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home : opinion : opinion November 24, 2017

10/15/2017 12:14:00 AM
Hurricanes Bring Fear & Sometimes Friends

Paulette Ballard
Guest Columnist


In 1989 we had just moved into our new house in Charlotte. At 3 a.m. in the morning our phone rang and it was my brother-in-law telling us to go downstairs and find a safe place because the eye of the hurricane was over Charlotte. This was Hurricane Hugo.

We went downstairs and knew we were supposed to stay away from windows. Our downstairs had 19 windows! My husband, myself and our two small daughters gathered by a door facing between our kitchen and dining room. We kept hearing loud cracks and prayed for our house to be safe. My husband went to look out our living room window and saw a tree downed across from our house. After another crack he went to the backside of the dining room and saw a tree had fallen down over the fence we shared with a neighbor. We were frightened that something could happen to our house also.

House of Trophies - Retirement

We lost power as did all of our neighbors. The only damage to our house was a limb from a tree fell on the power meter on the side of our house. At that time we had a small motorhome parked in our driveway. After things had calmed down, my husband went outside and ran the cord from the generator into our garage. I placed our coffee pot on top of my car and we were able to have fresh coffee. We also had a small TV we put on top of the car so we could see what was going on around town.

As our neighbors began walking around the neighborhood to see all the damage, when they got to our house I heard them say, “I smell coffee.” They came up into our garage and that day we met all of our new neighbors. I must have made 13 pots of coffee that day and we were happy to do so.  Experiencing Hugo was a frightening experience, but we were left with our home and all our possessions. Trees had fallen on some of our neighbors houses and the rain was ruining their upstairs rooms.

I cannot begin to fathom what the people in Texas, the islands and Florida are experiencing. To lose everything you own, your house, your family photos, important papers, etc. I’m sure is devastating. We, of course, are happy for all the lives that were saved and hope that restoration and permanent shelters will be available for these people soon. It’s going to be a long time before all the debris, destroyed homes and cars will be replaced. Each and every one of us needs to pray for these people.




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