September came and Sarah was anxious for her baby to be born. She looked forward to taking care of a little one.

Sarah and John watched the evening news and the big story was being hailed the storm of the century. It was headed for Charleston, and the meteorologist said that the Metro Charlotte area would likely have some downed trees and power outages. Just to be on the safe side, Sarah filled the tub with water and grabbed a flashlight before she went to bed.

Around 4 am, Sarah was startled awake when the power went out. She grabbed the flashlight and woke John. The wind was howling and the glass in the window was shaking. She could hear trees snapping like matchsticks in the fierce gale. Their dog was barking outside and Sarah begged John to bring him in, but he didn’t want to risk his life to get the dog. Sarah feared for the life of her baby and prayed for safety for her little family.

It was difficult to find a safe place in the little house because every room had windows. She sat on the floor in the kitchen for what seemed like an eternity in the dark house. They could not see anything happening outside but could hear the wind and the trees. John turned on the battery powered radio and found out that the raging storm was still a hurricane.

Finally, the storm let up enough so that John could check on his parents, who lived a few feet away. He was shocked by what he saw outside.

A big oak tree fell, narrowly missing the little house, while a small tree landed on his parents’ house. There was a large pine tree on top of the T-bird. There were at least 60 trees down on the property. Trees were blocking the driveway and the road. John and his father worked all day cutting up trees, as did most of the people in the community. As soon as he was able, John checked on Sarah’s parents, who also had some trees down.

Sarah’s parents didn’t want to stay in their house with no power or running water, so they hired someone to clean the yard and they went to Asheville.

John checked on the dog, who was fine. The doghouse, however, was a casualty of the great Hugo. He checked on his hog and discovered that the pen had been destroyed and the porker had gotten loose. He rebuilt the pen and lured the hog back with corn.

When the neighbors looked in on each other, making sure everyone was okay, John heard a frightfully funny story. One of the neighbors was coming home after working third shift when he saw a tree down in the road. Anxious and worried about his family, he abandoned his car and started walking, battling the wind with every step. All of a sudden, he heard a horrible sound behind him and realized he was being chased by SOMETHING. Without turning around to investigate, he had no trouble fighting the wind as he ran home. What was chasing him was the hog!

Sarah and John were without power for a week. They went to her sister’s house when in need of a shower. They cleaned out the deep freezer and cooked on the grill.

There was a lot of price gouging then. Stores were selling ice, chain saws, and generators at outrageous prices.

It was a rough night and a rough storm. Things returned to normal, but soon, there would be a new normal as the young couple welcomed the new addition to their family.

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