Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wednesday Morning

Oh what a beautiful morning! The sky is bright and sunny -- temperature in the mid 70s. It reminds me of Sept. 13, 1944. Aycock Brown had gotten word that a powerful storm was moving toward Ocracoke (this was in the days long before anyone but the military was tracking hurricanes). Aycock posted signs around the village, trying to warn people, but hardly anyone believed him; the weather was simply too beautiful.

However, Stacy Howard, who had heart problems, and whose doctor warned him not to get overly-stressed, decided to heed Aycock's predictions "just in case," so he wouldn't worry so much when the storm hit. In those days most skiffs were simply tied to stakes in the harbor. By the end of the day Stacy had so many lines running from his boat to other stakes and anchors that the other men said it looked like a huge spider web.

The "44 Hurricane" hit Ocracoke with a vengeance! Winds were over 100 miles an hour, many houses were flooded by the rising tide, and boats were scattered all over the village. Several ended up in front of the Island Inn.

The bow of one was poking in the door of a house.

But Stacy Howard's skiff was right where he'd tied her up.

From that time on, whenever anyone saw Stacy tying his boat up for a hurricane, everyone took him seriously and began their own preparations.

It is different today. It is bright and sunny, but everyone knows that a storm is on its way. So everyone is making preparations. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Anonymous8:41 AM

    Thank you Philip You don't know how helpful you have been. Even the least news is appreciated! 90.1 FM is down so we can not hear them. Be safe but please tell us all you know and keep us posted. Thank you

  2. Anonymous8:48 AM

    Stay safe , we are in the hills of northwest Connecticut so we have nothing to worry about , but I will be thinking of you all.

  3. Anonymous9:18 AM

    That Stacy Howard must have known "Better to be safe, than sorry!". Don't you know he wanted to say after the boats were tossed all over the place (and poking inside that house), "I told you so!"

    Great story, Philip, to lighten the mood.

    Keep up the great job! Your reports are much better than Good Morning America! :) I did hear Sam Champion from GMA mention that visitors were being evacuated off of Ocracoke Island, but of course, we already knew!

  4. Anonymous11:15 AM

    We will be keeping you all in our thoughts and prays. Stay safe and God Bless.

  5. I am reading David Stick's book, The Ash Wednesday Storm. In the Foreword by Andy Griffith, the last paragraph he wrote
    "If you read this book when the wind and water are calm - and thank God they mostly are - it will make you understand those times when they're not." This is just to remind us that things are not always perfect but while you live at the Outer Banks of NC, it is almost perfect. You have to take the good and bad together.

  6. Anonymous11:59 AM

    Hooray for Uncle Stacey! And be safe, Phillip. From NJ, I can almost see the fishermen pulling up their pound nets.

    Ron K