Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ophelia

She’s been sitting off our coast for 3 days now, swirling and spinning while meandering around aimlessly. Yesterday, she sent a couple of small showers 200 miles inland to Durham and today we had some outright frog-stranglers that lasted just a few minutes as Ophelia crept up the coast. She is one of those slow moving storms that causes so much flooding in our lowlands. I heard today that Wilmington had received 12 inches of rain since yesterday and the storm is not expected to pull away from our coast until Friday morning. My sister’s home is apparently without electricity in New Hanover County. Mom has power, but her phone is dysfunctional…she can receive calls, but not make them. Apparently, my brother has fared well so far during this one. There are trees down in areas and some yards are flooded. Mom had to pay extra for a view of one of the most unattractive eyesores of a pond that I have ever seen when she moved into her house. It has never been filled to capacity. She says it is now full after one day of rain from Ophelia. Maybe there will be good to come from this storm afterall.

Ophelia does not have the destructive power of Katrina and will not cause the same problems as the storm surge from Katrina that was reported to be 10 meters high in Louisiana and Mississippi. Nonetheless, our fragile Outer Banks will be taking a direct hit from Ophelia, a category two storm. With her relentlessly pounding surf and the nearly 2 meter storm surges that have been reported, she may be enough to cut the chain of islands into even smaller entities. It is sad to see the destructive force of nature, but like a linear mandala, the Outer Banks seem rather fragile and impermanent. Perhaps we need to just look on in awe at the change and not try to prevent or rebuild it.

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