Storm surge near Oak Island, October 30, 2011

Storms don’t always coincide with high tides, but today’s nor’easter did.

Tide was 2.2m (7.2 ft) late this morning (see this link for tide chart), and near the causeway to Oak Island the road was covered with several inches of water. In 8 years of watching storms here, this was the highest storm surge we’ve seen, with water flowing completely over the road.

Storm surge in Mahone Bay

storm surge
On this tidal inlet near Oak Island, it's supposed to be low tide at 11 a.m., but it looks more like high tide, due to the storm surge.

At 11 a.m., as the hurricane approaches, the powerful southeasterly wind is pushing water into the bay, causing a storm surge. We’re lucky that the tide is low. Otherwise, some coastal areas would be flooded and there would be damage to infrastructure.

At Western Shore, surf’s up! This is usually a quiet and peaceful place, sheltered from the prevailing winds. But not today; the wind is coming right into Mahone Bay bringing the ocean with it.

Storm Surge on the South Shore

Back-to-back rainstorms this weekend have carried away most of the snow as well as the ice. The tide, augmented by full moon and a storm surge, was as high this morning as I’ve ever seen it.

Storm surge on Oak Island causeway
At 8:30 this morning, at high tide, the water was almost level with the road leading to the Oak Island causway. Some small waves came onto the road from what is usually the sheltered side.
Cannon near Oak Island
Cannon directing its wrath at the sea.

On Friday night, our power was off for 2 1/2 hours, which is very unusual for us.

High tide that night coincided with high winds. Waves were splashing over the causeway.

The cannon in the photo at right used to point straight out at oncoming ships, but since Friday night it has been pointing downwards, as if to protect us from the wrath of Poseidon.

Reassuring!