Dear Rodanthe tourist,

Did I REALLY just hear you say that you wanted to feel the full brunt of Beryl (while acknowledging that locals probably felt differently)?! Are you REALLY uttering those words while vacationing in an area that was devastated by a storm less than a year ago?! Are you REALLY saying these things knowing they will be televised?! Yes, I realize that Beryl is not supposed to be a major storm, but to hope for such things in an area still trying to recover from a tropical system is callous. You rank right up there with the guy we shared a table with at the Japanese steak house while we were evacuated for Irene…yeah, the one who was disappointed by the lack of damage another hurricane had inflicted after he’d taken the time and spent the money to specifically be there to experience the devastation.

A local shaking her head

{Borrowed from a friend’s Facebook status}

Beryl definitely had things shaking and blowing last night. It was not the most abrasive storm we’ve ever had by far. In fact, if you paid attention to the news last August you might recall Hurricane Irene and the major damage it caused.

What a scary experience a tropical storm can be. And yet, there are LOTS of people like that tourist dingleberry ^ up there who wants to “experience” a real storm. Nice. He’s obviously ignorant of the long-term damage these things can cause, as well as how hard life can be for those who are trying to recover from it.

When Irene hit last summer I evacuated with my boys. Hubby stayed behind to help, as he did every hurricane. Since I’d been through many hurricanes before I was tempted to stay. We had everything we needed and I wasn’t afraid. Hubby literally put me in the car and told me to leave. So I did.

Twelve days later we were allowed back on the island. That is a long time to be evacuated. Since the road had been washed out {see picture below} the NC Ferry Division had to set up an emergency ferry system. This was not the first time this has happened.

 This is highway 12. The ONLY road on or off the island. With the exception of some backroads, highway 12 is the main and only road up and down the entire island. This is where Irene cut right through it last August just north of Rodanthe. We had to use a ferry system to get on and off the island for several months. Needless to say, I didn’t go off the island.

We now have a “temporary” bridge in place. Red Cross, different churches and mission groups, and relief aid workers were here for months helping the people recover and rebuild their lives. I personally knew 3 families that lost their entire homes, and one of those families, long time natives, had to pack up and move to the mainland just to recover. Jobs are scarce enough in the winter, but after a hurricane, without the help of others, people would starve.

I was glad hubby made us leave, even though it was a LONG twelve days. But we are blessed in so many ways. While some were stuck in a hotel room for two weeks, forking over money they couldn’t afford, we were able to stay with family. It was similar to a vacation, just not one we were allowed to return from.

The first week that followed the hurricane left all the locals in the dark. Literally. No electricity, no water, no cell phones, nothing. Those of us on the outside knew more about what was going on than those who had stayed behind. When I finally got through to hubby (he called me from the store down the street) I told him what was going on with the road, the damage, etc. all things he had not been aware of. Each village was basically cut off from the other villages until the water receded enough to allow 4×4’s to travel around the island.

Here is the same stretch of road as the picture at the top of this post. This is 12 hours later. There is a saying here on the island, “Water comes up, water goes down.” As you can see, this is a private road, not part of the main highway. The body of water to the right is the sound side, which will always flood first.

This picture was taken in Nags Head yesterday evening. They definitely got it worse than we did, and this is the main road. The whole county went on a two-hour delay this morning for school. Makes EOG testing a bit hard but I won’t get on that soapbox.

So to wrap up this rant all I can say is {again} “Don’t be a touron.”

Pretty please.

Something every gal needs in a tropical storm:)




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