If you were to ask any coach at Scotland High School when their team will be able to practice or play a game again, they’d probably tell you there’s more important things to worry about right now.
And they’d be right.
Those coaches are starting to return to their classrooms today after Hurricane Florence spent three days rattling the school and southeastern North Carolina as a whole.
Flooding from the storm swept through the region and ruined countless homes, some of which hadn’t been fully restored after sustaining damage from Hurricane Matthew almost two years ago. Trees toppled over as high winds ravaged the area. Power outages have left thousands of North Carolinians in the dark for several days.
And now that the skies have cleared over the Carolinas, the disastrous repercussions of the storm are continuing to wreak havoc on us. Several homes still sit in standing water that has not yet subsided. Despite their best efforts to fortify their properties prior to the hurricane, many local businesses now face thousands of dollars in damage — if they are able return at all.
And for those of us — including myself — who need to commute or travel within North Carolina over the next few weeks, the aftermath of the hurricane brings even more challenges. Major roads all over the state are impassable due to flooding and other effects from the storm. Residents of southeastern North Carolina are having difficulties getting back home after evacuating to other states.
Those who did make it out of town before the hurricane made landfall were greeted by generous hospitality at many of their destinations. That hospitality included free tickets for professional and college sports teams local to the Carolinas.
Fans of the Fighting Scots will be waiting a little longer for their local sports fix. That wait is especially tedious for football fans. Scotland’s game last week against West Mecklenburg was canceled, creating an extended break for the Scots after they had a bye the week before.
But an unfortunate outcome from this storm is that many students have undoubtedly been affected by Hurricane Florence. Some suffered minor damage to their belongings, and others lost everything.
Right now, making sure those students and their families are getting the help they need is one of the top priorities for Scotland High School.
When Pate Stadium lights up again on a Friday night, whenever that may be, the community will be able to come together once again.
It may just serve as a welcome distraction from the carnage left behind by the hurricane, but it’s a distraction that Scotland County needs now more than ever.
Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.