Another Nor’easter

The East Coast took a beating in the last two days from a fierce nor’easter. The storm left perhaps millions without power and too many people losing lives in several states. Family members in Tidewater Virginia were affected by downed trees, flooding, travel woes, snow, rain, and loss of power, but they’re safe. Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia issued a state of emergency.

Moving up the coast from the mid-Atlantic, the storm pounded the coastal communities of New Hampshire forcing high tides into neighborhoods. Roads became rivers for two days but the nor’easter pulled away from the coast today leaving us with cold, blustery winds and rough seas. We drove to the coastline to survey the damage.

Higher elevations showed evidence of very little damage….

nor'easter 2018

…while waves were still pummeling the seawalls and shoreline.

Nor'easter 2018

We witnessed the power of Mother Nature on seawalls up and down the NH coast. Huge chunks were missing or the walls were simply gone in places.

nor'easter 2018

The sheer force of the storm ripped large holes in parking areas, eroded road edges, and left massive amounts of rocks everywhere. Locals were busy clearing them away from driveways and yards, a monumental job on some properties.

nor'easter 2018

Crews working around the clock cleared roadways of rocks, sand, wood, and rubble.

nor'easter 2018

This sidewalk simply disappeared and was replaced by rocks.

nor'easter 2018People are drawn to the ocean in good weather and bad. Today’s weather brought out many folks who, like us, wanted to be a part of the experience, check out the ocean, or grab some photographs of the waves.

A 5K and Half Marathon scheduled for the Seacoast today was being held in spite of standing water. When the going gets tough…. those New Hampshire runners get going. Hot soup and Smuttynose beer awaited the runners at the finish line.

Local police were bundled up against the cold at the finish line.

Finish Line Half Marathon 3/4/18

Spectators braved the rocks to view the ocean.

nor'easter 2018

A downed barrier offered this photographer the perfect perch for photography.

nor'easter 2018

The downside of the storm was evident but there was an upside for a few. Surfers are always excited to experience the after effects of  a storm. This afternoon, there were about a dozen of them riding massive wave action out in the Atlantic.

nor'easter 2018

Spring might be right around the corner, but we are rudely reminded that winter is not finished with us. Weather forecasts predict that a major winter storm in the northern plains may bring us more snow, heavy rain, and strong winds by next weekend… that while thousands of utility workers are racing right now to restore power to millions. Sigh.

Surfs Up But…

… the mercury was down in the Atlantic Ocean on this January day. The icy 40° water temperature did not seem to deter our brave winter surfers!

The popularity of winter surfing in New England simply amazes me. I’m told that many surfers prefer the winter when the sand isn’t packed with beachgoers and large numbers of surfers aren’t competing for the same perfect wave.

Temperatures seemed mild today for January so we took the short drive to the beach to watch the action. Well… there they were. About a dozen or so surfers were bobbing in the water just waiting to catch a wave.

I’m not exactly sure how warm they were but they appeared comfortable out there. It looked like every inch of their skin, except for the face, was covered in a thick wet suit and I’m sure faces were covered in a substance like petroleum jelly to protect the skin.

I would think the most difficult part of this activity would be getting out of the water, back to their cars, maneuvering out of the skintight wetsuit, drying off and changing into dry clothes… likely done before the cars warm up!  Gives me a chill to think about that.

click to enlarge.

surferscatching a waveJust below me on the rocks were some shore birds huddling on a boulder, resting and trying to stay warm. I am not great on identifying shore birds but I do think the white breasted birds with dark legs may be non-breeding sanderlings. The orange legged and beaks belong to another species of sandpipers…. perhaps the purple sandpiper that winters here. Someone else may have to make positive IDs for me.

Wave runners!

A Rough End to the Weekend

No relief!Last night, I sat huddled on the couch until midnight with two labs and two cats and no power in the house.  Severe thunderstorms pounded Gloucester County overnight with damaging winds and numerous lightning strikes.  Our only light came from very close and frequent lightning and the only sounds we heard were from loud claps of thunder and window-rattling wind gusts or an occasional whimper from me.

The cause of the storms was hot and muggy weather stalled over the entire Atlantic Seaboard.  Cooler air from the north could not penetrate this system due to a Bermuda High firmly situated over the Atlantic Ocean.  With the High strongly in place, we will not have any relief from the muggy weather for the next several days. The storms that passed through last night could roar through each afternoon through Wednesday. Yikes!

Our water gauge registered 3 1/2″ of rain overnight. The pond is overflowing but okay.  So far mister gardener has discovered one tall Tulip Poplar that was struck by lightning but I think there could be damage on more of our trees.  I can hear chain saws on distant properties so we are not alone.  I do wonder how wide this storm front was that passed through Virginia.

As the dogs and cats and I huddled together during the storm last night, where was mister gardener you might ask?  He was asleep.  He heard nothing.  He saw nothing.

Ann Hohenberger, The Garden Club of Gloucester

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