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It’s been over a week now. One week and 3 hours ago I arrived in New Jersey at a hotel to wait. Here I am, now at my mothers, still waiting. I am an evacuee of hurricane Florence, and I wait.
I am waiting, and watching, and scouring the internet for anything that might show my house. Any information about my area, or mention of my neighborhood.
I am scrolling through page after page of reports of massive flooding, trees down, houses ruined. Neighbors, friends, my whole community without power, gas, food, water. My hometown is now an island with no way in and I sit and wait. And watch.
As an evacuee we have been asked to keep waiting.
They say there aren’t enough supplies for the people who are already there, so please wait. They say there’s no power to come home to, so please wait. The roads that are open are dangerous, not tested. They may wash away as you drive over them, so please wait. The first responders and emergency response teams are already overworked with too many people needing help and rescue. So please wait. The supplies we can bring back are limited as we have a full vehicle, so the four of us would be more of a burden to the community than a help. So we wait. Hearts broken, watching our community flood and struggle. Unable to help yet. We wait.
I share Facebook statuses of where to find hot food, where new shelters are opening, churches that are opening to give out supplies, breweries who are allowing people to fill up jugs of water for free. The community is coming together back home, and all I can do is share the information. I sit and hope that what I share helps someone. That the information winds up on the screen of someone who was needing exactly what I shared.
All I can do is just wait.
Keep myself busy so I don’t go crazy wondering. Try not to look at my bank account as I spend money daily that I wouldn’t have spent back home.
Continue answering texts and calls from family and friends in different states, wondering if I am ok, if I have heard anything about my house yet, what’s going on, how is everything?
I am ok, the kids are safe, last I heard flood waters were rising right across the street from my house, but that’s all of the information I really have. It’s what I am trying not to think about 24/7. Not that I am being very successful.
Currently, there is no way to get to my house. The families who stayed around me have been evacuated, some by helicopter others by boat, because the river waters keep rising. My husband and I have no idea when we will be able to go home. Some reports look like maybe next week, I read one today that says it will take 3 weeks for the water to recede. We just don’t have an answer. So, when my four year old son, who doesn’t function well without a schedule, says “mom, when can we go home?” I have to say, “I don’t know.” As I think to myself, “I don’t know if we have a home.”
Evacuees, we sit and watch and wait.