Monday, April 06, 2020

Theodore and Alice Rondthaler

Today we share the second in our series of chats about some of Ocracoke's notable residents who are no longer with us. Theodore Rondthaler was hired as the Ocracoke School principal in 1948. His wife, Alice, accompanied him as one of his teachers. They served the island for 14 years as educators, and later as valuable members of the community. They are buried side by side in the community cemetery.



















You can view our video of Philip sharing stories of Theodore and Alice here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7oPLWZDp3w&feature=youtu.be

You can read more about the Rondthalers here: https://www.villagecraftsmen.com/the-rondthalers-of-ocracoke/

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Saturday, April 04, 2020

Marvin & Leevella Howard

Several days ago a close family member joined me for a much needed outing. Wanting to maintain social distance in this time of coronavirus, we wandered down to the community cemetery where we could visit old friends in safety. As we walked among the grave markers I was reminded of so many wonderful and colorful islanders who had contributed much to our island community but who were no longer with us. We strolled slowly, stopping at many graves as we recounted stories and history.

Amy joined me the following day to record several stories of family and friends. Today I share with you some recollections of my uncle, Captain Marvin Howard, my aunt, Leevella Williams Howard, and Leevella's sister Irene and her husband Kelly.















You can listen to this first story on YouTube by clicking here:
 
You can also read more about Captain Marvin Howard here: https://www.villagecraftsmen.com/marvin-howard-life-well-lived/

To be notified when we post again, add your email address to the box on the right under "Follow by Email" and click "Submit." We promise not to share your email address with anyone else. 

Saturday, February 08, 2020

First Time Clamming

A few days ago I was sorting through some of my parents' old papers, and discovered several interesting finds. After my dad died, in 2002, Capt. Rob Temple sent me a note. He wrote, "Although Lawton has departed from us physically, his gifts to us are alive and well, especially in the delightful memories that hundreds of us who knew and loved him will treasure to the ends of our own lives."

Lawton Howard













I also discovered a story about my dad written by part-time resident Warner Passanisi that illustrates what Capt. Rob was referring to. The story is titled "First Time Clamming - A Fond Remembrance of Lawton Howard." You can read it here.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Hurrican Dorian and the Hunting Scene Persian Rug

When Hurricane Dorian struck I watched as tidewater poured over my fence, up onto my porch, and into my house. Shocked that the water had risen so high and so fast, I turned and saved the first things I saw...a small stack of VHS tapes!!! Then I stepped back onto my Persian rug. It was floating. Why hadn't I rolled it up and laid it across some chairs, I wondered. But it was too late.

For the next week I pondered how, or even if, I could save the rug. Then volunteers, a family who had been visiting Ocracoke for years, came to the rescue.

You can read the entire story of Hurricane Dorian and the Persian rug in our Ocracoke Newsletter: https://www.villagecraftsmen.com/hurricane-dorian-and-the-hunting-scene-persian-rug/.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Dorian Update

Many friends and family members have called, emailed, and texted, concerned about me, Amy, David & Lachlan, and the Village Craftsmen. I have been too overwhelmed to reply individually, so I am posting this summary of the situation for them and any of our other readers.

On Friday, as tide water came rushing down the lane across from my house and from both directions on Lawton Lane, I watched, stunned, as the water steadily rose up my fence. When it breached the points on the palings I knew it was higher than in the '44 hurricane, the worst storm in living memory.

Water poured onto my pizer, then under the doors, and came bubbling up between the floor boards. Before it receded (probably in less than an hour...I can't remember), my house, Amy & David's, the Village Craftsmen, my brother's trailer, my office/laundry building,  my workshop, and Amy & David's storage shed were all inundated with between 2 and 12 inches of water.

As heartbreaking as that was, many other islanders fared far worse. Tidewater rose 3 to 4, or more, feet in some houses, several people had to be rescued from attics and roofs where they had fled from the rising tide, and numerous businesses and public buildings, including the Methodist church (I haven't heard about the Assembly of God), the school, the health clinic, the post office, and the Variety Store had extensive damage.  Some people lost everything to the rising water.

Fortunately, there were no deaths, and I have heard of no major injuries.

As I write, recovery efforts are underway with help from the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the US Army, numerous other state, county, federal, and charitable agencies, and friends and neighbors. The outpouring of love, concern, and financial, commodity & labor donations is emotionally overwhelming.

Municipal water was restored a couple of days ago, and electric power was turned on to some homes and businesses yesterday. I have electric (and hot water & A/C!!) but several circuits are disconnected. Amy & David only have generator power, and the Village Craftsmen only has power to the second floor. More than 350 homes and businesses had their meters removed because of flood water damage.

It will take, weeks, months, and maybe longer to fully recover from Hurricane Dorian. But Ocracoke islanders are resilient, and are determined to get back to normal as soon as possible.

Much more information about Hurricane Dorian and its impact on Ocracoke is aviailable on the internet, including Village Craftsmen's Facebook page, the Ocracoke Current, and the Ocracoke Observer. There you will also find information about making donations for hurricane relief efforts. The Outer Banks Community Foundation is one of the best.

Heartfelt thanks to all of our family and friends who have been so concerned about us. We are survivors.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Water is receding very slowly. Many houses and businesses flooded.
An inch of water in my house!
Tide coming in!


7:58

Wind has definitely shifted. Coming from the N now. No tidal flooding yet on Lawton Lane, but getting reports of flooding elsewhere.

7:48

Winds probably 50-75 mph now.

7:40

Wind still getting stronger. Maybe 45-50 mph. No tidal flooding on Lawton Lane. But lots of standing rain water.

7:12

Wind is stronger again. Maybe 35-40 mph.

7:05

Looks like the eye of the storm is just south of Ocracoke village. I've heard reports of some tidal flooding, but none in my neighborhood yet.

6:55

Wow! The wind is calming way down. About 20 mph now.

6:40

Power out again. Probably the beginning of a long outage!

6:30 Report

Woke up at 6:15 to howling wind. According to wunderground.com it's blowing 55 mph with gusts over 80 mph. Power went out right after I got up. Dorian has turned, and the projected track of the storm is now just west of Ocracoke, up Pamlico Sound!

Power and Wind

Power back on. A little windier. 30-35 mph.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Power

Power out.

Dorian...8:45 pm

Dorian seems to be moving forward more slowly than anticipated. The eye of the storm is expected to arrive about 8 am tomorrow morning. Right now the wind is blowing about 20 mph with intermittent rain. No power outages yet.

For the last few days island captains have been taking their boats out of the water or tying them securely to docks and piers.















Everyone on the island seems to be well prepared for Dorian. We are hoping for the best throughout the night and early in the morning.

Hurricane Dorian Press Release #7


Hyde County, NC

Press Release: September 5, 2019 6:30pm

Donnie Shumate
Public Information Officer
dshumate@hydecountync.gov
(252) 542-0083

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hurricane Dorian Press Release #7
Hyde County is currently under a hurricane and storm surge warning. A mandatory evacuation of all Hyde County residents is in effect. A curfew remains in place for Ocracoke Island from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. A countywide ban on alcohol sales will remain in place until the order is lifted.

The forecast has not changed much since yesterday. Hurricane Dorian is a still a strong category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Hyde County is expecting sustained winds of 80-90 mph with gusts over 100 mph. Rainfall totals are predicted to be between 8-10 inches with localized areas of up to 15 inches. Flash flooding is very likely during this event. Do not attempt to drive through areas with flooding. Storm surge levels could range between 3-6 feet above ground level. Water levels will rise very rapidly on the sounds, particularly soundside Outer Banks, as the storm passes.

Tropical storm force conditions are expected to arrive around 7:00 pm this evening and continuing through Friday afternoon. Hurricane force conditions are forecasted to begin around 5:00 am Friday morning lasting several hours. Multiple tornadoes in the outer bands of the storm have already impacted eastern NC. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive emergency weather alerts.

Based on the current forecast, Tideland EMC anticipates widespread power outages with restoration activities lasting several days or longer. Tideland line crews will be joined by eighty-one additional personnel from Virginia, South Carolina, and Maryland as well as in-state crews. The extra personnel have been pre-staged in area hotels and consist of line workers and tree removal crews, nearly tripling Tideland's existing repair workforce. Tideland members should report power outages by calling 1-800-882-1001 or by texting OUT to short code 85700.

The Hyde County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will remain operational throughout the duration of this storm and the recovery process. If you have any concerns or need assistance call the EOC at 252-926-3715. If you have an emergency call 911. Continue monitoring our social media outlets and website www.hydecountync.gov
for updates.

Hurricane Dorian Press Release #6


Hyde County, NC

Press Release: September 4, 2019 7:00pm

Donnie Shumate
Public Information Officer
dshumate@hydecountync.gov
(252) 542-0083

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hurricane Dorian Press Release #6
Hyde County is currently under a hurricane and storm surge warning. A mandatory evacuation of all Hyde County residents is active as of Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 5:00 am. A curfew will go into effect for Ocracoke Island from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am starting tonight, Wednesday, September 4, 2019, until lifted. A ban on alcohol sales started on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 4:00 pm for Ocracoke and will begin on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 4:00 pm for the mainland.

Hurricane Dorian is a strong category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph as of the 5:00 pm update. Hyde County is currently expecting sustained winds of 80-90mph with gusts over 100mph. Rainfall totals are predicted to be between 8-10 inches with localized areas of up to 15 inches. Storm surge levels could range between 3-6 feet. Tropical conditions are forecasted to begin Thursday night and continue into Friday. 

The general population shelter for evacuees from Hyde County is located at Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center, 9536 NC Hwy 305, Jackson, NC 27845.  The shelter is open and accepting evacuees as of noon on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. Pets are allowed at this shelter. Please bring vaccination records, food, and a kennel if you are traveling with your pets. Anyone with special medical needs that need to evacuate should contact the EOC at 252-926-3715 for guidance. If you do not comply with the evacuation order, please be aware that emergency services may not be available to you after tropical storm force winds begin.

Hyde Transit will be assisting those who need aid with evacuation transportation. For details of the transit schedule see Hyde County Press Release #5 or visit our Hurricane and Flood webpage at www.hydecountync.gov. If you have questions about transportation assistance, please call Hyde Transit at 252-926-1637.  For the last transportation assistance departure, please call Hyde Transit by noon on Thursday, September 5, 2019.

The Hyde County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is now activated and will remain operational throughout the duration of this storm. If you have any concerns or need assistance call the EOC at 252-926-3715.  If you have an emergency call 911. Continue monitoring our social media outlets and website www.hydecountync.gov for updates.