By Sam Burnham
Hurricane Irma came and went. It wasn't much more here than a couple dozen gusts of wind and a good soaking rain. The worst of the storm came and died on the ridge lines we have folded up around us.
But the last two or three days have been particularly sad to see the photos from family and friends across the other parts of the state and down in Florida. We've seen places we love that are swamped with floodwaters, covered by fallen trees, some damaged beyond repair. This is the reality for so many people affected by this storm. Even friends in the metro area are still without power after three or four days.
We've seen Ft. Pulaski, which is featured on our home page, flooded by the flooding and storm surge at the mouth of the Savannah River. We've seen the Ogeechee, featured in the header above, spilling over its banks into Fish Tales (a favorite restaurant of ours.) We've seen that same river flooding Ft. McAllister State Park. The cabin where I wrote several blog posts covering our last Coastal Georgia road trip can be seen upon stilts above the mingling of the river and the marsh.
That's just a few of the sites we've visited. That doesn't cover the loss of private property or even human life that Irma caused.
As the floodwaters recede, we start to see the resilience of the people. The staff at Ft. Pulaski and Ft. McAllister are already in the repair and recovery mode. The dining area at Fish Tales was cleaned out, put back in order, and had the laborers responsible for the efforts enjoying cold beverages by last evening. These places serve as a metaphor for the overall recovery. Seeing "Birdmane" from Grassroots Farms sneaking back in on washed out dirt back roads to survey his farm for damage was a high point for me yesterday. People are jumping back in.
I mentioned in the previous post that I'm afraid for South Georgia. With crop and livestock losses as well as damage to homes and already sketchy infrastructure, I worry many folks will give up. I hope they don't. I hope they prove to be every bit as tough as I think they are.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire