We have officially survived our 1st Hurricane here in North Carolina. If there is one good thing about hurricane's it is that you know they are coming and can prepare for them. We spent the last week preparing for hurricane Matthew which was predicted to hit our area on Saturday. So we spent the week preparing for his arrival. Sounds kind of strange to put it that way, but that truly is what you do. You prepare and then wait.
One of the many things Mike did to help get us ready was to clean out the gutters. We have at least half a dozen BIG pine trees on our property and they needless to say leave their needles everywhere. So he headed out with the ladder and a bucket to get cleaning. He also helped our neighbors by cleaning theirs out too.
I worked on provisions, making sure we had enough food (the non perishable kind), water, batteries, toilet paper, dog food, flashlights, etc. Oh and yes I didn't forget the wine.
Needless to say we were not the only ones getting ready. As we drove home from our trip to Wilmington the day before I noticed that all the billboards had been rolled up. We figured this was to keep them from getting damaged.
Then on Saturday early morning the rain started.
It was a steady rain for most of the day. By lunch time the winds started picking up and as you can see from the photo below things started falling from the trees.
Knowing that we weren't going anywhere we decided to hunker down and just make the best of it. I cooked up a batch of chicken and noodles. Comfort food is always a good thing when you are feeling a bit stressed.
We sat and watched the Buckeyes play and win yet another game.
Meanwhile it continued to rain and blow. At points it rained so hard you could hardly see out the back windows.
And more debris was falling, luckily at this point nothing large had come down, but it was beginning to pile up.
We kept going back and forth on the television between the football games and the weather channel. It's an erie feeling watching Matthew make its way up the coast and to know you are in its path and there really wasn't a whole lot we could do about it. Some friends who live south of us near Myrtle Beach had already been under a mandatory evacuation, luckily though we were not. See we are located about 40 miles inland, though we are near the Broad Creek River inlets we knew that the chance of us being evacuated was pretty slim.
As the evening rolled on the winds began to pick up, at times it felt like the windows might come flying in, but they held their ground and kept us warm and dry. We retired for the evening with flashlights by our beside tables and Miss Millie snug in her kennel.
I awoke Sunday morning to pitch black darkness. I must admit for an instant it kind of freaked me out. I literally couldn't see my hand in front of my face. I quickly realized that the power had gone out. I quickly fumbled around for my flashlight and my phone. I knew that at the very least my phone would let me know what time it was. 4:00 a.m. ugh! Not knowing how long the electricity had been off I got out of bed and took a walk around the house just to make sure everything was still okay. It was still raining and very windy and Mike was sleeping soundly through all of it.
Since I was up and knew going back to sleep just wasn't going to happen, besides anyone who knows me well enough I am usually up around 5-6 a.m. anyway, what was another hour. Except this morning there was nothing to help me pass the time. No TV, no internet, I couldn't even start the coffee maker.
So I decided to go into "camping mode". I knew the coffee maker wasn't going to work, but our stove is propane and I knew that with a lighter I could get it lit and at the very least heat up some water. You see folks like my mother it's best not to talk to me until I have had that first cup of coffee. so I heated up some water on the stove, opened the coffee maker and slowly poured the hot water over the grounds. Awesome this was going to work.
As Mike has always taught me Adapt, Improvise and Overcome! Amidst all the nasty weather outside my window and the pitch black darkness I HAD COFFEE!! and I was content. I sat with my coffee and decided to play some solitaire, what's interesting about that is when you play solitaire in a not well lit area you can't see the colors on the cards so you really have to think about what you are doing. Amazing how much we depend on our colors to get us through.
By 7:00 a.m. it was beginning to get light out and I could get a better grasp on what was going on outside. The rain seemed it have slowed down, pretty much was a mist by then, but the wind was still gusting pretty heavily. And our yard well that pretty much looked like a battle ground, branches, and pine needles where everywhere. But thank the dear lord that seemed to be the extent of the damaged. We would investigate it more thoroughly once Mike was awake.
Mike arose shortly after daybreak and the first thing he wanted to do was go check on the boat. You see yesterday he had checked on it and the docks were about 6 inches under water. Luckily he knows what he is doing and fixed the lines just right so there was no damaged to the boat.
When we arrived at the marina everything was in great shape. The water had receded and all the boats seemed to have faired the storm pretty well.
As you can see from the picture above the skies were still looking a bit threatening and the wind well that was still in full force. So after checking on the boat and chatting a bit with some dock buddies we headed back to the house for a little breakfast and some more coffee then out to start clean up in the yard.
We were extremely fortunate that debris was all we had to clean up. Our neighbors down the street and in other parts of the neighborhood were not as lucky. The lower lying areas had some flooding.
We quickly got to work cleaning up.
As you can see by mid morning the skies were blue, the air was cool and working conditions were outstanding. At this point we still had no electricity so what a good time for clean up.
Clean up took about 5 hours total. That included cleaning the yard, dumping it into the truck, which we had to do twice and then taking it to the dump. Thank God the dump is only 6 miles from our house. Boy was it a busy place. The short time we were there we saw a steady stream of trucks coming through dropping off yard waste. Luckily there is no charge for this service.
After returning from the dump we stopped in and visited with our neighbors. The electricity came on shortly around 5:00 p.m. during our visit. You have never seen 4 adults get so excited over a light turning on. One must take joy in the small victories!
Now there was one little girl who loved not having electricity. This meant more play time with Mom and Dad.
All in all we received about 8+ inches or rain. The gauge below had been emptied at 3 inches before we had retired for the evening on Saturday.
Okay sometimes you just need to be a bit silly.
I have no photos of the major impact of the storm since it came through here at night, but by Sunday evening everything at our home was back to normal and we were so incredibly thankful that we were not more severely impacted by Matthews rage. We pray for those that were and for those in the path of the upcoming flooding rivers. Gods peace to all and thank you all for your thoughtful prayers and kind thoughts.