Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hurricane Florence has passed through and all is well…

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Now that Hurricane Florence has passed, it left a ton of flooding here in the state of North Carolina. I also realized I had better catch up the blog! We ended up staying in Raleigh at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds instead of moving anywhere else. Why? Well as we watched the hurricane’s projected paths I had ruled out my initial thought of heading near Pinehurst and then eliminated my next plan of going to Charlotte NC. I did consider moving north into Virginia but eventually decided it was best to “hunker down” and simply stay put.

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We were able to sneak in a few days of disc golf at a few different courses in the Triangle area in the days before the storm. In NC the towns of Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham are known as the the Triangle. Even though the storm was bringing occasional showers ahead of it we were able to squeeze in about three rounds of disc golf. We also used this time to prepare for the possibility of a power outage after the storm passed through this area.

As a result we went to the local grocery stores and stocked up on food and even though we were doing this a few days before the hurricane there was already not a lot of choice in the grocery stores. Water was the most sought after commodity but canned goods and food not needing cooking were also in demand. We bought stuff that we normally need since we knew we could fill our water tank (and we did) and that we had a nearly full tank of diesel to run our generator if needed. We would be in good shape if the power went out for over a week.

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The day Florence made landfall it sat and moved very, very slowly as most of you know. As a result the area was getting pounded with rain, more so to our southeast than what we had here. There were places that got FEET of rain whereas we only got inches, about 8-9 in total. We did get some gusty winds up to 40+ MPH but we have had winds stronger than that in the southwestern USA deserts! Wasn’t much to do when the storm was passing through so we gave the RV a thorough inside cleaning including cleaning the front dashboard for the first time ever!

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After the storm finally passed we added a few more days here at the fairgrounds since all of the NC state parks are closed until further notice. We plan to go back to Jordan Lake next. We did find one small area in our bedroom closet that showed signs of a water leak. We cleaned it up and after an additional 2+ inches of rain we didn’t see any more signs of water leaking in. I assume it must have been wind driven but I will inspect the end cap and will re-seal it in the near future as that is the only place I can think of that may have allowed rain to enter that part of our RV.

Today the sun is shining and we are very glad to be able to get out and enjoy some sunshine once again…

NOTE: We are now at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds again as we wait for other parks in the area to reopen…

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Last Days in Outer Banks and Running From Florence…

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We spent our last few days in the Outer Banks of North Carolina fully immersed in the beach life. Our mornings began with a walk, our weights workout, having lunch then driving over to different beaches where we would set up our Sport-Brella and chairs. While I would enjoy some surf fishing Sharon would either read, relax or walk the beach.

I didn’t have a whole lot of luck fishing but did catch a few blues and a skate. One blue was big enough to make us a nice snack for lunch! It was a soft textured fish like flounder but it was very tasty! Our plans were to continue fishing and sunning until the 17th but there is a hurricane which is pushing toward us and looking like it would change our plans.

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The beach we chose on our last day we had all to ourselves and the only thing in sight was a beached sail boat. Perhaps an ominous prediction of things to come.  We assumed it had been beached since 2016 and was probably a casualty of a previous hurricane. Hopefully, people and their property will fare better in the Outer Banks this time around.

Sure enough the next day, when Monday rolled around this storm looked serious enough that we decided to head inland. We talked with the Park staff and they were pretty insistent that if we left now we wouldn’t get a refund. Well we pushed our case pretty hard and eventually we were assured we would indeed receive a refund. Crazy that we would only receive a refund if they think we should leave and not when we think we should leave for our safety!

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We drove about four hours east to the North Carolina State University Fairgrounds since it is high and dry, not near any water and with very few trees should we decide to hunker down there while waiting for for the hurricane to pass. We paid day by day as we would evaluate all of the information provided by the National Weather Service with regard to the hurricane. I would analyze all the spaghetti diagrams depicting where computer models projected the hurricane would land and move on.

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We thought we might leave for Charlotte NC on Wednesday but the path, direction and wind speeds all were modified a lot. As a result we decided we were better off here in Raleigh than in Charlotte as the storm was tracking further south. We learned from past experience about not moving too soon since the last time we were in this position we moved directly into the path of the hurricane and would have been better off where we were!

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So here it is Thursday morning and Hurricane Florence is currently near the shore of Wilmington NC and still expected to slow and meander south. This is a very large storm so we are hoping the track stays as projected. We haven’t ruled out leaving and heading into Virginia but most likely will sit tight and let it pass. We are expected to have gusts up to 55 mph and rains of 5-7 inches. If that is the worst we encounter we will be very happy..

Everyday is adventure on this Road of Retirement!

NOTE: We are now at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds for a while keeping a close eye on Hurricane Florence…