Here in the northwest corner of Alabama we’ve spent a couple of days dealing with the weakening after effects of the once mighty Hurricane Irma. Intermittent rains, a few wind gusts and cooler temperatures have forced us to don light jackets and spend more time inside. But we can hardly imagine, really, what it was like to have experienced a hurricane of the magnitude of Irma.
For a week we were mesmerized by the monster storm as it ripped through the Caribbean islands and turned toward Florida. The sheer size of the hurricane was frightening, even to those of us far inland watching safely on our TVs. We extended our hopes and prayers to those who were in the path of the destructive storm. We reached out to family and friends who live in Florida, urging them to evacuate while they could. And then we waited …
As Irma churned through the warm waters of the Straits of Florida this past weekend, the entire country braced for a record-setting storm that would envelope all of Florida, bringing hurricane force winds, life-threatening storm surges and plenty of rain to both coasts of Florida, as well as Georgia and South Carolina.
Fortunately, the loss of life has been limited here in the Southeast, thanks to the strong messages of Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other officials urging those in the path of the storm to evacuate. Nearly 7 million residents headed those warnings.
Many of those uprooted from their normal lives and routines fled northward seeking safety in neighboring states like Alabama. Hundreds of them came to the Shoals area.
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