9.19.2018

Stronger Together

I haven't written about Hurricane Florence, mostly because I don't know what to say. What words can help you process the destruction of parts of your home state? What words can bring back the loss of property, memories, possessions, and, most importantly, life?

NC's coast fills a special place in my heart. I have been going to Emerald Isle at least once a year since I was born, typically more ever since I started driving. Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington have always been the go-to spot for day trips and shopping. I have favorite shops and spots. Seeing the places that have memories and stories tied to them destroyed is devastating. Parts of the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle are gone. The Dockside Restaurant in Wrightsville was (and probably still is) underwater. Entire inland communities are flooded.

None of that heartbreak that I feel for the coast can compare to what the residents have experienced and are feeling. I have friends whose families stayed at the coast and rode it out. I know people whose families had to be rescued from the storm surge. I know of people whose crops and entire livelihoods are gone, just like that.

If there is one thing I've learned from this, though, it's that the spirit of North Carolinians is damn near unbreakable. We are capable of amazing things. We have an amazing country. Humanity removed from the political arena is alive and well and thriving.

To this day, cherry pickers and linemen are still heading towards the coast. I see them everyday on my commute.

I have seen parking lots full of rescue teams and first responders from close to HALF of the states in our country.

I have seen a hog farmer, whose farm was recently shut down because of complaints from neighbors, serving that same community in a swift water rescue situation.

I have seen restaurants serving volunteers and displaced residents, I have friends who volunteered all night and day at their local emergency operations command center, I've seen countless supply drives and fundraisers and animal rescues and acts of kindness.

While we may be broken, North Carolina cannot be destroyed, especially not by a hurricane. We are stronger together.

Image may contain: sky, cloud, ocean, twilight, outdoor, water and nature
Photo courtesy of Visit the Outer Banks

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Taylor Jenkins. Design by Berenica Designs.