Vicarious Hurricane Watch

 A Charlotte person who lived through Hurricane Hugo in 1989 had the opportunity to buy a decommissioned Coast Guard light house off the Southern Coast of North Carolina.

Somehow he has internet access and electricity on his now Bed and Breakfast Inn (it has 8 bedrooms below the helipad) and has set up a live YouTube feed

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46 Responses to Vicarious Hurricane Watch

  1. Fred Stiening says:

    Hurricane Michael comes ashore today on the Gulf coast and will proceed up the East side of the Allegheny mountains, putting the East Coast on strong side of the storm. By making Florence from a marginal tropical storm into “the worst hurricane to ever hit the Carolinas”, the stage has been set for people to ignore the real danger of Michael because of storm fatigue. Charleston SC is going to be hit hard. The eye is dramatic for TV reporters to report from, but the damage will be from storm surge and flooding in the area already saturated from Florence.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Donald Trump announced the winds from Michael will “hit almost 200 mph”

      They don’t teach physics at the Wharton School of Business…

      • Fred Stiening says:

        To clarify the point, the amount of energy contained in wind is cubed by the wind speed (and the weight of the air – aka humidity). A 200 mph wind is 8 times the energy of a 100 mph wind. Almost no structures are designed to survive a 200 mph wind.

        • CC1s121LrBGT says:

          The energy is actually proportional to the mass of the traveling object time the square (rather than cube) of its velocity.

          I had read that Michael’s windspeeds were clocked at 175 mph. I’d call that “almost 200”, but full disclosure, if President Trump shot Senator Schumer on 5th Avenue, I’d still support him. 😉

          • Fred Stiening says:

            Every source I looked at says v³


            Momentary gust in a single spot is not how the intensity of a hurricane is measured.

            • CC1s121LrBGT says:

              Your reply is 100% correct and something I hadn’t considered.

              I was thinking more of flying objects and the damage they will do to a structure (A flying brick at 175 mph will go through an average home’s wall.) The energy there is the square of the velocity times its mass.

              Power is actually something different than energy. It is energy divided by time. For wind, the amount of air passing an area is a function of its velocity- the faster the wind, the more the mass of the air that passes – the mass of the air passing by is proportional to its velocity – so the wind’s power is actually the cube of the wind’s velocity as you state.

              The confusion was between energy and power. Power is energy per unit of time. It goes back to geometry – how thick is a line and how big is a point? 😉

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Charleston had 50-60 mph wind gusts and ugly seas, but nothing catastrophic

      Despite being near the center of rotation in Charlotte, the weak side had been largely depleted of rain. The damage was done on the east side of the storm over around Fayetteville that was still drawing in moisture and energy from the ocean. Our power was off for about two and a half hours due to a recurring problem in our neighborhood. That’s about it.

  2. Parrott says:

    CSX has re-routed the Tropicana juice train to the west just a bit. A lot of former ACL track is under water. It maybe going a route through Charlotte and up the old clinchfield to Huntington W.VA and then C&O east to Richmond to pick back up to the North East area.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      That seems plausible. My cousin and I have discussed the vulnerability of “the rail system” should the (now) CSX “Long River” bridge over the Potomac River become unavailable. It was built in 1904 and strengthened in 1942 to handle war freight.

      It was at one time near the Southern end of Pennsylvia Railroad’s freight operation terminating in Potomac Yard. Now CSX owns it all.

      From my quick perusal, it looks like the Tropicana train has lost its iconic status due to declining US consumption. I’m pretty sure PepsiCo blends in Brazilian juice now. Originally, Tropicana was shipped to New York on a big ship once a week.

      Whatever happened to Anita Bryant?

      • Parrott says:

        Yeah I guess I should have been more accurate on the ‘ Tropicana train ‘. Sections are in other North/ South expedited stack trains and manifest. Previous CSX CEO Hunter Harrison ( who passed away last December) busted it all up, in his ‘precision railroading’ thing. I say discussions on some train message boards about a lot of Florida traffic being re routed way out west.
        I will read that detailed history on the bridge. Yeah Southern use to send a lot of traffic into Potomac yard. Now its all gone.
        just bits a pieces here and there. Thanks for the link.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        Oranges are basically a winter crop – harvested in Florida mostly in December and January. In South America, that would be mostly June and July.

        Similarly, apples are an autumn crop, harvested mostly in September and October. In South America, that would be mostly March and April.

        I had one anti-globalist friend complaining to me about apples from Chile one April day until I pointed this out to him. Fresher is almost always healthier. While Trump is doing some good things to balance trade, sending apples south in September and October and norther in March and April makes sense to me.

        • Fred Stiening says:

          I think we might have covered this before, but “fresh” Florida juice can be as much as a year old. They mix pulp, juice stored in huge oxygen free tanks, and “flavor packets” to create what you think orange juice tastes like. There are a variety of early and late trees that are blended together later in the year.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      In a pinch, people in New York City can drink Tang or Orange Koolaid

  3. Fred Stiening says:

    The “devestation” caused on Topsail Island caused by the worst hurricane to eventually hit North Carolina.

    OMG, there is a trash can out by the road!

    This was where the worst of the wind damage would have been from the eye, but there was no eye, just a “center”.

    Not to worry, Florence is coming back soon for a second try at devastating NC

    • CC1s121LrBGT says:

      What the heck is with The Swamp of DC? Listening to WMAL, you’d think that Hurricane Florence devastated the area.

      Every time I listen to the stream, it is “need garage door repair?” over and over again, interspersed with carpet cleaning talk. In fact, there seems to be so much carpet cleaning going on that WMAL is running a carpet cleaning traffic center.

      Not sure if the broken garage doors and dirty carpets are directly resulting from the hurricane, or from the overly permissive parenting and the general lack of parenting skills – they are often singing in a jungle that they provide cars to kids!

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        Just now heard WMAL local host Larry O’Conner interview TX Rep Louie Gohmert. At the close, O’Conner wished him luck in his relection and said that he had been in DC as long as Larry had and he could not imagine a DC without Louie Gohmert.

        Rep Gohmert replied. “Thank you, Larry. I enjoy listening to you even though I don’t have a carpet to clean.” LMAO

  4. Fred Stiening says:

    By the Dawn’s early light

  5. briand75 says:

    Okay – it’s pretty quiet here. First priority – is everyone in the affected area okay? There is a chance that some folks are flooded out, so I will keep an eye out.

    If anyone needs anything that I can help with – say the word.

    God bless all who endure.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      The latest deaths (in South Carolina) were two female mental health patients being detained inside a van who drowned. They were being moved inland for their safety.

      • briand75 says:

        That is just sad.

        I am glad to see you and Countess have survived the onslaught of Florence!

        Looks like the danger was mostly from the rain and storm surge.

        • Fred Stiening says:

          Charlotte is unusual in that there is no river here. The Catawba River is about 15 miles away and 150 feet lower. We live next to a stream, but because we are elevated on a 13 foot hill overlooking a golf course, we are not in the 100 year flood plain. At a personal level, extended loss of power was the only real risk.

          This came ashore as a disintegrating Cat 1 and the most pessimistic forecast here was 40 mph wind gusts. It was not rocket science to know wind damage was unlikely. A few old trees toppled, and a few underpasses flooded for a few hours. That’s it.

  6. Fred Stiening says:

    79 customers in Mecklenburg County are without power.

  7. Parrott says:

    Hope Foyle is ok. I hate flooding. My Grandparents were always getting flooded in West Virginia. Clean up sucked, mud on everything. Might as well throw away furniture. Finally they moved out of the flood plain.
    Roanoke river cresting 26 feet above flood stage. New river cresting 17 feet above flood stage. Danville Virginia should be in NC this time next week.
    stay safe out there

    • foyle says:

      We are hanging in there. Survived many hurricanes but first time we have been flooded. 3+ feet of water got in. We have removed 4 feet of drywall, plus all floor coverings, tossed furniture & appliances. Flo’s big storm surge just ravished our area. It will be weeks before it is dry enough to begin reconstruction. Maybe a year before we are back in our home. Thanks to all for thoughts and prayers. I will stop this before gets any longer as I don’t wish to hijack Mr. Steining’s blog.

  8. Fred Stiening says:

    People without power in NC down to 221,000. That is a lttle misleading as a number of small towns run their own power systens, buying power at wholesale rates, and doing their own billing and maintenance, so outages in those places do not show up in Duke’s total as long as the lines into the city are intact.

    Mecklenburg County is now under 1% outage and expect everyone in the county restored by 10 PM tomorrow

  9. Fred Stiening says:

    About 3% of Mecklenburg County is without power. Power was off here for maybe 10 seconds. No major roads blocked. Statewide about 390,000 without power, about 10% of Duke Energy’s customers, nowhere near the hypothetical 3/4th prediction.

    Wolf! No, seriously!

  10. Fred Stiening says:

    The NWS is standing by its prediction that the storm will stall along the coast for a day, move South, then cross South Carolina

    It came ashore as a Category one with the totally expected coastal flooding but this one is not Hugo or Hazel.

    We will be on the strong side of the storm. Winds will start this evening with the serious wind (~40 mph) arriving on Saturday. I expect power to be out for at most two days. Countess will be glad we have spam and rice crispy cakes! And root beer!

  11. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    Good find, Fred. This should get interesting during the day, and there is no one from the weather channel standing in front of it blocking the view and yelling to ruin it.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      It was getting its internet access relayed from the Wilmington Tower, and the feed went down

      • Fred Stiening says:

        The flag took on the name Kevin in the YouTube chat and has achieved the status of an official meme. is selling limited edition T-Shirts (limited to how many people order)

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        Just now… trying to stream the Chris Plante Show from WAAV 980 Wilmington, NC to also catch the local news and the stream is off line. It is my first visit to the stream since the storm. I suspect they still have no power. …

        Switched to WEEB 990 AM Southern Pines, NC which is streaming the Chris Plante show.

        … don’t know why FEMA uses Waffle House to gauge storms when we have the Chris Plante show to gauge them. 😉

        (Caution with WEEB – last time I listened they often stream silence during commercial breaks, then jar you with the sudden resumption of programming minutes later after you forgot the stream was still going!)

        • Fred Stiening says:

          There used to be an ability to put a breaking event on the top of the directory pages giving links to radio stations with live coverage, but I must have commented out the code. I don’t think I ever got any feedback thanking me for doing it, so I lost interest.

          • CC1s121LrBGT says:

            The links were interesting and probably useful to the general public… probably less so for me since I have a feel for what stations exists across the country.

            While it is outside the scope or “radio”, what would benefit me would be a list of links to local TV stations during a disaster. Most go to news 24/7 and stream it online for as a public service. Even those that don’t cut away from regular programming usually have a video podcast of their last local news broadcast.

            That Frying Pan Ocean Cam really hit the mark – thanks for that!

            • Fred Stiening says:

              More to the specific point, the breaking news information would not be indexed in real time by Google – so nobody would see it, even if the information was potentially useful. That is a spin on the old “if a tree falls in a forest, and nobody knows, did it make a sound?” Issue.

              I knew about the Fukishima earthquake within an hour and had put up links for Guam, Hawaii and the west coast. I hoped it might help somebody. On another earthquake that was sending a tsunami from South America to Hawaii, I actually succeeded in contacting Rusty Humphreys to alert him why there was unusual activity outside his hotel. The actual risk was not as great as the predictions. I am still glad I made the effort.

              While I found it interesting, the public as a whole would not. They would turn on a TV and watch the compelling images. There comes a time when you have to accept reality and move on.

        • CC1s121LrBGT says:

          WAAV is back streaming and talking about how to prevent mold.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        The relay is back. Wilmington Tower apparently has internet access again.

        Appears to be live. Still night.

  12. Fred Stiening says:

    Eyewall has collapsed, winds way down

    Washington Post will not be giving Donald Trump credit

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