We Have Been Here Before

October 29, 2012

Pre Hurricane Sandy Sky in Fells Point (wide)

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Yesterday morning, as Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the Mid-Atlantic, the skies took on that characteristic bruised, pre-storm look.

Pre Hurricane Sandy Sky in Fells Point (close)

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It was just over a year ago, August 20th, that Hurricane Irene hit this area before moving north and devastating New England.  The same thing could well happen again…

Truck delivering sand for bagging

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

…and so loads of sand were trucked in by the city so that residents of Fells Point could prepare for the much-anticipated flooding.  This is a very large storm and with the cold front that is coming from the west, it is anticipated that Sandy will stall over Maryland and dump upwards of ten inches of rain on the middle and eastern parts of the state.  The mountains in western Maryland are expecting a blizzard with up to ten inches of snow predicted.

Filling sandbags in advance of Hurricane Sandy

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Filling sandbags

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Sandbags being filled

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The rain will combine the full moon induced high tide and expected storm surge to create ideal flood conditions, which is a concern…

Sandbags placed to prevent flooding

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Filled sandbags placed to prevent flooding

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

…because Fells Point is directly adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay and has flooded before.  As a result, residents and business owners were doing what they could to prevent the incursion of water.

Street Closed barrier

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Thames Street was closed in advance of Hurricane Irene last year.  As a result of some nearby road construction, some streets in Fells Point were already closed and others were soon-to-be closed in order to keep traffic out of this low-lying area.

Traffic jam at sandbag filling station

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

However, Fells Point is a very popular destination and so the usual traffic combined with the large dump trucks and folks loading sandbags led to some confusion in the early morning.

Sandbags near Street Closed sign

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Within this past year-and-a-half or so Maryland has been hit by Hurricane Irene, a derecho, and now Hurricane Sandy-the tenth hurricane of the 2012 season. (We also had an earthquake within that time period, just for good measure.)  This amount of weather mayhem seems outside the norm for the Mid-Atlantic, and the combination of a hurricane with a classic nor’easter is most likely one for the books.  Yes, we have been here before with regard to hurricanes, and not that long ago.  Sandy has arrived (and is putting down quite a bit of rain) so the real question is where we will go from here.  Very little is being said about climate change as we roll on toward the election, which is not surprising.  However, the role climate change plays in these storms, climate attribution as it is called, is getting more attention.  The science appears to be not clear on this point as yet-I wonder how much clarity there will be by next year’s hurricane season.

Take care.

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