The Right Blend Blog

Destruction and Gratefulness in the Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

Cay Creek after Hurricane Matthew

A section of the destroyed boardwalk at Cay Creek. Photo courtesy of Cay Creek.

Let me start this blog post by saying how grateful I am to the City of Hinesville, the Liberty County Government and the power companies for all their hard work and efforts during and after Hurricane Matthew. In a time where people are able to complain and voice their opinions with minimal or sometimes no filter on social media, I believe we need to remember that the folks that are responsible for keeping us informed with status updates or fixing serious issues have real lives too and may be going through personal circumstances to which we as the public are not privy. It would do everyone well to practice compassion and patience during the worst of times. Situations like this bring out the best and worst in people, but I think for the most part, our community has genuinely been supportive of each other.

Chamber after Hurricane Matthew

The back patio at the Chamber/CVB offices.

Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Liberty County around midnight on October 8th. The storm has come and gone but the effects are lingering. I stayed in my house with my kids during the hurricane, since we weren’t in the mandatory evacuation zone. Our power went out for about 36 hours. It was inconvenient, but I expected as much. All things considered, this was a very minor disruption. You may recall from my previous blog that I had a list of things to do in case of a power outage. Did I follow it? Some parts, yes. I did get to reorganize my kitchen, and throwing out the spoiled food did have the benefit of giving my refrigerator a much-needed scrub. With the power out, I did get some extra sleep, since there was no TV or Internet to distract me into staying up late. I’m looking on the bright side, here.

Thankfully my house didn’t have any damage, but many people in the surrounding neighborhoods and throughout the county did. If you follow us on social media, you’ll notice that our community is filled with huge oak trees and pine trees. It’s quite astonishing to drive through a neighborhood and see a massive oak uprooted and splayed across the roof of a house. And how scary must it have been for the people in that house if they were there when it happened or how sad when they came home to see the ruins? Liberty County certainly didn’t sustain damage like some other communities that had flooding, but it will still take months to recover from the destruction. Everyday when I drive to and from work, running errands, picking up my kids, etc. I see signs of progress. Is there still a lot of debris on the sides of the roads waiting for pickup? You bet! But those things are temporary. It will be cleaned up. Everything can be fixed; it’s just going to require some serious effort and a great deal of patience.

Fort Morris after Hurricane Matthew

There was lots of damage and fallen trees at Fort Morris. Photo courtesy of Fort Morris.

There was also significant damage at some of our historical sites. Fort Morris, Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center, the Historic Baptismal Trail, and the Midway Cemetery were among those on the receiving end of Hurricane Matthew’s wrath. I was able to see the destruction at the Historic Baptismal Trail for myself. Branches and debris are scattered everywhere and several large limbs are blocking the boardwalk, as well as one section of the boardwalk that was crushed by a tree. It hurts to see such beautiful trees that were torn down due to the storm, and I hate that some of our sites have had to close until all the repairs are made. If you’re planning a visit to one of these places, PLEASE call first and make sure it’s safe before you venture out. Yes, it’s going to be a while before everything is back to normal again.

baptismal-trail after hurricane matthew

The boardwalk at the Historic Baptismal Trail suffered damage as well.

The City of Hinesville and Liberty County government came together to weather the storm (literally they stayed together at the EMA office). I think they did a fantastic job working together to keep their citizens alerted to the dangers and the recovery efforts. I’m grateful to live in an area that works very hard to keep its citizens safe and updated. Their Facebook pages were how I knew what was going on and I signed up for Alert Liberty, which works extremely well. Seriously, if you live here and you aren’t signed up, click here. Oh, and make sure you wear bug spray if you go outside because these mosquitoes that have appeared since Hurricane Matthew are in beast-mode!

rainbow

A rainbow appeared in the late afternoon, after the storm passed.

As we all make the necessary repairs from the storm, we need to remember that we’re in this together. We’ve got a beautiful place to live, wonderful people and a remarkable spirit. I’m happy to be in a place that encourages a strong and caring community.

–Amanda Scott, Program Manager for the Liberty County CVB

The Right Blend Blog is written by two different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each write about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

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