Lukrezia Schacht has had it with hurricanes.
The Dartmouth Street resident moved to Brunswick from Germany five years ago to work as a physician in Jacksonville, Fla.
She waited out Hurricane Irma in her home with her cats early Monday morning, but it will probably be the last time.
“It first started around night time,” she said with a patently German accent as she stood in her front yard Monday surveying the damage. “Then, it got really nasty. There was extreme wind and rain. You could just hear the limbs falling, ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’”
Her normally tidy yard was strewn with limbs, shingles and piles of Spanish moss, just like all the others in the Old Town neighborhood. At least a major tree did not fall on her home, she reasoned.
“I don’t scare easy, but it was weird because no one was around and all the power was out,” she said. “This is the second hurricane in two years. The next time, I’m buying a plane ticket to Atlanta, then to Frankfurt (Germany). One way. I’ll be ‘gone with the wind.’”
Ed Pearson, a retired retail manager who lives on Norwich Street, was also spared.
“I was checking the weather just about every hour,” said Pearson, who works part-time at the mini golf course on Jekyll Island. “I stayed here for (Hurricane) Matthew, too. Just like last time, there’s hardly a limb in my front yard, but my backyard is trashed.”
A few blocks away on Egmont Street, Dewayne Prevatt was not so fortunate. He was in his apartment about 4 a.m. when a water oak split its trunk and fell directly in front of his house, brushing the roof in its descent.
“That’s what finally knocked the power out,” said Prevatt, who manages the Outback Steakhouse on St. Simons Island. “It scared the hell out of me.”
Many Old Town residents took to the streets midday Monday, after the 60 and 70 mph winds of Hurricane Irma subsided. Scores of trees were down, frequently blocking roadways. Most streets and yards were covered in debris, but not Wally Mathis’ house at the corner of London and Union streets. Using a gas-powered leaf blower, he had already cleared his neatly manicured front yard and was working on clearing the intersection.
“The city’s got their hands full, so I figured I’d just go ahead and do my part,” he said casually. “I just like my place to look nice. I guess I’m a neat freak.”
On Gloucester Street, the same civic pride was on display as volunteers Tommy Brock and Craig Oglesby wrapped a tow rope around a large limb blocking the street and used a pickup truck to pull it from the roadway.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Oglesby said quickly, before returning to work.
Indeed, there will be plenty of “right” to do as Brunswick and the surrounding areas dig out from under Irma’s effects. Georgia Power crews were not expected to respond to the area until Tuesday, and authorities are restricting re-entry to Glynn County. Officials are asking evacuees to “shelter in place,” according to an announcement made Monday.
Many of the people who left the area are calling on friends to check on their homes and report back. Steven Kearley of L Street and his friend, Cayla Hamilton of Northwood Estates, drove down to Old Town on Monday to check on their friend’s home.
“The house is OK,” Kearley said from his car window as he drove down Amherst Street. “But some people got it pretty bad.”