We proudly call ourselves “Beaufortonians,” purposefully choosing Beaufort as our home six years ago. Opportunities to “age in place,” while enjoying the history, people, and culture of Beaufort and the Lowcountry, brought us here. Living here has confirmed our choice.
With heavy hearts we evacuated for Hurricane Matthew, returning to find our home intact despite area-wide wind and water damage. We are overwhelmed, however, not with the destruction but the sense of community we experienced during the storm and, now, in “recovery” from it.
How grateful we are that the city, county, state and individuals worked together in crisis to provide management of this emergency. Being aware that there is critical appraisal of the processes of evacuation and return, it is our hope that, as with any disaster or critical incident, at some point in the aftermath there will also be a collaborative review of processes, communications, and experiences.
As evacuees with great reliance on social media, we also say thanks for all the “on the ground,” videos posted by Nan Sutton; the informational Facebook updates of Rep. Shannon Erickson and Sen. Tom Davis, along with Beaufort City Council’s Stephen Murray and newsletters of Mayor Billy Keyserling. We found them very helpful in providing us with information and as sources of response to our questions.
Thank you also to social media friends for posting and sharing needed information. Little did we realize the power of that “lifeline,” which allowed us to remain part of our beloved community — even from a motel room in Macon, Ga.
Jane and Lloyd Sidwell