Hurricane Florence

To Those Who Helped During Florence

There is no possible way to say thank you to everyone that helped before, during and after Hurricane Florence.


Hurricane Florence came to my hometown in North Carolina on the night of September 13, 2018. Winds blew, rain was thrown around, tornado warnings filled my home, and yet there were men and women working endless hours to help my state and the surrounding areas. I would like to take this time and personally thank you all for every moment you put in to restore my state to what it was before the storm came.

First, let me just say THANK YOU GOD and JESUS for turning down the strength of the hurricane! We were listed to be hit with a category four, maybe even five, but by God's will, it was only a two which died down to a one. He kept our families safe and together during the storm while he kept all of the men and women who helped out during the storm calm and brave. Thank you, Lord, for all of you many blessings and for you arms around us during this difficult time in our lives.

Before the storm made its appearance, we heard that NYPD, FDNY and New York's Task Force were making their way to North Carolina before Hurricane Florence would make landfall. Being from a small town and hearing that NYPD (which is miles away) is coming to help us made me feel a little more nervous about this storm severity. However, now that the storm has passed, I am so grateful that they were able to help us in our time of need!

Many states began to send as many different teams as they possibly could to our aid. States that are North Carolina's neighbors and even far off states such as California and Ohio made their way over to lend a hand.

Lineman rolled out once we began to lose power while the rain was still rushing in which put many of their lives in danger. To the lineman that were hurt during this, I pray that you have a speedy recovery and thank you for your service for our community. I know many people were worried about our power being restored, but I knew that you all would come to our rescue as soon as you were able. You had a lot of ground to cover and some areas were very difficult compared to others due to flooding, winds, rain, and even snakes! I hope you all are able to return home safe and sound to your loved ones and receive some well-deserved rest.

To our police, sheriff deputies, state troopers, and everyone involved in our law enforcement, a special thank you for keeping us safe during this time. You made sure roads were safe to travel and told us when they were no longer able to be crossed. You worked endless hours for days on end away from your families just to protect everyone else's families. Sometimes you had to stand eating your meals while still directing traffic just so you could get a bite in and sometimes had to sleep in random places just to catch a few zzz's.

Not once did I hear any of you complain. You were all as nice as you could be and smiled to ensure we would be okay when some of us were unsure. You helped rescue those who needed it and helped traffic flow more smoothly. Not to mention going around to make sure everyone who was in an evacuation zone was out of danger. You stepped up to the plate for our state and we truly appreciate you.

Hurricanes always bring the most convoys to our area which is no surprise since we live by so many bases. Our country's military has helped our state countless of times during hurricanes and they showed up again for this one! As everyone was headed away from the storm, you all were headed straight for it to help the American people. Bringing us supplies especially once the river cut off southern Lenoir County from surrounding areas. We watched your helicopters fly over our small hometown as your men and women rushed in to help those who were in flood zones or in need.

Once we were able to see the news, we saw countless videos of the military working with other organizations to rescue people from flood zones. There were some areas that were not expected to flood that were and you all were right there in the action trying to rescue as many people and animals as you possibly could. Thank you!

To all of the volunteer fire departments, paramedics, EMS, and first responders, I know you all were very busy the second the storm started from trees falling onto people's houses, cars were taken by rushing water or fallen roads, generator accidents and so on. Many of you spent your nights sleeping on a cot in a place that was not in your home but with your other family.

I truly appreciate everything you do for your community on a normal night, but especially on nights where many of your town's citizens were scared of the storm that seemed to be hovering over us. Through tornado warnings, floods, and other emergency situations, you were on call and ready to jump in the truck in a heartbeat. Your community and state thank you tremendously.

Southern Lenoir county had to be quick on its feet before the rising of the Neuse river cut us off completely like it did during Hurricane Matthew. South Lenoir High School graciously hosted a field hospital to be set up on their campus so that anyone on our side of the river would be able to access medical help if they so need it.

This field hospital was no joke, either! I heard about some of the cases they have had to face and they are top notch for the situation they are in! Thank you to South Lenoir for hosting this medical need in our area! Thank you to all of the doctors, nurses, medical staff, and volunteers that are here to make life a little easier during the flood! We are overjoyed to have you here and are grateful that you are!

We have had some emergencies that may not have gone as well if you were not here, so thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Many churches have become shelters or have provided supplies and food to those affected by Hurricane Florence. This brought out a lot of volunteers in the community. Red Cross set up disaster relief stations along with other organizations across North Carolina. Those who no longer had a place to call home, were evacuated, or just were unable to get home truly needed you and you took time out of your own busy schedule to help. The organizations and churches would have been unable to function as quickly and proficiently without your help. Thank you for your dedication to your community and thank you for your kindness.

There were many government officials and organizations that also helped us during our troubling time. I know especially in our community, Mr. J Mac Daughety was our resource to go to for updates on the hurricane, road conditions, "what's going on" moments, and our eagle eye for the Neuse River.

Many Kinston officials and boards were able to help out as well especially when the river rose a lot faster than anticipated across highway 70. They were able to get the word out that if we lived in the southern area of our county that we needed to get home as soon as possible because they were not sure how long exactly we had. NCDot was able to keep us up to date on road closings and dangerous roads that were not safe to travel on as we tried to navigate our way around to get to certain locations.

President Trump flew down to help pass out plates of food and to see what damages were done by Hurricane Florence. I think he brought a lot of smiles to peoples faces that have not smiled the past couple of days. It was a nice change to see everyone's face when they saw President Trump himself or saw him going by in his car with all of his security vehicles surround his to keep him safe. Thank you to all of you involved that kept us informed, up to date, and helped out where ever you could during this time!

I know there are thousands of more people that were involved in rescuing the Carolinas during Hurricane Florence. I just want to thank every single one of you and let you know how truly grateful we are that you came during a dangerous time. We do not know what we would have done without your sacrifice and service!

We pray that you will be able to return home safe and sound to your loved ones. Thank you truly from the bottom of our hearts and may God bless you and your families!

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15 Bible Verses For Those Struggling With Hurricane Harvey

A list of bible verses for anyone having a hard time coping with Hurricane Harvey.

Waking up this morning and seeing the devastating images coming out of my beloved Houston absolutely broke my heart. To see the city I had grown up in and raised to love completely underwater left me feeling more than a little destroyed. Knowing that tens of thousands of people are without power, homes, their belongings, everything they worked their whole lives for... there is just no way to process it. I think what makes it that much more terrifying is that the worst has yet to come. Hearing the Mayor literally telling people to write their name and social security number on their arms in preparation and being told that all we can do is wait it out, hoping that it will all be there when it's over. But I know Texans, especially Houstonians, we will come back stronger than ever. Here is a list of fifteen bible verses every Texan needs to hear right about now:

1. Psalm 57:1-2

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purposes for me.

2. Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

3. Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

4. Proverbs 3:25-36

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your feet from being snared.

5. John 16:33

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but have courage -- I have conquered the world.

6. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

7. 1 Peter 5:10

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.

8. Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

9. Revelation 21:4

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things have passed away.

10. Revelation 2:10

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution. Be faithful, I will give you life as your victor's crown.

11. Psalm 91:2

I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."

12. Psalm 93:4

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea -- the Lord on high is mighty.

13. Isaiah 43:2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

14. Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.

15. 2 Corinthians 5:1

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

With the worst yet to come, we all need to keep our faith in the Lord and in one another. We need to lean on each other, support and help when we can, and be prepared for the long recovery process that will have to happen. Sending all my love to those in Houston and surrounding areas. God hears your prayers, have faith.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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Poetry On Odyssey: Head In The Trees

I escape beneath green canopies to find rest from this world


I think there's a reason why I like trees so much
they're always reaching for the sky
they'll do whatever it takes to find the sun
why God allowed mere humans to witness such beauty, I'll never understand why

trees are strong and solid
their roots anchored securely in the earth
their heights leave me astounded
it's beyond me that anyone could place a number to their worth

I feel God most when I experience nature's gentle breeze
I'll find the most peace beneath a lush green pine
I'll pray with my head in the trees
gazing up into the branches, I'll lose track of time

I escape beneath green canopies to find rest from this world

I'm eager as Spring draws near, eager to watch God's green artwork sprout and unfurl

Check out my poetry blog:

Instagram, Facebook: @rithimuspoeta

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