|Clay County Sheriff's Office/Facebook|
Hurricane Matthew passed leaving coastal Florida, Georgia and Carolina streets flooded, trees uprooted and lives turned upside down. As we all know at this point, things could have been much worse. When the hurricane was reaching category four status, local, state and national leaders called for action by ordering evacuations. For the most part, many listened to the orders, but many stayed behind. Certainly I can hardly blame one for staying in his or her own home since there is such an attachment to property, but life is far more precious than possessions. Sure, easy for anyone like myself to write that out, but it's true, one needs to evacuate with a massive storm like that on the radar.
While hurricane prediction technology has come a long way over the years, the experts are far from perfect. There is still too much of a margin for error as to where a storm will exactly hit. One need not look further than 2005's Hurricane Katrina. As history shows, Katrina turned out beyond worse than expected. In Matthew's case, the strong stuff was on the ocean's side of the eye-wall. Whew!
Now that Matthew passed without the devastation mayors, governors, the media and the world feared, one must wonder how folks will react the next time a hurricane threat looms over these areas. From the sounds of it, some rode out Matthew's fury vowing never to do it again while others took Mother Nature for granted.
With any natural disaster, there are individual stories of damaged homes, washed-out bridges and rooftop rescues. The most interesting story came out of Jacksonville, Florida (not North Carolina)when a bald eagle got stuck in the grille of a car. Clay County, Florida heroes came out to rescue the bird who was appropriately named, what else? Matthew.
As the coastal U.S. communities clean up Matthew's aftermath, one must not forget the massive devastation in Haiti. This island nation cannot catch a break. Still reeling from the 2010 earthquake, Haiti was hit once again with this awful disaster. Hundreds have died as a result of Matthew's devastation. Relief agencies like CARE, UNICEF, Doctors WithoutBorders and the International Medical Corps are in full swing hoping to get Haiti back up on its feet.
Right now, let's hope that this hurricane season is over and in the history books.