The sun is out! Shortly before noon, the clouds drifted north and there it was! Although an occasional gust comes through every now and then, most of our area will be out of Florence’s influence soon. Today, I put all of the bird feeders back out amongst our trees and all the yard ornaments and chimes. We have been blessed. A few tree branches here and there in the yard, a little water sitting in small puddles and that is all.
Now, our hearts go out to all the victims of this storm. We have thousands in shelters, many frightened and evacuated from the soon to crest rivers reaching record-breaking peaks; support folks from Canada and all over the states coming here to help with responders working around the clock to rescue those who got stranded or need assistance; and those who lost their lives or their loved ones. Many are without power and of those, help cannot even get to them. Most of the coast is devastated due to the storm surge that deluged many towns and homes. It will be a long time before anything will be normal again for many folks.
Many people in areas not as affected by the storm are opening their homes to those whose homes were damaged at the coast and in the areas with rivers flooding. The shelters originally provided included some schools in our area. But they are now needed so students can get back to their classrooms. With rivers flooding communities up here in the Raleigh/Durham area, evacuations are occurring now. As Florence moves north, she is pulling streams of moisture up from the ocean. With the sunlight, the atmosphere is heating and mix all that together, pop up storms will occur. More flooding up our way will happen and is. It ain’t over yet, folks.
It is very uplifting to see so many compassionate people helping so many strangers in this time of need. Churches are cooking meals and inviting anyone hungry to come and eat. Collection places are filling up with donations of food, diapers, household needs, blankets and such. Our local media is live at the coast, so evacuees can actually see the state of their homes. They are also having a live broadcast fund raiser to raise money for all those in need.
This is life in North Carolina and we all know it. When you hear a storm might be heading your way, you prepare and wait. When the storm nears, you leave or hunker down. While the winds and rain move over your house, you stay inside and pray. When it seems to have abated, you wait some more. When it is over, you bow your head in gratitude.
Then the aftermath has to be dealt with. Any of you who have dealt with a major natural disaster knows what this means and what it is like. For some of us, it is just simple clean-up. For others, it is rebuilding your whole life all over again; it is finding help to do that; and it is getting over the nightmare that you just went through.
I pray for all of those who suffered from this storm. I pray the Lord grants you Courage to face the days ahead, Strength to do what needs to be done, Faith to encourage you that He is with you, Peace towards one another, Patience while you wait to get what you need, and Compassion to all who are suffering.
We are all on this planet together, regardless of beliefs, opinions or persuasions. May we all realize that. May He who holds this world in His Hands grant us His Mercy.