Hurricane Evacuations

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Annapolis after Hurricane Irene, 2011. Photo credit: Capital Gazette

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I drove to work this morning thinking of all the people who will be affected by Hurricane Florence on the East Coast as the storm is approaching. My family and I have been evacuated three times by hurricanes from the Outer Banks on vacations, so we are no strangers to the impending damage storms of this size can wreak on coastline towns, and even on inland towns.

The first time we were evacuated, I had a one-year-old little boy, and we had spent only one night in the vacation home. The warnings grew dim, and we left early the next morning. We had no hurricane insurance, so we lost the entire week of vacation rental money. Obviously, our safety was first, and the money not that important, but we smartened up and bought hurricane insurance after that. The second time, we were in a different house, and had to leave mid-week. The third time, we lost the last two days of vacation. Needless to say, it’s both disappointing and frightening at the same time to make the decision to leave or to be told you must evacuate.

Last weekend when I spent time at The Sandaway Suites & Beach in Oxford, Maryland, the innkeepers talked with us about how past hurricanes have affected the beach area there. Pictures of Hurricane Irene from 2011 are vivid in my mind; seeing the damage that storm caused in my hometown of Annapolis makes you concerned for what’s ahead with Florence.

Please keep travelers and homeowners and residents in your thoughts and prayers as this storm makes its way toward the coast. It always hurts a little bit when we see what happens to the coastlines and how they can be drastically changed after wicked rain, winds, and surges hit land.

I will be hoping for the best, and pray Mother Nature is kind.

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