I have not been watching the news much this summer. But I did hear that Ernesto was coming ashore so I figured that I should probably check and see where it was headed. I watched the news Thursday evening and they were saying that it would hit on Friday…go over Va Beach and then head west inland. Ocean City was on the outer rim and expected to only get a few inches.
Sounded great to me and I found it amusing that Ernesto was probably going to hit Jeff harder then it would hit us. The boys were spending the night at their friend Jack's on Thursday, so I settled into enjoying a rare free evening (actually watched a movie…Sliding Doors). I did bring in the hammock swing and a few light weight chairs and picked up various things that I thought could blow away.
Woke up Friday morning to a downpour of rain. Talked with Joanna and we decided that with the weather being so bad, that it would make sense for the boys to stay over there until dinner time or so. By then, we reasoned, the storm would have tapered off. Made sense given that the storm was not really supposed to be coming our way. The boys were thrilled and I unexpectedly found myself with a whole day with no place to be! Talked to Jeff who was not getting hit as hard…he had thought that he might try to make it down since it was not as bad as they had said, but I told him not to try because it was much worse here.
As the day wore on, I kept checking the radar and gradually realized that contrary to earlier predictions, Ernesto was headed straight towards us. Being on the water (we are on a canal off the bay and 4 blocks off the ocean), it was amazing to watch nature at work. The rain came down in sheets, blowing sideways. All day long. I watched as the water crept higher and higher. I noticed that our neighbor's dock was soon underwater and that the water was creeping up on ours. There was no way to know how high it was going to go.
Around 4, the rain was still pouring and the wind was still blowing. Joanna called again and said that her husband would be going into town around 7:30 and would be able to drop the boys off…again we hoped that the storm would have blown over by then. I kept checking the level of the water because if it got too high I was going to have to go out and tie the jet skis up so they would not float away. The water was about even with our dock (normally there is at least a foot or so between the bottom of the dock and the water), but was not going over the retaining wall luckily.
Around 6:30 talked with Joanna again. Her husband was going to try to make it into town and we decided that he would bring the boys with the understanding that if it seemed too risky, he would turn around and the boys would spend the night again. He was able to get through and I was really glad to have the boys home! Turns out that St. Louis Ave was totally flooded and several areas had lost power (we still had ours). And the rain was still coming down.
When we went to bed the water was up to here:
Of course unless you really know what it normally looks like it may not seem too bad…but take my word for it. This is really higher then normal!
Both boys crashed in my room for the night as the wind was so strong and this house is NOT insulated at all so the creaking and howling was pretty scary for them. So we had a fun cuddle pile on our bed…downloaded Google Earth and took some tours on my laptop before they fell off to sleep. I did one more check of the water level outside and headed to bed not sure of what would happen overnight (high tide was supposed to hit sometime around 3 am).