Lots of funny, weird and unusual things have happened to me over the years while working disasters but they were little things that didn’t seem big enough to write a whole blog about, so thought I’d put a few of them together.
Hurricane Isabel 2002 Chesapeake Bay
I was working along the coastline. It’s a very beautiful area but in order to get around, there are often really long, dangerous or steep bridges to cross. I recall one morning (this is not part of the story…lol), I had to go out just at daybreak and cross the Frances Scott Key bridge. It was raining and still dark. My nerves were tied in knots by the time I got across that bridge. It felt really dangerous and I still shudder when thinking about it.
I was out one day inspecting a bunch of houses that backed right up to the Chesapeake Bay. Though lots of people move into areas like this, they always take the worst damage when a hurricane hits. So this lady had a beautiful home with a small backyard and a nice swimming pool. Her back yard had a retaining wall that was built to prevent her yard from washing away into the sea.
When the 20 foot tidal surge came in, it washed many types of debris into her home and yard. That’s pretty typical along coastal areas. You’ll often find seaweed, sand and parts of other people’s houses in someone’s yard.
So we were out by the ocean checking out her retaining wall which had been damaged. And she says, “Oh by the way, something washed into our pool from the sea.”
So I looked up from my computer and said, “What?”
“There’s some kind of sea creature swimming around in our pool. How can we get rid of him?”
I thought I’d heard everything but this was new. “Um…do you have any fishing gear?”
She nodded. “Sure. We go fishing all the time.”
I shrugged. “Get yourself some bait and fishing poles and catch it. Then put it back in the sea where it belongs.”
She looked kind of frightened. “What if it’s something really dangerous?”
I sighed. “What could it be? A sting ray? It’s probably a Flounder or something like that. You could have it for dinner.”
She still didn’t seem to like the idea of fishing the creature out of her pool, but the only other option was to wait for another storm surge to come in and wash it back out of the pool. That seemed like a long shot to me.
Well crap! Turns out this story was long enough for its own blog. So see ya next time for another weird disaster story.