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Evacuate

Hey Guys,

Just a quick update on what’s been going on with me.

Sunday night, Feb. 12th, there was a huge evacuation in my area due to potential flooding.

I guess there were a lot of things leading up to the evacuation. A lot of warnings, and suggested evacuations for areas that were a little farther away from me. I was at work, so I didn’t know anything was going on.

Around 6:30 pm I got a call from my cousin, who was in a little bit of a panic, telling me that her mom and grandma had evacuated. Her mom and grandma live about a mile and a half from me. My cousin knows that I leave my dogs in a kennel outside when I’m at work and she wanted to know if I knew what was going on and if the dogs were safe. I explained that I was at work and hadn’t heard from anyone else that there was a problem. She was very concerned and a little insistent that I go home, get my things and my dogs, and evacuate.

I was unconvinced. Her mom, my aunt, tends to overreact and exaggerate and panic when it isn’t necessary. I hadn’t heard anything from my uncle who lives down the road from me in the other direction and I couldn’t imagine him not calling me if there was a real need to evacuate. And I couldn’t find any real information online that indicated I needed to evacuate.

I called my mom to talk with her about it because she generally knows what’s going on and she keeps in better contact with other family members in my area than I do. She said there was no need to worry and that the evacuation areas were far enough away from me that it shouldn’t impact me. She also said that the flooding was not guaranteed, and that the experts were saying that the area really only needed to make it another hour or two to be in the clear.

Within 10-15 minutes of getting off the phone with my mom I got a call from my dad. Worried about me and wanting to know where I was and if everything was okay. I told him I was at work and that I had just talked to my mom and that I thought everything was fine. He was still worried and said he had been watching the news and expressed, without saying it, that he would feel better if I evacuated. While talking to my dad a banner came across the bottom of the TV at work stating that evacuations were being called for in a bunch of counties, including mine.

I got off the phone with my dad shortly after that and called my boss to see if there was someone who could cover the last two hours of my shift so I could get home and get my stuff and my dogs in case the worst happened. It took about half an hour, or maybe it just felt like a half hour, but it took a little bit of time to find someone who could cover my last two hours. As soon as they got there I went home.

It didn’t take very long to get home, I wasn’t speeding, but it didn’t take any longer than usual. I did hit a bunch of traffic going in the opposite direction with all the people evacuating. As soon as I got home I let my dogs out of their kennel, got inside and started packing. I packed enough clothes to last me a couple of days, grabbed enough dog food for a couple of days, grabbed a little bit of food for myself and grabbed my computer and charger. That was pretty much it.

Packed up the car and took off for my mom’s place. My mom was out of town and so was my sister so I knew the house would be empty. My sister had called while I was heading home and offered her room to me so I had a place to sleep. After I got to my mom’s I let everyone know I was fine and the dogs were safe.

I did a bunch of checking online, tried to find as much information as I could about what was going on and quickly realized that the news banner had been very vague and my evacuating had actually been completely unnecessary. The flooding they were worried about wouldn’t hit me unless something crazy happened. My specific area was super unlikely to be touched by water if the flood happened. The county I live in is actually fairly large, so there were some areas of my county that did need to evacuate, where I live just didn’t happen to be one of those areas.

I was relieved and also annoyed. Everyone had called me freaking out while I was at work and no one seemed to have bothered to do enough research to determine if I actually needed to be worried. If I hadn’t been at work I would have done more looking into it before leaving and I would have determined that I wasn’t really in any danger. But I had already evacuated and I certainly wasn’t going to turn around and go home. It was late, I was tired and I had finally gotten the dogs settled. I watched some TV and went to bed.

I hardly slept. I was uncomfortable and stressing out a little bit and it wasn’t my house or my room so it smelled and felt weird. Plus neither the dogs or I are used to living in a city so all the sounds that go along with living in a town/city were making us all jumpy. It was a long night and I was up fairly early. I did take a nap on the couch before getting ready for work but overall it was an exhausting shift.

By the time I got off work my mom and step dad were home. My mom and I talked for a bit and I asked if I could stay the night again since I had to work the next day and it made more sense than me driving 45 minutes home and then 45 minutes back to go to work in the morning. Yes, I do it all the other days that I work, but I already had all my things, my dogs and Tuesday is my Friday. She agreed that I could stay another night, which I know was hard for her because I had the three dogs there.

I slept a little better the second night. I was less stressed and I slept with the TV on to help block out the random street noises. I worked my shift like normal and it wasn’t too bad. Then I went back to my mom’s, packed up and left. I probably would have visited a bit, but it was Valentine’s Day and I knew my step dad had made her dinner and stuff. I didn’t want to intrude any more than I already had. And I wanted to get home before it was late.

The rest of the night was normal. I got home, unloaded my car and just relaxed with the dogs until we decided to go to bed.

It feels good to be home. The flood warning has decreased a lot and although a lot of people are still under a mandatory evacuation the actual danger has mostly passed. We’re expecting more rain starting this weekend and that makes me a little nervous. The water ways in the surrounding areas are already pretty full and we’re expecting a lot of rain. But I’m prepared. I’m going to keep my things packed and ready to go just in case I need to get out again.

I’m sure it’ll be fine, but the worry is always there.

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