The water was calm with a fiery sunset the night before Hurricane Irene invited herself to the North Carolina coast. Slight breeze with humidity high gave me the sense that it was hotter than the temperature showed. I watched as boaters and fishermen either pulled their boats from the water or attempted to tie them down for the upcoming storm. Several of the locals mentioned that they were not leaving their homes and that this was not the first hurricane they had to ride out.
I was visiting friends and decided to leave the day of the hurricane. Travel was satisfying, no significant stops or complicated accidents, to the western part of the state. There was more traffic heading west than east as I observed the cloud cover getting heavier in my rearview mirror, which for a weekend, that was unusual, since most folks would be heading to the beach for those final weeks of summer vacation.
I kept an ear to the radio, and once home, an eye on the weather channel as the outer rain-bands of the storm showed the coastal folks of down east that Irene had arrived. Couple of phone calls early on gave me false confidence that those on the east coast were doing well. After the early morning hours, little did I know as I watched the weather broadcast, that the storm would tarry for the day? Irene’s back end of the storm was an angry departure causing several water surges in the rivers and sound areas, even 70 to 80 mile wind gusts in the inland counties.
Unable to reach several friends with power outages and phones dead, I worried. Once the storm moved north on the eastern coast line and out of North Carolina, I was amazed at the damage several faced in our state. Hurricane Irene, for a category one, left a path of destruction for so many from the Outer Banks to the inland communities of Eastern North Carolina. I was able, after days of worrying, to hear from several as they shared their experience, their burdens of repairs, and tears of loss, but they all seemed grateful that they had made it through the storm.
Mother Nature is an element of living we lack control. The earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes that come into our lives, not only change the inlets, roadways, rivers and landscape, but change our lives as well and the path we’re traveling towards tomorrow. They affect the rich and the poor, the employed and unemployed, our cities, towns, and all communities.
I will say, in my opinion, a devastating trauma like this can humble, but yet it brings people to together as a community. So many are facing some difficult times, not only North Carolina, but hopefully, those neighbors, friends and family will come to the aid as needed. God Bless each and every one that has been touched by Hurricane Irene and any other power of Mother Nature that has come unexpectedly.