Safety for all

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

When I first heard of Hur­ri­cane Florence, it was a Cat­e­gory 3 and slowly creep­ing north-west through the At­lantic. I paid it no mind, till it be­came a Cat­e­gory 4, some­where in­side the Ber­muda Tri­an­gle. Within hours after that, there was an in­creased fear of many Charles County res­i­dents, that a Cat­e­gory 3, 4 or 5 could pos­si­bly roll up the Chesapeake Bay and tear our pre­cious county apart, much like Is­abel tried in 2003.

I live on a low ly­ing shore of the Port To­bacco River. My neigh­bor­hood was in fear that at the very least, a storm surge and flood­ing could dev­as­tate our mea­ger lit­tle com­mu­nity. I’m sure I wasn’t the only soul pray­ing for safety. If the storm would have turned north after land­fall, it could have been costly and dif­fi­cult to move my camper to higher ground.

Florence re­mained a fear­ful Cat­e­gory 4 as I con­tin­ued to pray. When it seemed that my hopes were an­swered, my con­cern was that the course of Florence would lay waste to my cousin Nancy’s house in Wilm­ing­ton, N.C.

The track of Florence even­tu­ally took it right over Nancy’s home in Wilm­ing­ton, then con­tin­ued to Myr­tle Beach, where her mother-in-law lived. Nancy’s mother-in-law said, “I’ve never left my home in 60 years, and I’m not run­ning now.” Nancy and her fam­ily stayed with her in Myr­tle Beach, 20 miles away from their own home.

Even though they dis­re­garded all the manda­tory evac­u­a­tion in­struc­tions by the state, they re­mained rel­a­tively safe through the pa­tient winds, rain and floods of Hur­ri­cane Florence.

My dili­gent prayers opted me with some mi­nor flood­ing and buck­ets of rain, my neigh­bor­hood was saved. When the vast winds took aim on my cousin, I re­al­ized my prayers could have asked more di­rec­tion, in­stead of pray­ing only for my safety. I could have prayed that the storm turned west and went out to sea, sav­ing all.

This “Old Dog” can learn new tricks.

Jim McDon­ald, Port To­bacco

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