Hurricane #Sandy – Reader Check-In

Hoping to hear from readers who have been impacted or who are in the projected path of the massive Hurricane Sandy “superstorm.” Please let us know what’s happening in your area, what you’re seeing, etc.

Sandy has had a significant impact on North Caroilina, on the coast of course as well as in the mountain areas:

Elizabeth City, NC — The captain of a ship that sank this morning off the North Carolina coast remains missing along with a fellow crew member.

Fourteen people were rescued from the HMS Bounty when the 180-foot, three-mast tall ship took on water as Hurricane Sandy skirted the North Carolina coast.

The ship sunk, according to the Coast Guard at 8:45 a.m. Monday.

The Coast Guard continues to use a helicopter and an airplane to search for the two remaining crew members. They are the captain, 63-year-old Robin Walbridge, and crewmember Claudene Christian, who is 42 years old.

The Coast Guard says the first Jayhawk helicopter crew reached the life rafts around 6:30 a.m., which is about 90 minutes after the crew of the Bounty abandoned ship. Crews hoisted five people into the aircraft at that time. A second helicopter arrived and rescued nine people.


The Bounty was built for a 1962 film and has been featured in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

The Bounty has been to Carteret County a couple times, back in the 2000s. According to its website, the Bounty “sails the country offering dockside tours in which one can learn about the history and details of sailing vessels from a lost and romanticized time in maritime history.”

Please keep the families of those rescued and those missing in your prayers tonight.

Here’s more on Sandy’s NC impact, via the Charlotte Observer:

Hurricane Sandy battered a 400-mile-wide swath of North Carolina on Monday, sending huge waves and tidal flooding ashore on the Outer Banks and causing accumulating snowfall in the western mountains.


A wide array of warnings and advisories are posted for the Tar Heel State, including a Wind Advisory for Charlotte and much of the Piedmont.

A High Wind Warning is posted in higher elevations to the northwest of Charlotte, including all or parts of Watauga, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, McDowell and Rutherford counties. Forecasters warn gusts of 60 to 70 mph are possible Monday and early Tuesday in that area, and they say widespread power outages are likely.

And a Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the northwest mountains, where 8 inches or more of snow could fall by late Tuesday.

At midday Monday, Hurricane Sandy was growing stronger as it moved toward the coast. Its center was about 200 miles southeast of Atlantic City, N.J., and its top sustained winds had grown to 90 mph. Gusts were above 110 mph.

The storm’s growing strength could mean Sandy’s effects here in the Carolinas will be stronger than earlier thought.

As Sandy moves to the north, conditions slowly are improving on the Outer Banks.


Rain bands from Hurricane Sandy were falling as close as Greensboro and Raleigh late Monday morning.

That precipitation is expected to move south gradually during the day, and a few showers could reach Charlotte by evening and overnight.

Along the Outer Banks, the heavy rain and storm surge have closed parts of N.C. 12. The N.C. Department of Transportation says N.C. 12 is closed south of the Oregon Inlet Bridge, to Rodanthe. Overwash was being reported on sections of the road.

In addition, the DOT has stopped running its ferries to the Outer Banks. Manteo was reporting sustained winds of 30 mph and heavy rain at 7 a.m.

There are no other flooding reports, however.

“So far, we’ve been fortunate as we have not had reports of severe damage from Hurricane Sandy,” N.C. Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell said late Sunday. “But this is still a slow-moving, powerful storm that could impact North Carolina well into next week.”


Snow fell much of Monday morning in Boone, where the temperature hovered around 32 degrees and the ground had a white coating. A dispatcher with the sheriff’s offices in Avery and Watauga counties reported several secondary roads were ice and snow at times during the morning.

Winter Storm warnings are in effect until Wednesday morning. National Weather Service meteorologists expect 4 to 8 inches’ accumulation above 2,500 feet, with locally heavier snowfall. A couple inches will accumulate in Asheville, the Weather Service adds.

Adding to the problem will be strong northwest winds, blowing 25 to 35 mph sustained and gusting at times to 60 to 70 mph. Forecasters say they expect widespread power outages, with the winds predicted to knock down trees and power lines.

“It will be heavy, wet snow … a high-impact storm,” McAvoy said.

The area included in the High Wind Warning covers cities such as Morganton, Lenoir, Boone and Rutherfordton.

Be safe out there, everyone – in NC and all other areas impacted by what Accuweather has dubbed the “Frankenstorm.”

Western NC

Blizzard at Carver’s Gap at Roan Mountain in NC – via

Benghazi Consulate Massacre: lawmakers briefed on al Qaeda role two days after the attack

**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

And yet the White House and its spokespeople maintained for weeks afterward that the attack on September 11th was the result of a mob demonstrating against a video, a spontaneous “happening,” like a 60s love-in. They went so far as to have our UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, proclaim this on all five Sunday shows the week after the attack. Secretary Clinton swore to get the maker of the video. And Obama himself repeatedly blamed the video in his speech before the UN General Assembly on September 25th.

So why, then, were the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) telling lawmakers it was likely an al Qaeda operation on September 13th, just two days after the massacre?

Two days after the deadly Libya terror attack, representatives of the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center gave Capitol Hill briefings in which they said the evidence supported an Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda-affiliated attack, Fox News has learned.

The description of the attack by those in the Sept. 13 briefings stands in stark contrast to the now controversial briefing on Capitol Hill by CIA Director David Petraeus the following day — and raises even more questions about why Petraeus described the attack as tied to a demonstration.

The Sept. 13 assessment was based on intercepts that included individuals, believed to have participated in the attack, who were celebratory — as well as a claim of responsibility.

FBI and NCTC also briefed that there were a series of Al Qaeda training camps just outside of Benghazi, where the attack occurred and resulted in the deaths of four Americans. The area was described as a hotbed for the militant Ansar al-Sharia as well as Al Qaeda in North Africa.

Fox News is told there was no mention of a demonstration or any significant emphasis on the anti-Islam video that for days was cited by administration officials as a motivating factor.

The FBI and NCTC did not immediately respond to a request from Fox News for comment.

(Emphasis added)

This raises several troubling issues, including the recurrent question of why the administration stuck to its ludicrous story about an obscure video being at fault for weeks after the event, even when their own counter-terrorism people were saying otherwise. Remember, the only target of this… “fable spinning” was us, the American people. Everyone else, including al Qaeda, knew the truth.

My own guess is that the Obama administration, facing a tight election and having promoted itself as the slayers of bin Laden and the team that beat al Qaeda, now found themselves facing proof that not only were they wrong, but fatally so. In a panic they latched onto some reports about this video, which had been mentioned in jihadist forums in the weeks preceding the attack, and decided that would be their scapegoat, so they could avoid blame for their incompetence. And once the lie was told, they couldn’t abandon it without looking even more foolish, until they were finally forced to, and then lied about having lied.

The main issue raised by this report, though, is the role of CIA Director Petraeus, who apparently insisted to Congress that fault had to lie with the video and its maker, and that the deaths of our people were the result of demonstrations that got out of hand. We have to ask ourselves, and Congress must ask Director Petraeus, why he…

…characterized the attack as more consistent with a flash mob, where the militants showed up spontaneously with RPGs. Petraeus downplayed to lawmakers the skill needed to fire mortars, which also were used in the attack and to some were seen as evidence of significant pre-planning. As Fox News previously reported, four mortars were fired — two missed the annex, but the mortar team re-calibrated and the next two mortars were direct hits.

Fox News is told that Petraeus seemed wedded to the narrative that the attack was linked to a demonstration and was spontaneous as opposed to pre-meditated.

Fox News is told that Petraeus was “absolute” in his description with few, if any, caveats. 

Petraeus, of course, is the architect of our victory in Iraq in 2007-08, literally saving was was becoming a losing effort, and so he has a lot of credit banked with Congress. One can understand their anger at being given such a faulty, even nonsensical, report by someone they trusted, presented as fact when it flew in the face of information being reported by other intelligence agencies.  It calls into doubt his judgment, and perhaps his integrity.

There are many, many questions unanswered about the massacre in Benghazi, from the decisions leading up to it, to the events and decisions made that night and the evident coverup that’s taken place since.

To that list of questions we now have to add the role of the CIA Director.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)