There is a wonderful word, swivet, that I have never heard used outside of the South, and it so accurately describes our lives the last few days. Used in a sentence (in the South mind you) it might go something like “That doggone Earl has sure got me in a swivet!” Earl was a bad dude practically from the time it spun off the African coast and it had become a powerful category 4 storm by early this week. It became apparent a few days ago that we would be affected, and how badly was still a guessing game. It was forecast to brush the Outer Banks early Friday morning but Earl was starting to wobble and each successive NOAA forecast nudged it a bit more west.
By Wednesday businesses on the beach were boarding up and some locals, who normally scoff at all the hoopla made by the media over every little blow, were quietly saying that Earl had them very worried. The possibility of flooding here if we had a large storm surge was a real concern. Carteret Contemporary Art’s building in Morehead City survived hurricanes Hazel and Donna in the 50’s and 60’s, not to mention a bevy of other storms. After 18 years in business Charles has his hurricane drill down pat; remove watercolors from the upstairs, board windows and ride out the hurricane at the gallery (while pacing furiously).
At Vision I made the decision to get everything in storage off floor level, so paintings were stacked as high as possible and squeezed together on the walls starting early Thursday morning. (One realizes how handy our gallery hanging systems are when faced with a task like this.) Later that morning a check of NOAA revealed that Earl, which had earlier been downgraded to a 3, was back up to a category 4 with 145 mph winds and still wobbling. Plan B was then put into action which meant now pulling paintings off the wall and hauling as many as possible to our house in Morehead before 5 PM when the beach bridge would be closed.
So we did all we could possibly do to secure the galleries and our home……..and Earl turned out to be a non-event here. A little rain, a little wind, a lot of excitement for surfers and that was it. Once again we were enormously lucky. Here’s hoping that Earl is as bad as they get this season.