Hurricane Florence hits home for 2018 alumna and NC native


by Zoe Seiler, News Editor

Hurricane Florence made landfall Sept. 14 near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The storm reached “maximum sustained winds of 90 mph,” according to CNN.

Brooklyn Hunter, a 2018 graduate of Simpson College, felt the effect of the hurricane here in Iowa. Hunter is from Burnsville, North Carolina, which is about 350 miles away from Wrightsville Beach. Her hometown was affected by severe flooding due to the storm.

“My hometown is in between mountains. So, during heavy rains the water comes down the mountains and overflow all of the rivers,” Hunter said. “It can get horrifying.”

Hurricane Florence turned into a tropical storm that killed at least 13 people and was followed by “threatening days of flooding,” according to CNN.

“I have some family friends who were stranded in their homes because of the location of their house and the only road in or out being flooded,” Hunter said. “The joys of a small town is there are few paved roads so they get washed away or flood easily.”

Hurricane warnings were issued before it made landfall and more than one million people were told to flee their homes, according to USA Today.

“I’ve been homesick and for a brief second I was afraid that I wouldn’t see some of my favorite sites again,” Hunter said. “Anytime it’s hurricane season, I still get the anxiety of  ‘Will we need to stock up food?’ ‘Do we need to charge phones in case of power outages?’ as if I still lived in the area.”

Some families who live in hurricane-prone areas can sometimes prepare for a storm by having a fully stocked supply of dry foods, having a heat source to boil water and have a light source, although this may not be a comforting feeling.

“It really does feel like the end of the world while you’re prepping,” Hunter said.

People are also concerned about their property and safety during a storm as they may witness destruction from a hurricane.

“I also had flashbacks of when Hurricane Katrina stranded me and my family in our home for weeks because of the river by our house being at record levels,” Hunter said. “It’s a very surreal thing to be in middle school standing in your front yard and watching a swelling river take out a bridge like it’s made of twigs. The sound is unreal. I think anybody who has lived through a bad hurricane will always worry that the next one will be worse.”

Although a hurricane can impact a community, there are some moments that can bring families together.

“I can say that one of my favorite memories was during a hurricane and our power got knocked out, so we played board games around the wood stove and oil lamps,” Hunter said. “It was so peaceful! No technology. Just fun with family in a very dark house.”