My son was born in April of '96. When Fran was still well offshore, I got a phone call from my mother. "What are you going to do?" "What I want to do is run screaming for the hills, but as big as this beast is, I'm not sure even that would be far enough," I said. "Well, you know you can come here," she said. My parents lived in Newton Grove, which is a little more than an hour from here on I-40, on the way to Raleigh. That was what my husband and I eventually decided to do. At that time, we had far fewer animals than we do now, but we couldn't evacuate all of them, so we gave them food and water enough for a couple of days and hoped for the best.
The weather got a bit blustery at my parents' house by about 8 that evening. We monitored the progress of the storm on the television through steadily deteriorating conditions until the power went off at about 11:00, then went to bed.
Around 2:00, I woke up to hear the wind howling, and the occasional crack and crash of tree branches outside. As I continued to listen, the wind began dropping. I had weathered enough storms to know that, as big as Fran was, this couldn't possibly be the storm moving away - there was only one other possible explanation. "Great!" I thought. "The beastly thing followed us up the road!" Sure enough, about 20 minutes later, I heard the wind starting to pick up again as the eye passed over and the backside of the storm came over us.
The next morning, Newton Grove was a mess, but my husband managed to get out and head back to Wilmington. He reported that we had a couple of trees down, but other than the power loss, that was all. I stayed with my parents for a couple more days, then came home. We were without power for about 10 days, some folks were a lot longer than that. Power was restored along major corridors first, and between that and emergency generators, a lot of the stores managed to open. I can remember going grocery shopping with my little son and complete strangers asking how we were coping . . . . the sense of community in the aftermath of Fran was just incredible.
Edited by Bunnylady - 10/1/15 at 10:30am