I awoke Sunday morning, my eyes trying to find a spot on which to focus, and then turned toward the clock.
I awoke Sunday morning, my eyes trying to find a spot on which to focus, and then turned toward the clock. It was on. I was surprised.
Listening to police scanner reports and following social media sites until 2 a.m., I learned of the power outages many were enduring as Hurricane Matthew produced 50 to 60 mph winds overnight. Normally, our home loses power in such circumstances, but for some reason, Matthew skipped over our Carolina Pines home. I was appreciative.
There was no time for breakfast. I had a job to do, which this day meant driving around the Havelock area, looking for damage and talking to people about the hurricane.
Fortunately, there wasn’t major damage, and fortunately, everyone I talked to was in a good mood, seemingly taking this hurricane in stride and brushing it off as the minor inconvenience that it was in Havelock.
Obviously, the entire story of Matthew has yet to be told. Havelock did not get the torrential rains as predicted by forecasters. Instead, most of that rain hit inland, producing massive flooding that resulted in 14 deaths in North Carolina.
Now, much of that water is flowing down toward our coast, flooding communities along the way.
We were lucky.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Scott Shermeyer told me as he and his wife picked up limbs and leaves at their Hollywood Boulevard home.
It seemed Havelock residents were quick to clean up after the storm. As I drove around Sunday morning touring various neighborhoods, many people had already cleaned up, creating piles of yard debris along the sides of roads, many looking like tents in a row in a campground.
But, I suppose that’s what you do when the power is out and you have little else to do. You may as well go outside and start cleaning. Sitting in the house looking at a blank television screen doesn’t sound all that exciting.
Many people, especially in the eastern end of Havelock, lost power during Hurricane Matthew. Carteret-Craven Electric, which powers much of eastern Havelock and areas of eastern Craven County, had more than 14,000 customers without power at one point. A number of people were without power for a couple of days.
For Havelock, that was perhaps the most significant impact. Sure, there were trees down here and there — one of which came down on a house on Church Road. Thank goodness no one was home at the time.
Hurricane Matthew proved to be a killer storm — in Haiti, in North Carolina and in other southeastern states. We know Matthew could have been much worse for us.
Though hurricane season is nearly over — it would be rare for us to get hit by another storm before the season ends Nov. 30 — we can learn a few lessons from our experiences during Matthew and from the experiences of others. We may have gotten lucky this time, but we may not be so fortunate with the next storm.
Ken Buday is the editor and general manager of the Havelock News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 635-5673.