Hanna damage is minimal

Published 7:47 pm Sunday, September 7, 2008

By all reports, Hanna was a breeze.

The center of the tropical storm, which made landfall early Saturday morning packing 70 mph winds near the North Carolina-South Carolina state line, tracked a bit further west than anticipated. That track basically left all of eastern North Carolina out of the heavy rain earlier forecasted for the area. Early reports have the local area receiving around two inches (3-to-5 inches were expected). The bulk of the local rain fell Friday night from moisture associated with the outer bands of the tropical storm.

However, the wind was a factor, although it didn’t leave much damage in its wake. Wind gusts were reported as high as 48 mph at the Edenton airport. There was a gust reaching 56 mph at the Manteo airport and one measured at 43 mph just across the state line at the Suffolk, Va. airport.

Power outages were extremely isolated and short-lived. To those who did lose power, electricity was restored promptly.

“I spoke with Keith Piland of Dominion Power several times on Saturday and they reported only isolated power outages,” Charles Jones, Hertford County Director of Emergency Management, said. “They were prepared by bringing in extra crews. Whatever outages they had they were able to jump right on them and get power restored very quickly to those customers.”

There were some reports of storm surge along the Chowan River, especially at White’s Beach, Perry’s Beach and Pointe Comfort, all in the Colerain area, as well as at Tunis in Hertford County. The surge, estimated as high as four feet near Colerain, wiped out several piers and also downed some trees.

Jones said the extent of the storm surge damage at Tunis, estimated at three feet, was unknown.

“I do not know as of right now if the surge affected any homes at Tunis,” Jones said in a Sunday afternoon phone interview. “I’ll know more by Monday.”

A few trees were reported uprooted by the winds throughout the Roanoke-Chowan area. There were no immediate reports of damage to homes or personal property by those fallen trees. Those blocking any local roadways were immediately removed.