This Thanksgiving I packed up the family and hit the highway for the seven hour drive from Deep Creek Lake, MD to Kill Devil Hills, NC. The news was out that a devastating Nor-Easter had pounded the mid-eastern coastline for a week prior to me leaving, and some areas along the ocean would never be the same. A Nor-Easter is a powerful low pressure system that rotates counter clock wise off the coastline and whose leading north east winds cut in the beaches with the fury of a huge saw. The water level along beach communities rises 3-5 feet above normal which causes damaging flooding and massive erosion to oceanfront properties. The system stalls for days and sometimes weeks and wipes out fragile sandbars that serve as a protection barrier for the beaches.
After arriving at the beach it was hard not to notice the amount of debris left behind by the storm. There were wooden decks and walkways shredded and splintered into thousands of pieces and left floating up and down the seaboard in the violent waves crashing on the beach. Some homes crumbled into the water from the brute force of Mother Nature never to be built again. The cleanup work is immense and septic trucks work around the clock to pump out property in flood zones. This creates a secondary problem because most of these areas are over septic fields plagued with bacteria’s. This water is then pumped into the ocean making it a more dangerous place to be for fall surfers who are chasing the storms dying energy.
I talked to my mother who lives inland in Virginia Beach and who has weathered storms there for 30 + years. She said she cannot remember any storm, hurricanes included, that has caused this much damage. It does give us all a reason to be thankful for having family and friends to lean on during such a draining event.