Surviving Hurricane Matthew
WOW… What a whirlwind it has been since last Wednesday. It’s crazy how time flies when you’re just tracking a hurricane, and trying to figure out what to do with your family. It’s odd to say that I feel like I’ve lost my touch as I’m a FL girl at heart. I mean I should be totally use to evacuations, storm surge, rain, and wind – boy am I wrong.
I finally set down on Thursday when the mandatory evacuation was issued for our county, and felt defeated against mother nature. It was as if she won before the war even began. I remember telling Mr. Willard before he left that I finally get it. I finally understand why all those years ago my family refused to leave and chose to ride out multiple storms in our home. It wasn’t from the fact that you weren’t scared of a hurricane and what it could do, it was because you don’t want to leave your house and belongings.
As a child you know it’s a few days off from school and you get to pretend to like camping. As an adult, it becomes so much more than that. I started to worry about my better half being away from us as he had to return to the fire department. That same worry escalated to a point of where I have no idea where it came from. I wondered around the house packing my important documents, gathering items that to me couldn’t be replaced. After making sure that the farm animals were safe and sound with plenty of feed and water, I locked up and left. That was a feeling that almost broke me as I had to think about the unknown, the possibilities of what I would return back home to find. Not to mention that I would be the one coming home first, and would be alone to take in the damage.
The last hurricane that we went through that was a mandatory evacuation here in Savannah was in 1999 and I left without a care in the world. We were young, didn’t own a home, and were far from being parents. I packed my four door car up with clothing, belongings, and two cats before I left. At that point it was simple, it wasn’t a choice that I stressed over for days. Now, with a yard, animals, a house, and child – it was different.
As the storm approached, I was still worried and the anxiety level had kicked up a notch or two. It became more of a worry for our town, and surrounding areas. Not to mention our family and friends. Prayers were going around like clockwork as we watched Matthew inch closer and closer to the Low Country. At some point in the night I finally gave in and slept as I knew the next day our son would be up, and I’d have to function for him. I don’t know what time it was when I woke in the middle of the night, but I did, and laid in the bed listening the wind beat against the brick home. Wrapping the blanket around my head I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep.
Saturday when I woke, I was slow to move from the bed as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to face reality. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know if this all really happened. Now, remember I’ve seen some storms and pictured the worse before I knew the outcome of Savannah.
Lucky for me, I have some great neighbors that stayed behind (like crazy people) and I knew that as soon as they could- they would update me on our house. Before they could venture outside a family member had done a drive by and took a few pictures of the property. I let out a huge relief that the massive pine trees that we were worried about hadn’t fallen on the house or anywhere on the property. The part that squeezed my heart was the water. We’ve had what we called flooding in the past, but this was as if a lake was built overnight and I needed to grab a pole to catch up on my fishing skills. At this point I knew I couldn’t get home as fast as I’d like, and that was something I never want to experience again. With everyone checking the property, I knew what to expect. This however is not the same as you looking at your house. You opening the door to your home. You being the one to verify that all things that belong to you – are okay.
Thankfully one of our goats went up to his tower and hung out, while the other freaked and stayed down in the water. It got to the point at one time in a picture that all I could see was his head. Our chickens thankfully took to the higher roost and rested until it drained away. After measuring the water lines, we estimated a total of 27 inches of water was standing in our yard. I thank God that it didn’t rise anymore and reach our house, and for that, I feel as if I can’t complain. The debris, the stuff that did get damaged is all replaceable at the end of the day. What matters in this outcome is that our family, and friends are safe.
This was a learning moment for me as I had to figure out how to return home. By Sunday afternoon I wasn’t going to be stopped. I needed to place my feet on my ground and just be in the house that we have made our home. It was an adventure, but it all worked out in the end.
Savannah, and the Low Country will rebuild. They will become stronger as they all pull together to rebuild what has been damaged. Reports are still coming in, and I’ve ventured out some to take a look around. It’s heartbreaking with some of the damage I’ve seen, but knowing that we can bounce back is what matters the most.
Will I leave again? Yes, as the water proved me wrong and that is something I don’t want to play with. That was an image that could’ve been worse than it was, and for that I will advise to orders and do as they suggest. What did I learn? Being an adult sucks… I totally wanted to take away my adult card and go back to the days where I just worried about missing school. We do have power back and are VERY VERY lucky as most in the area and my neighborhood are still without power.
Stay tuned for more updates and exciting news to come soon here on the website. Remember to stay sassy!