Topsail Island: A Photo Essay

categories: Cocktail Hour / Getting Outside


Orrin Pilkey and Me on Topsail by Coke Whitworth

After Irene passed through on Saturday I went out to Topsail Island.  I blogged about it in a piece called “Believe The (Long-Term) Hype”  for the Natural Resources Defense Council (and you can read that blog here.  )

In the meantime I thought I’d post a couple of pictures from Saturday’s adventure. As I wrote in the piece, some of Topsail’s homes are so close to the water that they seem like they are being offered up to Poseidon, but Irene did relatively little harm. There was the usual street flooding, and the fairly feeble north-end berm had been eaten away some more, but we were not treated to the floating houses that have made this island such a dramatic player in earlier hurricane narratives. In fact, the main damage we witnessed was to gas stations, specifically to the metal awnings of gas stations. Before we even got to the island we saw a huge awning that had crashed to the ground just twenty minutes before our arrival. I talked to the owner, who said that they hadn’t used the gas pumps for a couple years, after the price went up above $2.99, since the counters on his pumps didn’t go up as high as 3. “We didn’t sell gas anymore, but it gave us good shade,” he said, then explained that his car had been parked where the awning had crashed until a few minutes before. We saw a similar scene repeated once we got on the island itself, and though I felt bad for the station owner, I was pleased to see that it was BP’s creepy sun logo that had crashed to the ground.

Photo by Coke Whitworth

I'm sorry for Station Owner but couldn't happen to a nicer company.

Photo by Coke Whitworth

  1. Tommy writes:

    I love that they quit pumpin’ gas when the price went above $2.99! Nothin’ like keepin’ up with the times! (I should talk – I’m still playin’ VCR tapes that I pick up at yard sales -classy!) I also love that he moved his car. Smarts runs deep in some folk.

  2. George de Gramont writes:

    Cool essay and photos. Remember our visit w/you to Topsail Island well. GdG.