I had intended to blog today about the book club party I hosted at my house on Sunday (we read The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson) or the one night camping trip we took with the dogs to Lynches River on Monday, but the really big news over here in my little corner of the world is hurricane Matthew. It's a big, bad, scary storm and it might be headed straight for us. Last night the forecast track put it making landfall around the NC/SC border...I live about 20 miles away from the border.
Our governor has already declared a state of emergency and an evacuation is underway for all coastal areas. Everyone is urged to leave if they live within 100 miles of the ocean. My town is right on the edge of that--we're about 90 miles from Myrtle Beach. As of today, all the local schools are closed and so are government offices. My store will probably close tomorrow afternoon and will not reopen until Sunday, unless the storm dramatically changes track before tomorrow. Which is, of course, entirely possible. Hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable. The bad thing about a storm the size and strength of Matthew is that you don't have to be all that close to the precise landfall area to be impacted. There will be tropical storm force winds and rain all around the main part of the storm, and states all up and down the eastern seaboard have to be prepared for danger.
Smaller hurricanes don't worry me too much. They're a common occurrence and usually just cause some minor inconveniences and damage. Once a storm reaches category 3 or larger, though, that's a whole other ballgame. Matthew has had sustained winds of 150 mph, and combined with massive rainfall and storm surge it has the potential for massive destruction. I'll never forget hurricane Hugo back in 1989. Charleston was devastated. Myrtle Beach had to be evacuated, and it was a month or more before the residents were allowed back in (National Guard were stationed there) and even at my house 30 miles inland we were without power and water for over a week. Even Charlotte, NC was in terrible shape and that's way on the other side of the state. I remember feeling our whole house shaking and the continuous roar of the wind, and when it was all over a small dogwood tree was uprooted and had been hurled against our front door. We were lucky to have water and power again in less than 2 weeks, some people we knew who lived in more rural areas went without for almost a month. It was a bad time.
So instead of blogging about fun stuff today, I'm leaving for work early so I can look for bottled water on the way in and top off the gas in my car. I'm sure the stores' shelves are bare of water and non-perishable foods already so I hope I can find some. Thank goodness we have plenty of canned food, batteries, candles, and other emergency supplies already (we try to keep that stuff on hand all the time) and we have plenty of 5 gallon buckets around we can fill with water for flushing the toilets if need be. I'll try to keep you all updated, but if the storm hits here hard I may not have power for awhile. Keep your fingers crossed for us!