When Our Little Town Met Irma!

If you saw the little video I did on the sidebar than you have seen what Hurricane Irma did to our small town of Middleburg, Florida in September of 2017. I think it really affected me because I have lived here most of my life and have seen this town grow from a few thousand and one traffic light to a very busy almost 14,000 people and 4 traffic lights, and a major expressway going through nearby which is about to change us forever! I remember when I was 15 or 16 years old almost hitting a cow on the main road (Hwy 21) coming into Middleburg on my way home one evening. Now that road is 4 lanes. Wow, have times changed!

Anyway last fall Irma hit us after dark and what was bad and what we were not prepared for was the storm surge from the St. Johns River that went to the tributary Black Creek that runs right thru Middleburg. A lot of people live right on Black Creek and the main roads leading in and out of Middleburg are bridges over the Creek. When the storm surge hit and flooded the creek to record highs never seen before, we were trapped in our town with no way to get out to get food, gas, water or any supplies at all. After three days people started running out of the basic necessities because we were told Irma was not going to be that bad, to be prepared for 3 days. My husband had driven into Middleburg and came back and said we were totally flooded! Middleburg was under water! We couldn’t believe it. We had no electricity, being on well water and a septic tank we had to carry water to the back of the toilet tank and fill it and then go and flush, then refill the tank. You can imagine you limited you’re going and filling the tank because we were using


rain water we had put buckets out to capture the water for using for the bathroom and showers. Yes, we had a gas generator, but gas was scarce so we could only run the generator on an as needed basis and we were using it for two families and it was hot!!! So running fans every so often was needed for my parents too. You never know what kind of disaster is going to hit and what it can bring with it.

Always be prepared for them and when they say to be prepared with supplies always make sure you have them plus some extra! Hurricane Irma was probably the worst of a disaster I would ever want to go through and it was probably light compared to what some people have gone through, but to me, I saw people lose a lifetime of building their homes and families and they lost everything in one night! But they didn’t loose their lives, and that is all that matters. We were very fortunate that 300 people were rescued off of Black Creek and no one died. We survived and learned a lot about making it through a hurricane and the aftermath. I wouldn’t want to do it again, that’s for sure!


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