Late Summer through Fall has long been my favorite time to be on Hatteras Island. Crowds thin and weather conditions become more tropical. There are so many pluses, then tropical influences can develop into hurricanes.
I’ve always relished waves spawned from a distance. Sitting well offshore last week Jose generated some of the best surf in years. For a few of those days however, seas washed over the highway in spots and even shut it down for a tide cycle. I went to Rodanthe to investigate.
With NCDOT shutting down the main road, Mirlo Beach looked pretty empty and bleak.
The oceanfront at Mirlo Beach has long been an area of high erosion rates. Homeowners there are certainly in a real estate bind, and with another storm named Maria coming, things are likely to get much worse.
Hurricanes are a fact of life here and although we tend to compare some storms to others, they are unique unto themselves. The ones that pass well off the coast can be beautiful and dramatic, with spectacular skies.
In 1991, I made this photograph of the leading edge of Hurricane Bob as it approached Cape Hatteras. An evacuation had been ordered and the following day we experienced gusts near a hundred with the eye going by about 25 miles offshore.
With Hurricane Maria, about 300 miles to the southeast, we’re under an evacuation order. Tropical storm and storm surge warnings are up. Now it’s a waiting game.