Hurricane historian: Be prepared for Florence
Author of ” North Carolina’s Hurricane History Jay Barnes speaks out about the lessons learned from the past storms on ‘Fox & Friends.’
A community of slave descendants living on the coast of South Carolina are appealing to tradition over weather reports as Hurricane Florence 110-mph winds churn closer to the East Coast on Thursday.
For thousands of black residents in St. Helena Island who can trace their ancestry back to West Africans enslaved, is that the opinions of family members means just as much-if not more-than the forecasts on the tv.
“As a Mom, most of the people are not going to leave,” Josh Pillar, 29, told the Associated Press on Tuesday. “As a Mom and Grandma, then a lot of people leave.”
John Brown stands behind a fence for his cows outside his house on St. Helena Island, S. C.
(AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
FULL COVERAGE OF HURRICANE FLORENCE
St. Helena Island is home to the largest Gullah community on the South Carolina coast – with approximately 5,000 people are descendants of the slaves who worked the rice plantations before they were freed by the civil war. Tradition and deep cultural roots have persisted for generations.
Dais was one of those who reason from the Tropical Storm Irma of last year and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Destructive hurricanes are not a major influence on St. Helena Island in the last few years. But the Sea Islands Hurricane of 1983 devastated the area, before crushing Savannah, Georgia, killing about 2,000 people.
Hurricane Matthew is largely spared from the ranch houses, bungalows and mobile homes on the island.
Emory Campbell, a Gullah descendant and scholar, recalled the drive in a neighbour’s cart on Hilton Head Island when Hurricane Gracie hit in 1959, and tore the roof of a hotel.
“We saw a number of remnants of hurricanes here when I was growing up,” Campbell told the Associated Press. “The wind would blow, you would some tin against the window, but you wouldn’t know that much at all except for the scratchy sounds on the radio coming out of Savannah.”
“As a Mom, most of the people are not going to leave.”
– Josh Stage AP
TRACK FLORENCE: FOLLOW THE PATH OF THE HURRICANE HERE
Bertha Bradley also said that they do not have to worry about Florence. She and her husband grew up in St. Helena Island, and a seafood restaurant.
She told the Associated Press that she never preferred to evacuate, in part because her great-grandmother never did.
John Brown, 54, spent weeks cutting fallen trees in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, he told the Associated Press. If it wasn’t for his job, he said that he would leave town.
“If my work is not necessary for me to continue, I would be here in a heartbeat,” Brown said. “I think that most of the older ones, they’re kind of cocky. But the younger, not so much.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.