Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hurricanes, real and imagined

If you click on this link you can see the storm patterns:  Hurricane Sandy.

Which unsurprisingly makes me wonder why we're living on Hatteras Island, 40 miles into the ocean, known as the graveyard of the Atlantic, where ships went down left and right in the past. And where the hurricanes hit ground more than anywhere else on the eastern seaboard aside from Florida.

Justin texted me last night about the storm, sounding scared. He said, " Nor'easterner storm. Roads might get washed out." I didn't quite understand, saying that I had continuing education scheduled for Monday morning and I could leave after that but wasn't planning to return to leave until Tuesday, and I could meet him after that. Wherever he ended up (Greenville? Raleigh?). He said, "You might not be able to leave if you wait too long."

Apparently Virginia Beach gets hit hard too. Maybe those "Hurricane Evacuation Route" signs are up for a reason. I saw them when I first moved to town. They did not comfort me.

Overnight I dreamed nightmares. Mostly of patients and past employers. I woke up early and exhausted.

This last week I scheduled tightly, trying to see everyone and finish as many things as I could before having no place to stay in Virginia Beach. Truthfully, I've enjoyed this month of band practice Mondays, meetings with old friends, thrift stores and a 5k race at the art museum.

I don't understand hurricanes. I understand snowstorms and wind and floods and drizzling rain. I've seen one tornado despite hundreds and hundreds of warnings growing up.

Hatteras had a devastating hurricane last fall which created a new inlet and and left the lower half of Hatteras Island cut off from the upper half. A ferry had to take them across until a new tiny bridge was constructed.

I checked the radar at work and wondered why we were living on an island. There's only 4,000 year round residents on the whole island and from Buxton it's at least an hour drive on a skinny sandbar to get to the mainland. That is if the road doesn't wash out.

On Facebook today, Hatteras Island residents were complaining over and over about the need for a better road. How the government had been mistreating them by making them put up with the inferior quality of road construction.

I wondered, why do they stay. Why not move inland?

The population in Buxton is almost 100% white. The poverty level is much higher than the rest of the state of North Carolina. There are no jobs. To receive proper medical care, they have to drive 1-3 hours away.

All this to live on a sandbar. Where you dig in the backyard and a foot down there's water.

I wonder how much the ocean has to rise before we are under water?

We can only watch and wait and see.

It is not comforting.

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