We are headed over to the Outer Banks this afternoon to secure the house as best we can, and move the boat. We are concerned they will close the bridges sometime tomorrow or Friday for one way traffic to head out, so we want to make sure we can get "in" before they do that. Irene is expected to reach Category 3 by Saturday early morning. Category 3 hurricanes carry winds of 133-155 mph.
At this point, speculation is that Irene will hit Cape Hatteras and continue up the Outer Banks taking it right over our place (the red dot) Saturday sometime. We live right on the island surrounded by the Sound on the left, and the Atlantic Ocean on the right.
If the Outer Banks takes a direct hit of a Cat 3 hurricane I can't even begin to imagine the devastation. Living in Florida for 25 years, I've experienced my share of hurricanes (including Andrew,) and seen quite a bit of damage.
But while the houses in Florida are poured concrete or concrete block, the houses on the Outer Banks are wood frame, many cedar shingled, on stilts. They are oftentimes surrounded by water on both sides for the most part. I can't even begin to imagine the devastation that will occur not only to the structures, but to the Outer Banks (barrier islands) themselves.
Heading over to the Banks from Raleigh today, we can't dwell on the "what ifs." All we can do instead, is prepare the property and head to safety, returning Sunday or monday morning to see if the Outer Banks as we left it - still remains.