I was around 10 years old when I first experienced a hurricane. I had heard of them before, but really didn't understand what they were. My family had just moved to South Carolina. My dad was stationed at Charleston Air Force Base. School had just started and I was loving life in the south.
That September, Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston. I don't remember seeing a lot of hurricane coverage on the news. I remember everyone talking about who was leaving and who was hunkering down and staying. My dad stayed, but my mom and us three children evacuated to the upstate to stay with family in Greenwood. I remember being terribly upset that I couldn't stay at home. I wanted to stay with my dad and experience the hurricane. We went home a few days later. As a child, I could not understand the magnitude of what was happening.
I have never witnessed such destruction in person as what we saw when we came home. Our house had 5 trees fall on it. The fence was gone and the shed in the backyard was smashed to bits. We were fortunate compared to many. The neighborhood was a mess. The sound of chainsaws was heard from dawn to dusk. Neighbors jokingly placed signs in their yards that said "Landscaping by H. Hugo Inc."
Our schools were closed for weeks due to the extensive damage they sustained. There was little fresh water to drink. Big trucks brought in food and water and families waited in line for hours to get the essential items they needed to survive. We were fortunate enough to have what we needed. I'll never forget the faces of the the families that stood in those lines for food, water, and clothing. It was heartbreaking.
Our country has been rocked by many devestating hurricanes the past few years. Just this week, Irma completely pounded the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and many more areas. I haven't seen any lines for food or water here, but that's not the case for families in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and the Florida Keys. Although many of us lost power, we have our homes. We have each other. We have so much to be thankful for.
Our kids have a story to tell when they get older about surviving a hurricane. Thankfullly, their stories are mostly about wind, rain, and power loss rather than homelessness, hunger, and uncertainty of the future. Please be in prayer for those whose lives have been forever changed by Hurrican Irma.