Thursday, September 20, 2018

Why I Stayed

Hurricane Florence has battered North Carolina, leaving a legacy of destruction, flooding, and death. The consequences of the storm are still being felt. We on Ocracoke, who know the power of hurricanes, are heartbroken over the misery Florence is causing for our neighbors to the south and west. This storm will not soon be forgotten.

As many of our readers are aware, most islanders evacuated, but about 200 Ocracoke residents decided to ride out the storm. I was one of them.

Some family, friends, and neighbors have asked why I decided to stay. To them it seemed like a foolish decision. As reply I penned a short essay, "Why I Stayed," which we have published as our September Newsletter. You can read it here:

I hope I have conveyed my reasons for what I consider an informed decision. I might have been mistaken, but the situation turned out much as I hoped and expected. I won't second guess anyone else's decision. I hope others will respect mine.


  1. You made the best informed decision for yourself and yourself only. That's a very admirable trait. Whether I would have made the same decision or chose to evacuate would've been my best informed decision. Whether or not others agree with someone's assessment is merely... their assessment of the situation and nothing more.

    I wish more people these days could agree to disagree, respect each other, still; smile or shake hands or hug and vow meet up the next day as still close, great friends. We'd all be better off, wouldn't we?

  2. Anonymous1:23 PM

    I recall reading your earlier post that you had decided to stay. To be honest, I figured you had weighed all the pros and cons of such a decision. Plus, living on an island as you do, you are best to judge and make choices that the large percentage of your readers have no clue about!

    NJ Reader

  3. Anonymous8:59 AM

    I suppose those that choose to stay understand if something horrible happened to them they would not expect aid to be rendered. Due to the fact that doing so that may have endangered the lives of the the first respondents. Would this not be the case? Choosing to ignore the evacuation call is waiving your interest/"right" in being rescued????

  4. Anonymous8:58 PM


    Though I am late to the discussion, I just now read your essay about the reasons why you opted to stay on the island during Hurricane Florence. I, too, wondered about your reasoning, as I followed updates indicating that other members of your family had opted to evacuate. And per your note, I absolutely respect your rationale for staying--thoughtful, informed, well-reasoned, and (not least of which) based on decades of personal and historical experience and insight. One question--again, based on historical precedent, if I correctly recall some of your past postings here--if worse came to worse, I presume the Ocracoke Light would (as it has in the past) provide the sturdiest shelter from the storm, though I suspect the folks who hold the keys to the front door would NOT advocate that option as a fallback. a pinch...might I be correct in thinking that this potential weighed AT LEAST a little bit in your calculus? Regardless, I am glad that you and the island came through the storm mostly unscathed.