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• Oriental's Piggly Wiggly • This Week Aug 5 - 11 •

It's Friday August 7, 2020 Dock Quote: “The best way...

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

Upcoming Events

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

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

Coronavirus In North Carolina:

Tracking The Cases. 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

Oriental United Methodist Church - May 31 Service Online:

Online from OUMC. The Story

Pirate Jam Plays To A Floating Audience:

Over 100 Boats and Hundreds Of Humans Off Teachs Cove. The Story

Oriental United Methodist Church - May 24 Service Online:

Online from OUMC. The Story

How To Stay Safe During Phase 2:

Celebrate but remain vigilant. Guest Columnist

Letters: Thank You From Hope Clinic:

Virtual Hope Regala Raised $125,000. Letters To The Editor

Living Art at Harbourside Gardens:

Planting at home. The Story

Governor Cooper Announces Phase Two - Restaurants Can Open With 50% Capacity :

The Stay-At-Home Order is lifted. The Story

Open Mic Night @ The Silos May 20:

Tonight's performance is dedicated to Marlene Miller. The Story

The 2020 Pirate Jam - Moved To Sunday May 24:

Listen on the water. The Story

Oriental United Methodist Church - May 17 Service Online:

Online from OUMC. The Story

Bombing Target Eleven (BT-11):

Military asset lights up the sky. Captain's Blog

Open Mic Night @ The Silos May 13:

Songs about chewin' tobacco and love. The Story



Bumper stickers are part of the decor at Endurance Seafood

Friday August 7, 2020

8:28a TownDock published a story on this week’s Oriental Town Meeting yesterday. After stories go online readers write in – sometimes with compliments – sometimes grumpy. So when an email showed up minutes after publication, TownDock crew were hopeful that enclosed was journalistic praise or inquiry. Perhaps a question about insight into the workings of a village democracy.

We opened the email.
In the article:
Oysters Are Coming, Dilapidated Houses Are Going
There is the pelican award for the town mayor. Can you find out where they got the pelican and let me know.

This is the exact pelican my wife wants for our yard.
Thursday August 6, 2020
3:29p Two new COVID cases. From Pamlico County Emergency Management:
Two (2) new Positive COVID-19 Test results received over the last 24 hours. Patients were tested on July 31st and have remained in Isolation and Quarantine since the test dates. Health Officials were able to clear Four (4) Patients out of isolation and quarantine today.

Active Cases: 13. Recovered: 57. Deaths: 1. Total: 71

State data has 67 of the 71 cases.

3:24p A COVID-19 testing site? Oyster shells. Whittaker Point Restoration… and a concrete pelican. It’s all in the Town Meeting Report.

3:01p Here’s a forecast you can rely on:


performed by The Delorean Sisters

2:33p TownDock is not a fan of seasonal hurricane forecasts. They seem little more than headline fodder. Today’s NOAA news release re-enforced that.

The headline is:

Extremely active hurricane season possible for Atlantic Basin

It already is an extremely active season. It’s early August – we just got visited by Isaias – the 9th name storm of 2020.

Historically, the ninth named storm typically doesn’t form until early October. The pace so far is two months ahead of normal. So a headline that reads:

Extremely active hurricane season possible for Atlantic Basin

Is rather like:

Sunrise possible Saturday

While we may be dubious of seasonal forecasts – once a storm has formed NOAA’s data is outstanding.

The waters of the Atlantic are warm. More storms will be forming. If a storm threatens eastern North Carolina, TownDock.net will cover its forecast track. And if it lands – we’ll cover what happens as it happens – and after. We do this relentlessly.

12:44p It’s cool today. OK, how about cooler. The forecast now just in the mid 80s. Enjoy the semi-cool while you can – it’s back to a high near 90 every day starting Friday.

11:03a Ocracoke was evacuated for Hurricane Isaias. Now, residents are trying to get back. To assist with the return, NC DOT is adding a night run to Ocracoke – this weekend only. But passengers will need a reservation.
ferry logo TIn order to ease travel to and from Ocracoke Island this upcoming weekend, the N.C. Ferry System will be adding a night run to and from Swan Quarter this Saturday and Sunday only.

Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7:30a.
Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 10:30a
Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 1:30p. and 7:30p.
Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 4:30p. and 10:30p.

Reservations for the added runs online at www.ncferry.org or by calling 1-800-BY-FERRY. On Monday, the ferry goes back to its one-run schedule while dredging in Bigfoot Slough continues.

9:02a Bow to Stern Boating had a lot of work to do to secure their fleet for Hurricane Isaias’ visit this Monday. After all that storm prep, getting the sailing fleet ready for this weekend’s regatta was more than could happen in a few short days.

The Bow To Stern Regatta scheduled for Aug 8 & 9 has been cancelled.

8:31a Near 90 today and a 40% chance of rain. Yesterday’s storms dropped about 3/4 inch of rain with high winds at 26 mph. The high wind so far today? 5 mph, recorded just after midnight.

On the Neuse, SE winds 5-10 knots.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar
TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online

Wednesday August 5, 2020

6:19p Now 65 Pamlico County cases in the NC COVID dashboard. The two new cases are in zip codes 28523 and 28560.

1:11p Major re-write:

dark and stormy day

12:56p Oriental has seen a lot of houses get raised in the wake of flooding. This time the raising and the installation might be the same.

This morning, the Superior Crane Company installed a building at the corner of Hodges St. and S. Water St. by hoisting it onto pilings… well above any potential storm waters.

There were a few false starts as beams and straps were adjusted. Eventually, the crew maneuvered everything to their liking and the crane lifted the structure gently skyward. You can see their progress here.



click pics for larger view of a building in motion.

A sign on the fence states the elevated building will be the new home of ‘Serendipity Spa’.

ferry logo 9:33a The Minnesott Beach – Cherry Branch Ferry is back in operation.
Cherry Branch Ferry is on schedule and on time. Come ride with us.

town hall sign 8:07a At last night’s Town Board Meeting, commissioners discussed a proposition to have a COVID testing site in Oriental, saw updates about the Whittaker Point Restoration project, and gifted Town Manager Diane Miller with a plaque and a stone pelican for her work on the Whittaker Point Restoration project. Story coming. Pamlico County Fishes and Loaves is distributing food today. From Eileen Miles:
Pamlico County Fishes and Loaves Outreach Food Pantry (PCFLO) will be distributing food tomorrow, Wednesday August 5 from St. Peter the Fishermen Catholic church. The mobile food truck will arrive about 10 AM. Line up to receive food begins at 9 AM in the parking lot. Only requirement is you need to be a resident of Pamlico County. Anyone needing food is welcome.
Tuesday August 4, 2020
8:22p Most of town had power restored earlier in the day. But there were exceptions. Missy Tenhet writes in:
Power just fixed two blocks away. Civilization and air conditioning is back!
Duke Energy’s outage map shows just 13 locations remain in Oriental that are waiting for power. Tideland is down to 2,405 eastern NC locations to fix. That sounds like a lot, but they started the day with over 14,000.

5:47p There are 65 COVID cases in Pamlico County, 63 of which are now in data from the NC DHHS dashboard. The new zip code map adds three new cases – all in 28515: (click map for larger view)

2:27p John Rahm reports power is back at Dolphin Point. Duke Energy now shows 134 customers in Oriental waiting for power to be restored.

Tideland is making progress, now 6,046 locations in eastern NC with power out. That’s down from over 14,000 earlier today.

12:50p Duke’s outage map is now showing 642 176 customers out in the Oriental area. Internet and phones are back at Town Hall. Power is back at Nautical Wheelers. Power and net have been restored at TownDock HQ.

Isaias is haulin’ north at 35 mph, now in New Jersey / Pennsylvania.

12:30p Duke Energy has power restored for customers in the Merritt area. There remain 232 locations in Oriental without power. Tideland has restored power to about 5,000 eastern NC locations – they still have 9,451 to fix.

12:10p Power restored at The Silos – they are now fully open for dine in and take out. M&Ms Cafe is open as normal for dine in and take out.

11:15a The Silos is open, pizza take out only. Their phones are back, 252-249-1050.

A lot of businesses in town have converted their phones to Spectrum internet. Spectrum’s net service is excellent, but the phone service is a problem when the net goes down. The phone goes down with it. So there are businesses in town that are open, but can’t take a call.

11:07a TownDock personnel were feeling superior, blessed with both power and internet. But alas, we have joined the camping crowd. Power & internet went out about 20 minutes ago. Pull start power has been restored. Phone hotspots are working.

11:02a Nautical Wheelers is open:
Camilla and Bill are at Nautical Wheelers, putting the Polywood furniture back into the yard and picking up sticks. We will be open until 4:00pm today and able to accept cash and credit cards with the mobile card reader. FYI, a Duke Energy truck is in front of Village Realty, Duke is on the job in Oriental.

10:53a Town Hall has power and air conditioning. That bodes well for tonight’s monthly Town Board meeting. Tonight the Board will discuss an offer from Kenny Heath to set up a COVID testing site in Oriental and look at a draft ordinance proposal for dilapidated structures in town. That draft ordinance will go before the Planning Board on the 19th.

View tonight’s agenda here. The Board meets in the large board room at town hall at 7p tonight.

ferry logo8:45a No Cherry Branch / Minnesott Beach ferry today. The high south winds of storm Isaias have left water levels so low the ramps won’t meet the boats safely.

Sue Kinner says the ferry is probably down for all of today, and it will depend on water height conditions whether they can resume operations Wednesday morning.

Most of Oriental has no power this morning, but some locations have power. Oriental Deli is open and serving. The Provision Company has power. Village Hardware is open. The Piglet always has power (thanks to a huge generator). TownDock World HQ is blessed with volts and amps.

8:02a Tropical Storm Isaias is moving at 33 mph NNE, just about to visit the Chesapeake right now. Still with 70 mph winds – almost hurricane strength.

Here in post-storm Oriental, a sunny 90 degree day is ahead.

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

The NOAA Newport NC folks are still chattering about a surge warning. They may need an education on surge. A storm to our west wasn’t going to cause surge, it didn’t surge, and it ain’t gonna surge.

7:31a A view of Isaias spinning up the coast:

7:25a Is your power out? Are you grumpy? Town Hall has power (and air conditioning) – but no internet or phones. From Diane at Town Hall:
Folks are welcome to come charge their devices or just step into the air conditioning as it heats up. We’re out doing damage assessment now and will let you know what we find. Also, there is little debris out there. If people want to take debris to the water plant and put it in the green waste dumpster UNTIL IT IS FULL they can. Sticks max 4 ft long. We’ll have the dumpsters switched out as often as it takes.

Somehow, at TownDock World Headquarters the power is on, the internet is flowing and the phones work. It’s nice having a halo.

6:40a You’ve survived. Best keep it that way. From Town Hall:
Please consider resisting the urge to go sightseeing at first light. We need to assess damage. Also to stay away from any downed lines- some may still be live.

6:17a It is officially sunrise. It’s a bit wet, and mostly without power – but town is still here.

5:46a The high wind from Storm Isaias visit, 56 mph at 3:13a. A total of 2.15 inches of rain.

Isaias left an imprint. This morning most of Oriental is without power. Duke Energy lists 839 local customers with power out, ranging from Merritt to Oriental. They don’t list an expected repair time yet. The 839 local outages are part of 185 thousand power outages Duke Energy has across North Carolina in the wake of Isaias.

In Pamlico County outside of Oriental, Tideland Electric is the primary power provider. Across eastern North Carolina Tideland serves 22,851 customers. Of that 22,851 total, 13,329 are without power.

5:21a At 5a, the outer bands of Isaias are still with us, but with modest effect. The storm’s center has almost departed our fair state – about 15 miles southeast of Roanoke Rapids, 85 miles WSW of Norfolk. Max winds 70 mph, and Isaias is hauling north at 28 mph.

Tropical Storm Isaias Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Isaias Forecasters Discussion
Tropical Storm Isaias Public Advisory
Detailed Storm Isaias track – local view

3:22a Tideland now lists 8,764 locations with power out. That’s out of a total 22,851 they serve power to. Ouch.

Duke Energy lists 839 local locations without power, from Merritt to Oriental.

3:14a There is some impressive breeze right now. 56 mph a few minutes ago – a new high wind for the night.

3:00a Isaias peak winds are down – just a bit. Now at 70 mph, Iasias is no longer a hurricane. But Tropical Storm Isaias still has power – winds are bouncing between the 20s to the upper 40s in Oriental. Storm Isaias is currently at 35.5°N 78.0°W, moving at an impressively fast 24 mph NNE.

From the Oriental Weather Station:


click image for larger view

2:25a Greg Gallagher reports power out near Dawsons Creek. Tideland’s eastern NC outage # has grown to 2,876. A long Tuesday is ahead for power crews. While Duke’s local outage number remains at 785, they list over 125,000 homes without power in Wilmington NC.

A new high wind # – 53 mph at 2:12a.

2:07a Bill Wheeler reports power out at both Pineview and Nautical Wheelers on Broad St. Chris Moffat reports power out on Styron Drive. Looking around town from the TownDock.net HQ perch, it appears power is off at most “downtown” locations. Duke Energy lists 785 local homes without power. Tideland shows over 2,600 of their customers without power (for Tideland that’s over their entire eastern NC customer base).

Somehow, power is still on for TownDock.

2:00a Isaias remains a hurricane, but max winds have reduced to 75 mph. Current location 35.0°N 78.1°W, about 60 miles southwest of Greenville, NC. The storm is moving NNE at 23 mph (that’s fast).

Power is flickering on and off at TownDock HQ… but it is still on.

1:51a High wind so far: 47 mph just a minute ago.

Oriental NC Forecast
Oriental Weather Station

1:46a Power is out at some locations in town. Frank Roe reports:
Power out 502 South Ave at 1:07 AM. On generator now.

Duke Energy reports 785 homes now without power from Merritt to Oriental. Power is still on at TownDock HQ near the harbor… but that generator is standing by.

12:31a High wind since midnight – 42 mph. It’s crankin’ out there right now.

12:26a Power is still on, but flickering lights have begun.

TownDock Power & Light (pull start generator) has been tested and is standing by.

12:05a Here’s a local forecast not often seen:

Overnight…Tropical storm conditions. Southeast winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph, increasing to 40 to 50 mph with gusts up to 65 mph.

Monday August 3, 2020

11:37p New high wind a few minutes ago – 38mph. That number will likely be rising overnight.

11:32p The Oriental Weather Station has winds east at 30 mph right now. Strong east winds will rise water levels. That said, the winds will not likely stay east for very long. As Hurricane Isaias moves north (and is to our west) the winds will become southeast and then south winds.

Once the winds are south, that will lower local water levels.

11:08p Above, the eye is in clear view on weather radar. Below, watch Isaias travel north towards us.

10:58p Hurricane Isaias has good news, and bad news. The challenging news – Isaias now has 85 mph peak winds. The good? Isaias is moving at a screaming fast 22 mph. The storm’s center is basically at the NC/SC border – just 25 miles ENE of Myrtle Beach. 50 miles SW of Wilmington NC.

Expect strong winds off Isaias right side as it passes by overnight. Locally, the highest winds are forecast to be between 2a and 3a.

Tropical Storm Isaias Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Isaias Forecasters Discussion
Tropical Storm Isaias Public Advisory
Detailed Storm Isaias track – local view

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

8:18p Hurricanes and tropical storms often visit at inconvenient hours. TownDock.net will be staying up for this storm, reporting local conditions and experiences through the night.

Here’s the NOAA GOES satellite view of Hurricane Isaias:

8:05p The outer rain bands of Hurricane Isaias delivered about 1/2” of rain a couple hours ago. The NOAA/NHC rain forecast for our area is 1-2 inches for the duration of the storm. That is rather mild for a hurricane visit, but the core track of Isaias will be well west of us.

When will peak Hurricane Isaias storm impact be? Likely 2a – 3a in and near Oriental. Maximum tropical storm force winds in the 40s are possible, with gusts to 60 mph. It will be mostly gone a few hours after that. Moving now at 16 mph (and forecast to increase that speed) our time with Isaias will be brief.

Hurricane Isaias eastern NC route:

7:55p While the Isaias forecast seemed to bounce around a few days ago, since late Saturday it has been rock solid consistent. The storm is now Hurricane Isaias – as forecast. 75 mph peak winds. Location 32.8N 79.0W, that’s about 60 miles south of Myrtle Beach. The storm is moving fast at 16 mph.

5:00p Excellent news – Isaias is moving fast. Now NNE at 16 mph. The faster the storm moves through, the more brief our storm experience and less storm impact. Isaias remains a tropical storm with 70 mph max winds. It is forecast to reach 75 mph hurricane strength later tonight before landfall near the NC/SC border.

Isaias is now 120 miles SSW of Myrtle Beach. The putt putt course is almost in sight.

4:02p No banking Tuesday morning:
Due to Hurricane Isaias, First Citizens Bank Oriental will be closed Tuesday morning, August 4th. Our tentative re-opening time is at 12pm, weather permitting.

2:37p Preparing for the storm. Most folks around Oriental are experienced at it. Some tie up their boats. Some haul their boats. TownDock visited local boatyards for this report.

2:01p The 2p Isaias update – no change. 70 mph peak winds. Marching north at 13 mph. Still forecast to strengthen to hurricane status before landfall tonight near the NC/SC border.

Now 115 miles south of Charleston SC, 180 miles south of Myrtle Beach.

NHC (the National Hurricane Center) has us in a 1-2 inch rain prediction area. Our local NOAA office in Newport NC is even more specific, put Oriental & Pamlico County in a 1 to 1.5 inch zone.

1:32p Just announced – SIX new coronavirus cases in Pamlico County:
Six (6) new Positive COVID-19 Test results received over the last 48 hours. Patients were tested on July 27th, 29th and July 31st, and all have remained in Isolation and Quarantine since the test dates.
Active Cases: 11. Recovered: 53. Deaths: 1. Total: 65.

Data from the NC Department of Health and Human Services dashboard shows 60 of the 65 cases. New cases in today’s data are in zip codes 28515, 28529 and 28560:

(click map for larger view)

1:20p NCDOT has evacuated over 3,500 people from Ocracoke:
ferry logoOver the course of the evacuation that began Friday, the North Carolina Ferry System evacuated 3,538 people and 1,710 vehicles from Ocracoke on the Hatteras, Cedar Island and Swan Quarter routes. Ferries and ferry employees will now be staged in safe harbor areas to await the resumption of service once the storm passes.

12:40p. Here’s the latest Isaias briefing document from NOAA Newport, NC.

11:05 The 11a update has Isaias still as a 70 mph tropical storm – but is forecast to make landfall tonight as a hurricane. Isaias is at 30.7N 80.1W, 90 miles ESE of Brunswick, GA, 220 miles SSW of Myrtle Beach. The storm is gaining speed (this is a good thing), now moving N at 13 mph.

The track west of us means little surge in our area. However, the right side of Isaias is expected to have powerful winds. Here’s NOAA’s forecast of maximum sustained winds in eastern North Carolina.

With Isaias passing to our left, these winds would be primarily from the south and southwest. Winds at these forces have real potential for downed trees and power outages.

10:28a The ferry will stop running this afternoon. From Operations Manager Michael Merrill at Cherry Branch:
ferry logoCherry Branch will be shutting down operations this afternoon at approximately 2:00pm in preparation for Hurricane Isaias. The last departure from the Cherry Branch side will be at 1:30pm with the last departure from Minnesott Beach leaving at 2:00pm on Monday. Storm conditions will most likely effect the schedule for Tuesday as well.

With Oriental now being under a tropical storm warning, both town docks are closed.


(click pic for the big view)

9:26a It’s the view from space. NOAA’s GOES East satellite… Isaias track from the Caribbean to the Florida coast:

8:50a Wind, surge, rain. Hurricane or tropical storm? It’s all in the latest Isaias update from NHC. No locusts though.

8:02 Isaias is offshore Florida, about 100 miless ESE of Jacksonville, FL, or 250 miles SSW of Myrtle Beach. Peak winds remain at 70 mph, but are forecast to become 75 mph today – restoring the storm’s title – Hurricane Iasias.

We’ll get some rain, but we are in an area predicted for just 1 – 2 inches:

Here’s the Isaias briefing document from NOAA Newport, NC.

5:55a Tropical Storm Isaias is just off St Augustine, FL, and heading out over warm Atlantic waters bound for Myrtle Beach. The storm has 70 mph winds… it is forecast to pick up a little steam on it’s way north, potentially arriving at the NC/SC border with 75 mph winds. If so, Isaias would be a category one hurricane.

As it’s passing to our west the storm is expected to have peak 65 mph winds, with gusts to 80. How much of that we feel is TBD, but Isaias is expected to have a large wind field on it’s right – and that’s where we will be. Tropical storm winds (35 mph plus) are likely in Oriental and Pamlico County.

Sunday August 2, 2020
10:55p Isaias still has 70 mph winds, moving NNW at 9 mph. NHC notes that as the storm approaches the Carolinas:
Isaias will be traversing the warm waters of the Gulf Stream with its high oceanic heat content. The latter factor could result in the system becoming a hurricane near landfall. The official forecast is close to the intensity consensus, which keeps Isaias just below hurricane strength.
If it stays at 70 mph it’s a tropical storm. At 75 mph or above, it’s a hurricane. What’s the difference? Not much. From NHC:
It should be emphasized that there is little difference between a strong tropical storm or a category 1 hurricane, in terms of impacts.
town hall sign7:14p The Town Of Oriental has officially declared a State Of Emergency due to the impending arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias – it was signed by Mayor Belangia at 7p tonight. It basically states that town police are:
authorized to deny or restrict any person access to any area, street, highway, or location in the Town of Oriental which is reasonably necessary to promote efforts being made to overcome the emergency or to prevent further aggravation of the emergency.

To see the complete document click here.

This may be the most modest storm (it is no longer a hurricane) where the town has declared a state of emergency, however there is a real concern re potentially tropical storm force winds & tornado formation on the right side of Isaias. While surge isn’t likely, some downed trees and power outages wouldn’t be a surprise.

Y’all play nice now.

5:41p NHC’s Ken Graham talks about storm warnings & watches, plus potential surge from Tropical Storm Isaias:

FYI, NOAA/NHC isn’t attempting to predict surge at specific locations. Their 1-3 ft for the entire NC coast plus the Pamlico Sound / Neuse River just implies a maximum surge event. With the current forecast track, Oriental is unlikely to see much surge at all.

That said, we may see some tropical storm force winds. More on that below.

4:55p Storm Isaias powers up a bit – 70 mph (just 5 mph below hurricane strength). Despite this wind uptick, Isaias is not forecast to regain hurricane strength. Now off the east central Florida coast, moving north-northwest at 9 mph.

The forecast track has moved slightly east – but not enough to change the forecast for Oriental. The landfall has moved north – now targeted near Myrtle Beach and the NC/SC border.

Tropical Storm Isaias Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Isaias Forecasters Discussion
Tropical Storm Isaias Public Advisory

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
• Sebastian Inlet Florida to Ocracoke Inlet North Carolina

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
• Ocracoke Inlet North Carolina to Watch Hill Rhode Island
• Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

Oriental & Pamlico County is under a tropical storm watch. Beaufort & Morehead City is now under a tropical storm warning. A “watch” is an alert for the potential for severe weather. A “warning” means severe weather is imminent or occurring.

2:38p A video update… NHC Director Ken Graham explains the strong winds on the right side of Tropical Storm Isaias – strong winds that we may be getting:

2:04p At 2p Storm Isaias is moving NNW at 9 mph, max winds 65 mph. The forecast track described above and below continues. If you’re in Oriental, the Isaias forecast is looking relatively well.

If you’re in Myrtle Beach, not so much.

Rain? We’re near the line between a 2-4 inch prediction band and a 1-2 inch area:

12:52p Good news from Diane at Town Hall:
Trash & Recycling WILL be picked up Monday.

11:00a The 11a Storm Isiaias update – no forecast change. Still predicted to come ashore between Charleston and Myrtle Beach SC. Still predicted to take an inland path way west of us… passing over Rocky Mount NC on its way north.

While local surge is not a concern from this forecast – winds are.

We have greater than a 50% probability of seeing tropical storm force winds. The Neuse and Pamlico Sound marine forecasts predict those winds… 30-35 knots forecast for Monday night and Tuesday.

Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast

10:30a Earlier this morning Oriental United Methodist Church returned to having outdoor services at Lou Mac Park. For those that can’t attend the outdoor service online services will continue – OUMC streams today’s Sunday morning service from the sanctuary.

9:03a Now that Isaias forecast track has moved west, we have almost learned to say Isaias. Ken Graham (see below) has been an excellent instructor.

Good news re upcoming storm names… no pronunciation problems. The next names on deck: Josephine, Kyle and Laura.

8:50a Ken Graham at the National Hurricane Center has a video update on Storm Isaias:

8:02a The 8a update for storm Isaias: Location 26.5°N 79.5°W, moving northwest at 8 mph, max winds 65 mph.

No change in the forecast track. See information above and below.

6:05a Saturday dumped 2 inches of rain on Oriental. Today sunny and low 90s – just a 20% chance of an afternoon shower.

While Monday night and Tuesday may see tropical storm conditions on the Neuse, today an easy 5-10 knot south winds.

5:15a From our perspective in Oriental NC, the storm Isaias news is positive. Isaias remains at tropical storm power (now 65 mph) – and now isn’t forecast to ever regain hurricane strength. The track has trended even farther west, now targeting a path that takes it close to Wilson/Rocky Mount on it’s inland route north.

We still may see some tropical storm force winds on this forecast route, however surge would not be an issue for our area. The Neuse and Pamlico Sound marine forecasts underscore the potential winds… 30-35 knots is forecast for Monday night and Tuesday.

Saturday August 1, 2020

8:03p There’s little change in the (now) Tropical Storm Isaias forecast since 5p. Max winds are near 70 mph. Isaias is forecast to regain hurricane, but then again weaken. It is expected to slowly weaken Sunday night through Monday.

Tropical Storm Isaias Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Isaias Forecasters Discussion
Tropical Storm Isaias Public Advisory

5:43p A downgrade and another shift west. Ken Graham at the National Hurricane Center explains.

5:06p More good news on Isaias. The storm has weakened to a tropical storm, now 70 mph peak winds. Isaias is forecast to regain hurricane strength as it moves over Florida.

The track continues to shift slightly westward.

Hurricane Isaias Tracking Chart
Hurricane Isaias Forecasters Discussion
Hurricane Isaias Public Advisory

One new COVID-19 case today – from Pamlico County Emergency Management:
One (1) new Positive COVID-19 Test result received today. Patient was tested on July 29th and has remained in Isolation and Quarantine since the test date.

Active Cases: 7. Recovered: 51. Deaths: 1. Total: 59.

2:37p Ken Graham is back with a video update on Hurriance Isaias. Ken talks about Isaias having difficulty with wind shear. You want a hurricane to be having a difficult life.

2:12p In between your planning for the end of the world, you can take a break and discover more about canine love.

Just click here and become edified.

2:02p The news is positive re Hurricane Isaias. The storm has weakened a bit more, now 75 mph peak winds. It is expected to have winds of 65 or 70 mph Monday, making it no longer a hurricane (it will be a powerful tropical storm).

The forecast track remains west of us – still coming ashore at the SC/NC border, then inland taking it west of New Bern. With this track, the surge forecast for the Oriental area is negligible.

Hurricane Isaias Tracking Chart
Hurricane Isaias Forecasters Discussion
Hurricane Isaias Public Advisory

Don’t count on this track though. Prep as though we will get a modest hurricane visit.

1:20p. The National Hurricane Center’s Ken Graham talks about Hurricane Isaias. If there’s one thing you get out of this video… Ken has an ability few of us have. He can actually pronounce Isaias.

11:00a The hurricane track shuffle continues… this time it’s a nudge west. The latest update forecasts the track coming ashore at the SC/NC border, then inland tracking west of New Bern.
Isaias is now targeting the SC/NC border


At 11a Hurricane Isaias is approaching the Bahamas, at 24.7°N 77.9°W, moving northwest at 12 mph. Reports from Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that max winds have decreased slightly to near 80 mph. Little change in strength is expected through Sunday, and Isaias is forecast to remain a hurricane during this time. Slow weakening is expected to begin by late Monday.

Late Monday/early Tuesday Isaias is forecast to arrive in eastern North Carolina as a tropical storm – not a hurricane. But don’t let that sound like the storm will be weak – it is still expected to have 65-70 mph peak winds.

10:01a As Isaias approaches, there’s boat prep to be done. Captain John Rahm has a few ideas. One of them includes blue tape. It seems John really likes blue tape.

You can find Captain John’s Hurricane Boat Prep checklist here.

8:41a Sometimes Oriental provides a view of things together – that you might not normally see together most places.

This morning on the Oriental bridge, parked together are two tractors and a Rolls Royce.

8:12a. The 8a update – no forecast or track changes. See above and below for the latest info on Hurricane Isaias.

TownDock Senior Management still can’t pronounce (or spell) our visitors name.


(click pic for the big tractor view)

6:22a As well as a hurricane prep weekend… this is a summer weekend in Oriental. High’s today & Sunday low 90s, with heat index numbers wilting between 105 and 110.

Oriental NC Forecast
Hurricane Center
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar
TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online

6:10a. The weather gods giveth, and then taketh away.

The 5a update for Hurricane Isaias has the track moving back east (and closer) – but still slightly west of us. The other component is the latest forecast has the storm slowing down it’s progress as it approaches. We don’t want the storm slowing down – that means it will be here longer as it passes through.

Isaias is currently moving northwest at 12 mph, with max sustained winds of 85 mph. The latest track has Isaias coming ashore between Surf City and Emerald Isle NC about 3a Tuesday morning, then proceeding inland, the eye about half way between New Bern and Oriental.

The CERA surge model now projects Oriental with a 2-3 ft surge from this track, New Bern at 4-5 ft.

Both the track and surge models will be changing as Hurricane Isaias approaches. If you plan for a 5 ft surge in Oriental, you shouldn’t be caught off guard.

Friday July 31, 2020

8:05p At 8p the storm is at 22.9°N 75.9°W, moving northwest at 15 mph, peak winds now 80 mph. The 8p update has Hurricane Isaias track west of us holding steady.

In this forecast track Isaias makes landfall Monday afternoon between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, traveling inland west of New Bern, passing directly over Little Washington on it’s way north.

Hurricane Isaias Tracking Chart
Hurricane Isaias Forecasters Discussion
Hurricane Isaias Public Advisory

A storm passing this far west of us would not cause significant surge. The CERA surge models, taking into consideration the latest NHC forecast track, show no surge at all for the Oriental area. They do however show potential surge levels of 4 ft for New Bern, and 5 ft for Little Washington.

At this time NOAA/NHC’s surge model is only forecasting for Florida’s east coast.

One new COVID-19 case today – from Pamlico County Emergency Management:
One (1) new Positive COVID-19 Test result received today. Patient was tested on July 30th and has remained in Isolation and Quarantine since the test date. Health Officials have been able to clear One (1) patient out of Isolation and Quarantine today.

Active Cases: 6. Recovered: 51. Deaths: 1. Total: 58.

5:09p This update is all good re storm impact in or near Oriental & Pamlico County. The storm is currently at 22.6°N 75.7°W, moving NW at 15 mph, with max sustained winds of 75 mph.

The track has moved further west & inland. Isaias would come ashore between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, passing west of Jacksonville NC and west of New Bern. If you have trouble with geography, that would be WAY WEST of Oriental. The intensity forecast has lowered, now forecasting Isaias to arrive in eastern NC with peak 70 or 65 mph winds. That’s below Category 1 hurricane strength – Isaias would then be again simply a powerful tropical storm.

Due to the westward shift in the NHC forecast track, a Hurricane Warning and Storm Surge Watch have been issued for portions of the Florida east coast.

Please don’t interpret this improved forecast for our town as an “all clear.” If the storm again tracks back east (and it may well) it would also likely further strengthen. While the forecast does not currently suggest it, planning for up to a 5 ft surge is prudent.

Tropical Depression TEN has formed off Africa. It is expected to have a short life, and is of no concern to North America.

3:24p Right now the Hurricane Isaias forecast doesn’t suggest this will be a storm with significant local evacuations. Pamlico County Emergency Management writes in with guidance just in case:
Pamlico County Emergency Management is currently monitoring the storm and will advise regarding emergency plans. Arrangements are being made for emergency sheltering; however, due to the COVID pandemic and social distancing requirements, the availability of shelter space will likely be very limited. Screenings will occur prior to any person being accepted into a shelter anywhere in the State. Individuals are encouraged to use non-congregate, personal sheltering options such as staying with family and friends.

2:00p No change in the 2p Hurricane Unpronounceable forecast track. Again forecast to pass to our west, which would mean little to no surge (if this track actually happens). Current location 22.2°N 75.2°W, moving NW at 16 mph. Max winds 75 mph.

1:10p The latest track would run west of us. This track suggests Hurricane Isaias comes ashore late Monday near Surf City, then inland over New Bern. Like this:

(click map for larger view)

If the track above happened, we would get very little surge. Is this the right track?

The right track is to prepare for a visit and up to 5 feet of surge. If that doesn’t happen (that much surge is not predicted at the moment) you can be pleasantly surprised.

Meanwhile, you can practice your pronunciation.

12:58p. NC HHS data now has 54 of the 57 coronavirus cases in Pamlico County. Click here to see the updated zip code cases map.

11:33 Unrealized love. A hallway encounter that may embarrass your preacher.

It’s all part of the story of the new Pet Of The Month. Paige is Miss July.

11:25a Hurricane Isaias is expected to strengthen more. The forecast now calls for it to reach 90 mph winds Sunday, and have 75 to 80 mph peak winds Monday as it arrives. That doesn’t mean however we will see those winds – that will be dependent on the ultimate track. The latest update at 11a has that track moving inland and moving west of us.

8:08a When is Isaias likely to get here? Monday daytime, with peak winds & surge Monday evening. That presumes the storm speed is as forecast. Some models suggest the storm will speed up, arriving sooner in the day Monday. The official NOAA/NHC forecast however has the storm’s peak Monday evening.

CERA (Coastal Risks Emergency Management) is generating surge projections. Here’s a look at our area:

(click map for larger view)

And this is a CERA surge prediction for the waters of the Oriental harbor. It forecasts a 3.5 to 4 ft surge Monday evening:

(click map for larger view)

6:32a We have a hurricane visitor to plan for. This morning Hurricane Isaias has 80 mph winds… the storm is projected to arrive Monday evening with 75 mph peak winds. Will we get 75 mph winds? Probably not. But we will see tropical storm conditions. Surge TBD. Early models indicate 3-4 ft, but new data today could change that.

Today is the last day of July. High’s lower 90s, and afternoon heat index values around 106.

Thursday July 30, 2020

8:07p Storm Isaias is now expected to reach hurricane strength before Friday night, with winds at 75 mph. The storm would stay at Category 1 hurricane strength during its Monday visit to eastern North Carolina.

Initial surge projections are becoming available. So far max surge for Oriental and the immediate area is forecast at 3-4 ft, but that could change up or down based on the storm’s ultimate path, and the speed at which it passes. TownDock will have surge numbers from multiple sources online Friday.

Tropical Storm Isaias Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Isaias Forecasters Discussion
Tropical Storm Isaias Public Advisory

4:23p If Isaias visits on Monday, there will be no trash or recycling pickup. From Town Hall:
If we are under a hurricane watch or warning on Monday AM, we will NOT have trash/recycling service. We’ll let you know as soon as we do.
Also, our yard waste dumpsters at the Water Plant will be emptied tomorrow (Friday) morning, and will not be open for use until the storm passes. We cannot have loose debris around the water plant. If you have yard waste to add, it needs to be added by Thursday night.

Click here for the full message.

3:14p Pamlico County Emergency Management announces three new cases:
Three (3) new Positive COVID-19 Test results received today. Patients were tested on July 27th and 28th. All have remained in Isolation and Quarantine since the test dates. Health Officials have been able to clear One (1) patient out of Isolation and Quarantine today.

Active Cases: 6. Recovered: 50. Deaths: 1. Total: 57.

Data from the NC Department of Health and Human Services dashboard shows 51 of the 57 cases – here’s the latest zip code map:

(click map for larger view)

North Carolina has over 120,000 cases statewide, 1,903 deaths, and 1,239 currently hospitalized. In Craven County, there are 610 cases of coronavirus and 9 deaths. Carteret County has 279 cases and 4 deaths.

2:02p. No change in the latest (2p) Tropical Storm Isaias forecast track – it stays on the Beaufort/Ocracoke run in the image above.

11:25a The projected track for Tropical Storm Unpronounceable has moved east and a bit away from our town. The forecast remains for Isaias to stay just below hurricane strength… peak winds of 70 mph expected.

Tropical Storm Isaias Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Isaias Forecasters Discussion
Tropical Storm Isaias Public Advisory

ol front porch logo 10:34a Oriental United Methodist Church took a brief hiatus from their outdoor services.

This Sunday – weather pending – they return to Sunday services in Lou Mac Park. To join the outdoor Sunday sermon bring a chair, a mask, and the church bulletin.

Reverend Dr. Anne Walker-Sims asks congregants to observe the 3 Ws while at the riverside. Click here for more information on OUMC’s Sunday Service.

8:12a When might Isaias begin to make his presence known? While the highest winds would be Monday night, the winds of Isaias could start to arrive early Monday.

One key positive about this storm’s likely visit – Tropical Storm Isaias is forecast to move by quickly. The storms that cause trouble are the one that move through slowwwwwly… which provides the time needed to create significant flooding. A quick moving storm generally will have minimal flooding impact.

6:14a Tropical Storm Isaias formed late last night – but it’s already a record holding storm. Usually a discussion re a record holding storm is how powerful it is. Fortunately with Isaias, that’s not the record.

Now that Isaias has been declared, it’s the earliest “I” named storm on record. Storms that begin in “I” make us a tad nervous around here. Hurricanes Isabel (2003) and Irene (2011) left damp memories (storms that bring over 9 ft of surge can have that effect).

The previous record-holder for the earliest “I” named storm of the season was Irene. Nope, not that Irene. It was a storm Irene that formed on August 7, 2005. That storm politely stayed at sea.

Unfortunately , Isaias has plans to visit land.

There’s one other thing about Isaias. How to pronounce it. At TownDock HQ we’ve been saying “I-say-ahs.” We’ve been wrong.

The National Hurricane Center uses the pronunciation “ee-sah-EE-ahs.” It’s a mouthful. Four syllables, with the third syllable emphasized.

Let’s all try it together. Say it with us: ee-sah-EE-us

Yeah. We can’t say it either.

The name Isaias is of Spanish origin – it means “God Is My Salvation.”

Wednesday July 29, 2020

11:35p Tropical Storm Isaias is finally declared. The forecast track has moved, now showing an eastern NC landfall Monday evening. That forecast track is likely to change in coming days. Intensity forecasts have Isaias as a powerful tropical storm, but not reaching hurricane strength.

8:02p “Nine” is still a potential storm. Just Potential. That said, read the NOAA/NHC fine print and it Storm Isaias will likely be declared Thursday morning. Even then, it’s track and future strength may be unclear.
The system is still forecast to become a tropical storm before reaching Hispaniola, and some slight strengthening could occur before landfall Thursday morning. The details of the long-range track and intensity forecasts remain more uncertain than usual since the system does not have a well-defined center and it is expected to move near or over portions of the Greater Antilles later this week and move near or over Florida this weekend. While this system could bring some rainfall and wind impacts to portions of Cuba, the central and northwest Bahamas, and Florida later this week and this weekend, it is too soon to determine the location or magnitude of those impacts.

Models have moved more eastward – that means closer to visiting us.

6:04p If you haven’t been to The Silos lately, the upstairs dining room has been renovated. There’s a a new seating arrangement and the bar has a new home. The stage, however, is still right by the stairs and ready for tonight’s Open Mic night.

Bring your instrument or just your voice and perform upstairs on the small stage. Music begins at 7p.

4:43p Pamlico County Emergency Management has an update on the existing cases of coronavirus in the county:

No new Positive COVID-19 Test results received today. Health Officials have been able to clear 7 patients out of Isolation and Quarantine.
Active Cases: 4 Recovered: 49 Deaths: 1 Total: 54

9:31a Oriental usually doesn’t want rain ahead of hurricane season – more than enough is coming. Yesterday was an exception… the plants and trees were looking a little parched.

The high was 95 with a heat index of 108. And then it rained. Two-thirds of an inch. It may not seem like much, but the rain did more than just water the plants. It dropped the temperature more than 20 degrees in two hours.

It looks like the rain may hang around for a few days. There’s a 50% chance today and tomorrow.

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

6:10a Will “Nine” be declared a tropical storm today? Probably. NOAA/NHC sent out a Hurricane Hunter aircraft yesterday afternoon and reported: “…the Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft has been unable to find a well-defined center.” At least two aircraft will be sent out again today to further investigate.

Meanwhile, the tropical disturbance called “Nine” is moving west. Tropical storm conditions are arriving today at the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Some models do suggest a turn north that would take the storm towards us, but most are favoring a route towards Florida.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine Tracking Chart
Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine Forecasters Discussion
Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine Public Advisory

Tuesday July 28, 2020

2:50p NHC has almost named a new storm. Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine just isn’t an impressive title. However, Tropical Storm Isaias is, and that is likely (but not certain) to be it’s title tomorrow.

While we see an early forecast track that would keep Nine/Isaias south of us, this storm is hard to predict right now. From NHC:
It cannot be stressed enough that since the system is still in the formative stage, greater than average uncertainty exists regarding both the short-term and longer-term track and intensity forecasts.
They further add these not-so-fun facts:
It should be noted that a stronger cyclone is likely to favor a more northern track, while a weaker system is likely to remain more equatorward. Users should remember that the long-term average NHC track forecast errors at days 4 and 5 are 140 and 175 miles, respectively.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine Tracking Chart
Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine Forecasters Discussion
Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine Public Advisory

If (a big IF) the early forecast track is accurate, Isaias could be arriving at southern Florida this weekend.


(click image for larger view)

8:44a Yesterday’s high temp reached 97… but the heat index climbed to 108. Today looks like a similar hot one – highs mid 90s, and heat index values over 100 and perhaps near 110.

Oriental NC Forecast
Hurricane Center
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar
TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online

8:28a Will he or won’t he? Invest 92 is being a tropical tease on the Atlantic. Over the weekend all indications were (a 90% chance) that Tropical Storm Isaias would be declared. But then Invest 92/Isaias calmed down a bit.

This morning the potential storm is suffering from appearance anxiety (NOAA says “the system does not yet have a well-defined center”). However, data from a weather buoy is indicating near tropical-storm-force winds (27 knots a few minutes ago).

NOAA/NHC is sending a Hurricane Hunter aircraft to investigate the system this afternoon. If they see a near tropical storm, this could get declared promptly. Right now Invest 92 is at an 80% chance of being declared in the next 48 hours, 90% in the next 5 days.

Early computer models may have you thinking about hurricane prep:

(click image for larger view)

While future storm Isaias could become a hurricane, it isn’t expected to be a particularly powerful storm. But any potential hurricane visit does get one’s attention.

Monday July 27, 2020
4:08p There are now 54 coronavirus cases in Pamlico County:
Pamlico County identifies One (1) new Positive COVID Case. Patient was tested on July 23, 2020 and has remained in Isolation & Quarantine since the test date.

Active Cases: 11. Recovered: 42. Deaths: 1. Total: 54
Cases: #1- #20,#22- #39, #41-#43, #50 Recovered
Cases: #40, #44 – #51- #54 Still Under Investigation

12:17p Scammers aren’t just in emails; they target classifieds, too.

When a scammer contacted one Oriental resident, he decided to go with it and see how these online scams play out. Read the story here.

8:53a There are a lot of places that are no longer crowded because of COVID-19. Out on the water, that may not be the case.

This morning, it’s only in the mid 80s, but it’s forecast to get up to the mid 90s. The heat index will be in the mid 100s.

There is a chance of rain all week; percentages fluctuate from 20-60 depending on the day. However, that’s an 80-40% chance of no rain this week. Last week also had a chance of rain, but there was no measurable accumulation.

Oriental NC Forecast
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar
TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online