On Monday morning as I write this, many eyes are turned toward the weather, and we are asking, “Will Hurricane Matthew remain a strong storm or wear itself out some? Which areas will be spared and which will not? Will some areas near the coast be asked to evacuate? Will our homes be safe?”
By now, Thursday morning, we should have some of those answers, and I hope everyone is safe, and all of your belongings are intact.
What a difference time and technology has made just in the course of my lifetime. I remember a rainy morning back in 1954 when we packed into my mother’s little Volkswagen and headed off to school. We lived about 11 miles from Conway High School, and the roads were puddling with water long before we arrived to see only a few cars, their drivers chatting excitedly with each other for a minute before turning around and heading back home.
Then my mother got the word. Go home. A bad storm is coming.
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In the Green Sea area, student school bus drivers dedicated to getting their kids to school hopped into their buses and faced rain, strong winds and falling tree limbs as they went to do their jobs. Some of them made it to school, but couldn’t leave. Some turned around and took their kids back home. One got stuck and another one came by and helped them out of the mud.
Maybe a few people knew that Hurricane Hazel was stomping onto the beaches, demolishing homes and businesses, threatening any life in its path, but out in the country, most of us did not. We got up to a rainy day and tried to go about or business, but everything was soon put on hold as Hazel wreaked havoc to the area and went on to devastate a large portion of the U.S. and Canada, killing hundreds of people along its path from the Caribbean.
Fortunately, with more and better weather knowledge and news outlets to alert us, we soon began to know far ahead of time when a hurricane was on its way. But as Hurricane Hugo showed us in 1989, no amount of knowing can stop their devastation. The most we can hope when one is certain, is to save our lives and the lives of those we love. If you are told to evacuate, I hope you will. And don’t wait to be the last to get back across the Intracoastal Waterway because long traffic jams are a good possibility and can be very dangerous in hurricanes.
When Hurricane Hazel came, my uncle was managing a truck stop on the north end of Business 17 in Myrtle Beach. He rode out the storm there. He had been in some bad situations in his life, but he said he had never been as scared as he was then. He said he knew he was going to die, and living through that was unbelievable.
Please don’t stay if you are asked to leave. Your life is the most precious thing you own.
Peggy Mishoe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 365-3885.