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After a Storm


The day before I went to Topsail, an unnamed storm blew through and even though it wasn’t powerful enough to have a name, it did quite a bit of damage. Virtually every ocean-front home had lost its stairs and/or walkways, and there was some debris laying around on the beach. All along the island, there are public access stairways that take you over the sand dunes and many of these stairs were gone, but luckily the ones closest to our house were intact. The ocean was still churned up when we arrived but it got calmer each day, and there were some beautiful bands of stormy clouds moving through. And the storm washed up some great shells!


Knocked down stairs


Storm debris


At the tip of the island, there's a large undeveloped section of beach. It's a great place to look for shells, and I also found this staircase that had washed down from elsewhere on the island.


Some beautiful post-storm clouds


Topsail was hit hard by Hurricane Fran in the 1990's and that wooden structure in the photo below is what's left of a fishing pier that Fran washed away. After Fran, a local news station sent a helicoptor down to fly over the coast and they broadcast it so that people could check on their homes. I remember watching it and being so relieved to see that both of the houses that I've rented were still standing. But it was so strange to see all the empty ocean-front lots. It wasn't like Fran knocked the houses down and you saw a bunch of debris....the houses were just completely gone, washed away. Very eerie.


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Comments (7)

Your photos are incredible. :)


Those photos are so beautiful. They look better than really being there. Storms off the coast do bring some beautiful shells up. On my first son's 40th birthday he was having so much fun finding so many conch shells, his wife could hardly get him to leave to come home where we were all waiting with a surprise birthday party. He almost surprised us by not coming.

Hate to see that damage, though. Some one will have some work to do.

Looks like you really had a nice vacation!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, these are beautiful photos! It's too bad that the area was hit hard by these storms. Topsail is very beautiful and I can see why you love it so much. Glad that you and your friends had such a wonderful weekend in this beautiful setting.

Thanks so much for sharing!


That is a lot of debris for a small storm. I love the post storm clouds, what an incredible shot with the grasses in the foreground. After you write your book on Venice (hint, hint!), you should create a pictoral coffee table book! You have such a good eye for interesting shots.

Leslie, thank you!

Ann, I found one very large and beautiful conch shell while I was there. Funny story about your son!

Kathy, thanks. I don't think the locals were too upset about this small storm since they've gone thru much worse.

Anne,thank you! Photography is such a fun hobby and it's still so new to me, since I only got my first camera last winter. I have a lot to learn but it's so wonderful to capture a good shot.


Beautiful photos, Annie! The storms must be very violent to cause so much havoc. But the shells they turn up are lovely....

I agree, beautiful photos! The shell photo makes miss searching for shells on the beaches here in Hawaii. Because of the reef, most of the shells are broken or very tiny. It must have been fun walking the beaches there.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 1, 2008 10:24 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Topsail Island/Surf City.

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