Hurricane Isabel

Thursday, September 18, 2003

This is why the 40-Year Reunion for the NNHS Class of 1963 was postponed!

Buckroe, VA - ADDED 10/08/03

Hampton, VA - UPDATED 10/08/03

Chesapeake Avenue. Residents pick up the pieces around their waterfront home Friday morning in Hampton.

 Adrin Snider/Daily Press   Copyright 2003, Daily Press

Trees litter the streets of a subdivision off of Chesapeake Avenue in Hampton Friday after high winds from Hurricane Isabel hit the area Thursday.

Adrin Snider/Daily Press  Copyright 2003, Daily Press

High winds uprooted this tree - and the sidewalk -- on Chesapeake Avenue in Hampton.

Jim McConnell/
Daily Press Reader
Copyright 2003, Daily Press

A car speeds down flooded Settlers Landing Road in Hampton,
where rising water was threatening the Virginia Air and Space Museum.

Dave Bowman/Daily Press Copyright 2003, Daily Press

The Radisson Hotel where the 40th Reunion for the Class of 1963 was to have taken place on September 19 and 20 is just out of the camera's range in this shot.

 Residents of Wythe pulled garbage cans to the street for trash day. Piles of storm debris also wait to be
picked up.

Dave Bowman/Daily Press, Sep. 23, 2003
Copyright 2003, Daily Press

The creek beside Parklawn Cemetery on Armistead Avenue in Hampton. Some of the graves were under water.

From Suzan Speropoulos/
Daily Press reader
Copyright 2003, Daily Press

The corner of Marshall Street and Creek Avenue in Hampton near city hall was flooded by the tidal surge of Hampton Creek

Copyright 2003, Daily Press

This pier ended up in a residential yard after Hampton Creek flooded downtown Hampton.

Copyright 2003, Daily Press

Flooding of the stage area in Mill Point park in Hampton due to the storm surge from the hurricane.

Mark S. Kasper/
Daily Press Reader
Copyright 2003, Daily Press

Tree demolishes house in Hampton

Mike Moughamian/
Daily Press Reader
Copyright 2003, Daily Press

Hampton National Cemetery - ADDED 10/07/03

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of Norfolk, VA - 10/04/03
Thanks, Dave!

Newport News, VA - UPDATED 10/10/03

Poquoson, VA - ADDED 08/19/04

We have lived in our house in Poquoson, VA for 24 years
and this is the first time that water came into it. 
We had 31 inches of water in the garage and 6 inches in the house. 
It was devastating to us because we had already had a pretty tough few months
with our son being paralyzed by a staff infection in October, 2002
(by the grace of God he made it through surgery and is now walking),
then I gave birth to my grandson February 24, 2003
(I was a surrogate for my daughter, but you know that),
then Isabel on September 18, 2003. 

My husband and I had talked about taking up the tile in the foyer, hallway,
kitchen and utility room, but felt we could not do it ourselves. 
We also wanted to take up the carpet downstairs and sand and restain the floors. 
Again, we felt we could not do it ourselves. 
However, after Isabel, we found out we could because we had no other alternative! 
My son helped and together we took out walls, took up tile floors that were over linoleum, which was over hardwood!  I never thought our hands and backs could do it but when you don't have money (didn't receive insurance money for 3 months), you find you can do a lot yourselves in order to make your house safe to live in. 
We had to remove wet insulation, carpet, floors and walls. 
My husband devised a plan and we worked from daylight till midnight
for two weeks to dry the house. 
My neighbors are still in FEMA trailers. 
We were truly blessed with being able to get through this (even though we are
still not finished with the steps inside the house) without hurting ourselves. 
You find inner strength that you never thought you had. 
Plus, you also find help where you never thought you would. 
Other states and our own city came through with food, cleaning items, clothes, etc. 
I cried when I saw our local middle school gym full of these items. 
I took what I needed and then went home to find items I could donate to help others.
While it was a horrible time, I believe it was a spiritual time. 
I know I felt that we had truly been blessed with the help we received from others
and that we were able to reach out and help others as well. 
I will never take anyone or anything for granted again as you may not have that person or that cherished belonging when you wake up the next day.

Thursday, September 18, 2003 Thursday, September 18, 2003

- Dee Hodges Bartram ('66) of Poquoson, VA - 08/19/04
GASP!  Thanks for sharing all this with us, Dee!

Norfolk, VA - UPDATED 10/01/03

"...these all are from "turn-of-the-century" neighborhoods in Norfolk
 and are indicative of the kind of damage all over Hampton Roads."

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of Norfolk, VA - 09/22/03
Thanks, Dave!

Additionally, there are more images from the City of Norfolk's Home Page.

Chesapeake, VA - UPDATED 09/22/03

"Greetings.....just to say that we are ok and our house and contents are fine.
Isabel was an awful storm.....and so many friends/neighbors have great damage....we are so fortunate!!"


Courtesy of Janice McCain Rose of Chesapeake, VA - 09/22/03.
Thanks, Janice!

Virginia Beach, VA - ADDED 09/20/03

 A group of men attempt, to no avail, to push a car stuck in several feet of beach sand on Sandfiddler Road in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach, VA., Thursday afternoon Sept, 19, 2003.

(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Two boys on bicycles peddle past a washed out section of Sandpiper Road in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach, VA., Friday afternoon Sept. 19, 2003. The road was damaged by Hurricane Isabel as it ripped through the area Thursday.

(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

A bucket loader removes beach sand from Sandfiddler Road in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach, VA., Friday afternoon Sept. 19, 2003. High winds and surf from Hurricane Isabel covered area roads with several feet of sand in places.

(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

York County, VA - ADDED 09/29/03

"York County was nailed by Isabel, 2nd highest damage estimate, thus far-there's more to come - on the Peninsula.
I can certainly identify with Sarah and all the red tape involved in the insurance dealings.
Boy, how they love to collect premiums and hate to pay claims! 
I lost a 75' 30+ year-old beautiful, shade giving maple tree to that 'lady', Isabel - and some other minor damage.
I await the adjuster.

"Regrettably, the tree took out about 4 sections of my neighbors fence and a nice grape vine.
The good news is that it missed all houses and out buildings.
The wind took 'care' of some of the sheds!
Immediately upon the tree, as if in slow motion, nailing her fence,
I phoned her and left a message on her voice mail assuring her that I would contact my agent
as soon as possible and help in any way I could.
She wasn't home, having fled the scene prior to Isabel's arrival.

"When I did speak with my agent, I was to discover what I consider to be one
of the 'dumbest' laws on the books in VA -  and other states!
In the vernacular of the street: it ain't who owns the tree that is responsible,
BUT who gets hit by it!!!  AMAZING!  Keep a weary eye on your NEIGHBOR'S trees.

"With the casualty losses I've suffered this year from tree loss, one to lightning
and now this one to the wind, come tax time, I'm going to own the government.
So, you'd better be nice to me!

"I sincerely hope that all are well and will soon find normalcy once again, as they define normalcy."

- Wayne Stokes of York Co., VA - 09/29/03
Thanks, Wayne!

Outer Banks, NC - UPDATED 10/01/03

Kenny Branch ('62) of AR sent us these 18 images of destruction on 09/26/03.
Thanks, Kenny!

"Hurricane Isabel hit the North Carolina coast Sept. 18 skirting north along I-95 and traveling through eastern Virginia before weakening near Washington D.C.  By hurricane standards, Isabel was a second-rate storm, peaking at a category 2 on the 1-5 elevated hurricane scale.  Wind speed rarely blew into triple digits.  But what Isabel lacked in gusts she made up for in timing and shiftiness -- stirring up high-tide flood waters that forced some 700 Carteret County (VA) residents from their homes..."

- Church News, week ending September 27, 2003

Annapolis, MD - UPDATED 10/02/03

Many of these images (and the attached link for even more) were supplied by
Dave Spriggs ('64), USNA ('69) of Norfolk, VA - 09/22/03 and 10/01/03.
Thanks, Dave!

From Janice McCain Rose of Chesapeake, VA - 10/03/03:

Things I learned since Isabel

* Coffee and frozen pizzas can be made on a BBQ grill

* No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don't work without electricity

* My car gets 23.21675 miles per gallon, EXACTLY  (you can ask the people in line who helped me push it)

* Kids can survive 4 days or longer without a video game controller in their hand.

* Cats are even more irritating without power

* He who has the biggest generator wins

* Women can actually survive without doing their hair - you just wish they weren't around you

* A new method of non-lethal torture - showers without hot water.

* Dominion Virginia Power and VDOT are the same company - not really: their abilities to plan are strikingly similar.

* There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.

* TV is an addiction and the withdrawal symptoms are painful. One day at a time, brother.

* A 7 lb bag of ice will chill 6 -12 oz. Budweiser's to a drinkable temperature in 11 minutes, and still keep a 14 pound turkey frozen for 8 more hours.

* There are a lot of damn trees around here !!!

* Flood plain drawings on some mortgage documents were seriously wrong.

* Contrary to most Hampton Roads natives' beliefs, speed limit on roads without traffic lights does not increase.

* Aluminum siding, while aesthetically pleasing, is definitely not required.

* Just because you're 35 doesn't mean you can stay out as late as you want. At least that's what the Hampton cops told me during curfew stop.

* Crickets can increase their volume to overcome the sound of 14 generators

* People will get into a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.

* When required, a Lincoln Continental will float, doesn't steer well but floats just the same.

* Some things do keep the mailman from his appointed rounds

* Tele-marketers function no matter what the weather is doing

* Cell phones work when land lines are down, but only as long as the battery remains charged

* 27 of your neighbors are fed from a different transformer than you, and they are quick to point that out!

* Clothes Hampers were not made to contain such a volume.

* If my store sold only ice, chainsaws, gas and generators...I'd be rich

* Price of a can of soup rises 200% in a storm

* Your water front property can quickly become someone else's fishing hole.

* Tree service companies are under-appreciated.

* I learned what happens when you make fun of another state's blackout.

* MATH 101: 30 days in month, minus 6 days without power equals 30% higher electric bill ?????

* Drywall is a compound word, take away the "dry" part and its worthless

* I can walk a lot farther than I thought.

* 7 mile stretch of "new" road by Coliseum doesn't drain properly...wait, I learned that 2 months ago

* Water will indeed fill the Midtown tunnel if the floodgates aren't shut during a flood. I was pretty sure that was true but it has now been proven.

Thanks, Janice!



Arlington, Va. -- For the first time ever, soldiers at Arlington National
Cemetery were given permission to leave their post
at the Tomb of the Unknowns if Hurricane Isabel became too dangerous.

None left.

"We made the decision we were going to stand where we were," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Fredrick Geary, 37.

Around the clock each day for about two hours at a time,
seven soldiers take urns manning the tomb where the first unknown soldier was buried in 1921.
But on Thursday night, during the height of the storm, Sgt. of the Guard Geary took it upon himself
to march for 5-1/2 hours before the tomb against heavy rain and 60 mph wind gusts.

The wind was so strong that it felled at least 24 trees on cemetery grounds, most more than 20 years old. 
In turn, three headstones were crushed. 
Crews began working at 4 a.m. Friday to clean up the 612 acres scattered with downed trees and limbs.
The tombstones could be replaced within two weeks, officials say.

Looking at the tomb on Friday, Geary, who led the charge to stay, choked up:
"Did they volunteer? Did they get drafted? How did they die?
They did their job and this country paid them back by not remembering who they were.
We have a job to do here and at no time was a life in danger.

"It was my life. I was just doing what I believed to be right."

Copyright 2003, Newsday, Inc.

- 12/08/03

The Doors

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm
There's a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin' like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die
Killer on the road, yeah
Girl, ya gotta love your man
Girl, ya gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeah
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm

"Riders on the Storm" midi courtesy of
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 09/23/03.
Thanks, Dave!

"Riders on the Storm" lyrics courtesy of

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