Of all the trees to survive the storm, the leaning pine tree still stands (leans) over South Campbell Street.
The storm had moved past us and into South Carolina by Sunday (Sept. 16). Our house was fine and that afternoon I took the boards off the front window. We were very thankful to have come through the storm with so little damage.
On Monday we could see the linemen going around Burgaw and starting to work on restoring power. After we cleaned the yard we decided to drive around while the girls played at a friend’s house. We didn’t get very far. Highway 53 and Interstate 40 was blocked at the overpass. We drove down Highway 117 South until the road block near the bridge.
The North East Cape Fear river stayed over the bridge for many days.
While it was still raining on Saturday (Sept , we could tell that the worst of the storm had passed. There were even times during the day when it stopped raining all together. We got out side to look around some. Down the street we could see a tree from our neighbors yard had fallen on the power line. This meant we wouldn’t be getting our power restored a soon as we have in past storms.
The next few days many people would turn down our street and drive up to the tree and then have to turn around in our driveway. A lot of it was probably people trying to get to The Laurels beside us, and they couldn’t come from the other side because of flooding.
By Friday (Sept. 14) the storm was moving slowly on to shore. The eye would pass over Wilmington and move south of us. The wind shifted to the east and a few more trees fell, but for the most part it was just heavy rain now. So far our house had been spared.
Unfortunately later that afternoon the rain had soften the ground enough that when a big gust came through it knocked over our willow tree in the back yard.
Thursday (Sep 13) we listened to and watched the news as the storm moved in. Finally we started hearing good news, it had not strengthened, instead as it moved closer it fell to a Category 3, then 2, and by the time the winds started reaching us, it had fallen to a Category 1. Now the big danger was from flooding since the storm was moving very slowly.
All day Thursday we had mostly wind from the north with a little rain mixed in. Some trees fell and we lost power that evening.
The girls played outside some in the tree house. The dog tried to stay with us, but he doesn’t like getting wet in the rain.
A pine tree in our neighbor’s yard has been leaning at a precarious angle for many years. With the storm coming in from the east (and winds from the north), we figured it was very likely that the tree would finally fall. I took a “before” picture in case that happened.
This hurricane season was very quiet and I didn’t even pay attention when Florence appeared in the Atlantic. It wasn’t until the storm spun up to a Category 3 storm on Sunday, September 9, and then the tracks all pointed to Wilmington, NC, did I take notice.
Monday morning a coworker and I went to a pre-storm meeting with the College administration at work and the decision was made based on the storm’s likelihood of becoming a Category 4 hurricane, to close on Tuesday. That started a very long week of waiting.
Tuesday morning (Sept. 11th) was spent shutting down the datacenters at work and making sure things were ready for the expected power-outage. I also spent a lot of the morning searching for wood to cover our bay window. But by the afternoon the window was covered, bread and water were in the pantry and all we could do was wait.
Wednesday the storm had slowed down and people were worried it would get even stronger. There was nothing to do but wait. On our evening walk we noticed the Pender Memorial Hospital Emergency Department had closed.