Fine Art Photographs of Hurricane Dorian’s Glancing Impact on Florida’s First Coast
I don’t have to tell you, Hurricanes are a fierce force of nature – and Hurricane Dorian has proven to be one of the fiercest Atlantic storms since records began. The utter destruction and climbing death toll left in the wake of the storm’s lingering 185mph sustained winds over the Bahamas is just starting to be known, and our heart goes out to those on the islands, and the countless families awaiting news about their loved ones. Yet despite all of the horror, there is even in such darkness a beauty in the storm – an eerie, sober sort of melancholy beauty – but beauty all the same.
Here in Jacksonville, FL, Hurricane Dorian remained off the coast, with the majority of our area experiencing only weak tropical storm conditions and minimal flooding – not much more than what we experience in a strong summer thunderstorm. As the first tendrils of the storm slowly churned our way, we took to the shoreline of the St Johns River at dusk to see what the evening would have in store. Even several hundred miles away, the winds were already steady and brisk, as evidenced by the rapidly-moving squall lines raking in from the northeast. The combination of the tropical conditions and dynamic cloud layers made for one of many beautiful sunsets of the week.
By Tuesday, the weather had steadily deteriorated and the highest winds we would experience – a steady 30 knot wind with occasional stronger gusts – was with us from Tuesday evening through midday Wednesday. But by yesterday afternoon, the eye of Hurricane Dorian had moved northeast of Jacksonville, and we couldn’t resist heading out to see the waves at Jacksonville Beach Pier. As you would imagine, Hurricane Dorian was pushing a massive amount of water out from its center, bringing towering waves seldom seen along the Atlantic coast. In addition to more tradition photos, we also captured a series of time exposures like the one you see above – depicting the raw energy of the raging sea. It was definitely a worthwhile trip and a good reminder of just how powerful even a then-category 2 storm can be.
After our trip to the beach, we headed inland to find a place to grab dinner – landing at Mission BBQ at the Town Center – because, you know, BBQ! As we were packing up to head home, the sun, now low on the horizon, broke through the clouds for the first time that day, hinting at the possibility of another stunner of a sunset. We were not disappointed. We changed course and headed to Jacksonville’s Southbank to see how the night would unfold. Not unlike Dorian itself, the sunset was one of those will it – won’t it sort of occasions, with a brief burst of color fizzling into grey just as we arrived along the riverfront. But we stuck around just in case, and I am so thankful we did. Before long, the dull greys were replaced with golden hues that filled the sky from horizon to horizon. A few minutes later, and the gold was replaced with a beautiful rose pastel that lingered for some time, the sky gradually shifting to a rich purple as the sliver of burning orange on the horizon subsided. It was a truly stunning night.
Yet, despite a pleasant turn of providence for Florida, we are painfully aware that others have – and may still – fare far worse than ourselves. For many, there was no beauty in the storm, but only the relentless terror of rising waters and failing homes, standing helplessly amidst the onslaught of banshee winds and a furious sea. And so I would be remiss if I didn’t urge you to consider giving to reputable charities that will support those most impacted by this storm. Likewise, we will be donating all profits from any orders placed in this gallery to hurricane relief via Samaritan’s Purse.
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