Ernesto ended up dumping about 11 inches of rain on Corolla, adding to the 5 inches of rain we received from severe storms the previous two nights. We ended up trapped in our Buck Island neighborhood for about 24 hours as the water in the roadway reached a peak height of 18-20 inches at the low points. We ended up with 4-6 inches of water in the first floor of our house (a rental), which damaged a bathroom, gameroom and bedroom. Good luck getting 1.1 million for that house now!
The flooding all over the Northern Outer Banks was pretty bad. Getting off the island was a complete nightmare as Route 12 heading south from Corolla to the bridge crossing the Albemarle Sound had about 4 1/2 feet of water covering the road in Tuckahoe (Duck, NC) . Whalehead to the North on Route 12 was cut off with about 4 feet of water. The only trucks getting in or out were locals in jacked up pickup trucks and SUVs. They pumped the water out of Tuckahoe and after 24 hours the road was clear. Our 4Runner and X5 were able to make it out of the neighborhood flood water with no problem after some receeding. The 4 door Toyota Camry then escaped by driving through someones sideyard after no two trucks showed up. Nice job BDShu with the escape!
The Power to our first floor was turned off when the water started coming in to the cottage which killed my internet link around 11am Friday. There are vacationers still trapped on the Outer Banks in neighborhoods that have low points where the rain water has collected. All of this flooding was from the rain and not the surge, although some minor sound flooding did occur once the storm moved North over Maryland and the SE Winds kicked up. Since there are only a couple flat bed tow trucks in the Northern Outer Banks, it is going to take a while for many of them to get off. The funny thing was the Labor Day vacation crowd was moving North on Route 12 in mass, totally not expecting the flooding and blocked access to the neighborhoods they were arriving at for vacation. That must suck!
Here the lesson I learned from this storm. Rain in these tropical storms is really unbelievable. I have never seen it rain so hard over a 12-18 hour period. Next time I will recon and know the low points around any area I am located in and decide if I have an escape path. Most likely I will get out early, even for just a tropical storm. I also have a new respect for those poor folks wading in the Katrina flood waters for safety. It sucked. After 24 hours in that soup I couldn't scrub my legs long enough in order to feel clean. Not to mention I was watching my back for snakes and Nutria the entire time. I hope to never have to wade out of flood water again.
Here are the images from my weather filled vacation and escape from Ernesto.
Check back for video of these storms in a couple days!