We left Hilton Head Wednesday morning and have been staying in Athens, GA, about 200 miles to the northwest.
The eyewall brushed the Island early Saturday, doing extensive damage to the south end, but reports from people who stayed suggest only minimal damage to our neighborhood about 20 miles to the west.
In the meantime, the University of Georgia operates several gardens, and thanks to the efforts of my brother, who is a Georgia Master Gardner, we toured three of them, and picked some okra (click for gallery view).
On Saturday, the nearby town of Madison held a fall festival and chili cook off. It’s a beautiful little town, and we spent more time than I’m going to admit browsing antique shops.
Our county, Beaufort, won’t give us any return information, although many other areas are allowing residents back. Another family from our development tried to get back and were put into a “post-storm” shelter. Although residents who stayed report no damage to the property and no problems moving around, and power is on, they were told they could be there as long as 72 hours. Now, I’m not going to second guess our emergency management folks, but the danger is that fewer people will heed evacuation “orders” (here in South Carolina, there doesn’t appear to be any penalty for simply ignoring them) next time.