Hey, everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten to write. I have been busy preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irene. She’s expected to hit on Saturday at 5 p.m. and hang around for 24 hours!
Things around here are getting very hectic to say the least. Any tourist visiting the beach will be gone by 5 p.m. today, Friday 8-26, 24 hours before the expected hit. Just like with an impending snowstorm, store shelves are about bare, and supplies have quickly been gobbled up. It is pathetic to see people carry out enough provisions to survive a nuclear war, denying others their share. Fortunately, my wife and I were able to get what we might need a few days ago, so we’ll be in good shape.
Judy and I had the “pleasure” of witnessing first hand, the effects of a major hurricane, so we at least have a vague understanding of what to expect. In 1988, in what was to be a celebration of our 10th year of marriage, we treated ourselves to a week in Cancun, Mexico. We only managed one day of sunshine, when another visitor decided to make their way to Cancun….. Hurricane Gilbert!
Hurricane Gilbert was the second largest hurricane in history to hit the area, and slammed Cancun with Category 5 winds, with 185 mph winds. We were evacuated to a school located in an inland area, and spent three days sleeping on marble floors without the benefit of blankets or pillows. Aside from being crowded into a room with 60 people and the fact that the windows kept on shattering and blowing into the room, we survived without too much trauma. It was certainly one for the history books and will be an exciting story to tell my grandson.
Our home is in Ocean Pines, so we are not directly on the beach. I am sure I have somehow convinced myself that we won’t be affected a great deal, but you never know. The picture below show’s where my home is located in relation to Ocean City and the shore. When I looked at this picture this morning, I began to get a little nervous, but I’m confident that we’ll be o.k. We are about 3 2/3 miles from the beach as the crow flies so wish us luck! I’ll keep you posted……
Ocean City Initiates Phase Three of Emergency Plan
Updated: 3:15 p.m. 8/25/11
Ocean City Emergency Management officials will initiate phase three of the hurricane action plan in preparation for Hurricane Irene. Phase three will go into effect at midnight tonight.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan has signed a proclamation declaring a local State of Emergency.
All persons other than identified emergency personnel are ordered to evacuate. Visitors are asked to return to their principle residences. Ocean City residents are asked to seek shelter elsewhere.
Utilizing the authority under a local State of Emergency, the Mayor is banning the sale of all alcohol in Ocean City and requests that all businesses close beginning at midnight.
All incoming traffic to Ocean City, Maryland, will be limited to emergency personnel. No other vehicles will be permitted entry to the island, except by approved authority (Mayor, City Manager and Emergency Services Director).
Ocean City Municipal Transportation System is providing transportation for special needs individuals. For special needs transportation, please call Ocean City Transportation at 410-723-1606. International student workforce evacuation continues and will be completed by tomorrow morning.
The Ocean City Government Cable Access Channel 4, the Ocean City website http://www.ocmdemergency.com, recorded emergency management line, 410-723-6666 and Ocean City advisory radio station 1670 AM will remain operational for further advisories.
Ocean City is expected to receive a significant impact from Hurricane Irene.
Easterly gale force winds should start affecting the area on Saturday, August 27 at 5 p.m. with hurricane-force winds arriving around 4 a.m. and lasting for a period of eight hours. The highest wind speeds from Hurricane Irene should occur near 9 a.m. when top sustained winds, from the north, could reach 90 mph with gusts near 120 mph. Winds should decrease below hurricane force shortly thereafter.
Sustained winds will fall below gale force after 3 p.m. and generally be from the north during this period of decreasing winds. Expect gusts above gale force level for several more hours thereafter.
The total rainfall for the Ocean City area over the next three days is forecast to be 9.5 inches. This can vary significantly as tropical storm and hurricane rainfall is very difficult to predict.
Storm surge is expected to be six-feet above normal high tide cycles resulting in significant flooding in low-lying areas.