Today was a long day on the island. Our staff was back on hand after only hours of sleep to continue to keep things under control. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was met with a sympathetic smile or a warm hug as they got off the ferry. I found myself the unlikely transporter of media today, as we brought news crews from all three of Charleston’s networks and the newspaper to the island.
We boarded the 9:00 ferry for coffee with a legion of people returning to the island after a few hours of sleep. Tales of last night’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things abounded. A crew of seven young men, searching Dewees Inlet for their missing friend were some of the first 911 callers and came ashore and grabbed hoses to help. Fire hoses are heavy, and they ran lines and battled at the edges, keeping Jan and Bubber’s home from burning. Jim and Bubber working the smaller catch-fires at the edges, Paul working on the water, Ginny watching the gauges, Rita getting off work and spending all night at the fire, Joe still working this afternoon (as well as Terry, Ryan, Robert, Kim, and Lori). Jane and John calling it in from the boat, Janet keeping Colette save away from the blaze, etc. I know I am missing some; everyone helped in some way.
News crews came back and forth all day today, as we stressed to them that fires can happen anywhere, but the amazing thing was the way we have a plan; it worked, and things were contained. The overwhelming sentiment from ferry riders was gratitude.