In ranking extreme weather that impacts us here on the Carolina Coast, hurricanes fall slightly under tornadoes. For me, it’s the unpredictable nature of tornadoes that scares me. Your neighbors house could be destroyed while you escape with no damage.
Hurricanes, on the other hand, are a little more predictable. Usually you can determine the strength and the path with a slight margin of error. Hurricanes you can try to evacuate because you usually have advanced notice. We see a lot of hurricanes around here. While I haven’t evacuated before (and I’ve only stayed in a shelter once), that doesn’t mean that I won’t. When there is a hurricane heading in our direction, I watch to see where it’s predicted to impact and at what strength before making a choice.
I stayed for Dorian. Dorian devastated two islands in the Bahamas as a category 5 and severely damaged the island of Ocracoke (and other areas of the Outer Banks) as a category 2 (maybe 3 – I’m not sure what the final report was). Before Dorian made it’s way up to us, there were reports of frequent tornadoes. Being that I was home alone with Caleb, Dorian worried me just a little (I have family 5 minutes down the road, if needed).
Before Dorian, I busied myself with picking up the yard, doing a final pick of crops, and getting the animals settled (cat – house, dogs – garage, chickens – back porch, caterpillars – back porch). I made sure my Propur Water Filter was full and even filled up extra containers. I checked out food situation and picked up items to make cookies and a new coloring book/crayons for Caleb. I mowed grass and make sure Caleb and I both got good showers (just in case).
Dorian started hitting us super early on Friday morning, though sketchy thunder and lightning started about 8 pm Thursday night. When we woke up at 7 am on Friday, the power was already out. It wouldn’t come back for over 12 hours.
So no cookies.
Caleb and I spent the day going back and forth between his playroom/my office upstairs, to the living room (where his trampoline, wobble board, and other toys are), coloring, and snacking. I opened the fridge twice, making sure to grab everything I would need for the time being. I used my kitchen torch to heat up some dip for us. We watched ‘Happy Feet’ on the laptop. I wandered from window to window, checking on the status of everything as the storm raged on.
As the hurricane passed mid afternoon, we stepped outside for a little bit to survey the damage. Once night fell, I cut on/lit our candles but it wasn’t long before the two of us found ourselves drifting off to sleep.
We were fortunate. We made it through Dorian with minor damage. Lots of little limbs to pick up, a crooked oak tree, and we have some damage to our fence. But I am so grateful that is it. Here it is, Sunday evening, and the flooding has already subsided drastically – the chickens are able to go back into their coop.
Others, I know, were not so lucky. Those that lost loved ones, those that lost their homes, their jobs, their sense of security – they weigh on me.
If you want to help the Outer Banks rebuild, consider donating through the Outer Banks Community Foundation. Interested in helping out the Bahamas? There are many organizations out there taking donations, but I’m going to link to Baark! which is an organization helping to relocate and rehome animals located on the hardest hit islands.