Radar imagery of hurricane Bertha2/18/10 - During the middle of July 1996, hurricane named Bertha boiled across the Atlantic and struck the coast of North Carolina.

The storm was large, but not particularly vicious compared to other hurricanes; she dumped relatively small amounts of rainfall--just 4" here and there. Her highest reported winds in Virginia were under 60 mph.

Bertha was sputtering out by the time she reached Northumberland County, but even a sputtering storm is capable of creating fear and damage.

Sometime after midnight, I was awakened by rain hammering the bedroom windows.

Lightning and thunder were close by. Wind slammed the rain like pebbles blown from a cannon, harder than I'd ever heard rain pelt glass before. I was thinking that maybe I should awaken Ted and flee with the cats to the basement, when the tones went off on my radio, alert-ready on the bedside table.

The dispatch requested an EMS response for weather-related injuries in Edwardsville, located (as the crow flies) about five miles southeast of our house (more like 11 miles by highway). Edwardsville is in the first due of Mid-County's sister agency, the Northumberland Rescue Squad. Since Mid-County was being toned out for the call, I figured Northumberland had requested mutual aid and something serious happened over there.