It occurred to me after my meltdown the other morning, that I really needed to put things in perspective. I then realized that I needed to genuinely take a look at this process from all the different viewpoints to try to figure out what the frustration and anger trigger points seem to be when decisions or announcements are made. And I needed to try to do this non-judgmentally. and calmly. It has helped me. Each of us has our own motivation and priorities with Florence recovery and each point of view, each perspective should be respected.
Florence was not the average hurricane experienced by Bald Head Island. No, it was much worse. Time and again I’ve written that our emergency plan is only as good as our last worst storm. Yet as with any plan, there has to be flexibility to accommodate unique and thus unanticipated impacts.
I love relaying to visitors, especially Lighthouse Learners and their families how spectacular our forest is and how its beauty disguises its special feature – creating a sheer zone to protect itself – and us – in storms. Ugh – except when the dominant winds come from the north as Florence’s did. We know from the Village’s Voices that the volume and breadth of vegetative debris has been exceptional, taking days to clear even short sections of island roads. We have all also seen the gorgeous aerial videos of that same forest that is so dense we can’t see our forest homes. Pretty amazing.
The bottom line is that we all just want to be enjoying our island in this more typically gorgeous fall weather. We want to get back to doing all those things we love at BHI. That desire, coupled with the frustration of simply not knowing, is making us all a little nutty. Well, a lot nutty.
We don’t know how our houses fared. Well, we got a report of the externals, but we really want to know about inside and if there is any water damage, or mildew. We want it to be our turn NOW, so we can get whatever’s wrong fixed, and get back to what we love most – enjoying BHI.
There is no conspiracy to favor homeowners of whatever stripe over another. There is no conspiracy to favor businesses over homeowners. There is no conspiracy to give preference to big businesses over the little ones. There’s no conspiracy to keep people off the island. It’s like anything else – a numbers game. The goal is to check everything. Infrastructure first. Homes and businesses next. Figure out the magnitude of the problem. Garner resources. Fix it. All of it. As quickly and as safely as possible.
As challenging as it is to get to and live on BHI, it is even more challenging when none of the infrastructure is working. When long-time experienced staff can’t even get to the island because their homes are impacted. Or the regional roads are so devastated that no one can get in or out. That help has to come on a ferry or a barge over a river that was closed. We all know this; this difference is what drove us to BHI in the first place. But when so much is broken, it makes it that much more challenging, and it takes more time to fix.
Hoping that as each day goes by we get closer to having even an approximate timeline. With that will come greater certainty as to when we can be the ones to come back to see and to live in our island abodes.