August 24, 2011

Hurricane Irene is poised for a visit to Virginia

An earthquake yesterday? A swarm of locusts tomorrow?????

As Ocracoke Island residents begin to evacuate today, Tidewater Virginia residents are keeping our eyes peeled on the Weather Channel's regular updates on Hurricane Irene. Is she strengthening? Better yet, is she heading farther east and out to sea?

Many folks breathe a sigh of relief as past hurricanes changed their course and we dodged that weather bullet. But I always ask, "What about the new folks now in their paths?" Bermuda sits out there in the Atlantic as a sitting duck. And there's always a few unlucky (and sometimes unwise) folks out in small boats. As a sailor, we read about these boaters much more frequently that we'd like. Taking out any boat in "hurricane season" is a risky venture, and our insurance company does not even offer coverage if we'd stayed in southern coastal US waters.

Thankfully, insurance does cover most of the haul-out charges for named storms. So our boat was hauled out in Deltaville yesterday.

A deluge of rain may put a literal damper on the Great Dismal Swamp Refuge fire (sure hope so), but heavy rains in these parts will dump a lot of "stuff" (as in "stuff happens") into the Chesapeake Bay. More nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants from runoff are NOT what our bay needs. 

So once again, we'll pray for a break from Mother Nature. But she sure showed a lot of us some of her fury yesterday. That 5.9 earthquake certainly got my attention. Do you think that she's tired of the oil and gas industry fracking her rocks?  Hmmm.