Finally got power back this evening after roughly 24 hours without juice. Went out about 8pm last night and came on around 9:30pm. That is much earlier than Progress’s Energy’s estimated time of 11pm on Saturday the 17th. I applaud their hardworking line men.

Last night was a treat – from 7pm on – it blew and howled and got worse and worse and worse. I’ve been in worse storms but this one just did not quit. Pecan nuts were blowing off the trees and slamming into the siding of my house – sounded like gun fire. But for over 8 hours we had hurricane force winds – it was still blowing 70-80mph come 3am when i finally got to sleep. MAny of my friends and neighbors told me it continued to blow around 70 mph until 5am or so when it started to slack off. I had water pouring in my east and north facing windows – so it was a long night for me.

We were very lucky though and received minimal damage in beaufort. At the peak of the tide, front street was covered by 2-4 inches of water but no businesses, that I am aware of, had any flooding. The moored sailboas, however, did not fare as well – there are probably 8-10 boats either blown ashore or capsized in Taylor’s creek. Otherwise there are simply lots of downed trees and branches everywhere, etc.

Atlantic Beach had a bit more damage – I’m including a photo of the shopping center next to Crow’s Nest (where the West MArine Express is located) – the whole roof peeled back. OTherwise there were damaged signs and some traffic lights. As I made my way down to EI, it was obvious that Salter Path and the sound side of Bogue Banks took the majority of the damage. In the commercial area of Salter Path, there were docks washed up to the highway and many of the buildings were damaged – and the crab shack is missing it’s back wall, or so I’ve been told. Many of the sound-side homes had their docks destroyed – rubble is all over the sound. The ocean side fared very well – there was minimal errosion and no damage at my parent’s house in EI. There was also no rubble on the beach at all. I also talked to a couple of guys surf fishing in EI – they had a couple big croakers and caught a skate while I chatted with them – at least something is biting!!

I still hear that Swansboro got hit the hardest and I have yet to hear from Down East (some PRogress employees told me it might be a good while before power is back on down that way). I hope everyone came out okay. In light of Katrina – I can only say we are very very fortunate.

[b]Sailboats in Beaufort…[/b]

[b]Some downed trees…[/b]