Re-Entry, restoration after “Matth…” Hurricane Matthew, that is!
These photos were taken returning to my Low-Country South Carolina subdivision home last Monday after South Carolina’s Governor, Nikki Haley, allowed re-entry this past Columbus day, Monday October 10, 2016.
Along I-16 and I-95 N existed evidence of high standing roadside water and downed trees. Visual images of their hacked apart carcasses strewn on highway shoulders and in ditches saddened me and I cried! However, I soon came to grips with my grief understanding why they’d fallen and thanking the crew of men and women for brave, around-the-clock efforts to return us to our beloved towns. Too distraught and distracted over Matthew’s enormity… the loss of once grand palmettos, pines and oaks, I could barely focus on getting home in one piece, let alone, photograph sites along that 267 mile trek from my metro-Atlanta safe haven to home. I didn’t think to take photos until pulling into my subdivision.
Nervously, I approached my boarded home to find things externally intact, save for my large outdoor grill found two doors down; it’s propane tank rested across the street. I evacuated so fast, I’d forgotten to bring it inside. Perhaps, boarding up, anxiety and initial reluctance to follow our Governor’s order preoccupied too much. Additionally, evacuation day, I suffered flu-like symptoms (rigors and fever >101) owing to a vaccination I’d received days before returning home from a remote Minnesota assignment!
I found evidence of seepage internally along windows and ceilings. There were ceiling cracks and shingles from roofs scattered along the side of my house. Lastly, my refrigerator/freezer containing ~ $600 worth of food due to downed power lines for four days had to be dealt with.
Three days after re-entry, having filed a claim with my insurance company, I sat in Nissan service center’s waiting room getting an estimate for a left sidelight assembly replacement in my old faithful Quest minivan of 16 years… another Matthew casualty, no doubt! Feelings returned… I’d begun the thawing process conversing with other patrons comparing/contrasting losses. I pieced together thoughts and this blog thankful home was merely bent, not broken! And, even more, I was thankful we survived!
Finally stilled enough in that waiting room to reflect on the enormity of what I’d been through, that feeling of numbness gave way to one of vulnerability… that so small and insignificant are we in comparison to natural forces having capacity to topple our mightiest structures; engulf our largest communities, is humbling! This gives credence to old adage: “No man is a mountain!” “No nation is an ant hill,” after “Matth” seems more appropriate! Nature must think to herself, “My how large and important those humans think they are?”
My answer to Mother would be that We Know We’re Resilient!
The following photos is how my Low-country rolled on 10/15/16 a mere six days after Matthew’s huffing and puffing our trees, homes, though not our hopes, down:
As a traveling Ob/Gyn, I’m readying myself to return on assignment to Minnesota for my last two-week stint of 2016 this Sunday, October 16th, a mere 6 days after formidable Matthew blew through my beloved coastal south leaving broken hearts, dreams, bodies, edifices and me numb after the extended hyper-sensory, flight or fight mode I’d assumed days leading up to, during and through his touchdown. Composing this blog, I feel myself tingling all over realizing I’m becoming okay… Not as fast as I’d like. Nonetheless, fast enough to kiss my Low-country goodbye under different circumstances this time long enough to care for rural Minnesotans. God, give me strength!
Matthew gave you lemons. You can be certain we’ll make lemonade…
I’ve seen this after “Matth…” How communities came together despite pre-Matthew protestors singing discordant notes of” White/Black/LTGB/police” lives matter. We now sing together and harmoniously, ” Southern Coastal Life Matters!”