I’m sure you guys have seen stories and pictures of Hurricane Florence on the news and social media. For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, I wanted to give you a little update.
We evacuated on the evening of September 11th, a couple of days before the hurricane hit. At the time everyone thought it would make landfall somewhere in the Carolinas as a Category 4 storm. A Category 4? I’ve lived in Wilmington a little over a month, and we’ve never been through any type of tropical storm or hurricane, so a Category 4 scared us to death. Our apartment manager even told us that our windows were only guaranteed to hold through Category 3 winds. Were we willing to stick around and see if our windows held? No ma’am, we were not. So that day we packed up, moved all or our belongings and furniture away from the windows, and headed west.
While we were gone I couldn’t stay off of social media. Worried sick about people that stayed behind, wondering if the storm would weaken so we wouldn’t lose everything, broken at the thought that my new hometown could potentially be destroyed, etc.
I watched the news, my hurricane tracker apps, and social media like it was my job. For real though, my phone didn’t leave my hand for more than 15 minutes at a time. Nobody understands how thankful I was that it weakened to a Category 1 before it made landfall. Did that mean the storm was something we shouldn’t worry about? Once again, no ma’am. It was still an extremely powerful storm with a crazy amount of storm surge that flooded a huge part of the coast, including Wilmington.
Watching it on social media, it almost didn’t seem real. I guess its because we weren’t there to experience it. But once I started seeing photos of places I knew and have come to love being, it started becoming reality.
It’s been a few days since we made it back to our home in Wilmington, and I couldn’t feel more blessed and grateful than what I do right now. The spot where our apartment complex sits looks like it was barely touched. If it wasn’t for the few trees that are down around us I would swear it just hopped right over us. I feel so blessed that we have little to no damage to our home, came back to our power being on, and that we had a smooth ride home. And I’m saying I’m thankful for a smooth ride, because the very next day the river crested and flooded the road we took and now its impassible like every other major road into Wilmington. The repairs to these roads will take weeks.
Most of our area got hit super hard. People all around us have been struck by death, injury, loss, damage, and so much more. My heart breaks for everyone around me dealing with the damage the hurricane left behind. Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers as our area continues to rebuild.