The media dubbed it Frankenstorm. We watched it travel up the coast from friends in North Carolina. Jim Williams and Joe Taylor were posting pictures and videos of Hurricane Sandy. These are friends of mine that were in totally different areas. I owe the fact I left Broadkill Beach when I did to them. When I saw the size of the waves hitting the NC coast, and compared it to how much of the beach was already worn away from just the last two high tides, and heavy winds. I packed everything I own into my truck and hit the road. Staying at Broadkill Beach, I knew would be a bad idea if this storm hit the way it was hitting NC in some places. I drove to Long Neck, DE and was prepared to ride the storm out at Admin1’s house in Pot Nets Bayside. We had computers and gear, as long as the power was on, we would be fine. I had car batteries charged to run power inverters, and the phone hot spotted, for an emergency. We just needed to post some reports to the website so people could keep up with the storm in our area. We learned from hurricane Irene, that the coverage for this area (Sussex county) is slim to none. We were mobile if need be, and had back up plans for everything.
On Saturday night when we started reporting things on our website and the Facebook page. We gained a few friends and like always I welcomed them to our page. When I packed up and headed to Admin 1’s we had more and more friends joining the page, and the website was getting hit hard. Sunday afternoon the website crashed from way too much traffic. Thanks for that by the way. We started using Facebook to post everything we had, information, updates, and pictures. I was running around taking pictures, and so were many of our friends, storm chasing. I knew people all over the county that were out and about, or stuck. They all started sending us pictures, and people up north started asking for conditions. Everything went haywire from that point on, and I was glued to a computer for 72 straight hours. DSF with the help of friends, sponsors, and new friends … posted pictures and conditions from almost every coastal area in Delaware. If we needed conditions somewhere we found them. I was on the phone, facebooking, emailing, text messages, and private messages on Facebook. It was insane, Admin 1 got our online Delaware Surf Fishing TV live casts going, and was broadcasting live reports. We never slowed down, and the storm never did either. I was so busy at times I forgot there was a storm right outside the window next to me, that is until the freight train winds started shaking the house. We still had 4 high tides to go through and the storm was just getting started, hadn’t made landfall yet, and the flooding was starting. We were just on the edge of an evacuation zone, so we knew we were okay, and 23 feet above sea level. Now as long as the power stayed on we would be golden, and it did for the entire storm.
At this point the days just blend, 22 – 23 hour days can get you off track of time. We were putting up information constantly. People up north were calling radio stations telling them check out the Delaware Surf Fishing guy’s Facebook page for news in lower Delaware. We put a picture up Monday morning of the inlet bridge from the live DelDot highway cams. Then spent almost an entire day arguing its validity online. Seems a picture was photoshopped making the bridge look like it collapsed. DSF’s was blamed for being that picture, which was not the truth at all. I never had the time to follow up exactly which picture was sent to the news agencies. The picture we posted was real, I argued that for over 24 hours, and the aftermath pictures proved that. The problem with the picture we posted, from the live DelDot cam, water on the camera lens warped the image a bit. The fact the entire scene was surreal did not help either. Fox news and WBOC were even calling it a fake picture(we were told). That is how fast the internet works, or I should say doesn’t work at times. We ignored the naysayers and pushed on, we had no choice. I had friends that are first responders, and they were keeping tabs on this area, while working up north. They were comforted in the fact someone was out there looking out for them. We felt obligated to do this for friends and their families, since no one else was or ever does. When I finally stood up to stretch and run out for a few pictures on Sunday, I returned to 400 notifications. That was only 20 minutes or so away from the computer, I never left it after that. To all my Pot Nets Baysiders, I did finally get that beer, 3 days later. Looking back on all of this, I think it was more chaotic in that house, than on the outside. We were posting information as fast as we could collect. Admin 1 was worried about his family up north, whom was keeping tabs on him by following the Facebook page. There are only two people running DSF, but we did not do this alone.
DSF has many people to thank, so many I can’t even list them all without crashing the servers again. Everyone out there who contributed to these efforts, this could not have been done without you. The readers get a huge thanks, they kept us motivated with questions and needs. Once again DSF finding people in need of information, found a way to fill those requests. Many of our readers are seasonal, and they could not find information on this area anywhere. They all turned to DSF. People were joining our Facebook page every 15 seconds for 2 days. I wanted to welcome them all to the page, but we just didn’t have the time. I figured once the dust settled, and things calmed down we could welcome people. We gained over 3100 facebook friends, and we just can not welcome them all personally. I want to thank you all, and welcome you to DSF, we will always be here to give you updated information, that concerns our coastal areas during storms. Now people understand what this website is capable of, and how large, and far our readerbase stretches. I hope we never have to do this again, but we probably will. Hurricane Irene gave us a practice run. Hurricane Sandy??… well … a quote from a reader … “you guys killed it!!”