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Thread summary:

Moving to North Carolina: flood, disaster preparation, earthquake, job market, great schools.

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Old 05-31-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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Default Cary or Ashville, Norfolk/Williamsburg, San Antonio? I'm lost in decisions.

I'm here in central IL where we have occasional tornadoes. I drive on my job, so I'm tired of routing my way home around the tornadoes. It would be nice to find a location that doesn't get tornadoes, earthquakes, flash fludding, wildfires, and hurricanes. If I get the severe weather factor figured out then I'll at least have a start of where my family and I should move to. I'm also concerned about the heat. Can anyone help with comparing the cities I listed? Thanks for any help.
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Old 06-01-2008, 04:52 AM
 
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We live in Cary and have been to all the places you listed. I think before narrowing down the choices by severe weather, I would look into job opportunties and quality of the schools. I can't speak to the quality of schools in the others; however, we have been very pleased with the schools in Cary. Overall, we love Cary and I think Asheville would be good too. San Antonio was a great place to visit, but not sure I would want to live there (heat, crime, rough areas). IMO, Norfolk/Williamsburg was neither a great place to visit nor would I choose to live there, sorry.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Cary has been rated the 14th safest city in the country. The school systems in Wake County are the best in NC. I've lived here a year and the only truly bad storms we've had so far are maybe a severe storm where large branches have fallen. Being a TA at NC State, I've learned from the students that some parts do flood because of heavy rains, so just make sure you live at a higher elevation. The #1 cause of storm-related deaths here are due to people trying to move/cut fallen trees, and not due to the storm itself.

The humidity can be drastic here late June thru August but I'm from Michigan, so I'm just not that used to it yet. Most people will tell you that your blood has to get used to it. Usually, the larger storms are "broken up" before they really hit very hard here.

Good luck on your search!
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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If your main concern is tornados or hurricanes or severe weather in general, Williamsburg or San Antonio are probably your best choices.

best,
toodie
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buberry View Post
We live in Cary and have been to all the places you listed. I think before narrowing down the choices by severe weather, I would look into job opportunties and quality of the schools. I can't speak to the quality of schools in the others; however, we have been very pleased with the schools in Cary. Overall, we love Cary and I think Asheville would be good too. San Antonio was a great place to visit, but not sure I would want to live there (heat, crime, rough areas). IMO, Norfolk/Williamsburg was neither a great place to visit nor would I choose to live there, sorry.

Hey Buberry, yeah, it looks like it might be hard to get away from crime in VA. Do you agree? Was that your main reason for not liking it? Other than that, the weather would be good, mountains, skiiing within 3-4 hours, a couple good theme parks and one 4-5 hours away in NJ, and close to the beach. Not too bad, right?

I'm still openminded to SA too. I can transfer to any state with the company I work for. There's a lot of great schools in northern SA according to greatschools.net . I remember Cary having great schools also. Most people I've talked to say the humidity isn't very high in SA like it is in Houston. No winters has some appeal, IMO. The north side of SA, Shavano Park and Stone Oak for example, are supposed to have low crime levels yet still have nice, low cost homes with adequate size. SA is a couple hours form the beach at Corpus Christie (about 6 from a better beach in South Padre) and within a few hours driving distance to some small mountains farther west (as they're called but they look more like large hills, at least from the pics). Though living in SA would require skiiing enthusiasts to drive nine hours to Ruidoso NM for the nearest ski mountain. There's plenty of nice lakes and hills around SA and of course the tourist spots; Sea World, River Walk, Alamo, Schliterbaun (arguably the best water park chain in the nation), Six Flags Fiesta Texas, The NBA Spurs, etc.

In recent years Cary seemed to be one of the best cities for families, IMO, but I wonder if it's on the decline as a result of Durham and the other surrounding cities. Also, I'm tired of small city life, so I'm not sure the Cary/Raleigh area would have enough entertainment to offer even with Charlotte (3 hours away) included. SA is large and has Austin, Houston, and Dallas within driving distance. Cary does have a beach within driving distance. I've heard that Raleigh gets hit pretty hard by hurricanes even though it's off the coast. Do they hit Cary? Does Cary get many tornadoes? Anyway, I read recently that Ashville has a huge gang problem. Well, there's probably safe areas in Ashville but it's probably not the city for my family and I.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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I think last year Cary only got hit by one tornado. I haven't had any hurricane experiences yet, but I've only lived here a year.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:56 AM
 
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I'm pretty sure the last time Raleigh/Cary got "hit" by a hurricane was Fran in September 1996.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benandgrace View Post
I'm here in central IL where we have occasional tornadoes. I drive on my job, so I'm tired of routing my way home around the tornadoes. It would be nice to find a location that doesn't get tornadoes, earthquakes, flash fludding, wildfires, and hurricanes. If I get the severe weather factor figured out then I'll at least have a start of where my family and I should move to. I'm also concerned about the heat. Can anyone help with comparing the cities I listed? Thanks for any help.
It sounds like you want a place that is a weather utopia. Maybe Hawaii would be a better choice for you! It is nearly impossible to completely escape all of those weather events altogether. It seems like every region has its thing. This spring has been a rather active tornado season for the NC piedmont, so you won't be completely escaping them here, although the major cities of the Triangle have not seen a major tornado this year.

Flooding has been known to happen in certain areas of the Triangle as well, considering that there are several rivers and creeks running through Triangle towns. The drought has kept that down lately, but I heard that there was some flooding in Raleigh when the remnants of a tropical storm came through in June '06.

The Triangle will feel the effects of hurricanes and tropical storms that make landfall on the coast, but it will not be the same as experiencing one at the coast. Storms typically weaken as they move over land, and usually bring a lot of rain and sometimes tornados (hurricanes often spawn tornados within themselves) to inland areas. I would not consider this area as regularly being "hit pretty hard" by hurricanes, but because the area has a lot of large trees and does not experience hurricanes on a regular basis, I'm sure this can cause a lot of downed trees, and thus downed powerlines, etc. I have only experienced hurricanes in Miami, so I can't say what it is like in the Triangle, but at least you won't be dealing with a storm surge!

Quote:
Originally Posted by benandgrace View Post
In recent years Cary seemed to be one of the best cities for families, IMO, but I wonder if it's on the decline as a result of Durham and the other surrounding cities.
This comment kinda made me go, "Huh?" Cary is not really all that close to Durham, first of all (it is much closer to Raleigh). Second, Durham as a whole is not a diseased city that spreads 'decline' to neighboring communities. Every city will have pocket areas that are less desirable and have higher crime, but those areas do not define an entire city, nor do they infect other cities that are otherwise in better shape. That is just the nature of our society. In any case, Cary is pretty much a vanilla suburb, or bedroom community, of Raleigh. It is very much what most people would think of as a typical American suburb.
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:26 AM
 
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FYI, there are neighborhoods in West Cary (like Amberly) that are very close to Durham. From my neighborhood, it is much shorter drive into downtown Durham than downtown Raleigh.

As to the severe weather issues, Cary is pretty safe from worry. Fran was by far the biggest weather event in my time here. It was an extremely rare event. I don't remember a ton of damage in Cary itself, but Raleigh really got hammered. Several years before, Hugo hit inland NC hard - coming up through Charlotte and Winston-Salem. These are "hundred year" type events. I don't really remember a lot (any?) loss of life in these inland cities due to these, but the property damage was substantial.

I would assume Norfolk would be at risk to hurricanes, given its location. And Williamsburg isn't that far inland if a Fran-like storm came ashore at the right spot.

There are some flood-prone areas around here. They are quite isolated and easily avoidable. Crabtree creek and over off Athens Drive are two that come to mind. Asheville, with a mountains there, has more issues with floods. I remember fairly recent stories of tragedy up there.

Fire is also a concern up around Asheville during a drought.

Tornadoes are generally not a huge problem here. We can get some severe thunderstorms in summer, and there may be tornado watches. It is somewhat rare to get a confirmed tornado.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
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IMO, you have never been to williamsburg. you may have passed it on the way to norfolk for some reason, but you have never been there. williamsburg not a good place to visit? that is a joke isn't it? williamsburg is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world. not the US, the world. that is where america was born. the historic triangle of williamsburg, yorktown, and jamestown has got to be the most beautiful, and well maintained area on the east coast. I wouldn't live there, but for visiting, I will take jamestown est. 1605 over cary est. 1984, any day. people don't visit suburbs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Buberry View Post
We live in Cary and have been to all the places you listed. I think before narrowing down the choices by severe weather, I would look into job opportunties and quality of the schools. I can't speak to the quality of schools in the others; however, we have been very pleased with the schools in Cary. Overall, we love Cary and I think Asheville would be good too. San Antonio was a great place to visit, but not sure I would want to live there (heat, crime, rough areas). IMO, Norfolk/Williamsburg was neither a great place to visit nor would I choose to live there, sorry.
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