Friday, September 2, 2016

Restless Dawgs and Hurricane Hermine

NEXT DAY UPDATE: DAY dawns sunny and pleasant. The "river" at the back of our backyard has receded into just  small ponding on one side. Hopefully that will dry up by afternoon. Will need to check on how to avoid recurrences in that basin-like area. Seven inches on rain in a short time will make vulnerable areas retain a lot of water. May need to add more topsoil and plant something that will absorb water. Anyway, we are very fortunate to have no damage.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: Raining extremely heavy non-stop for past hour. No signs of break. Flash flooding warning til 4:15. We have a river flowing in our backyard.

BREAKING: 2:15 p.m. Severe thunderstorm moving in. NOAA radio warns it could exacerbate flooding. Tornado still a possibility. Wind gusts up to 50 mph now.

So Hermine made landfall last night in Florida as a Category One (minimal) hurricane and is forecast to come up through Georgia and the Carolinas today and tonight as a tropical storm with the center just a tad to the west of us here in the Myrtle Beach area. As I start this post Friday morning, we are under a tornado watch until 4 p.m., and are getting off-and-on torrential rains. Expected impacts to come: 3 to 6 inches of rain here, 4 to 7 a little farther inland; wind gusts of maybe 50 to 60 mph. Not a huge deal but maybe good practice for when a full-fledged hurricane comes along with our name on it.

This Dawgwalker is riding it out with Ellie Mae, the junkyard dawg, and Dasher the wonder dawg, right here with all three of us looking out back where our gorgeous cedars are enjoying the big drinks of water. I let the dawgs out (answer to "Who Let the Dogs Out?") when the rain slows for a few minutes, and then work on drying them off. Not sure a leashed dawgwalk is a good idea right now, though we might try a short one. If my next post is from the Land of Oz, you will know it wasn't such a hot idea.

I think I will do a starter this morning and then update this blogpost as we go through day and night.

Dasher: Rain, rain, go away!

One observation: A mere forecast of an inch of snow is enough to cause the local school system's administrators to close schools for kids and teachers. However, a hurricane/tropical storm on the way here in a few hours -- with tornadoes potentially being spun off -- did not deter them from opening the schools this morning. That means the winds will be picking up about the time the children (including three of my grandchildren) are leaving school. This is the kind of bureaucratic rigamarole that makes homeschooling an appealing option for growing numbers of parents.

Anyway, back to the dawgs. Dasher is curled up napping right by the back door, occasionally opening his eyes a little to check out how hard it is raining. Dash is a pure-bred yellow lab who is famous for happily jumping in ponds for a swim. Strangely, though, he doesn't like raindrops. Ellie Mae can tolerate the rain a little more, and certainly it is no deterrent to her hunting anything that might be moving out back (except nothing much is right now).

Now it is raining hard again. Our neighborhood withstood 16 to 20 inches of rain fairly well in freaky Superstorm Firehose (as I dubbed it) last October, when many parts of South Carolina suffered devastating flooding. So we should be okay unless the system stalls and just dumps non-stop rain. I am still mindful of the 32 inches of rain we experienced one night from the remnants of Hurricane Camille when we rented an apartment in a farmhouse in western Virginia (back in 1969). The flooding swept whole families away in that region, far from the ocean. We were lucky to live atop a secure hill.

Anyway there is an element of danger when these huge tropical systems come calling, and it can extend far inland. I plan to update my blog through this day and night, and I will try to get some good wet-dawg and/or storm pictures for posting.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: The rain stopped for a few minutes, so I decided to walk Ellie Mae. As we were about to go out the door, it started raining again. I was going to go out and walk in the rain anyway, but Ellie Mae looked up at me with those sad eyes and backed away from the door as if to say, "Are you crazy, man?" So no walk. Dawg has better sense than Dawgwalker does.

11:35 a.m.: It resumed raining in frog-strangling torrents. Did Elliedawg know this was coming back so soon? Maybe she pays heed to The Weather Channel more than Dawgwalker does. 

1 p.m.: Winds picking up a little, maybe 15-25 mph. At times it looks like the rain has stopped, and then you turn back around and it's pouring. Water is ponding in part of my backyard near the new home construction. Hope that doesn't become a problem, though Dasher probably hopes it becomes a retention pond for his swimming.

                                                       © Robert G. Holland  2016

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