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  1. #1

    Default Tidewater VA Road/Paddle trip

    Like the good soldiers we all are, the Sylvan Beach Fishing Club will collectively "run towards the sound of gunfire" over the next several hours. Our annual gathering on the Chesapeake Bay draws members from NC, PA, and one loner from WA. We're not letting any silliness like modern record coastal flooding stop us.

    As of the moment (0400 hrs 13 November) our Tidewater area contacts via fishing message boards and Facebook have been silent since around 9pm last night. With the local TV and newspaper online sites reporting + 175,000 without power, I can guess why. The new plan is to hitch up the 5' x 8' trailer and bring the 2 generators and some fuel cans, along with associated clean-up gear. One might think of it as a redneck version of "bring lawyers, guns, and money", to paraphrase the late, great Warren Zevon.

    It appears has a pretty good picture of highway, bridge, tunnel, and ramp closures. One can call 511 and get regional/local recorded data, too.

    At this point I'd say avoid the Eastern Shore altogether. Gale force crosswinds and mucho standing water from the 12" of rain and all that. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was at the highest level of restrictions short of outright closure much of yesterday afternoon and likely to have restrictions for towed vehicles through the day today. I would not venture east of I-95 without a full fuel tank and would top off as I approached Suffolk on US 58 or Williamsburg on I-64.

    Will post updates as time, power, and wireless signals to the laptop allow.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Looking to read the latest reports

    Sounds a bit dicey.


  3. #3

    Default A quick recovery, for the most part

    As I had client forms to print/sign at the office, I was > 1030 Friday 13 Nov getting under way. My wife left at 0630 and quickly reported "water everywhere" as she crossed the NC and VA Coastal Plain on I-95 and US-58. Much of the 10-12" of rain which fell had fallen by around 0900 Friday so essentially all side roads were closed by creek and drainage ditch overflows.

    The biggest surprise came when she arrived at the Beach: The last collector boulevard before our neighborhood was closed by tidal flooding. She had to circumnavigate the entire Lynnhaven Inlet estuary (some 20 miles in a circle) in order to reach the other side of the creek, and then it took two trips to the police barricade to convince the officer the location she was headed for was not flooded. Our street is around 5-6' higher than most in the subdivision inasmuch as it follows a "relict dune" ridgeline. I arrived at low tide and Shore Drive had reopened, albeit with a (formerly) very nice BMW X-5 nose down in the median ditch near the bridge over the tidal creek. The highest point on the Beemer had debris stuck to it, indicative of a "full immersion" saltwater soak.

    The creek flooded Shore Drive twice more on successive high tides but was down below the road for good by Saturday afternoon, 14 November. Some level or another of NW, N, or NE winds kept the Bay up and Lynnhaven Inlet up well into the week. It was Thursday before normal levels were observed.

    Depending upon just where the measurement was taken, the "Nor' Ida" blow caused the 3rd, 4th, or 5th highest flood tides. The variance between that grouping was mere inches. It was only an inch below Hurricane Isabel and only a couple of inches below the infamous Ash Wednesday storm.

    Attempting to do my favorite "bushwhack" cross-country while returning to Raleigh on Saturday afternoon, I was turned back by high water at two places: one being the Meherrin River at Branch Bridge, NC, and the other being at Fountain's Creek near Little Texas, VA, east of Emporia. It takes quite a while for +10" of rain to dissipate in the flatlands of eastern NC and southeast VA.


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