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N. Carolina Eyewitness Reports Of Hurricane Isabel

Eyewitness Reports Of Hurricane Isabel

From Jeremy Bandini, in Raleigh North Carolina

11:30 am Raleigh, NC

It is raining sideways. The wind is gusting up to 50 mph. Most businesses and schools are closed today. All of this and we are in Raleigh, North Carolina about 200 miles west of the coast. I just spoke with my landlord and I had forgotten that he owns property in Atlantic Beach, the site of the expected landfall. I know some other folks with property down there, but luckily everyone decided to come back to Raleigh for the storm. The forecasters say that Isabel has gained strength. Each time I see the doppler images I am shocked by the sheer size of this hurricane.

We will not see the worst of this storm here in Raleigh, but it is already causing damage and has brought our lives to a grinding halt. Our local power company has brought in extra help, and I am sure we will need it. With so many trees in central North Carolina, power outages are certain. Bread was in short supply at the local grocery store. Everyone seems to be preparing themselves to weather this storm by gathering non-perishable foods, water, and other supplies.

For most North Carolinians, Isabel is just another hurricane to live through. Fran, Bertha, and Floyd each caused massive damage in our state. Many citizens are carrying on with their day to day lives disregarding the obvious danger. They have been emboldened by experience, but I am concerned about them. During Hurricane Floyd 24 people died simply trying to cross flooded roadways.

This hurricane is not expected to make landfall until noon, about 30 minutes from now.


1:45 pm Raleigh, NC

The Outer Banks of North Carolina are being slammed by Isabel. The eye is starting to make landfall. Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks is seeing massive property damage and flooding. Our news reporters are clinging to posts and buildings while reporting in hurricane force winds. I am sitting next to my window in Raleigh as I type this and the wind is incredible. I've heard branches snapping outside and I have seen some of the siding coming off of my neighbor's house.

Our local power company is reporting 29,000 without power. Another North Carolina power company is reporting 46,000 power outages. Our local power co-ops are reporting 31,000 outages. I've heard reports that Virginia has 400,000 citizens without power. Severe weather over the past few years is benefitting North Carolina. A massive ice storm earlier this year thinned out old branches and weak trees. Virignia was not hit as hard by the ice, so much of their power loss is probably due to weak trees.

Two hotels in Raleigh have lost power. The hotels are full with almost 400 evacuees from the coast who drove here to escape the hurricane.

Many areas on the coast are under curfew. Here in Raleigh, officials will be telling people to stay off the roads beginning at 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm. So much of our recent severe weather has occured at night. It is impressive to watch this storm with the aid of daylight.

Over 567,000 customers in North Carolina and Virginia are without power.

My web cam is capturing the storm here in Raleigh.


2:40pm Raleigh, NC

Most reports are saying that this hurricane was not as bad as it could have been in North Carolina. However, it is causing damage and we won't know the extent until it is over. In comparing this hurricane to the ones I have experienced in the past it is obvious that North Carolina dodged a bullet. Our Outer Banks are going to see a lot of erosion and other damage. Hundreds of thousands of people are without power, but it could have been worse. Hopefully, Virginia will be so lucky later today when the eye passes over it..

I will drive around later today and tomorrow in order to survey local damage. I will bring my camera and take some pictures of any significant damage. I may travel to the coast this weekend to get some more pictures and to help clean up.


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