While in Charleston it became clear that we would need to alter our plans in order to avoid an encounter with this storm. From Charleston we had intended to go to Savannah, GA, in part to visit with another of Valerie’s sisters, Kathy. However, since the coastal areas of Georgia and the Carolinas were expected to be heavily impacted we decided to move inland.
This was 3 days before any anticipated storm activity for Savannah yet we had some difficulty in finding a place to park the RV. Interstate 16 leads northwest from Savannah to Macon and it is the primary evacuation route for the coastal communities so we were looking for a place along that highway. For an evacuation, they implement what they call “contra flow” on I-16 which means that the eastbound lanes are closed to eastbound traffic and opened to westbound evacuation traffic. We found a spot in Statesboro which is about 60 miles inland from the coast.
After spending one night there we grew increasingly concerned that we had not gone far enough. Statesboro was under a Tropical Strom Warning which indicates the potential for winds exceeding 39mph and of course, lots of rain, maybe 6 – 8 inches. While this would not necessarily put us in any danger I would rather not subject our motorhome to those conditions if we have a choice. The nice thing about having your home on wheels is that you do have a choice.
Back on the search we found a place in Cochran, GA, another 100 miles further inland. I figured if we’re going to move again let’s be sure we’re beyond the storm. In fact, we only had some mild wind and a brief period of light rain. Much better. Once the storm had passed we began to think about whether we could go ahead with our visit to Savannah. Late in the day on Sunday, October 9th, they began to allow evacuees to return, however, there was extensive flooding, power outages, trees down and other after effects from the hurricane.
After visiting Savannah our plan was to continue south along the east coast of Florida, however, some of the coastal communities we planned to visit were also heavily effected by the storm. So after more discussion we decided that the best approach would be to head south along the west side of Florida and return north along the east coast in 2 or 3 weeks. By then, the coastal areas will have had some time to recover. Perhaps then we can get back to Savannah.
Next stop: Cecil, GA