Riding Out Hurricane Matthew, Wishing I Was In Hendersonville NC

Decorated Shutters for Hurricane Matthew

Photo: Decorated Shutters for Hurricane Matthew

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we were in Hendersonville NC last, I bought my husband a t-shirt at Sherman’s that said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” And that’s exactly what my instincts told me to do as it become obvious that Matthew was coming to visit the Treasure Coast as a category 4 storm. I thought if we could just get on the turnpike and seek refuge in the Round House nestled in the safety of the mountains, everything will be alright.

But the traffic reports I retweeted showed the turnpike backed up and not wanting to get stuck on the road during this hurricane, it was with a heavy heart we made the difficult choice to ride out the storm with the family at home.

Hurricane Matthew Storm Shutters

Photo: Hurricane Matthew Storm Shutters

 

 

Hurricanes and I have history. Eleven years ago we stayed for Francis and the flat deck part of the roof was ripped off right above my bedridden blind father’s head. We were lucky enough to have the roof repaired just in time for Jeanne to hit a mere three weeks later. Following my assistant principal, we evacuated to Tampa.

What Francis left, Jeanne took.

After the storm we left my dad in Tampa with my sister and all our fur babies and came back to survey the damage. They ended up staying in Tampa for two more weeks.

Driving up our street, the facade of the house looked fine but the ceiling fan from the family room was in the oak tree. That told us that nothing was alright.

It was two years before we could move back into that house.

Friends were texting us, telling us to get out of Matthew’s path, not realizing the point of  return had come and gone.

Shutters were up, supplies in containers in the kitchen. Vessels to catch rain were out and a Visqueen roll was handy to cover blown out. We even had a plan for when (not if) the roof started to go. Matthew was a category 4 and Jeanne was a 3…so we were ready for the worst but hoped for the best.

Matthew was to come closest to the Treasure Coast at about 2 a.m. We all took our battle stations while keeping one eye on the local news station until the inevitable power failure took our connection to the outside world away.

No Views During Hurricane Matthew Lockdown

Photo: No Views During Hurricane Matthew Lockdown

 

The worst part of a hurricane are the noises. Listening to the unrelenting wind is maddening because you can’t see outside. Debris is hitting the shutters but you don’t know what it is and the garage door is breathing with Matthew…it makes you scared in a way you can’t describe.

At the height of the storm I put ear plugs in my ears, I just couldn’t listen to the gusts of wind pushing at the huge Live Oak in my front yard. My mind was running wild with all the what ifs. What if the canal overflows and sneaks into our house? What if a tree falls on the house? What if we lose everything again?

“If only we can make until morning we will be ok.”

Looking back, I have no idea how we never lost power or cable. And when we finally opened the front door around seven in the morning…we were shocked at what we saw. The world as we knew was all still where we left it.

The yard had debris but nothing major. Walking around the perimeter of the house we saw no shingles on the lawn but we did notice my angel statue face down under the gardenia. I bought that statue after my mom passed away. My husband I and looked at each other, how could we have forgotten that outside? Why wasn’t she blown away?

We were extremely lucky, had the storm jogged ever so slightly to the west, the eye of Matthew would’ve come on shore and taken our little seaside fishing village out to sea.

Anyway, tomorrow is my birthday and I already received my gift.

By the way, the next time Hendersonville calls…I will answer!

Gotta go help take the shutters down.

Grateful Karin – adventurer and story teller!!

Follow me on Twitter @karin13773564