We are fourth for states producing hurricane force winds, and in my lifetime alone, there have been 126 tropical, sub-tropical cyclones to hit North Carolina.
Before I write anything else, I want to remember the ones who lost their lives in the storm, the ones displaced, the ones waiting to go home, those who are still in need.
I can’t remember all of the hurricanes – mainly because I was very young when some came through, or their impact just didn’t leave me with any memory of them.
And then, there are ones you don’t forget.
There was Hurricane Fran in 1996 – I remember that one well. Upstairs in my bedroom, I could feel my headboard move when a strong gust blew. That distinctive cracking of large trees falling in the middle of the night? Burned into memory. We went without power for days.
Then, after I was married, and we moved here to Dunn, and there was Hurricane Floyd in 1999. We lost a huge holly tree, and our basement flooded. We’d only been in the house a year, and had no idea it would. Ah, so that’s what those sump pumps were for…but with no electricity?
Speaking of flood. It’s been said the predictions for rainfall here with Hurricane Matthew were underestimated, but no matter, because flooding would have occurred at the 8-10 inches they’d forecasted. We’d already had at least that much the week before. And instead, this time we got something more like 12 inches, or 14 – depending on who you listen to.
All I know is we got A LOT. Astonishingly, some got MORE.
And 17 (so far) Make that 20…have tragically lost their lives. 😦
We lost our internet and phone service first. Yes, hallelujah for cell phones! We also have a generator – one strong enough to plug in both refrigerators, TV’s, a couple lamps, and the most important item of all…the beloved coffee pot. We have a gas stove, so we could cook by using a lighter to fire it up. We didn’t have hot water – but who’s trying to win a beauty contest? The generator once it got cranking provided us those few amenities, and despite being LOUD as a yard blower inside your house, it was well worth it.
Sections of I-95 are closed down – right at our exit. They (DOT) are diverting traffic off of the interstate because of flooding. Here I was, driving North (I don’t think I was supposed to be – notice NO CARS) while Southbound is being diverted – right on into my town of Dunn.
Rivers are expected to crest tomorrow so the danger is still imminent for those nearby. The picture below is the Black Creek. Creek – yeah, um, not so much. This was on my way to Wal-Mart, a trip that usually takes 5 minutes and took 20. (remember that I-95 diversion)
There are things one does during times like this. Without power, you still flip on light switches as you go into a room. You watch or listen to the Weather Channel 24/7. You drive an hour and half to find a bag of coffee. You wait in line at McDonald’s for two hours. You stare out the window at the storm and pray.
And.. you realize you’re not as prepared as you thought you were.
Here are some trees down in the “hood.” It might be kind of hard to see unless you click on the picture (?) but either way, one tree down looks like any tree down – if only they had missed those doggone wires.
Here’s a funny story. The night we got our power back on, I had just said “I love our generator, but I’ll be glad when we can shut that thing off.” Blip. Two seconds later, the lights came on. I wish my husband had taken a picture of my facial expression.
I wanted to go around and turn on EVERY light in the house – just because I could. I grinned like a fool for hours. WE still don’t have internet or phone service. I’m posting this via a little wifi hotspot.
I feel grateful. And sad. And conflicted.
Good riddance Hurricane Matthew. We will never hear your name again. You took good people from their families, and friends. You scared the hell out of us. And you’re one storm I will remember.
What’s your hurricane story?