8/29/06 REPORTS : Tropical Storm Ernesto *rescued*

**rescued post**

M Kucera
Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Florida Keys
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:41 am

A weak tropical system in deed. Since it passed right over my place I went out anyway.

Martin Kucera

Dan Robinson
Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 900
Location: Charleston, West Virginia
Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:14 pm

Video clip (Windows Media, 4.1M:

I left Charleston at 2PM on Wednesday to chase Ernesto's landfall, just missing a significant thunderstorm that passed through back home, bringing large hail and flooding to Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell counties. After an overnight stay in Raleigh, I chose Wrightsville Beach as the initial target despite the official forecast calling for a Myrtle Beach landfall. Ernesto's forecast track had been inching northeastward, and I figured that if that trend continued, Wilmington area would at least be a good location to begin the day.

After shooting some outer bands in the Wilmington area, Bill Coyle arrived from Virginia Beach - and we headed south to Carolina Beach at 4PM to shoot the next set of rain bands rotating onshore. Later that afternoon, my brother Matt arrived from Raleigh, giving our team a third cameraman.

Ernesto's initial outer bands were more like summer thunderstorms, with lightning and heavy rain but not much in the way of wind. However, the bands closer to the center that we experienced at Carolina beach were beginning to feel more intense. By sunset, signs, billboards and gas station canopies were rocking, and wind-blown rain created white-out conditions. We were able to catch a decent amount of action, despite Ernesto falling just short of official hurricane strength (details and photos below).

By midnight, the center of Ernesto was overhead and winds were calm. City police re-opened the bridge out of town, and we headed back to Wilmington and checked into our hotel for the night, bringing our Ernesto chase to a close.


A transformer continuously arcs in Carolina Beach:


Winds and rain buffet palm trees in Carolina Beach:


In Carolina Beach, this sign underwent a progressive destruction as the innermost bands of Ernesto arrived:


One of the most eerie sights of the night was the insulators on many of the power lines partially flashing/arcing over with continuous orange and blue arcs: