Report From Carolina

A number of former Westporters live on the North and South Carolina coasts. Some current residents have 2nd homes there.

“06880” has not yet heard from any readers in the direct path of Hurricane Florence. However, Dave and Marianne Harrison — longtime Staples High School social studies and physical education teachers, respectively — now live in Chapel Hill, a couple of hours from the ocean.

Dave writes:

Miraculous is the only word to describe our good fortune. Disaster is all around us, but the immediate area seems to be in a pocket which is avoiding the worst of the storm.

A number of deaths are being reported, and more are expected. Thousands have been ordered to evacuate their homes and businesses. Shelter spaces are full; more shelters open hourly. There is massive flooding already. Several dams reportedly will be breached sometime today or tonight.

Rain and wind continue into tomorrow night, possibly into Tuesday. The storm is very slow moving, but the worst of it is staying just south of us.

Hurricane Florence was a monster storm.

We have strong wind, torrential but intermittent rain and flickering electric. We lost power for only 90 minutes on Thursday. It has remained on since it was restored.

One nearby supermarket has stayed open 24-7 since Wednesday night. Somehow they’re restocking basics daily. We made a quick trip there yesterday during a lull in the storm. Otherwise we’re hunkered down, waiting for the rest of the storm to pass by.

Very slow moving as it goes inland, Florence is headed as far west as Asheville before it is expected to turn northeast and lose force. I can’t even begin to imagine the ultimate toll in death and destruction.

While we’re not yet clear, with rain and wind continuing for at least another 24 hours, I think we have dodged the worst of it.

(If you’ve got a Hurricane Florence story to tell — or want to let “06880” readers know you’re safe — click “Comments” below.)

7 responses to “Report From Carolina

  1. Thanks so much for a acknowledging those of us who were Westporters (always a Westporter) and now live in SC and N.C. Charleston was spared this time around. We went to Agusta for few days and thankfully home safe.
    Our hearts go out to those who are dealing with aftermath of Florence.

  2. Godspeed.

  3. Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

    Your report sounds so much like mine from Texas a year ago. A slow moving storm dumping way too much rain. I’ve had the area and its people in my prayers. Thank you for the report.
    As Bart said, Godspeed.

    P.S. Once a Westporter, always a Westporter at heart.

  4. Bill Boyd... Staples 66

    That’s a good report from some very good people…the Harrisons ! Stay safe and well!

  5. Sue Galati here. Moved to Wilmington NC in June. Left Wilmington Tuesday night for Lynchburg VA–6 hours NW of Wilmington–am staying with my brother and sister in law and watching the reports ironically being detailed by my former neighbor in Westport—Craig Melvin!
    My home lost some roof shingles and we are still out of power, but despite being 1 mile from the Cape Fear River, we have not had any flooding– Hoping once the power is back and the roads re-open I can head back home…Wilmington is a wonderful town and now all my friends in Westport know where it is! ha ha.
    If this is the Storm of the Century–then I am thinking I won’t have to worry about the next one.
    Thanks for all the emails, texts, phone calls from friends in Westport…I am feeling the love!

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

      Keep us updated. These storms can have long lasting effects. It is good to hear that you have come through with little damage.

  6. Lawrence M. Sherman

    To Dave and Marianne Harrison — Every Sherman is praying for your welfare, and full recovery from the storm SOON!

    We are all so grateful for all you have done for us, and for Westport, and the world!

    Larry and Ruth Sherman and family

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