October 13, 2016
I'll confess up front that I do not enjoy playing tag with hurricanes. We've lived in the Brunswick area for thirty years, and the traditional track of a hurricane consists of normally of moving up through the Caribbean, striking various islands, then rolling into Florida and up the coast, usually headed in our direction. But there's always been a glitch of some sort in the wind systems that, as it gets close, induces a sudden turn and sends the hurricane out into the Atlantic and north to the Carolinas. But the glitch went wrong this time, for only the second time we're aware of, and we were looking directly into the eye of the storm.
But there was an issue we had to deal with: three cats. There were predictions of high flood levels, surges possibly up to nine feet. Before we left, I was piling books on top of my bookcases to try to get them through the storm if the surges really happened. Fortunately they didn't.
But traveling with cats can be a challenge. There are two groups of McDevitts on this road. My younger son also has a cat as well as a family. That creates issues since most motels aren't happy about sheltering pets. So we traveled six and a half hours to a quiet town north of Atlanta and moved in with another son. (Fortunately, he had been smart enough to keep well clear of the ocean.)
It probably wouldn't have been a big deal since the storm veered north at the last minute and sideswiped us. It made a mess of the town, but there were no serious injuries, as far as we know. St Simons Island took substantial flooding, though we haven't heard details yet.
We got reports during the next few days that a substantial portion of the population had taken the advice of the experts and fled. There was heavy rain, and lights went out throughout the area. The power came back late Monday. We started for home the next day. And, when we arrived, we were happy to discover that the only related casualties were a pair of trees. Unfortunately one took the cable that connected us with the telephone and the internet. You don't realize how significant a part of our lives they are until they disappear.
I've been reminded of a couple of things in the past week: Families matter. And I can't imagine how people lived during the Middle Ages with no communications other than the guys you ran into down at the water hole.