While many of you are still mumbling under your collective breaths, “Say it ain’t so, Flo,” following the devastation of Hurricane Florence, there is reason that mantra might need changing to “Take a hike, Mike.”
Far too many in Scotland County and beyond continue to pick up the pieces from Florence. There are trees down everywhere; there are large areas of standing water; and there are homes that can no longer be lived in. People have just begun the rebuilding process and, in some cases, remain in lines to apply for government benefits.
And now, here comes Hurricane Michael.
This one is expected to be far different than what we went through with Florence — mostly in the fact that it will not come through our front door as a direct hit to southeast North Carolina. Instead, Michael is expected to take a back-door approach by making landfall in the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida panhandle and continue northeast through Georgia and the Carolinas.
Though Michael will hit the U.S. coast as a Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday, it is predicted to weaken quickly as it makes a swift move toward us here. Be that as it may, Michael’s force shouldn’t be minimized.
When Michael arrives in our region on Thursday, we can expect to see winds from 30 mph to 50 mph — easily strong enough to create additional damage to already weakened trees and buildings, as well as threaten power lines once again. And, of course, there will also be the rain — and that’s probably what we don’t need most. Although only 3 to 4 inches are being predicted for our area, our crops are already soaked, our streams and ponds remain full, and the Lumber River doesn’t need another fill-up.
We can complain, but it won’t keep Michael from coming ashore or from saying hello to the Carolinas this week.
What can be done is to prepare once again. It’s not wise to compare this one to the last one and relax — instead, get ready for Michael as you would any potentially severe storm. Have supplies ready. That means all the usual things like food, batteries, gasoline, prescriptions filled, flashlights, etc.
Unlike Florence, Michael should make a quick entrance and just as quick an exit, so the lingering effects will be minimal. But since he is coming through here less than a month after Florence, it’s worth getting ready for what will be left behind. Again, expect the worst and hope for the best.
We will try to keep you informed — both online and in print — of Hurricane Michael’s journey from the Gulf, but you would be wise to also keep WLNC radio and The Weather Channel handy and tuned in over the next 24 hours or more.
And while you are at it, say a prayer for those who will take the biggest hit.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” (Benjamin Franklin)