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Mon Sep 10, 2018, 12:58 PM

Remembering Hurricane Fran (1996), concerned about Florence - our Raleigh experience

Anyone else have a Fran story? Here is ours...

22 years is a long time ago. Fran approached as a Cat 3 storm and came ashore at Bald Head Island - 115 mph winds. We in Raleigh were watching on TV - then the power went out and we had no idea what we were in for. These storms lose steam over land, right?

Well, as it grew dark, there was the sound of the wind howling though the trees. Once it was dark the wind really picked up - we were getting 75 mph gusts - then we heard snaps. We saw power flashes - green flashes - in the distance as trees hit more and more power lines. Stepping outside you could smell the pine sap - many of the trees that went down were snapped or whole loblolly pines...the oaks tended to just topple over, root ball and all - some of the root areas well over 6 feet in diameter.

We huddled around an AM radio until the wee hours of the morning - things got oddly calm as the eye passed over, then charged up again. the rain was torrential, and we were so tired of the sound of the wind...and we had no idea what was going on out there.

we woke the next morning to find that our woods looked like pick up sticks that were randomly tossed. Magically, nothing hit our home - we had a few trees that landed on neighbor's decks, and we had a huge oak that fell toward our house but simply destroyed our back yard fence - the tree top brushed our deck. We got up - it was hot and sticky - and took a walk around the yard, then the block. forget about getting out in a car - roads were blocked everywhere, power lines were down everywhere. Chainsaws same out - and so did the bees - yellow jackets after the sweet smelling oak and other hardwood sap. I am sure snakes were about - we didn't run into any.

Food in freezers and refrigerators couldn't last with out power, so there were neighborhood grillings where people brought whatever needed to be eaten after thawing. At first, it was festive - but that didn't last as there was no way to shower, no ice, no phone service.

When we finally could drive out, we were looking for ice and found it about 15 miles away, and waited in line for over an hour.

Power was back in a week or so. Tree services from all over started showing up and the many months-long clean ups started.

We felt lucky - no home damage, no family members injured - but this wasn't supposed to happen well inland, in Raleigh.

Here is a story about Fran - https://www.wral.com/weather/hurricanes/story/9855450/

Florence is scary because it is bigger and fiercer already. It is Monday, and if the path holds true, effects would be felt here on Fri or sat - but....

ANYONE in the path of this monster - get ready. Better to have too much of what you may need then to figure on it turning away and being caught short.

I am sure those of us in the path will check in here when we can.....22 years ago there weren't cell phone cameras and as much of an ability to stay connected.....if the forecast holds, this is supposed to hit hardest during daylight hours.

Be well and be safe, all who are in the path.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Remembering Hurricane Fran (1996), concerned about Florence - our Raleigh experience (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Sep 2018 OP
PearliePoo2 Sep 2018 #1
NRaleighLiberal Sep 2018 #2
Scurrilous Sep 2018 #3
NRaleighLiberal Sep 2018 #4
OneGrassRoot Sep 2018 #5
PearliePoo2 Sep 2018 #6
flygal Sep 2018 #7
GoCubsGo Sep 2018 #8
Behind the Aegis Sep 2018 #16
llmart Sep 2018 #24
yardwork Sep 2018 #9
nclib Sep 2018 #10
OneGrassRoot Sep 2018 #13
nclib Sep 2018 #17
malaise Sep 2018 #11
elmac Sep 2018 #12
getagrip_already Sep 2018 #22
Roy Rolling Sep 2018 #14
Behind the Aegis Sep 2018 #15
FakeNoose Sep 2018 #18
R Merm Sep 2018 #19
mnhtnbb Sep 2018 #20
Leith Sep 2018 #21
CaptainTruth Sep 2018 #23

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:06 PM

1. Are you on higher ground? The rain and flooding could be catastrophic.




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Response to PearliePoo2 (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:08 PM

2. yes - flooding will not be an issue here - falling trees are the main problem

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:08 PM

3. If there's an upside to these storms, it's that you do get to interact more with your neighbors.

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:09 PM

4. yes - we actually had a few back then we call our natural disaster friends

it was the absolute only time we saw them!

The neighorhood has changed - we are now the old people - lots of great younger families, lots of dogs.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:11 PM

5. I was here in Raleigh for Fran too...

Yes, the damage was extraordinary, even more so than the effects on the coast. The tornadoes spawned taught me to always hope to be on the west side of the eye, rather than the east, more dangerous, side.

Those of us who were here for Fran are rightfully very concerned about Florence. Fortunately we sit up on a hill so flooding isn't the issue it will be for others, and many have trees have come down over the years, but it seems pretty much guaranteed we're gonna lose power for an extended period of time.

Godspeed to everyone in Florence's path...

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:24 PM

6. Do you have a generator that can power a small fridge and charge batteries?


Propane grill and camp stove for cooking food and heating water? Do you have a chain saw?

What do you use for lighting?

Would you consider taking photos to share on DU?

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:34 PM

7. That's what I'm afraid of (Triad area representing here) - the trees!

My house has tall trees around it and we really have no way to shelter in place so we will go to a designated shelter.



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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:46 PM

8. Yeah, being inland doesn't mean being safe.

I was in South Carolina for Hugo. I live in the western part of the state. Fortunately, we caught the northwest side of the storm, rather than northeastern side, so we just got rain and moderate winds. The northeastern side is where all the damaging wind is. That's why Charlotte had a ton of wind damage. Areas around Columbia, including Congaree NP saw the same sorts of damage you saw with Florence. They are both way inland. Had Hugo hit near Savannah or south of it, we would have borne the brunt of that damage, instead of the places further east of us.

The thing I remember most about Florence was all the destroyed hog farms, and the environmental disaster it caused. And, from what I understand, they still have not learned from that. I sure hope we don't see a repeat.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 02:43 PM

16. I was a student at USC for Hugo.

I remember Jim Bakker claiming this was punishment for gays and such, and then his ass got slammed in Charlotte!

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #8)

Tue Sep 11, 2018, 04:42 PM

24. I lived in Charlotte during Hugo.

No one expected us to get more than just a lot of rain and wind. It hit around 3 AM and everything was so dark. I could hear something terrible going on outside but couldn't see a thing. At dawn I couldn't believe what I saw outside my windows. Trees and power lines down everywhere. We had no power for two weeks.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:49 PM

9. Hi neighbor! We had the same experience as you.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 01:53 PM

10. We were in Raleigh for Fran.

We were living in a split foyer home on about 1/3 of an acre. I invited a family I knew who were living in a mobile home to come shelter with us. (turns out they had no damage) Mr. nclib was out of town and supposed to fly in that night. He was on one of the last planes to land at RDU that night. I believe he got home around midnight.

We all stayed in the basement area during the peak. I remember looking out the window and seeing the pine trees swaying back and forth. Mr. nclib was so tired he fell asleep on the floor even though the basement was flooding. He was laying in a couple of inches of water. I heard trees hitting the house and went upstairs to try to coax our cats downstairs but they were on top of the kitchen cabinets and would not budge.

In the morning, when things calmed down, we went outside to survey the damage and there were trees everywhere. There were trees on the house, the car, a gazebo we had in the back, on the deck. We were lucky though because we had good insurance and were able to remain in our home during repairs.

We were without power for 7 days. We had a gas water heater so we could still take showers. Lots of clean up.

I am so dreading this storm.


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Response to nclib (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 02:18 PM

13. I'm with you nclib...

My Fran story is similar except we have an electric water heater. I am SO dreading this storm.



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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 02:47 PM

17. Now we live on 2 acres.

Surrounded by trees. Everything is electric and we are on a well. We could be so screwed. I've been visualizing a white bubble around our property.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 02:16 PM

11. Great post

Rec

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 02:18 PM

12. I hate to say it, but

 

any disaster response, or lack of, under tRump is going to be a big fail and many people will suffer, some will die because elections have consequences.

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Response to elmac (Reply #12)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 03:51 PM

22. pray for trump - use psalm 109:8

I'm not religious, but they seem to think it will help.

Hey, I'm willing to try in this case.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 02:33 PM

14. Remember It

I have relatives in Cary, it was scary. After Katrina here, we all learned to survive together. We were refugees in our own city, thrown out of our dwellings forcefully with just 24-hours notice.

It changes you, you realize how fragile modern civilization is when confronted with Mother Nature. Best of luck in Raleigh, you don't need this.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 02:41 PM

15. I remember Fran.

I was living in Greenville, NC and we were busy evacuating the campus.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 02:50 PM

18. Good luck and stay safe!

I hope the storm misses you, but it can't miss everybody. It's going to land somewhere.

Hearing those trees crack and fall in your yard is a very scary sound. I remember my early days growing up in Saint Louis, where we had tornado warnings and big electrical storms every afternoon in the summertime. As I recall we lost a huge oak tree which fell, not on our house but on our neighbor's roof.

One thing I learned is that when you have to replant trees, look for hickory trees. They grow tall and provide nice shade, and the hickory root goes straight down deep into the soil. Hickory trees don't tip over as quickly as trees that have shallower roots like maples and oaks.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 03:07 PM

19. We picked up a generator after we lost power a couple of years ago,

NRaleighLiberal, we have extra freezer space if you need it.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 03:39 PM

20. I had not yet moved to NC at the time of Fran

I'm hoping that being downtown Raleigh will mean no power loss
in my apartment building because all the power is underground. It's going to be trip to be watching from floor to ceiling windows on the 17th floor. I'd rather be here than in Chapel Hill ( in our house which still hasn't sold) because it is in the woods.

I saw a website on here this am that let's you put in your zip code and it will come back with projected wind speed, gusts, rain,etc for Florence. This am it was projecting gusts of 60mph for downtown Raleigh on Friday. That's not catastrophic if it doesn't stall for a long time.

Went to the Harris Teeter for a few groceries this am and the place was packed. Two 18 wheelers drove up to deliver supplies just as I was parking. Lots of low inventory shelves already.

Just had an alert on my phone that the Governor of South Carolina has ordered the entire coast to evacuate!!!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 03:44 PM

21. I Wasn't in NC for Fran

I moved there a year later. As I was apartment hunting, every person showing apartments mentioned the hurricane. They even pointed out trees still broken and left where they were.

A year later, people were still jittery about it. That told me all I needed to know - until Floyd (direct hit on the Triangle) and Bonnie (the eastern third of NC was flooded), when I found out just what exactly to be jittery about.

All the best and good luck to everyone in the path of the storm. When possible, let us know when you are safe.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2018, 03:52 PM

23. I'm in FL so no Fran stories, but one thing I remember from Irma ...

The roar of the wind in the night which gave way to the sound of generators & chain saws the next morning.


Edit to add: 2 of our neighbors have home weather stations & they recorded gusts of 113 mph that night. The house held up fine, just a few shingle tabs folded back, which I glued back down. Our old wood fences went over, but the posts were mostly rotted through.

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