Tag Archives: hurricane Matthew

74 Years an Evacuee

The first time I was evacuated was in early 1942, at the age of nine months. The allies bombing the German City of Aachen every night had become too traumatic, so my mother took her babe and fled to the Austrian Alps.

So, I spent the next three years in this rustic farm building: two rooms and a veranda and outhouse on the second floor; wood storage, bake oven and chicken coop on the first; no electricity; no running water.


Last night I slept in a metal storage shed because the house we are rehabbing on the mainland had just been sprayed with foam insulation and wasn’t fit to stay in. Well, that’s not the entire reason. Had I been willing to show my identification papers to the authorities, I could have returned with my spouse to Saint Simons Island when it “re-opened.” But, that’s not something I can do.
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Rethinking communication

We are going to have o rethink this whole electronic communication thing. Why would we let our public servants restrict news to the airwaves, when the juice to run our devices is the first to be cut in an emergency? Why do we outfit them with fancy communications centers, if they just hunker down with their toys (fire trucks and bull dozers and even a pontoon boat) and don’t even keep the troops in the field informed about the decisions being made. Hours after the residents of Brunswick got the all clear, the State Patrol was continuing to maintain a blockade.

The islands’ Commissioner beginning his explanation with the announcement that they had “agreed” ahead of time to a phased return which would give a priority to law enforcement, utility workers, commercial interests and, finally, residents with identity cards, indicates the basic problem. The citizens are last and any emergency is a wonderful excuse to order them around. How does it happen that the State Patrol, people with guns, not only don’t follow local orders, but don’t know who’s in charge? Puddy, in his inimical way, bullied his way past the State Patrol after visiting the public safety complex the second time, but the reporters weren’t as lucky.

So, the State Patrol, which gave the community a black eye in the effort to shut down the beach party that attends the Florida/Georgia, has another black mark against it. Why the County spent two million dollars to build them a new headquarters out of the SPLOST 5 funds is a puzzlement.