Special Update: The Day the Lights Went Out in Conway

Posted by Dion Todd October 11th, 2016 8,843 Views 0 Comments

Special Update: The Day the Lights Went Out in Conway


Hello everyone, 


Thank you for being a part of Refreshing Hope Ministries. As you may have noticed, over the last few days the devotional stopped coming, and the website was down. This was because Hurricane Matthew passed directly over our town. The storm caused massive flooding, downed power lines, broken utility poles and severe wind damage. 


Flooding at a Local High School
Conway High School flooded

It started raining heavily here about 24 hours before the winds actually arrived and that softened the ground so that when the wind started to blow, the trees just toppled over roots and all. The winds were 75mph with gusts much higher at our home. Not long after it began, the power went out. We had prayed about it, and I knew that we were going to be ok. Still the winds howling, the house shuddering, and pieces of our neighbors roofing and siding blowing by the windows made us pray some more. It was at least eight long hours before the storm subsided, and the strongest winds came oddly at the end of it. 


Sunday morning was calm when we went outside to check the damage. Thank God, at our home we only lost some fencing, underpinning, boxing and the edge of our metal roof had began to lift. Sylvia and I worked together and repaired it all on Monday. 70% of Horry County was still without power and they restore the cities first. We live in the country and the estimate for us was up to two weeks.  

Hurricane Matthew at Myrtle Beach


Not wanting our deep freezer to thaw out, we started checking around for a generator. We soon found that the roads were flooded out, or blocked by downed trees, and none of the traffic lights were working. We dragged all the limbs out of our driveway and went exploring. We could not go to Conway as the river had crossed the road, and we could not go to Loris as a section of the highway had washed out. We eventually found a generator in Myrtle Beach at Sam’s Club. I guess everyone had the same idea, when we stopped by Lowes for a gas can, there were at least 5 people with generators in the check out line and the shelves were becoming empty. 


We headed back home and started up the generator with the fuel that we had. When we went out to get some more, we found there were no gas stations open, anywhere in a 25 mile radius. None of them had power either. Those that were open just had thrown the doors open and were selling things, cash only.  


We figured that we could at least get our servers back online, but then found that all of the Internet, Cable, and telephones were down in the area as well. So there was no bringing up Refreshing Hope until the utilities were restored. 

The neighbor's carport behind the fence was turned on its side!
Hurricane Matthew Fence Work

Verizon sent us a text message that because of the hurricane, we had unlimited data, texts, and voice calls for the week which was a blessing. We used our phone’s internet to keep up on Facebook (you may wish to “like” our page for future emergencies) and Sylvia and I spent the evenings watching laptop movies by candlelight. 


Our mornings were spent scrounging more fuel for the generator to keep the deep freezer going. When we stopped at the local Wal-Mart, the food shelves were empty like an apocalypse had happened. Thankfully we had food at home and have a gas grill so were still able to cook. All in all, we lived a very blessed life, other than the extremely cold showers. 


One wonderful thing about the storm was that we got to see our community at its best. There was no looting that we could see, and all the people we met were friendly and supportive of each other. Line workers gathered from neighboring regions and are still working tireless to get everyone back up and running. There is nothing like adversity to bond people together.


Storm Roof


Fortunately, the power came back on at our house after three days and the Internet soon after. For many in the area, it is still off. It was a bit like stepping back in time and it is good to see Refreshing Hope back online! 



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