Hurricane Florence is headed to the Carolinas.
We are awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Florence. We live in Upstate South Carolina, 308 miles from the expected hit near Wilmington, North Carolina.
Why the concern? My husband and I lived through Hurricane Hugo which traveled inland through Charlotte, North Carolina, where we lived at the time.
The next few days we will both be watching Florence and praying she won’t come near us, and praying those she slams into will be safe.
Hurricane Hugo 1989
Hugo made a direct hit on Sullivan’s Island, SC, September 22, 1989; it was a category 4 storm that punched 135-140 mph winds. Hugo then moved inland; we were in Charlotte and had sustained winds of 69 mph and wind gusts up to 99 mph. It was terrifying. We were up all night listening to the wild screams of the storm, watching the sharp lightning, and viewing the sky exploding in bright eerie green flashes as transformers blew up across the city. We were in a two-story house; the upstairs storm window blew out; water somehow traveled through from the roof, bypassed the second floor, and was pouring water, as if from a wide open faucet, through the chandelier over our dining room table.
We experienced the absolute stillness of the eye of the storm; knowing what was coming next made the sudden quiet uneasy; our anxiety rose.
Riding out Hugo in Charlotte, 216 miles from the direct hit in Sullivan’s Island, is close enough to a hurricane for me.
Actual footage of Hurricane Hugo 1989
If you care to watch, click on the footage below.
Aftermath of Hurricane Hugo in Charlotte, NC 1989
I was teaching third grade at the time of Hugo’s angry trek across our state. No one knew what to do; power was out; grocery stores were closed; gas stations were running out of gas; the rescue workers had been dispatched to the coast, never anticipating the devastation of their own inland communities.
Our high school turned into a soup kitchen; cots were set up in the gym; hot showers were offered for the community; we all needed comfort.
One of those first days back to school after the storm, one of my third grade boys crawled into my lap; he was crying and upset; he didn’t know where his Daddy was … his Daddy worked for Duke Power and hadn’t come home since the storm began. I just quietly let him cry as I put my arms around him.
Lord, these powerful storms are part of your Mighty Creation. I respect them; I know to take precautions and to be prepared; we live in a world with many ways of instant communication; in 1989 we were much less advanced; but nothing works well without power.
I pray Your loving arms will encircle those whose homes and lives will most definitely be threatened by Florence. Comfort them; give them the strength to survive the winds, rain, and aftermath.
Father, keep their faith strong; hold their hands; pick them up and rock them in Your oh so comforting lap until their cries stop and their fears subside.
Help us remember we are ALL Your children; and as such, we show our best selves in time of crisis; we are wonderfully made; Thank You, Lord; we are wonderfully made. Amen
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