Tag Archives: Hurricane Florence

Report From Carolina

A number of former Westporters live on the North and South Carolina coasts. Some current residents have 2nd homes there.

“06880” has not yet heard from any readers in the direct path of Hurricane Florence. However, Dave and Marianne Harrison — longtime Staples High School social studies and physical education teachers, respectively — now live in Chapel Hill, a couple of hours from the ocean.

Dave writes:

Miraculous is the only word to describe our good fortune. Disaster is all around us, but the immediate area seems to be in a pocket which is avoiding the worst of the storm.

A number of deaths are being reported, and more are expected. Thousands have been ordered to evacuate their homes and businesses. Shelter spaces are full; more shelters open hourly. There is massive flooding already. Several dams reportedly will be breached sometime today or tonight.

Rain and wind continue into tomorrow night, possibly into Tuesday. The storm is very slow moving, but the worst of it is staying just south of us.

Hurricane Florence was a monster storm.

We have strong wind, torrential but intermittent rain and flickering electric. We lost power for only 90 minutes on Thursday. It has remained on since it was restored.

One nearby supermarket has stayed open 24-7 since Wednesday night. Somehow they’re restocking basics daily. We made a quick trip there yesterday during a lull in the storm. Otherwise we’re hunkered down, waiting for the rest of the storm to pass by.

Very slow moving as it goes inland, Florence is headed as far west as Asheville before it is expected to turn northeast and lose force. I can’t even begin to imagine the ultimate toll in death and destruction.

While we’re not yet clear, with rain and wind continuing for at least another 24 hours, I think we have dodged the worst of it.

(If you’ve got a Hurricane Florence story to tell — or want to let “06880” readers know you’re safe — click “Comments” below.)

Andrea Dutton’s Research: In The Eye Of A Hurricane

As Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas, meteorologists and scientists talk about its nearly unprecedented strength and power.

Andrea Dutton thinks she knows why.

The 1991 Staples High School grad is an assistant professor of geology at the University of Florida. She also co-leads an international working group investigating the geological record of changes in sea levels and ice sheet mass, to better predict future sea level rise.

Dr. Andrea Dutton with a fossilized coral reef in the Florida Keys — another area affected by sea level changes. (Photo/Joshua Bright for Redux)

Specifically, Dutton reconstructs sea level over thousands of years, establishing the behavior of sea level and ice sheets during previous warm periods.

According to Rolling Stone, Dutton has shown the mid-Atlantic to be “a particular hotspot for sea-level rise.” Between 2011 and 2015, that coast saw increases in sea levels 6 times faster than the global average. The higher the ocean level, the bigger the storm surge.

However, the story continues, the North Carolina legislature has outlawed considering sea-level rise as part of the state’s coastal management strategy.

Dutton says, “No need to mince words here. The outrageous coastal development practices need to change. Unfortunately, this storm might just be the one to squeeze the insurance market enough to make that happen. Especially on the heels of Irma, Maria and Harvey, which have already stretched the available resources.”

(For the full Rolling Stone article, click here.)