I strive to be transparent in the blog, rather than using it as a highlight reel- as social media always is. I was in a life funk all last week.
Our home- and most of the Charleston area- was fine after Hurricane Matthew. However, the Pee Dee area where my family lives and where my job is located were hit especially hard. This was unexpected, as the forecasters predicted that areas west of I-95 would essentially have “a bad thunderstorm”. I believed that, and so did many others. Yeah right!
My company’s office was closed on Monday, but as a remote employee, I still worked. Whenever the power is on at home, remote employees work, even if the office is closed. I worked especially hard to make sure communication was on point for clients and employees. My company is a great place to work, and I did not mind the extra work. I was fortunate I had power and could work comfortably.
Many of my coworkers, family members, and friends did not have power or water, and several had trees down in their neighborhoods that kept them from going to work when work resumed on Tuesday. Worse yet, a few coworkers homes are not uninhabitable due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew. A tree fell through my uncle’s home, but he can still live there.
I dealt with feelings of helplessness, as my parents and Clay’s parents suffered without power and with damage. Both sets of parents lost power on Saturday, October 8. Clay’s parents got power on Thursday (October 13) and mine got it on Saturday (October 15). Clay’s mom keeps children in her home, and I’m not sure how she managed to keep and entertain children with no electronics or power, but she’s a trooper.
On Thursday, I called my mom to update her on Clay’s PRK eye surgery. My mom and dad worked in the yard all day, then went to the American Red Cross shelter for a hot meal. Even though the green beans weren’t seasoned, she said the meal was good because they were hungry for hot food. At this point, it was Day 6 without power. My mom cried because she had to go to the charity for a hot meal.
As soon as I hung up the phone, I burst into tears. My parents live in Williamsburg County, which was especially hard hit by the storm. Williamsburg County is remote and has far fewer resources and much poverty. The American Red Cross and local churches did a lot for residents there, but the area was certainly forgotten by the press and publicity.
Meanwhile in Charleston, local gyms opened for non-members to take showers. No gyms exist in Williamsburg County, much less one to open for people in my parents’ situation who needed a hot shower (my parents showered at a family members’ home with power).
Posts from Charleston residents complained about shopping at Wal-Mart for supplies because other stores were closed. Walmart is a 2.5 mile run from my home. I can run there faster than my parents can drive to their nearest Walmart. I even saw Facebook posts from people complaining about how a Charleston-area pizza place was closed on Sunday when they wanted pizza. Needless to say, I unfollowed a lot of people on social media last week.
I’m sharing pictures of the damage today. I want others in blog reader land to see how bad it was in the Pee Dee, but I want to be able to look back on how terrible Hurricane Matthew was.
Plus, I want to always remember just how fortunate I am.