We were without electricity for a couple hours this morning and just got it back a few minutes ago so that’s why I haven’t had a chance to update till now.
I want to start by thanking those of you who followed our adventure so closely and passed along kind words and offered heartfelt prayers for us and the people in our community.
We cancelled our church service this morning as most of the island doesn’t have electricity and many are dealing with flooded homes. In lieu of preaching, Steve performed his pastoral ministry by heading out to help a church member clean up his business and then visit some of our folks who are dealing with flooded homes. Sometimes a pastor can preach better sermons by what he does than what he says.
We’ve also opened our home this afternoon to a local policewoman for a shower and a nap before she has to go back on duty at 6 pm for yet another long and wearying overnight shift. Her house has no water and no electricity so it’s a bit of a challenge for to get cleaned up or to get any rest. Steve just arrived home for lunch and then will leave in a few minutes to help someone cut a tree out of their front yard. (He gets to use his chainsaw! Hurray!)
As we’re coming out on the other side of this experience, we have been reminded over and over of how fortunate our family has been with no damage, no flooding and (almost) uninterrupted electrical service. We want to use our blessings to do everything we can in the next few weeks to lighten the load of those around us who are dealing with tough stuff. I think that one positive outcome of natural disasters is the way it turns strangers into neighbors; in an increasingly disconnected world, that’s a really good thing.
I want to share a few pictures with you from the past few hours.
This shot (taken by a local person) shows a restaurant on the main highway through Manteo; it’s about two miles from our house.
This was taken by the same person, showing our downtown area last night.
(The rest of the photos are mine.)
This is the mailbox across the street from our house.
The street leading from our house to the main road.
The restaurant where we recently had Sarah’s birthday dinner with her friends.
Broken deck boards.
Debris of all varieties.
Thankfully the Queen Elizabeth (shown in the background) weathered the storm in fine, heroic fashion.
Our favorite bookstore took some hits.
A downtown side street.
Another side street.
And to close out, here are a few pictures I’ve compiled of Hurricane Before and After Shots.
Sarah and I on the night of her birthday dinner, sitting in the “camera chair” in front of the restaurant. On the right is what the camera chair looked like this morning.
Steve and I sitting on some deck chairs on our first visit to Manteo. Those same chairs, covered by trash and storm debris.
On the left is a downtown restaurant we like to eat at; the view there this morning.
A pathway leading to a bridge near downtown. In the after picture, you can’t even see the bridge because of the tree debris.
I took a picture of this flower right before the storm and was sort of sad about the fact that it wouldn’t survive. Well, I went back this morning and there it still stood, a bit tattered but unbowed!
Sarah and her dear friend Victoria visiting the Manteo Booksellers in happier days.
And lastly, what our downtown looked like as of this morning.
It’s been a rough ride but I’ve discovered that these Outer Bankers are a tough and hardy lot and I know that I’ll be taking pictures of loveliness again very soon.
I’m especially thankful today that storms never last and beauty always returns.