April 17, the day after as many as ninety tornadoes hit North Carolina, the inlet where we live just off the White Oak River seemed especially beautiful as you can see from the post picture.
Yet the night before we were glued to the television listening to tornado reports until the power went off around 9 PM. Fortunately by the time the power went off, the worst ofl the storms were well past our location. The bad storms never made it to Carteret County.
We also heard a number of times that the storms would weaken as they neared the maritime climate close the water. That’s some comfort when you are watching nearly continuous lightning, but it still doesn’t take all the worry away.
It was the first time in nearly five years of living here on the coast that we have lost our power. Fortunately we were prepared and had some battery powered lights in easy reach. What was more challenging was finding out any news. We have a battery powered radio, but radio stations seem to have given up on providing news. We did get to enjoy some music and eventually NPR, but we never heard any radio news. I was able to use my Droid smartphone to check on things, but it was almost in need of a charge when the power went out so it did not last long. I did boot up my MacBook laptop and hook my Droid to the Mac with its USB cable. I then put the Mac to sleep and the battery on the MacBook charged my Droid.
By then it was bedtime, and the stars were shining. We could still see lightning in the distance out over the ocean, but it was well away from us. When morning came around, I was surprised to see some clouds, but I was happy to see some blue sky mixed in with the clouds.
A morning walk around the docks near our community’s clubhouse confirmed what I saw from our own dock. In spite of gusty winds, there was no visible damage. Even a bluebird was out enjoying the morning sun. We actually got very little rain, probably less than a tenth of an inch. We could have used the rain, but I am happy that the storms actually missed us. Our friends in Roanoke, Virginia got four inches of rain.
There actually was a tornado that hit in Jacksonville on Piney Green Rd. near Old Route 30 about thirteen miles further inland than our location. There is a very populated area so it is lucky no one was killed.
Saturday April 16, the day of the storms, was something of a strange day since we knew the storms were coming, but for all practical purposes before the storms arrived it was a nearly normal day except for strong winds. I spent a few hours mowing our yard for the first time this year and doing some trimming. Then we drove over to Bogue Inlet Pier where I took this picture of a surfer out beyond the end of the pier. There were a few nice waves but not enough to attract a crowd of surfers.
After our visit to the pier we drove down to Clyde Phillip’s Seafood which is located between the bridges at Swansboro. The water in the Intracoastal behind Clyde’s was very choppy so I wasn’t surprised that there was no one in the parking lot at the Wildlife Resources Ramp in Cedar Point.
On our way home, we drove through the Marsh Harbour subdivision and stopped to tour one of the homes under construction. They certainly seem to offer a lot of square footage for your dollars. We were home before dark, and the storm didn’t get serious in our area until just before 8 PM. Then the power went off around 9 PM.
We went to bed just before 11 PM, but the power came back on around midnight, and I got up to make the morning’s coffee. Everything was normal Sunday morning except for the clock on our stove which is still misbehaving.
All my tomato plants survived the winds as did our palm trees. On our way to church we noticed that Buck’s Corner Farm in Peletier had their “Ripe Strawberries” sign out so on our return trip, we slipped by and bought some beautiful local strawberries. I am sure they were happy all the golf ball sized hail stayed farther inland.
Sunday evening we felt blessed to be sitting in our undamaged home enjoying fresh local strawberries and homemade shortcake while other our picking up the pieces of their lives.
April is still a great time of year to be here by the waters of the White Oak. I am hoping to slide my kayak back in the water this week. I had a short but very nice kayaking trip on April 14. These are some pictures taken while on the water, and this a map of the trip.
Spring is quickly headed to summer with eighties expected this third week of April. I hope for everyone’s sake that April 16 was the last of tornadoes across North Carolina this year. I am pleased that none made it into Carteret County here on the Southern Outer Banks.