The show must go onPublished 5:51pm Saturday, July 5, 2014
Beaufort County has seen a quite a bit of bad, and dangerous, weather this year, from snow storms in the winter, to tornadoes in the spring, to a hurricane a bare month into hurricane season. It’s been a trying time for many: for parents trying to adjust to weather-related changes to school schedules, for friends and family working through mother nature’s devastation, for the city and county employees, as well as volunteers with nonprofits, who had to give up holiday vacation plans to prepare for an impending emergency situation.
This week, as Hurricane Arthur came roaring up the southeast coastline, everyone was in hurricane mode. As veterans of many hurricanes, Beaufort County residents were virtually on autopilot: moving belongings to safe places, securing homes and making sure supplies were at the ready. That’s not an easy task.
In the course of preparation, however, there were many people around the county who had more than securing property on their minds. These people had spent months planning Fourth of July celebrations in Belhaven and Washington. Their task was deciding if they would cancel, when they would cancel, what they would cancel and when they would reschedule, if at all. The ducks of their particular events were all in a row, yet the arrival of Hurricane Arthur threatened to sweep them all away.
As with any hurricane, it was a “wait and see” situation. Despite technology and increased accuracy in determining how a hurricane will affect a given area, the truth is that no one knows exactly how those predictions will play out — that is, until they’re right in the thick of things with wind howling and water rising.
For Beaufort County, Hurricane Arthur turned out to be a severe storm, no worse than the many of late. It simply stuck around longer.
The celebrations went on. The fireworks went off. People came out in force and celebrated, at least partially in honor of the fact that Beaufort County was spared disaster.
Friday night, as the fireworks over downtown Washington could be seen up and down the river, one Whichards Beach Road resident made the comment, “How great is this?” remarking on not only the fact the display was free to the public, but was also happening less than 24 hours after a Category 2 hurricane had paid a visit.
The people of Beaufort County proved, once again, their resiliency, evidenced in the crowds that attended, in the organizers who juggled personal concerns with a “the show must go on” attitude.
As a result, the Fourth of July celebrations had a very appreciative audience, likely more so than in previous years.
How great that is, indeed.