VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It’s a waiting game for those who may — or may not — be in the path of Hurricane Florence’s reach.
For Kathryn Dye, a Rivesville native now living in Virginia Beach, Virginia, it’s also about preparedness.
“Just making sure we have enough water in case the water gets infected by the storm, just making sure we have enough flashlights, batteries, food, canned goods in case the electricity goes out, making sure that everything is off of our deck so that nothing blows over or crashes into the windows,” Dye said.
Dye, a graduate of Fairmont Senior High School and West Virginia University, moved to Virginia Beach three years ago to be closer to her boyfriend and now husband Alex. She said they haven’t experienced a feeling quite like the pre-Florence hype since moving.
“They’re basically telling us just to be prepared for the worst, because we’re not really sure what’s going on with this storm,” Dye said. “It did shift a little bit, so we’re basically just going to get a ton of rain as of now. But we’re not sure yet what’s going on.”
Also the granddaughter of former Rivesville mayor Richard D. Valentine Sr., Dye said prepping for a hurricane isn’t quite as simple as prepping for a West Virginia snow storm.
“Kind of stressful to go through all of this and not knowing are we going to be evacuated? Okay. What do we need to do? What do we need to prepare for?” she said. “Coming from West Virginia, the worst thing we ever got was snow storms, but everybody (back home) knows how to prepare for that. I never really thought they were as bad as this.”
That stress, she said, is shared by some of her friends, neighbors, and colleagues — at least among those less seasoned in hurricane preparedness.
“Kind of like a 50-50, I think, around here,” Dye said. “Normally, we get a lot of rain most of the time. The last three years I’ve been here, we’ve had tropical storms or rain, which is hard and definitely a difficult time and situation. But, I think we’ve been kind of lucky over the last couple of years not getting the worst of everything.”
She and her husband live in the state-designated Zone B. While residents in Zone A, which includes portion of southern Virginia Beach, have been told to evacuate to higher ground, she said those in Zone B still haven’t been given the go-ahead order on evacuation.
If they do get the order, Kathryn said she and Alex will head to higher grounds — fortunate to live reasonably close to Alex’s parents who live a bit further inland and at a higher elevation to boot.
In the meantime, they’re just going to have to wait.
“Do your best,” Dye said. “Just do what you can do and just, basically, we’re just sitting and waiting to see what happens.”