Please send help to Hurricane Irma victims–through Samaritan’s Purse, Georgia Baptists, or your chosen organization, one that will give ALL of your gift where it is needed and use none for administration costs. We who were blessed have the sweet responsibility of sharing with those who were ravaged.
Was it about three weeks ago we began to hear about Irma–maybe even a month! A hurricane developing off the coast of Africa. Who would have imagined how big an impact she would make on all of us? Well, the skilled hurricane scholars could imagine, actually. They began early on predicting dire possibilities, many of which came true, many of which did not come true for which we are so grateful. The largest hurricane and holding strength the longest of any unless one back in the forties.
News of Irma became a regular on the evening broadcast. It became a common topic of conversation wherever one went. Harvey had just decimated Houston, after all, so we were well aware of what could happen. Everyone was trying to figure out what each one could do to help folks in Houston–and now this thing came looming up through the Caribbean.
Was it going to hit the east coast and go up through east Georgia and Carolinas? Or was it going to hit the west coast and maybe hit us when it went up through the Panhandle elbow? Or–as it began to appear–was it going straight head-on up through the middle of Florida? Or even maybe it was going to weaken from a horrible FIVE to a two or three. Maybe it was going to turn and go out into the Atlantic–and please, Lord, be with the ships at sea!
We listened. We prepared. We prayed.
My niece and her family in Ft. Lauderdale were coming here to get away from Irma. Then they weren’t because they dared not get on the road with all the others inching along. People didn’t know where to evacuate to, some went west and then scrambled when Irma came that way. My sister in Habersham County had relatives come there from St. Mary’s Georgia and that was a good thing because that coastline really suffered.
As of Sunday morning, we thought it was going to be a Cat #2 when it reached Grady County. Schools closed, our church cancelled evening services. We all went home to brace for it. It was almost a wintery day. The skies were dark and the temperature dropped to a very cool 60. Then the storm weakened, but it would still be fierce.
I lay in bed Sunday night (yes, bed, because the real hurricane was predicted to hit us about noon on Monday) listening to the howling gusts and spurts of torrential rain. God has given me a love of storms, not that I want anyone to be hurt or that I want to be out in one. But I do love to listen to the wind and feel the safety of a good snug house. That storm went on all night but the power didn’t go off until dawn.
Gradually the wind died down. It wasn’t raining over much, just a steady patter. Were we in the eye now? When was Irma going to hit us? Looking out, we discovered a large pine splintering at its base and leaning at about a 45 degree angle. And, as far as we knew, the real storm hadn’t hit yet. We read, played piano, talked, and of course ate cold cereal, bananas, and furtively looked at weather reports on cell phones or made quick calls, not wanting to run the charges down.
The power came back on about 11:30 and we hurried to have a hot lunch before it went off.
Next thing we knew we were hearing of Irma causing damage north of us! She’d passed us by.
It was still dark and dreary and cold but the wind was gone. Charles and Charles D went to work picking up debris. It took them two hours to pick up all the twigs and limbs. We had a hot supper and, television being restored by that time, watched the horrible devastation up both Florida coasts and later here and there all over Georgia, flooding in Savannah and Charleston. Millions in Florida and Georgia were without power. We wished we could share ours!
My family reports that Habersham County in northeast Georgia has been without power since Monday night and they don’t know when they will have it again. In Birmingham where our son lives there was rain and wind but they, like us, did not lose power.
We were in a pocket of safety and we are grateful. The candles sit strategically around the house, a generator sits ready to run, a nice thick comfy air mattress is ready for use in the hall. We have water stored, a ton of breakfast bars, and porch furniture stashed.
And that large splintered pine angled across our driveway is a strong reminder of what Irma could do.
The sun shines today and all is peaceful. We could have had an oak tree on our house as so many thousands did. We could have had to be rescued by boat or helicopter.
We can only be thankful and send help to those so hard hit. We’ll send a gift through Samaritan’s Purse or GeorgiaBaptists.org and pray it will really make a difference to someone who’s lost their home and everything they owned.