Though what was left of the hurricane went over us at about midnight, (September 18, 2003), the wind and rain were not as heavy as expected. We are located in the Shenandoah valley, between the Blue Ridge and the Massanutten mountains. The valley here is only 20 or so miles wide. It seems the worst of the hurricane over us was on the opposite sides of the Blue Ridge and Massanutten mountains. The Massanutten Mountain is probably a 60 mile long mountain that sticks up in the middle of the Shenandoah valley, and the North Fork of the Shenandoah river runs on the west side of the mountain. The North and South forks meet just north of Front Royal.
Jennie, Bettie's oldest daughter, lives below Harrisonburg on the other side of Massanutten from us, and she said the wind and rain were "terrible" there.
Winchester is about 20 miles north of us. It is at the northern entrance of the valley, and they received the worst blow from the storm in our area.
The town of Front Royal is located just northeast of the Massanutten mountain, and at the entrance to the Shenandoah valley where we live. Not having the protection of the mountain ranges, Front Royal had quite a bit of damage and lost power, particularly at their water pumps (about 4 miles north of us). Bentonville, where we have our PO Box is about 6 miles south of us, and they lost power also. But we did not lose power, though we were prepared with a small diesel generator.
Normally, the Shenandoah River, South Fork, is clear and shallow enough to almost wade across. Pictured above is the flooded muddy River, with the Massanutten mountain in the background. It is about a mile west of us, but it is maybe 200 feet below us, so there is no danger of any flood reaching us. The river is expected to crest about 28 ft above flood stage.
Large picture. Allow a few seconds to download. Lord willing, I will try to get some more pictures uploaded Saturday.
The only damage here for us was a couple of small trees down (more cleanup), some broken branches, and a leak in a roof that we did not know was there. The heavy rain came from the north in front of the storm, and the leak was in an area that does not get wet otherwise.
It seems we were actually on the west side of the storm as it passed over, so we did not get the heavy rains that the east side received (the east side pulled up moisture from the Gulf, and dumped it, so we got the left-over rain). I suppose we got 6 or so inches over the 12 hour period. The ground is saturated, and even the hill sides "squish" like a sponge when you walk on them.
The Lord was good to us, and he still is.
Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.