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It's Saturday September 26, 2020 Dock Quote: “We do not...

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

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Pamlico County November Election Information:

Sample Ballot, Voting Deadlines, How and When to Vote. The Story

A Walk on Styrontown Beach:

What the high water left behind. The Story

Old Theater’s Got Talent:

Time to show off. The Story

What's Next For Oriental's Recreation Park?:

Take the survey. The Story

Talking Trash; Recycling Changes Coming:

Town Board Meeting September 2020. The Story

Styron Accepts Plea Agreement:

Jeff Styron in his own words. The Story

Camping in the Creeks:

Spartina and Annie. The Shipping News

Coronavirus In North Carolina:

Tracking The Cases. The Story

A New Space For Heartworks:

Brand-new classrooms raise the bar. The Story

After the Cough is Gone:

Emerging aftereffects of COVID-19. Guest Columnist

Solo Cruiser Emily Greenberg:

Life aboard SV Søhund. The Shipping News

Jon Webster, 1964-2020:

From philosophy to motorcycles to The Bean porch. The Story

Oysters Are Coming, Dilapidated Houses Are Going:

COVID Testing Proposed at August 2020 Town Board Meeting. The Story

Prepping for Hurricane Isaias:

Marinas and boat yards prep for the storm. The Story

Hurricane Boat Prep:

The right prep makes for a calmer storm. Captain's Blog

Miss July 2020 - Paige:

Motherhood just isn't for everyone. Pet Of The Month

An Online Scammer Tries and Fails:

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The Story

Herd Immunity:

What is it? How do we get it?. Guest Columnist

Oriental Dental Closes:

But the dental team stays. The Story

Surprisingly Little to Learn:

Sailors beware. Captain's Blog

Letters: Engage Your Heart Instead of Your Mouth:

Supporting a beloved town. Letters To The Editor

Man Overboard:

Safety drills on a river crossing. The Story

Letters: Signs of the Time:

Don't steal political signs. Letters To The Editor

A Bear on Hodges:

Chainsaw artist. The Story

No Tigers Allowed:

Wild and dangerous animals banned in the village. The Story

COVID-19 in Pamlico County:

Community spread and a sharp rise in case numbers. Guest Columnist

Board Finalizes Budget, Looks at Dilapidated Properties Ordinance:

Town Board Meeting July 2020. The Story

Maegan Is Home:

124 days and 5 hospitals later - home in Oriental. The Story

Croakerfest Regatta Goes on:

Sunfish and FJs, Lasers and a Vanguard. The Story

Aerosols Are The Answer (and the problem):

What happens when we cough, sneeze, talk, and sing. Guest Columnist

Name That Dragon - Vote Here:

Cast your vote. The Story

Letters: A Reason to Cancel:

An Ol' Front Porch Music Festival board member explains. Letters To The Editor

Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival 2020 Cancelled:

Unanimous Board Vote Cancels Event Due To Covid-19 Virus Concerns. The Story

COVID-19: It’s Not Just A Cough Anymore:

New symptoms & when to get help. Guest Columnist

Mr. June 2020 - Louis:

Canine embraces new retail career. Pet Of The Month

Face Masks Required For Retail & Restaurant Employees:

Governor Cooper cites increased levels of COVID-19 hospitilizations. The Story

A Dragon in Need of a Name:

Provision Co. Revives Oriental Tradition. The Story

Paula Winston, 1949 - 2020:

The heart & soul of the Inland Waterway Treasure Company. The Story

A Roof in Progress:

Two old roofs come down. The Story

Stubby Pencil Planning:

Reducing risk at sea. Captain's Blog

Roof Delays Brewery Reopening:

New Brewery has to fix century old roof. The Story

N.C. Ferry Service Schedules:

Cherry Branch / Minnesott Beach Ferry On Increased Schedule. The Story

Marlene Miller, 1946-2020:

Artist, educator, beloved wife. The Story

Fireworks and a July 4 Celebration Are Happening in Oriental:

It's Spirit Of Independence, July 3 & 4. The Story

Budget Hearing Brings out the Public:

Town Board Meeting Report June 2020. The Story

Golden Leaf Funds Approved For Oriental Road Repairs:

Private grant monies provide flexibility. The Story

Open Mic Night @ The Silos June 3:

One More Virtual Open Mic Night. The Story

SV Mudfog Cove Returns:

Waiting Out The Pandemic in Oriental. The Shipping News

Most times, it’s a great blue heron hanging out in the duck pond. Thursday, this smaller great white egret briefly scoped out the place. click for the big pic and more

Friday September 25, 2020

5:05p For the first time in many weeks, the Atlantic has no tropical storms, or likely developing storm systems.

It feels like autumn.

3:50p It may be raining, but the pizza is under a tent. Flirting With Fire mobile wood-fired pizza is at New Village Brewery today from 4 til 8p.

2:11p The Pirate Jam has been reschedule due to the chance of rain Saturday. It’s now Sunday afternoon, 1 til 6p. Just get you and yours and your boat to the waters off Teachs Point. Southern Hellcats and more are playing.

9:26a It’s another day with the Oriental water level gauge back. Town missed that gauge.

As well as the Oriental gauge back in action, there are a couple new gauges on TownDock:

New Bern at Trent River
Jones Bay at Hobucken

The New Bern gauge is working well. The Hobucken gauge is brand new – it is installed – but not yet delivering data. In all, TownDock displays data from 15 water level gauges at coastal locations and including upstream on the Neuse. You’ll see a list with links under the Oriental gauge.

Thursday September 24, 2020

4:44p From Pamlico Emergency Management:

No Active Cases in Congregate Living Facilities, (3) New Active Cases in County, (2) Recoveries in State Prison.

Active Cases: 9. Recovered: 158. Deaths: 2. State Prison Active Cases: 3. State Prison Recovered: 94. Total Cases: 266

State zip code data has 236 of the 266 cases. Click here for the zip code map and coronavirus by the numbers in NC.

1:54p Remnants of Tropical Storm Beta – now Post-Tropical Cyclone Beta – are predicted to cause 1-4 inches of rain in our part of North Carolina.

9:39a It’s been a long time. Two years and ten days to be specific. Oriental’s water level gauge was destroyed by Hurricane Florence, Sept 14 2018. It was finally replaced in June of this year, but data issues kept it offline. This morning, our old friend the gauge is back:

Oriental’s water level gauge is online at this link. You’ll also find links to other gauges on the coast and the Neuse River.

9:21a Pamlico County Chief Building Inspector Skip Lee attended this morning’s Town Board Quarterly Workshop. The Board had several questions for Lee about Oriental’s proposed abandoned/dilapidated housing ordinance. Lee answered, but also raised other legal questions for the Board. The Town Manager and the Board of Commissioners agreed that the next discussion should be with the town’s lawyer at the next Town Board meeting on October 6.

In an update on the progress of the Whittaker Point Restoration, Miller said people are taking bikes and ATVs out onto the point – land that is not public property nor publicly accessible (the town has the permission of an adjacent land owner to cross private property). The vehicles are damaging the new plantings and restoration work.

A street survey – an engineering assessment of the condition of Oriental’s roadways – is underway and should be available to Commissioners by the October 6 Town Board meeting. The Board will then determine what roadways, other than White Farm Rd and Maritime Drive (used to truck in rock for the Whittaker Point Restoration project), will be added to the resurfacing/repair list.

Wednesday September 23, 2020

your vote counts over a red, white, and blue background 12:10p The general election is just over a month away. Still considering if you’re going to vote in-person or by mail? Still need to register? Just want to see the sample ballot for Pamlico County?

Click here for information on how, where, and when to cast your vote in Pamlico County.

8:28a Water levels have receded. Drivers (and cyclists and walkers) can once again pass over the middle of Hodges Street without risking a vehicle or pulling on a pair of Pamlico Nikes.

Light winds are out of the NW, becoming W and then SW later today. Today’s high is near 80.

Tomorrow is the Town Board Quarterly Agenda at 8a at Town Hall. The County Building Inspector and County Health Inspector will be present to answer questions about Oriental’s draft ordinance for abandoned/dilapidated houses. See the full agenda here.

Tuesday September 22, 2020

8:54a Welcome to autumn. Today is the Autumnal Equinox (say that three times fast) – the official start of Fall. The actual moment is at 9:30a EDT this morning. It marks the time when the day-to-night line, called the terminator, is perfectly vertical from pole to pole and the sun is directly over the equator. This means that the day and night are the same – both 12 hours. Today.

It also marks the beginning of a season that many say is North Carolina’s best weather (and best sailing weather). Sunny and low 70s today, mid 70s Wednesday, maybe reaching 80 Thursday.

On the Neuse modest 10-15 knot north winds today, becoming northwest tonight and west Wednesday. Water levels should gradually lower today, and then Wednesday any remaining higher waters will more aggressively departs from the west winds.

Oriental NC Weather Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast

On the Atlantic Tropical Storm Paulette has returned – or more precisely reformed. Paulette is in the distant Atlantic near the Azores. Tropical Storm Beta is raining on Texas, and Hurricane Teddy will visit Nova Scotia Wednesday.

Forming initially on Sept 3, Paulette has pulled off a boomerang loop:

All of these systems should dissipate by weeks end, and at the moment there are no likely brewing storms. The Atlantic storm map may be empty soon.

Hurricane Center

Monday September 21, 2020

5:56p From Pamlico County Emergency Management:

Daily COVID Case Count: September 21, 2020, includes cases that were processed September 19th and 20th, 2020. New Congregate Living Category added for separation of tests results by facility.

Active Cases: 11. Recovered: 147. Deaths: 2.

Congregate Living Facilities: Active Cases: 6. State Prison Active Cases: 5. State Prison Recovered: 92. Total Cases: 263

12:20p Water levels have snuck back up about 6” since this morning. The town dock deck is now underwater again – check HarborCam.

11:35a The stormy Atlantic is beginning to thin out. Storm Wilfred said goodbye, becoming a remnant late last night. After hanging out in the Gulf for days Tropical Storm Beta will finally go inland at the Texas coast Tuesday. Hurricane Teddy is passing just east of Bermuda today. A tropical disturbance in the Bahamas is expected to bring rain to Cuba and the Florida Keys.

Here in river city, all is looking OK. Winds are forecast to reduce to 10-15 knots Tuesday, then Wednesday light 5-10 knot winds from the west. Water levels will return to normal.

Oriental NC Weather Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Hurricane Center

7:41a Winds shifted more north (away from the northeast) overnight… and water levels dropped a foot or more. Hodges St still flooded, but not all the way to South Water St. The deck of the town dock is back above water.

The Bean is opening… along with new assists so you can have that walking on water experience.

Sunday September 20, 2020

6:41p High waters and waves on the Neuse. From Frank Roe – it’s the view from South Avenue:

4:27p Water levels have moved up a few more inches – now near 4 ft above normal. TownDock reader Shawna Smith sends in this photo of the now underwater dinghy dock – photo taken at 4:15p.

Homer Walden had a hindsight a look at Hodges Street through his rear view mirror:

1:42p Water levels are trending farther up in the last few hours. Now about 3 1/2 ft above normal.

1:14p The “action” on Hodges St during a high water day is… subdued. Your sharp eye may notice a correlation between water levels and leaning trash cans. Thanks to HarborCam motion picture technology, here’s a look a Saturday in about 30 seconds:

9:55a Saturday’s high wind peaked at 30mph at the Oriental Weather Station. The high winds continue today (see forecast below) along with resulting elevated water levels.

The Outer Banks are getting a more severe dose of higher water levels – further intensified by swell from Hurricane Teddy. Here’s a plot of readings from the Diamond Shoals Buoy off Cape Hatteras:

Reports this morning indicate Hwy 12 on the Outer Banks is getting ocean overwash at some locations.

7:28a Water levels are a couple inches higher than this time yesterday. Hodges Street is very flooded by the harbor.

The light is on at The Bean, so if you don’t mind wading a bit… caffeine and carbs are waiting.

Partly cloudy/sunny today and a high near 70. Those autumn 70~ish degree highs stay with us through Tuesday…. Wednesday an 80 degree day returns.

Another day of northern winds at 20-25 knots on the Neuse, along with a Small Craft Advisory in effect through Tuesday morning. On the Pamlico Sound northeast winds to 35 knots, and a Gale Warning.

Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Oriental NC Weather Forecast

Saturday September 19, 2020

4:55p Back in May, at the beginning of summer, was the Pirate Jam. With COVID limiting gathering sizes, the idea was an outdoor concert – with the audience in boats. Over a hundred boats gathered off Teachs Point – take a look.

It’s now the end of summer – and the Pirate Jam returns, brought to you again by Pamlico Arts Council. Saturday Sept 26 from 1 til 6p – again off Teachs Point. More info here.

12:30p High waters. It’s enough to make you drink.

And you can – New Village Brewery has Oriental brewed High Water IPA on tap in and cans. The brewery opens today at 2p. Saturday’s food truck is Olsen’s Craft Weiners (their 1st visit to Oriental) from 4-8p.

11:11a High waters & high winds are just a view from the window during Nautical Wheelers Virtual Wine Tasting. It’s today at 4p.

10:52a While the Oriental area is experiencing high wind tides, the outer banks is getting a combo of Hurricane Teddy swell and unusually high lunar tides. More from NOAA Newport / Morehead City NC.

9:16a The high winds / high waters forecast continues. On the Neuse northeast winds 20-25 knots today, tonight, Sunday and Sunday night. Monday they switch to north. On the Pamlico Sound the same, but with winds increased to 30 and sometimes 35 knots.

The north winds stay with us through Tuesday – Wednesday has a west wind forecast which will bring water levels back down.

Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Oriental NC Weather Forecast

Onshore we have a Coastal Flood Advisory in effect through Monday night. On the Neuse a Small Craft Advisory – the Pamlico Sound a Gale Warning.

8:48a Overnight northeast winds have Hodges Street flooded, with 2 – 4 inches already over the sidewalk.

The Bean is open, but you may want to wear rubber boots for the wade in. The view this morning from the town dock:

(click photo for the big view and more high water pics)

TownDock staff has learned the Greek alphabet poster we published Friday is a newfangled version… and not the one used for naming storms. In order to right this Greek wrong, here is the list – and the correct Greek alphabet and symbols.

Friday September 18, 2020

8:29p The northeast winds have shut down the Minnesott Beach / Cherry Branch Ferry:

ferry logoCherry Branch Ferries have had to shut down following the 8pm departure from Minnesott Beach this evening, (Friday 18 Sept). This northeast wind that has blown most of the day has caused the water in our basins to rise to the point where we can no longer get the ramps on our boats.

5:38p And another storm name – Tropical Storm Beta in the Gulf.

Today the Atlantic storm season has used up two Greek letters. Upcoming – Chi, Delta, Epsilon, Eta, Gamma, Iota and Kappa.

At least we’ll all get a re-education in the Greek alphabet, with no hazing involved. Click the alphabet poster at right for the big educational view. Click to the Hurricane Center to see a crowded Atlantic.

4:43p The Atlantic has more.

There is Tropical Storm Wilfred (it was Invest 98) – and also welcome to the Greek alphabet – Subtropical Storm Alpha. Alpha is the odd disturbance off Portugal.

While Wilfred has formed in an area of the Atlantic that often sends us storms, the conditions are not ripe for Wilfred. Wilf is forecast to spin around for 4 or 5 days, and then fizzle out.

It’s an odd season on the Atlantic. More info is in the Hurricane Center.

12:20p Starting this evening we are forecast to get brisk northeast winds – and they will stay with us through at least Monday. As a result NOAA has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory:


What’s that mean?
WHAT: Up to one to three feet of inundation above ground level expected in low-lying areas near shorelines and tidal waterways.
WHERE: Areas along the Pamlico Sound, Trent, Bay and lower Neuse Rivers, and adjacent tidal creeks, and areas along the Pamlico and Pungo Rivers and adjacent tidal creeks.
WHEN: From 7 PM this evening to 8 PM EDT Monday.
IMPACTS: Up to 1 to 3 feet of inundation above ground level is possible along the sounds and tidal rivers, as well as adjacent tidal creeks, which will result in elevated threat of property damage or road overwash. Flooding will extend inland from the waterfront threatening some homes and businesses, and a few road closures and flooding of vehicles will be possible.

Local interpretation: Areas like Hodges Street near the harbor will get flooded this weekend. Assume water levels will rise at least two feet above normal, and possibly 3 or 4 ft.

High waters from extended periods of northeast winds have happened before. Take a look at the October floods from 2015.

8:41a The Greens Creek Challenge is for small sailboats – 20 ft and under. Saturday’s forecast is for 20-25 knots.

What could go wrong?

Despite the opportunity for capsized boat photos, Greens Creek Challenge organizers Harry Corbett & Jim Edwards have just informed TownDock that Saturday’s race will not be happening. At least not this weekend. It may get rescheduled. If it does, that new date will be on TownDock.

Here’s a capsize file photo anyway:

7:32a The remains of Storm Sally made their damp presence known. Yesterday 3.29 inches of rain fell, overnight another 3/10ths of an inch.

A bit more may fall today – a significant chance of rain is with us through early afternoon.

Today’s high will reach 80, but then several days of cooler weather. Northeast winds will begin tonight, bringing in cooler nawthin’ air. Highs just near 70 are expected Saturday through Tuesday.

On the Neuse northeast winds 20-25 knots begin tonight, and stay with us through Monday. On the Pamlico Sound those northeast winds will reach 35 knots at times. When the wind blows with force from the northeast our water levels rise. When it blows for several days, you can count on it rising even more.

Oriental NC Weather Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast

Thursday September 17, 2020

5:02p A Tornado Watch is in effect until 11p this evening.

There is Gale Warning on the Pamlico Sound for Friday afternoon through Monday evening. On the Neuse a Small Craft Advisory for the same period.

This will bring elevated water levels to town. On the Neuse northeast winds 20-25 knots, on the Pamlico Sound 25-30, and at times 35 knots. All weekend and into Monday.

Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast

2:47p Talent. Word on the street is you’ve got it.

Oriental’s Old Theater is launching an online talent show – called Old Theater’s Got Talent. Use your talented finger and click here.

11:55a Over 50 entries already in The Oriental Parks and Recreation Board’s online survey re ideas for the Rec Park at the edge of town. The story at this link. You can fill out the survey here.

9:16a The remains of Hurricane Sally (now a tropical depression) are bringing us some rain…. 2 to 4 inches forecast. Here’s a satellite view of Sally:

The Sally rain forecast:

While the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Sally track across our area today and into tonight, that won’t be the only thing causing heavy rains. In addition a warm front will push northward through Eastern NC later today – we will be getting wet from two heavy rainfall sources.

Wednesday September 16, 2020

4:08p Nautical Wheelers hosts Trinchero Family Estates Wines in their virtual wine tasting this Saturday at 4p.

They’ll be tasting a Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. You can taste all five, or just select your preferred varieties. More on the wine tasting here.

3:37p Oriental has a Recreation Park at the edge of town. It isn’t used much – at least not for the stated purpose. It’s where the recycling bins are, and it is where many of us park during hurricanes.

The Parks and Recreation Board has set out get public input on how this facility could get better used. The story is here.

12:48p The Atlantic is a storm stew – a crowd of tropical systems. Check out this NOAA satellite view:

Hurricane Center

There is some sign of the crowd thinning. Hurricane Paulette (after slamming Bermuda) was declared Post-Tropical today. Tropical Storm Vicky is expected to diminish in the next couple days. But there are three Invests (investigative areas ~ potential storms) – at least one will become a tropical system. There is actually only ONE name remaining of the 21 names reserved for this storm season:

After Wilfred, no more names. Then meteorologists start going through the Greek alphabet. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon. The Atlantic may sound like a fraternity party.

Teddy became a hurricane late last night. Hurricane Teddy is already at 100mph, Category Two, and is forecast to get stronger. Teddy could become the most powerful Atlantic hurricane of 2020. While Teddy’s forecast track is currently well away from our shores, it’s current track is heading right towards Bermuda.

Hurricane Teddy Tracking Chart
Hurricane Teddy Forecasters Discussion
Hurricane Teddy Public Advisory

9:27a If you need a reason to sail, you have a several on-the-water events happening this week.

Tonight is the Wednesday night sailboat race starting at 5:30p at Oriental marker #1. Tomorrow, the Sailing Club of Oriental hosts the Regretta Regatta. It’s open to members and non-members alike.

And this weekend is the Greens Creek Challenge – the opportunity to find a stranded rubber chicken while racing the creeks.

East winds will keep water levels high. Temps near 80 today and a low chance of rain.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar

Tuesday September 15, 2020

5:50p Hurricane Sally approaching landfall in the Gulf, and Hurricane Paulette departing on the Atlantic.

Sally is moving at just 2 mph…

Hurricane Center

9:23a Tomorrow afternoon at 3p, the Planning Board meets to discuss an ordinance for abandoned/dilapidated housing. Pulling from the ordinances of other communities, the board has been tasked by the town’s commissioners to craft an ordinance addressing the condition and safety of buildings rather than the appearance. The board will continue their discussion Wednesday at 3p at Town Hall. The public is welcome.

On Thursday, the Sailing Club of Oriental (SCOO) holds the Regretta Regatta. Open to both sail and power boats, the Regretta Regatta is a race, a parade, and a fashion show. Costumes and boat decorating are encouraged. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the rules, the ‘Three Cheat Rule’ is at play. A covered-dish social in Lou Mac Park will follow. For more information and regatta rules, click here.

Monday September 14, 2020

6:10p Rene has become a storm remnant. Au revoir Rene. The Atlantic did need one less storm.

11:11a And Twenty-One gets a name. Tropical Storm Vicky. Vicky is forecast to stay in the mid Atlantic and fizzle out by mid-week.

7:27a Now there is Teddy. And just declared… Tropical Depression Twenty-One.

The ocean is crazy busy, and we are fortunate. Not a one pointed our way.

Hurricane Center