|Isaac a ‘first’ for Weakley County native |
|Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 3:19 pm |
Martin native Hanna Hershberger, the daughter of retired UT-Martin Dean of Students, Donald G. Sexton, experienced her first hurricane this week as Isaac let loose its fury on the Gulf Coast.
Hurricane Isaac had already started its path of damage Tuesday morning before it finally hit the coast that evening.
Hershberger, who now resides in Irvington, Ala., with her husband David, son Cody Wilson and daughter Savannah Wilson said she and her family started feeling the effects of Isaac early Tuesday morning with the winds picking up and heavy rain.
“Neighbors across the street from our home usually have to leave when there is a flood threat as it is now,” Hershberger said. “Our home is about seven feet above the street and flood level, and the property angles toward the street, which helps to keep the water from standing around the house.”
With this being her first experience with a hurricane, Hershberger said she was very nervous about the entire situation, but she and her family did not want to leave because of their concerns about their business. They own and operate D&H Auto and Tire Service in Coden, Ala.
“We would probably have left the area, were it not for our business,” Hershberger said. “We are concerned about vandalism to our business, so we wanted to stay as close as possible.”
The neighbors of Hershberger have weathered three hurricanes over the years and have been some comfort to Hershberger and her family. She said her neighbors have escaped any serious damage and that has somewhat put her mind at ease.
“We have talked with our neighbors, whom have weathered three hurricanes without serious damage, so that has calmed us a small degree,” she said.
“This being the first storm for our pets, they are all nervous and sniffing the air and running around. They seem to know more than we do.”
Hershberger said she started preparing for a possible landfall on the Alabama coastline over the weekend and stocked up on everything from water and food to games for them to play to pass the time away.
She said they were glad they bought extra gasoline and filled up extra gas cans because local gas stations ran out of gas early Tuesday morning.
“To prepare we stocked up on bottled water, filled up the 60 gallon water storage tank, bought a generator, canned goods, all kinds of crackers, bags of ice, moved all outdoor furniture indoors so it will not blow into the house windows or vehicles, bought fuel for the hurricane lanterns, flash-lights, charged lighting equipment, moved vehicles in the center of the property and away from trees,” Hershberger said.
Hershberger said that as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday the Mobile County EMA had ordered mandatory evacuations. Coden and Bayou La Batre, Ala., called for an evacuation starting Tuesday morning at 8.
Dolphin Island, which is out in the Gulf, had closed the road to the island as it was being flooded.
Hershberger said she had driven down to Dolphin Island around 9 a.m. on Tuesday and the Gulf waters were already covering the lanes.
As of Wednesday morning, Hurricane Isaac was still packing 80 mph winds and had made landfall twice, but was back out over the Gulf and hugging the Louisiana coastline.
West Tennessee is expected to feel the effects of the remnants of Hurricane Isaac over the weekend with some much-needed rainfall.