Sneaking Suspicions
Hurricane Isabel Pictures

This page includes posts and pictures about Hurricane Isabel.


September 19, 2003
Lucky for us, not so hot for others

We are some kind of lucky sometimes.

Hurricane Isabel's landing in North Carolina and the speed with which it blew itself inland helped keep the damage in Rehoboth Beach down to only mild tropical storm levels.

Others in Delaware and elsewhere were not so fortunate.

The strongest winds hit us very late last night, but didn't seem to produce much except for some downed tree branches and a whole lot of leaves and other minor debris.


As usual, the adage "prepare for the worst, hope for the best" is still the right way to think about preparations for these unpredictable events--sort of like the right kind of national defense policy, if you think about it.


I posted some post-Isabel pictures on the hurricane page, for those interested.

Here's one that seemed to fit the situation well:

As shown below, the waves are mostly back to normal, as are the crowds of seagulls begging for food from folks on the Boardwalk:

Somebody expressed the view that perhaps the media may have overblown the risks:

The TV satellite folks came back to do one of those "after the storm" stories:

We have until November 1 until the end of the hurricane season.

I can't wait.

September 18, 2003
Now it's storm time


We went out to see the beach during the storm at about 2 o'clock this afternoon. Pretty impressive, especially considering we're not supposed to see the biggest impacts for another 4-8 hours. The skies really were just as dark as shown in these photos.

This view looks south. The wave in the background is at least 10 feet high.

This bar is one block back from the Boardwalk, and the owners are apparently pretty hopeful despite the plywood.

The water is rushing under the Boardwalk's north end. The howling winds made it hard to keep water off the lens.

A knot of hurricane sightseers huddle next to the Dolles Candy Store, in a mostly vain attempt to avoid the driving rain coming out of the northeast.

A large wave (12-15 feet) breaks just offshore. The sign and ribbons block pedestrians from using the Boardwalk.

September 17, 2003
A little less calm before the storm

I went down to the Rehoboth Boardwalk late this afternoon and took some pictures as Isabel works her way toward the coast.

This shot shows the wave action (about 4-5 feet) at just before low tide. Winds were about 20 mph from the northeast, causing some whitecapping.

The landmark Dolles candy store at the Boardwalk and Rehoboth Avenue is partially boarded on the ocean side. One panel (third from left) says it was used in the Storms of '92, '94, and '98, all fairly vicious nor'easters.

Television broadcasting trucks, set up for the obligatory shots from the beach during the lead-up to the hurricane hitting the area. I tend to doubt this expensive equipment will be stationed here when Isabel shows up.

Depending on the state of emergency conditions that might be imposed, I'm going to try to shoot more pictures of the storm's impact tomorrow and the next day.


September 16, 2003
Calm before the storm

Sure, itís a clichť.

Itís also true, at least often enough.

Hereís a picture of the Atlantic Ocean just off the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk at Rehoboth Avenue, taken this morning a few hours before high tide:

This evening we took another look. The oceanís still relatively calm, but the shopkeepers arenít taking any chances. Several beachfront businesses are already boarded up against the impending storm. The city also removed the dozens of white benches that normally edge the Boardwalk, as well as trash cans and other potential projectiles.

Itís finger-crossing time.

September 13, 2003
I wouldn't bet on our chances

We went into Rehoboth Beach for dinner the other night. At that point in the evening it was close to high tide on the ocean. We took a short walk up to the Boardwalk for a look both before and after our meal, and were a bit stunned to see all the beach erosion that had occurred in just a few days. There was a sharp dropoff about 20 yards from the Boardwalk, and the water ran under the boards at many locations.

The recent Atlantic storms that passed by here brought some heavy surf and rain, but nothing like the full fury of a hurricane. However, the beach sand at Rehoboth was already in relatively short supply, after last winterís harsh treatment and a slower-than-usual recovery this spring.

Last night brought another strong storm, and we went up to the Boardwalk again. This time the rain literally stung our faces, and there was little to see but 8- to 10-foot high surf and whitecaps in the darkness. It was closer to low tide, but the water was still coming close to covering the entire beach, what there was of it.

Todayís weather news suggested that Delaware might be in the path of the next hurricane. (Link via Drudgereport).

Even if it doesnít take a direct hit, however, Rehoboth Beach is already in fairly bad shape for a glancing blow.

The Corps of Engineers is to oversee another beach replenishment project for Rehoboth, to begin next spring.

In the meantime, however, the resort community needs to hit an unusual trifecta over the next six monthsóa mild winter, no fall hurricanes, and no beach-gouging níoreasters.

The only problem is that the odds of hitting any trifecta are pretty steep, and this oneís no different.

Contact Information:

Fritz Schranck
P.O. Box 88
Nassau, DE  19969


Home Page
Links to the Weekly Archives

Table of Essays
Table of Essays 2002

Official small print disclaimer: This is, after all, a personal web site. Any opinions or comments I express here are my own, and don't necessarily reflect the official position of my work as a government attorney or any of my clients. That fact may become obvious later on, but it needs to be said here anyway.

© Frederick H. Schranck 2002-2003