N.H. Seacoast Recovers (and Surfs) After Bomb of a Storm

Jan 5, 2018

A surfer takes to the waves in North Hampton, NH.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR

Residents on the Seacoast are digging out from Thursday’s powerful nor’easter. Along with wind and snow, many low-lying homes in Hampton were hit with flood waters. 

But people are taking the storm mostly in stride.

There were two types of people outside today. Those who wanted to be, and those who had to be. Let’s start with the wannabes: surfers.

“On the East Coast, you got to get used to surfing in the winter,” says Jordan Dean, a New Jersey resident who traveled north for New Year’s Eve and decided to extend his stay to hit North Hampton’s waves.  “You gotta get it while you can.”

Dean, a tall man in tight neoprene, explains that winter storms traditionally kick up the Seacoast’s best waves, and yesterday’s bomb did the trick.

Yes, it is cold and blowing, but keep in mind that the water temperature, at 42-degrees, is actually about 30-degrees warmer than the air.

“The trick is to catch a lot of waves so you keep the blood flowing and stay warm.”

The water was good for some, but an unwanted guest for others. A man named Ron, who declined to give his last name, was out surveying damage in his Hampton neighborhood. The storm surge--combined with a nearly full moon--ushered in flood water during Thursday’s high-tide.

Many streets in Hampton saw flooding from Thursday's storm.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR

“Anywhere from 15-18 inches” surrounded the doorsteps in this neighborhood. Storm water, he says, has become a way of life for many streets in Hampton.

“I’m pretty well sick of it,” he added.

One block over, a home builder was clearing snow to make way for an expected delivery of drywall.

Ricky Divine says he already lost too many days of work to the cold earlier this week. He just couldn’t afford to stay home again.

“This job gets done when I’m here. And if I’m not here, what happens? Nothing gets done,” says Divine. “So I’m here.”

Before getting back to it, Divine offered a reflection on the weather. A bit of zen poetry for winter in New England.

“It is what it is,” says Divine. “Welcome to our Earth.”