Hurricane Florence: Preparing for Battle


a Member of His Church

Willis Ball living through the storm

Josh Ball, Staff Writer

Imagine being in the middle of a hurricane. Imagine some of the ruins left behind from the biggest hurricanes. Hurricanes are massive storm-clouds mixed with high speed winds and rain. Sometimes, hurricanes cover multiple areas at a time; Hurricane Florence covered most of the coasts of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Florence was a devastating hurricane, but from that came the motivation to be prepared when it comes to mother nature. Willis Ball has lived in North Carolina for all of his life. He lives about 2 hours outside of Wilmington, in a small town called Salisbury. He has lived through many hurricanes big and small alike, including Hurricane Hugo. He experienced major flooding over the course of the weekend of September 18th. Water entered his basement and the tunnels under his house that hold the heating.

Ball prepared for the hurricane by laying sandbags around the perimeter of his house. He also tried to place any heirlooms in boxes and store them in rooms with boarded windows. His brother and sister live next door to him in a trailer; he moved them into his house to keep them protected from the water as their house isn’t as stable. Ball tried to keep in touch with family members who live in neighboring cities, often asking if he could do anything to help them.

Travel was affected for many Carolinians, for people in Salisbury and other cities about 70 miles away from the coast had heavy water flow which made travel difficult. “I didn’t need to really [go] anywhere, I just had my daughter bring me supplies, food, bottled water, if we really needed some and the store [didn’t] have any,” Ball said.

The damage of Florence was largly prevented by people in the area, along with the support of the National Guard. There was damage on the main part of the coast as expected. As soon as the hurricane passed, tourism spiked again. “It was like it never even happened,”  Ball said. There wasn’t really much need for evacuation too far from the coast. It was dangerous to be on the coast, but as soon as residents went to downtown Wilmington, they escaped the full force of the hurricane. Although Reuters reported 51 deaths related to the hurricane, Florence could have been more deadly.  Thanks to the preparation of many people, a vast emergency in North Carolina was limited.