No one can say they were not warned.
Hurricane Irma will have serious consequences for the residents and businesses of the Golden Isles for a while. As we write this editorial, we are using computers run by a gas-powered generator. Thousands are without power, thousands are trapped on St. Simons Island as the F.J. Torras Causeway remains closed, and others are homeless after trees fell on their homes or water inundated them.
Perhaps the most sobering fact is that Hurricane Irma merely brushed Georgia’s 100-mile coastline. The pummeling winds and pouring rains were but a taste of her full fury — a brush of her tail. We send our condolences to our neighbors in Florida who bore her brunt.
Though, among the downed trees and flooded homes, there was hope. Almost immediately, area residents left the shelter of their homes to check on their neighbors and the property of those who evacuated. Police officers rescued children from rising flood waters. Tough guys with pickup trucks pulled limbs from cluttered roadways.
On Monday, a rainbow even graced the skies over downtown Brunswick.
To those whose homes were damaged or flooded, know that you are not alone. You may be afraid. You may feel helpless. You may even wonder where you will sleep tonight.
But the Golden Isles is a strong community that takes care of its own. We will clean up the debris and straighten out our lives.
Those of us who are lucky enough to have come out on the other side of Irma unscathed now have the moral obligation to support those in need. Help your elderly neighbor clean up her yard. If you have a chainsaw and are able, help clear roads. Listen to authorities and heed their instructions.
We have been here before, and we will be here again. Hurricanes come with the territory of the southeast Georgia coast. We cannot stop them, but we can remain vigilant and prepared.
It is rational and logical to assume more hurricanes will come. With them, more trees will fall, more waters will rise and more challenges will mount.
But keep your chin up, Golden Isles. We all will get through this together.