Column: As Dorian approached

Published 6:36 am Monday, September 9, 2019

As I sit in front of my computer on an early Thursday afternoon, the sky is cloudy but there is no rain. It is still, almost eerie. The only sign a hurricane is looming is the humidity and, of course, the endless weather reports on television, radio and even your phone. There is no escape. Try as I might, there is no escape, the storm is coming.

Just a week ago, we all watched as the storm took aim at the Bahamas and was forecast to strike Florida head on.  I know I did and I suspect most of you also were breathing a sigh of relief that this monster wouldn’t threaten us. It isn’t that we wish anyone else ill, only the relief that the Outer Banks would be spared.

Now a week later, just call me Alabama because Dorian is approaching. The winds are strong and now it appears, barring a miracle or a low pressure system nudging the storm quickly eastward, the Outer Banks is going to get smacked. It is no longer a question of if the hurricane comes, but how much damage this storm will do.

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It’s not as if we weren’t warned. State and local officials have been telling us for days to get out. If my neighborhood is any indication, the warning fell on deaf ears. Only hours from impact, one of my neighbors was cutting his grass. As if Dorian was an unexpected guest about to arrive and the yard had to be groomed so your guest doesn’t think you’re a slacker.

I have spent the last couple of days working. Most of the people I know or came in contact with were doing the same. There didn’t appear to be a mass exodus, nobody was panicked. We all were just going about our business. There was still a degree of uncertainty on the forecast track. There was still time to evacuate. Let’s face it, soon there wouldn’t be time to evacuate and if we hadn’t left as ordered by Wednesday, we weren’t going anywhere.

As I sit here, the cupboards are stocked. Batteries are in the flashlights, the radio works, we have enough water to irrigate the Mojave Desert. We have enough sardines, tuna fish and potted meat (whatever that is) to survive a medieval siege. The car is filled up, though I’m not sure why that would be important because we aren’t going anywhere. We are as ready as we can be.

I have no idea why we stay. Perhaps it is as simple as this is our home. Maybe it is because we are gamblers by nature. A belief we can beat the odds. I do know once we decide to stay, to ride out the storm, to endure the power outages and flooded roads; we own it. We have been forewarned. There is no sense worrying about it.

There goes another emergency alert. I guess I should check it. Maybe it, Dorian, will just go away. If Dorian strikes, I hope the hurricane’s stay on the Outer Banks is brief and that everyone is safe.