Reader, persons who have never witnessed a hurricane, such as not unfrequently desolates the sultry climates of the south, can scarcely form an idea of their terrific grandeur. One would think that, not content with laying waste all on land, it must needs sweep the waters of the shallows quite dry to quench its thirst. John James Audubon
I’ve ridden out hurricanes aboard ship while in the Navy. The bow of the ship rising out of the water, the sonar dome shimming and vibrating the ship as it settles, and waves rushing up the forecastle and crashing into the superstructure. With the ship listing 20 to 30 degrees port and starboard, I have witnessed, some might say, stupidly, the seemingly close wind-whipped waves briefly from the watertight doorway outside my workspaces. I’ve been lashed by wind, water, and debris in 40, 50, and 60 knot gusts while ashore in the Tidewater region (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads) of Virginia. In all of these experiences, my shipmates and I were not trying to go through the middle of the maelstrom with its 30- or 40- foot seas. Our ships, which can withstand tremendous steel-bending punishment from waves at sea, would be hammered at the pier. Fortunately, most storms diminish in intensity before making landfall. But the rain that comes with these storms moving across the land at ten to fifteen miles per hour drench the land with feet, not inches of rain.
I know many will hunker down to ride out the storm coming ashore today in North Carolina. I also know that it will likely be widespread power outages, and take weeks to restore. Be safe out there.