Hurricane Florence is here, the first bands of rain and winds of about 45 mph, but it's going to get worse with expected sustained winds of 55+ mph and driving rain. It will hit us with a fury, but not nearly as severely as earlier predictions.
We are much better off than many people who live closer to the ocean and rivers that are expected to flood in the days ahead. The only water near our house is our tiny pond of about 125 gallons that contains four fish and a couple plants.
The winds are scary and the rain is driving. One TV reporter, a young woman, was nearly blown off the balcony of an ocean front hotel where she was reporting. But she had the sense to duck into a doorway out of harm's way.
Thousands of people are in shelters, those who were in evacuation zones and had no way to get to family or friends who live out of harm's way. I feel for them, families sleeping in school hallways on blankets. That has to be hard. But presumably they are safe. Just hope they have a home to return to when this is over.
So far we've not heard of any injuries or deaths from our area, but it is early. This storm is expected to hang around for the next day or two. We hope and pray it doesn't get any worse than this.
One of my friends, whose home is only two blocks from the ocean, left yesterday and headed for New Jersey. He called me from Washington, DC, and asked if there was anyone I wanted him to give my regards.
I told him to go by the White House and toss a couple rolls of paper towels over the White House fence for President Trump. He told his wife they needed to stop to buy some paper towels. Hope he doesn't get arrested and tossed in the clink by Trump's gestapo.
Just now we received a robo call from the Myrtle Beach emergency department telling us that conditions have worsened to the point that first responders will not be able to respond to emergencies. If we have an emergency, they said to call 911 and the operator would talk us through our emergency.
What about if you're having a baby? You're on your own, but you can call the kid Stormy.
What about if you're having a heart attack?
Guess you are just out of luck.
They've also closed the hospitals and emergency rooms, shipping patients out of town. I never heard of such a thing, but then I've never lived in hurricane country either. Seems crazy to me, because those hospitals are big sturdy structures, just as sturdy as the schools that are being used as shelters.
So why bother calling 911 anyway if you're in a medical emergency? They can't take you to the hospital; there's nobody there.
Stay tuned for more from the edge of the fury of Hurricane Florence.