Museum looks to the skies

Published 10:11 pm Thursday, January 22, 2015

Extreme weather events feature prominently in local history that’s passed down from generation to generation, says Jennifer England, director of the Isle of Wight County Museum.

One specific example she gives is the extreme flooding that has hit Franklin over the years, particularly from Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and from heavy rainfall in 2006.

“It devastated the city quite a bit,” England said. “Its impact was felt all the way up to Richmond.”

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Extreme weather isn’t exactly the subject of a program coming to the museum on Saturday. Channel 13’s weekend meteorologist, Evan Stewart, will talk about weird weather.

But the two subjects are probably interchangeable.

Hampton Roads is no stranger to weird weather, England said, such as waterspouts, hurricane, snowstorms, hail and nor’easters.

“In fact, 1816 was the year without a summer, and in February 1958, the James River froze,” she added.

A native of the region, Stewart graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, and holds a certified broadcast meteorologist certification.

“Evan certainly has a large bit of information in his noggin,” England said.

A question-and-answer session will follow Stewart’s lecture.

The event at 1 p.m. will be free with admission to the museum, which costs a suggested donation of $2 for adults.

The museum is located in Smithfield at 103 Main St. For more information, contact the museum at 356-1223 or visit