be next.

Please be safe everyone!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Getting worse here now. The lights have been flickering and wind gusts are at about 40 mph. My weather station is recording a little over 2.50 inches of rain. People are starting to report power outages now and Im getting a bit worried about losing power also. There has been some lightining with this storm also. None of my potted plants have fallen down yet though!
-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Power finally came back on for those around us. Still more power flashes and explosions. Still getting HAMMERED here hard. 4.1" in my rain gauge now. it tops out at 5". Dunno how we have NOT lost power, but we have not yet. Pretty amazing when you consider all the trees down and all those without power around us. One thing I should note, the mayor of Alexandria VA lives about 3 blocks from me and is a personal friend. I think that may have something to do with why we do not lose power for more than 10-15 hours on end. When we had the microburst last summer with 100+MPH winds that ripped off roofs and downed hundreds of trees within a 1/2 mile radius of my house, we got power back in about 12 hours, while others even 10-12 blocks away were without it for about 3 days. I guess having Mr. Mayor live so close does have advantages! =o) Good luck with this storm up north. I hope its not as bad as it has been here.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Just in the last 15 minutes it has REALLY ramped up. We are getting absolutely pounded now. Power flahses, the trees are going almost flat, very heavy, sideways rain, debris flying through the air, and it sounds like a ill freight train outside. STRONGEST winds of the night are occuring now here. I dont know about the west end but we are absolutely getting hammered and hard. This last 20 minutes is just about like Isabel. The sound outside of the wind in the trees and the power lines is almost like a sick ghost. Im guessing that this could be the absolute worst of the storm. It sure seems like it. It is getting REAL outside now and the whole house is shaking almost like when we had the earthquake. WOW, just WOW!!!! Was not expecting this at all!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

POWER is out all around us now. 4 houses including us have power as far as I can see. This is getting NUTS here. Every 1-2 minutes or so its gusting probably around 70MPH. Debris is flying sideways through the air. Most of my plants that I left out are blown over. Watched the top half of my neighbor across the street's tree rip off and go flying 200 feet into someones back yard. NUMEROUS power flashes and explosions going on all around us. I did NOT expect conditions THIS BAD here. Isabel was bad, and this last 30 minutes have been just as bad if not worse. It sounds like a freight train outside and the wind in the power lines is whistling at a very high pitch like someone whistling. Shingles coming off either my roof or the neighbors. ... And here I thought this was going to be a DUD. HELL NO, no dud here. This thing is for real, and it means business and we are getting the business end of Irene right now. Hundreds and hundreds of trees down all over now, and debris and branches littering the streets / yards. Is this the last big gasp of Irene for the DC area? If it gets much worse there is going to be alot more damage. This is just NUTS here!!!!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos. NUTS!

It just keeps getting worse. ALmost everything in my yard is upturned and scattered about. Bananas are shredded. BIG pots that were not tied down are now all overturned. Patio set is overturned and scattered. THe rain has really let up, but the winds have increased dramatically. This is identical to Isabel here. ... WOW!!!! WOW!!!! The whole sky is lighting up!!!! The house is swaying back and forth!!!! It just keeps getting STRONGER. WHY? Easily hurricane force gusts coming through every 2-3 minutes now and have been for the last 1.5 hours out of the due north. What a MESS I have to clean up tomorrow. I never thought it was going to get this bad here. Neighbors trash can is in my yard and found some shingles. The whole sky is lighting up now... flashes all around. I have no idea how we still have power. SH!T!!! HUGE branch just hit the roof and landed across the street somewhere. This is all happening as I type. Incredible!!!!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Yikes Novaplantguy, stay safe. There was a lull in the storm here after about 6 inches of rain so I checked outside. My pool is filled to the top again (second time this month). I have lots of otherturned plants, but nothing siginifant yet. My fig is damaged though and Im going to have to prop it back up after the storm. Its practically leaning on the floor and hopefully it will live. I hear some fire engines right now so Im going to guess that is storm related. I have power, but lots around here werent so lucky. Still plenty more storm to go, but so far its not too bad. Definitely nothing we arent used to yet since I have had Noreasters in the past cause more damage.

-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

I'm going to have a HUGE HUGE mess to clean up tomorrow. I NEVER thought it was going to get this bad here. Though the timing is perfect. The forecasters got it right in terms of time, but they were a but lax on the intensity. The storm is just about 40 miles SSE of OC, MD, which is almost, but not quite level with DC. This is when we were expecting to get the worst and we definitely are. There are 400,000 people without power in the DC metro now. The rain has really slacked off but the winds have intensified as much as the rain has let up. Somehow I ended up with a 15 foot tree branch in my front yard, and we have no trees on our property. Ill take pics on daylight before I clean up. Please, don't under estimate this storm. I thought it was going to be a DUD, but really, its turned out quite a bit worse than I thought it would. Power is flickering again.....


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

It calmed down a bit the past 30 mins but all the sudden once again, its right back up to 60+ MPH gusts. It's almost like it just wont STOP!!!!!. More debris, smaller tree limbs, leaves and whatever else flying through the air horizontally, and sounding like a freight train again and shaking the whole house. Lost power again for 10 mins too, and now once again no one around us but 3 other houses have power. WOW!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Sounds bad by you Novaplantguy! Hope you stay power.

The wind is picking up a ton here! Leaves are all over the street and the wind is shaking the windows at times. Pretty bad here, but still nothing that NYC hasnt ever dealt with before. Lots of power outages here and the lights are flickering again. Im hoping we dont lose power! My plants are all over the yard and Im not regretting my decision to bring a lot of them in!

I'll keep everyone updated in the weather here! The worst of it should be here by 8-9am today!
-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Lots of leaves on the street, pool is filled up again, some plants torn up a bit, but so far everything is okay here. A huge soaking rainfall and the wind is pretty brutal at times, but not as bad as I expected and definitely seems more extra tropical than hurricane like right now.
-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Thanks for the reports guys.
That was better than any news report I have come across!-LOL

Not!

Must be amazing and scary,usually in storms you have some high gusts
of wind but I can't even imagine being in sustained winds like that!



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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Jim, Im going to be honest, the sustained winds were not that bad. They were at about 30 mph, maybe 40 at the worst. The gusts were the bad part.

I think we got extremely lucky as usual. The main road by me is completely flooded, but my road is good. I hope everyone stayed safe during this storm!

Now later today I have to take everything back outside!
-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Sounds like where you are north,you have seen worse from Nor'easters?


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Well, after a rather harrowing night, the last half of today turned out to be amazingly beautiful. Perfect weather to be outdoors, and for all the clean up. That said, I'm sure most people were not exactly having 'fun' today though.

It seems like the absolute worst of this storm and its damage occurred from about Cape May, NJ, south along the coast to Va Beach, and inland to the big cities west of those points. The Damage seems to be less severe the farther north you go from NC/VA.

For us here in the DC area, well, I have to say I was 'surprised' at this storm. The damage left behind was just about as bad as Isabel in 2003, maybe slightly less. From about 30 miles west of DC, to the coast the damage is what is being called 'major'. The most common are trees being blown on homes and going through them and crushing cars. The sheer number of trees down around just the DC Metro is staggering. Probably in the thousands. Lots of roads / streets were blocked and many still are. No real structural damage to most buildings from winds alone, other than a couple buildings having roofs partially peeled back / loss of shingles / some siding / gutters ripped off. Some minor to moderate flooding from storm surge along tidal waters which capped out at about 3-4 feet. The far worst of the flooding came from the massive rains. Ranging from 3-4 inches 30 miles west of DC, to 5-8" right in the city, to 10-12" 30 miles east and much more the farther south/ east you go from here. Lots of river and creek flooding causing road overwashes. My rain gauge maxes out at 5", and was full by 1:30 am. I'm guessing we got 1-2" more than that here. Reports of 4-8" in the immediate metro area were commonplace.

Over all, it was probably 'worse than expected' in our area. The absolute worst of it came in the period from midnight to about 5am, when we were having sustained winds of 40-50+ and gusts 55-75mph. The worst part was pretty much like a 6 hour long severe thunderstorm. It would come in waves. Backing off to 40MPH or so for a few minutes, then big huge gusts around 55+, then every 7-10 minutes or so we would get a period of several minutes where the sustained winds were like a gust that just would not stop, and then an even higher gust on top of that, topping out around 70+. The wind reports all around our region were pretty consistent, with the highest gusts just west topping out around 55in places 30 miles west, to 65-70 inside the beltway, and 75-80 30 miles east and south along the Chesapeake Bay.

about 40 miles west of D.C., almost no damage to speak of. Just some heavy rains at times, and gusty winds of 35+, but nothing very bad. It was a very sharp cutoff line between damage and almost nothing. The thing that made this storm worse, was its size, and slow movement. Had this been a quick event, we probably would not have seen nearly the damage. But, because this event was very protracted and lasted for 20 hours, most certainly lead to more damage. Isabel in 2003 was in and out fairly quickly. She was here less than 6 hours at her worst. The other difference, with respect to storm surge anyway was that it was less here because the storm passed to our east this time, in stead of to our west. This was a east, northeast, north, and northwest wind event here, which helped to push water more OUT , than in on top of the storm surge itself.

Partners mother in Smithfield VA had a pretty bad night, as I suspect most did in SE Virginia and Eastern NC where the damage reports are much worse. No power since 6AM Saturday morning. They lost two large trees in their yard, but fortunately both missed the house. Their neighorhood is literally littered with trees down, and quite a few homes damaged by them. The pictures coming out of Va Beach, and the NC beaches are by far and away the most incredible.

Even along the MD/ Delaware beaches there is quite a bit of damage. Tornadoes caused damage in both Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, DE.

As for my yard, well, just 1 large tree limb from someone elses tree is in it, and most things that were not either VERY HEAVY and/ or tied down , did blow over. It looked like a war zone, but fortunately nothing was really damaged except for a clay pot with my rosemary bush in it. The palms, well, 2 got knocked over, but the big 8 foot pigmy date came through it like a champ. I tied it down with rope and rebar and it went no where. Ill post some photos in a bit.

I hope everyone made it through OK with no significant losses / damage!


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Hey Guys...

Justwanted to report that we are still without power...im flying today...and i can reach the computer for a minute...i was terrible here in VB...trees down everywhere...gust up to 7o # and tidal surge the highest that i have ever seen..it came over our bulkhead and we allmost lost the boat..but all is well..'
We are fine..

Palms are fine

Plumies are great..LOL

MY hubby is glad that the tropical garden is out of the house...but if i had left them outside..they would have benn shredded...so im so glad i brought everything in...'

Still without power in my area..just the sound of generators..hope to be back on line soon..

In pHL now flying for today,,be home tonight..UGG

Its nice to feel AC!!!

Tack care everone...

Ken..grat reports...i wish i could explain everything that happened here, but i only have a few minuted between flights...

Take care

Laura in VB


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

At least you aren't under 2-3' of snow this time...Nova!

Glad you guys are o.k.

Not out of the woods though,I have a feeling there may
be another in your future and at least one in the gulf-

We'll see.......


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Glad to hear your okay Laura! I also have no AC because I only have half my power (transformer sparked and failed in my neighborhood). So my house has half of its power and the AC is one of the things that doesnt have power! But the days have been relatively comfortable so it hasnt gotten too unbareable in my house!

My Large plumeria would have also been a gonner if I didnt bring it in! Im glad I did!
-Alex


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Delaware Coast dodged a bullet. At one point the forecast was over top of us, even as Irene made landfill in NC. Her little turn to the ENE put her off shore and the dirty front right quadrant away from us.

I brought all the potted plants and porch furniture in and baracaded two east facing French doors with grandma's heavy cement planters. Put all art and valuables away in closets and drawers. Evacuated 20 miles NW of the beaches Friday as the rain started falling.

Several tornado warnings and ducking into the closets kept us on our toes. But we never lost power and never even got the anticipated hurricane strength winds.

My historic town, home and garden came out fine. Just a lot of tree debris. My bananas got some leaf shredding and the too-tall castor bean plants were knocked over, but all the palms look great.

Even the beaches look pretty great. Nor'easters historicallydo more damage to our coast.

Sadly a tornado did touch down outside of town and two dozen homes were damaged; one completely.


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RE: Hurricane Irene Reports / Damage / Photos

Sorry for the delay. Been fairly busy here. Got everything cleaned up then went on Vacation for Labor Day weekend. Glad everyone seems to have made it through Irene OK! For all its damage, Lee seems to have been almost as bad here where we are, and up north in terms of heavy rains. In fact, it was alot WORSE in that respect here than Irene was.

Anyway, here is what Irene did around my place. Not terrible, but not pretty either. I suspect had I not prepared things would have been worse and we would have had stuff destroyed.

My phone went off dozens of time with these warnings:

This was emptied first light Sunday Morning, and filled back up to 2" before it all stopped a couple hours after. 6.8-7" all total here for Irene. Lee has dropped 11.5 so far this week to put Irene in perspective.

these WERE pushed all together up against the front steps. Only real casualty was the big clay pot the rosemary was in, but that needed to be repotted anyway.

Front from a different angle.

This came from the alley behind our house. It had to really fly a good distance to land here, and go over our 2 and 1/2 story house. The only trees near us are 1 conifer between us and one of our neighbors to the west, and 2 conifers between us and our neighbors to the east. This did not come from those.

These were not light, as they had a fair amount of stuff in them.

bye bye sunflowers. =o( Now the squirrels and birds are having a feast on the seeds.

Back Yard.

I thought turning the chairs so they were flat and sort of holding the table down this would stay. I guess we should have just flipped the table upside down. Its a HEAVY WOOD table too.

I kept the 7+ foot Pigmy Date palm up by hammering 3, 4 foot rebar stakes into the ground about 2 feet, snugly against the pot, and tied it up tight. worked like a charm even in the hurricane force gusts.

All in all, not too bad. Some areas were hit about as bad as hurricane Isabel here, and there were thousands of downed trees, and almost as many power outages but the flooding was no where near as severe.


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