The Great Dismal Swamp, mostly known to the people of southeastern Virginia and the outer banks of North Carolina or to those who know the history of the Underground Railroad, is smoldering out of control. Started by a lightning strike a few weeks ago, the fire has consumed well over 6,000 acres and can only be extinguished with about six or so inches of rainfall, which can only be achieved with a tropical storm in these parts. Today we have a RED alert, which means the air quality is unhealthy. No kidding! There have been swamp fires before, but this is the worst in the 24 years we have been in Virginia. Even the dogs want to stay inside.
Be careful. You might just get what you wish for. Enter Irene.
If all goes as predicted, Irene will pass uncomfortably close to Norfolk. We are most fortunate in that most hurricanes which come our way, usually strike the Outer Banks first and are subsequently weakened. However, the last Category 2 to hit us was Isabel and there was considerable damage. Our home is a century-old sturdy brick structure and we were spared serious damage, but we were without electricity for 8 days. Thus far, we are in the 'cone of uncertainty' for Irene. The forecast could get much better or far worse. Either way we should get significant rainfall. If there is a silver lining, it will be that at least we can breathe healthier air.
P.S. Sure wish we were in Mérida.
Images from Weather Underground and Virginian Pilot