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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 11, 2018, 06:31:45 AM

Title: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 11, 2018, 06:31:45 AM
One of my very good friends is getting married down in Greenville, South Carolina this weekend.  His dad also happens to my one of my best clients.  Our families are pretty close -- we even eat Christmas Eve dinner together.  So I not only feel like I want to go, but I feel like I have to go.

The plan was to stay with my wife's family in Statesville, NC (about an hour north of Charlotte) this Thursday and Friday, then travel to Greenville, SC on Saturday morning.

But, in case you haven't heard, there's an absolutely enormous hurricane barreling towards the Carolinas, and meteorologists are saying it could be the worst to ever hit the Carolinas: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/09/hurricane-florence-southeast-danger/569863/

I live in Ohio, so I'm a hurricane noob.  But this is freaking me out.  I think the roads will be terrible, there's a risk of flash floods where we are supposed to be staying, and who knows whether there will be power or not.  And we are driving, and I'm not sure I'm okay with driving in these types of conditions.

Here's the ultimate kicker: my wife is 14 weeks pregnant.  She really wants to go because we were going to see her family (who we don't get to see that often), but I'm freaked out. 

So, what would you do?  I'm still leaning towards going, but I guess I need some reassurance from folks here who may have more experience with this stuff.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: bogart on September 11, 2018, 06:58:44 AM
Could you delay your departure (to head south/east) by a day, spend Friday in Statesville instead of two days?

I'm in the path of Florence (though inland).  I'm not fleeing, but I don't think I'd head this direction, honestly.  That said, certainly there is a long history of dire predictions that did not pan out -- and regardless, impacts will vary widely by locality, it's just a question of where...

If you do decide to come down, I think I'd bring at least some of the stuff recommended for emergency packs.  Bottled water (or a way to purify it), batteries/flashlights, some "practical" changes of clothes (not what I'd pack to wear to a wedding), blankets (or sleeping bags), and pillows. 

Good luck whatever you decide.



Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 11, 2018, 07:12:52 AM
Could you delay your departure (to head south/east) by a day, spend Friday in Statesville instead of two days?

I'm in the path of Florence (though inland).  I'm not fleeing, but I don't think I'd head this direction, honestly.  That said, certainly there is a long history of dire predictions that did not pan out -- and regardless, impacts will vary widely by locality, it's just a question of where...

If you do decide to come down, I think I'd bring at least some of the stuff recommended for emergency packs.  Bottled water (or a way to purify it), batteries/flashlights, some "practical" changes of clothes (not what I'd pack to wear to a wedding), blankets (or sleeping bags), and pillows. 

Good luck whatever you decide.

We were supposed to come down Friday, but it looks like that’s right when it’s about to hit north of Charlotte, so we moved it up a day.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: AMandM on September 11, 2018, 07:36:22 AM
Charlotte and Greenville are both predicted to get tropical storm level winds and widespread flooding. I would stay away.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Noodle on September 11, 2018, 07:37:07 AM
Tough one. Would it be possible to wait until closer to the weekend, skip the NC stop, and go straight to SC if conditions allow via a more western route? I just looked at a projected path map, and it looks like upstate SC may very well be on the "clean side" of the storm. Depending on what Florence does, there might not be much impact at all. Or the area could be flattened.

It just strikes me that the wedding is not time-flexible, but the trip to NC is (if you do this, I would make plans to go back for a family trip, or send her on her own). Storm impacts in upstate look like will probably be high winds and stream flooding, plus the impacts of the evacuees (road crowding, supplies of gas, etc.) One big concern is that they are talking about the possibility of a stall which means a ton of rain. Not as much as Harvey, but the area isn't as well prepared for flooding either
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on September 11, 2018, 07:42:47 AM
I would cancel, not worth the risk.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: frugalfoothills on September 11, 2018, 07:51:01 AM
I live in Greenville! Weird to see it on the forum. :) Bummer about the hurricane blowing up your trip, we have a really beautiful city.

I will say I've lived here for 29 years and we've never had any *real* significant hurricane impact... of course, SC hasn't seen a category 4 storm since '89. Traffic might be a mess and it'll probably be a washout, but I am having a hard time believing we're going to see too much disruption up here. Lower SC is going to get rocked, though.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: lizzzi on September 11, 2018, 08:03:52 AM
If they're in a state of emergency they're not going to want people out on the roads. (I'm in NY--no dog in the fight.)
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Ladychips on September 11, 2018, 08:26:35 AM
Could you go to the wedding on Saturday and then on to NC on Sunday/Monday or Monday/Tuesday?
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: slb59 on September 11, 2018, 08:29:30 AM
I'm in SC, and from what I'm seeing, the coast is at risk but the rest of the state is fine. You'll see they canceled schools state-wide, but from my understanding that's primarily so they can use the buses and schools to help shelter people from the coast. Right now, the forecasts look like the western part of the state will be totally fine through the weekend, but there's a chance SC/NC could get hit when Florence circles back around Monday.

I'd go, but make sure I'm on my way out fairly early Sunday in case Florence circles back. I'd also check thestate.com to see if there are any planned highway reversals that might impact your trip. I'm 99% sure there wouldn't be, but it never hurts to make sure.

FWIW, my parents are planning to drive from SC to IN on Friday to return Sunday, and they are not changing their plans. If it were Charleston or Myrtle Beach, that's a totally different story, but the last couple hurricanes that hit the coast didn't do too much to us farther west.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 11, 2018, 08:30:39 AM
Driving straight to Greenville is eleven hours. Again, my wife is about 14 weeks pregnant, so we were trying to break up the drive.

Speaking of that, anyone have any thoughts on the pregnancy angle of all this? I know every expecting mom has a different experience, but it’s giving me a lot of pause.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: slb59 on September 11, 2018, 08:32:38 AM
By the way, if you want to obsess over all the data and play with all the different possible scenarios, this is a fantastic site: https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

My husband has been checking it at least three times a day for the last week. :)
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 11, 2018, 08:33:27 AM
Driving straight to Greenville is eleven hours. Again, my wife is about 14 weeks pregnant, so we were trying to break up the drive.

Speaking of that, anyone have any thoughts on the pregnancy angle of all this? I know every expecting mom has a different experience, but it’s giving me a lot of pause.

At that stage of pregnancy, I don't think the pregnancy would factor into my decision. (I am on my third pregnancy and travel frequently during them- I get extraordinarily sick during the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy- so I wouldn't be able to eat without throwing up, and therefore, we'd have to stop to eat, I couldn't eat in the car.)  The only reason it -might- is, if your wife were to experience complications, would she be able to access medical care if you the hospitals are flooded or power is out?  Or how comfortable might she be in the car, if your drive ends up taking double the time due to weather and traffic. 

However, pregnant or not, I would cancel and give the couple your regrets.  Traveling into zones that expect to be disaster areas just isn't a good idea. Resources are limited, they don't need more people on the roads or more drain on responders.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: onlykelsey on September 11, 2018, 08:37:32 AM
Driving straight to Greenville is eleven hours. Again, my wife is about 14 weeks pregnant, so we were trying to break up the drive.

Speaking of that, anyone have any thoughts on the pregnancy angle of all this? I know every expecting mom has a different experience, but it’s giving me a lot of pause.

I had a baby last year, so I'll bite.  What's her pregnancy been like so far?  I was bone-tired in the beginning, but not nauseous, so a very long car ride would have been fine.  She's moving in to what are usually the easiest few months of pregnancy, so I wouldn't worry too much about the drive.

I would worry a little bit more about the stress, especially if she's a high risk/older/multiples/etc mom.  Will your route take you along good medical centers or will you be out in the middle of nowhere, potentially stranded?  I'd make sure you have extra water, cash, food, etc, for sure.

All that said, as much as I don't think the pregnancy figures in much (since she is raring to go), I would send my regrets and donate the travel money to recovery efforts.  I don't think you should go in to a storm area and become a drain on already taxed public resources during the storm.  Do you have a sense for what other guests are doing?
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: carolina822 on September 11, 2018, 08:58:20 AM
I live in Greenville! Weird to see it on the forum. :) Bummer about the hurricane blowing up your trip, we have a really beautiful city.

I will say I've lived here for 29 years and we've never had any *real* significant hurricane impact... of course, SC hasn't seen a category 4 storm since '89. Traffic might be a mess and it'll probably be a washout, but I am having a hard time believing we're going to see too much disruption up here. Lower SC is going to get rocked, though.

Me too!

It's going to be very very wet. I can remember Charlotte and Raleigh getting rocked by Hugo, and it wasn't a cakewalk here either, so there could definitely be some wind and tornado issues down this way. Not to mention the traffic - my BF works in Columbia and says it is a total cluster#$%^ down there today. If you decide to come, I would get where I was planning to be on Thursday. After that, it's going to be messy driving and the fewer people on the roads, the better. If you go to Statesville, you may be stuck there for a while. Honestly, I would probably skip this trip. The weather is going to be too shitty to enjoy it, and has the potential to go sideways on you.


Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: OtherJen on September 11, 2018, 09:48:30 AM
I think I would. I’ve seen several predictions of severe inland flooding from this storm, which is no joke.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: SimpleCycle on September 11, 2018, 10:03:24 AM
I am the least prudent person ever, and I would cancel.  It doesn't seem wise to add more people to a place that may already be getting evacuees and heavy rain, and there's the possibility you could get stuck there if the storm ends up doing something different than the current predictions.

I don't think at 14 weeks the pregnancy would influence my opinion very much, but my opinion without pregnancy is to not go, so no change.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Dr.Jeckyl on September 11, 2018, 10:20:01 AM
YES!! I'm sure quite a few of the other friends and family will also be cancelling their plans to head down. And if it's that bad will the wedding even go on? I'd stay in the nice safe hurricane free midwest!
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Papa bear on September 11, 2018, 10:25:06 AM
Driving straight to Greenville is eleven hours. Again, my wife is about 14 weeks pregnant, so we were trying to break up the drive.

Speaking of that, anyone have any thoughts on the pregnancy angle of all this? I know every expecting mom has a different experience, but it’s giving me a lot of pause.
14 weeks is like barely pregnant =)

We did a few long 12-18 hour car trips, straight through, while my wife was pregnant and with infants.  If avoiding the worst parts of hurricane and wanting to go to the wedding, get some 5 hour energies and be prepared to do some driving.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 11, 2018, 10:28:06 AM

14 weeks is like barely pregnant =)


For many people, 14 weeks is the worst part of the pregnancy! (When you can't even sip water without throwing up.)
For others, it's when you are starting to feel better.


Every woman is different. I was vastly more comfortable 30-40 weeks pregnant than I was from 6-24 weeks. 
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: partdopy on September 11, 2018, 10:30:51 AM
No.  But then again I lived in Florida for 25 years so typically a hurricane means I need to stock up on beer, food for the grill and ice since my power might go out.

I went to a wedding in Miami during a hurricane.  Was pretty nice, as the governor declared a state of emergency so lots of people left, there was about 15 other people on the highway going south, and all tolls were closed.  In my experience, as long as you're in a building adhering to modern building codes and not in a flood zone, you'll be fine.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: leftcoastenvy on September 11, 2018, 10:36:48 AM
I live a little bit west of Durham and a lot of gas stations around here are already out of gas. So you might want to factor in not being able to just stop at any gas station to fill up on the drive.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Unique User on September 11, 2018, 10:37:27 AM
I'm in Raleigh and used to live on the coast.  Grocery stores here have been emptied out, propane, ice, batteries and water is gone from everywhere and several gas stations are out also.  I used to live on the coast and most of our friends are going evacuating to Charlotte or even Georgia because "supposedly" the impact is going to be less there than in Raleigh/Fayetteville/Greensboro.  We have a generator and live on a hill, so a few people are braving it to evacuate to our house.  The weather is not going to be too pleasant and the roads will likely be a mess, but I'd ask people in Greenville how bad it is there now.  It shifted north just slightly, but this storm is huge so there will still probably be rain even that far inland. 
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Samsam on September 11, 2018, 10:46:04 AM
Came back to Charlotte from a trip up north yesterday and went out to grocery shop (not for the storm, it was because we needed food after being gone a week).  And many things were already gone - bread, water, veggies, cans, etc.  Some gas stations in South Charlotte now are also out of gas. 
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Hvillian on September 11, 2018, 11:08:35 AM
[. . .]

In my experience, as long as you're in a building adhering to modern building codes and not in a flood zone, you'll be fine.
I agree with this.  I would not cancel the trip.  The wedding party are important to you, and it would be very nice of you to show up when there may be a lot of others dropping out.  Keep an eye on the predicted storm track tomorrow.  Right now it looks like several inches of rain in Statesville, and a couple in Greenville (FWIW - I am in the Charlotte area).    Will your wife's family be okay with you staying an extra night or two, if the storm track changes and you decide not to head down to Greenville?
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: geekette on September 11, 2018, 11:15:12 AM
You may be fine in Statesville/Greenville, but at this point it's a crap shoot.  Rain, flooding, and power outages would be my biggest worries.  Gas also may become an issue. 

The storm track keeps changing, and the noon news (here in Raleigh) shows it heading south of us, vs. last night's northward track.  But it's an enormous storm - 450 miles across - and the NC coast is only 250 or so miles (as the crow flies). 


Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 11, 2018, 11:19:32 AM
My friends are now talking about staying in TN Thursday night and going to Greenville Friday morning.

Adds a whole lot of travel but avoids the mess in NC. 
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: mm1970 on September 11, 2018, 11:19:42 AM
Driving straight to Greenville is eleven hours. Again, my wife is about 14 weeks pregnant, so we were trying to break up the drive.

Speaking of that, anyone have any thoughts on the pregnancy angle of all this? I know every expecting mom has a different experience, but it’s giving me a lot of pause.
14 weeks is like barely pregnant =)

We did a few long 12-18 hour car trips, straight through, while my wife was pregnant and with infants.  If avoiding the worst parts of hurricane and wanting to go to the wedding, get some 5 hour energies and be prepared to do some driving.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
14 weeks is when I needed to pee every 30 minutes to an hour.

That might factor into "how long is the drive going to take?"

I wouldn't go.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: FIFoFum on September 11, 2018, 11:35:42 AM
Right now, I'd be in the plan for no, but wait & see if you can change that to a last minute yes (if conditions change from forecast).

Besides the issues of no gas, no supplies, and potential power grid being hit, you may not be aware that during a mandatory evac, they sometimes will close roads/reverse highway lanes so all main arteries are one-way OUT routes. That helps cut down on the people stuck in traffic/running out of gas when people wait for the last minute to all evacuate at once.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: carolina822 on September 11, 2018, 11:41:53 AM
The most recent models are showing it going right over upstate SC. Obviously it will be nothing like at the coast, but I don't think you want any part of this. I'm half tempted to bug out to my in-laws in North Georgia.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: dcheesi on September 11, 2018, 11:57:01 AM
That's a tough one. It's one thing to be living in the path of a storm, and entirely another to be visiting during one! I had a similar dilemma last year when hurricane Irma was barrelling down on the Florida coast during a family visit. I ultimately decided to get the hell out of Dodge, in part because my relative was (IMHO) underestimating the seriousness of the worst-case scenario.

As it turns out, the storm unexpectedly kissed Cuba and weakened considerably, which left me feeling a bit foolish. But if it had hit as they predicted (and the forecasts kept getting worse and worse, right up until [almost literally] the last flight out), then we could have been stranded in Katrina-like conditions for days or weeks, without even the basic preparations that I have in my own home.

I can't imagine I would have any more confidence in a hotel than I did in my brother in terms of storm prep, so that would factor heavily in my decision here.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: dougules on September 11, 2018, 11:57:06 AM
That's a tough one.  With an average hurricane you would be just fine that far inland.  This one's not average at all, though. 

More than likely the direct effects of the hurricane won't be the real issue that far inland.  The two big things will be flooding and the evacuation. 

If Statesville ends up getting a foot of rain in one day, a lot of places will be under water.  Is your in-laws' house there even vaguely in any kind of flood plain?  Roads could become impassable. 

Also, there will be a bunch of evacuees from the coast going everywhere inland.  Do you already have a place to stay in Greenville?  It could get hectic.

You should watch the weather.  Hurricanes are unpredictable, and it could possibly veer in a different direction that makes it a non-issue for where you're going. 
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: LifeHappens on September 11, 2018, 12:09:12 PM
I had to evacuate for Irma last year. If I were you, I would not attend the wedding. In fact, if I were getting married I would postpone my wedding. The Carolinas are very likely to widespread power outages and localized flooding. As people have already pointed out, gas will be almost impossible to find and really should be saved for emergency response.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: PharmaStache on September 11, 2018, 12:20:57 PM
How pissed are you going to be if you go all the way there and the wedding is cancelled?

I'd take the wait and see approach, until we know exactly where it will hit.  But leaning towards not going.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: carolina822 on September 11, 2018, 12:55:19 PM
I feel really bad for your friends. Sucks to have this barreling down on your wedding day. :(
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 11, 2018, 01:04:16 PM
I feel really bad for your friends. Sucks to have this barreling down on your wedding day. :(

Agree.  We had the possibility of some slight rain during the reception and were freaking out.  I feel really, really bad for them, and I'm wondering if their vendor clauses have "act of God" clauses that would allow them to reschedule.

I talked to some of my friends today, most of whom are goofballs like me who generally don't get worried about this kind of stuff, and they are worried.  They're changing their travel arrangements but still plan on going.

This is all really unfortunate.  I really want to go but this seems like it's getting worse, not better.
Title: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: pbkmaine on September 11, 2018, 01:16:00 PM
Is this area under mandatory evacuation? If so, then no way. If not, see what local officials are saying. If you are hesitant, a pregnant wife is a very good reason not to go.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Frankies Girl on September 11, 2018, 01:52:38 PM
I live in the gulf coast, I have been through many hurricanes - both misses and direct hits. I've sheltered in place for all of them - even Harvey. No freaking way would I intentionally drive towards a zone where there may be severe impact from a hurricane.

I'm pretty sure the distance for Greenville is similar to Austin from the Texas gulf coast, and they still dealt with some pretty gnarly messes in the aftermath of Harvey. https://www.npr.org/2017/08/28/546668862/texas-capital-austin-is-spared-the-brunt-of-harvey-but-it-still-feels-effects

Even if you are in a safe area, if the hurricane remains on course and crosses in the general area, it likely will become difficult to travel due to flooding, electrical outages, downed trees/debris/washouts. And you'll be fighting all the evacuees that are coming INLAND as well, and it will be hard to find food, water and gas and even accommodations. Lots of people died because they drove into flooded roads thinking their cars could make it...

You really have no idea how awful and scary it is if you've never been through it, and subjecting yourself to it on a "maybe it won't be that bad" kind of thing with no experience... no. Hell no.

ETA: I'd wait and see and not leave until Friday morning if signs turn favorable, but I would not travel down unless the storm does a really sharp turn and it's just a rainy weekend forecast.

Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: patchyfacialhair on September 11, 2018, 02:27:42 PM
I would not go.

My wife had a very healthy pregnancy, and decided to say "yes" to a short business trip a 1.5 hour flight away from where we live. Doctor had no concerns, and even I admittedly didn't think too much about it.

Murphy's law, stuff happened, she ended up in the ER, without me there (she ended up fine, baby was born perfectly healthy a few months later). Luckily, I was on a business trip myself, with easy access to the airport which was only an hour flight away from her, and I was able to catch the last flight of the day, saving myself a 5 hr drive.

This was in springtime with zero weather concerns. You're considering putting yourself and your pregnant wife in a position where you'd be competing against a catastrophic weather event? I don't see it being a win in any situation unless the storm just completely stalls and dissipates before making landfall by tonight (won't happen).
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: mm1970 on September 11, 2018, 02:36:48 PM
I feel really bad for your friends. Sucks to have this barreling down on your wedding day. :(
Hurricane Bertha went through on the morning of my wedding day.  It was much weakened in my area, so no damage.

It hit the Caribbean the week before the wedding.  All I could think was "wow, the people who honeymooned here last week had a solid week of rain!"


ETA, a good friend of mine was in Cancun when Wilma hit. She was stuck for a week.  No electricity, no food, being shuttled through deep water from shelter to shelter until the condo opened up again. Her "ration" was a can of tuna and a tube of crackers each day.  If it weren't for the locals delivering food she would have gone really hungry.  Her airline refused to honor her ticket (they stopped flying into the airport entirely), and our company bought her a ticket on a different airline to get out... a week later.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: asiljoy on September 11, 2018, 02:45:54 PM
I feel really bad for your friends. Sucks to have this barreling down on your wedding day. :(

Agree.  We had the possibility of some slight rain during the reception and were freaking out.  I feel really, really bad for them, and I'm wondering if their vendor clauses have "act of God" clauses that would allow them to reschedule.

I talked to some of my friends today, most of whom are goofballs like me who generally don't get worried about this kind of stuff, and they are worried.  They're changing their travel arrangements but still plan on going.

This is all really unfortunate.  I really want to go but this seems like it's getting worse, not better.

Have the bride/groom communicated anything? We got married Oct 10, but that day ended up having a blizzard that year because MN :/.  We didn't make a formal announcement or anything but let friends/family know who asked that we were perfectly OK if they felt safer staying home. And this was a run of the mill blizzard that everyone is used to around here, not a 100 year hurricane.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 11, 2018, 05:03:01 PM
Reserve plan is to now go to Chattanooga and then Greenville, which is out of the way of most of the storm.

Still dumb?
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: goldensam on September 11, 2018, 05:35:26 PM
I live in the gulf coast, I have been through many hurricanes - both misses and direct hits. I've sheltered in place for all of them - even Harvey. No freaking way would I intentionally drive towards a zone where there may be severe impact from a hurricane.

I'm pretty sure the distance for Greenville is similar to Austin from the Texas gulf coast, and they still dealt with some pretty gnarly messes in the aftermath of Harvey. https://www.npr.org/2017/08/28/546668862/texas-capital-austin-is-spared-the-brunt-of-harvey-but-it-still-feels-effects

Even if you are in a safe area, if the hurricane remains on course and crosses in the general area, it likely will become difficult to travel due to flooding, electrical outages, downed trees/debris/washouts. And you'll be fighting all the evacuees that are coming INLAND as well, and it will be hard to find food, water and gas and even accommodations. Lots of people died because they drove into flooded roads thinking their cars could make it...

You really have no idea how awful and scary it is if you've never been through it, and subjecting yourself to it on a "maybe it won't be that bad" kind of thing with no experience... no. Hell no.

ETA: I'd wait and see and not leave until Friday morning if signs turn favorable, but I would not travel down unless the storm does a really sharp turn and it's just a rainy weekend forecast.

+1

I live in Houston and we hunkered down for Harvey, but many of my friends and neighbors moved inland. We knew Harvey was going to be bad, but we had no idea how bad it was going to get. I have friends who are still not back in their homes and it's been over a year. No way would I recommend for anyone to drive toward a hurricane, much less a monster like this one is expected to be.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 11, 2018, 05:39:18 PM
Reserve plan is to now go to Chattanooga and then Greenville, which is out of the way of most of the storm.

Still dumb?

I'd stay out of NC and SC right now.

The state in general will be a bit of a mess because of people trying to evacuate to safer areas. (People on the coast are going to want to get to friends/family on the other side of the state.) Don't be a drain on resources.

Hopefully the risk is overblown, but this storm looks like it will be a very big deal.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Sailor Sam on September 11, 2018, 05:47:48 PM
Subject matter expert on rescuing people in exigent circumstances, here. Yes, it's dumb to travel towards Florence.

It's a huge, unpredictable, and life threatening storm. I'm in Charleston, pre-staged for emergency response. I'm in twice daily conference with the weather wonks. There's currently no other weather forces steering Florence, and the National Weather Service doesn't really know where the storm track will go. The hurricane hunters have stopped flying Florence, because it's such a wildcard.

If you decide to go, despite it being truly dumb, you need a very robust risk management system in place. Bail out points and routes identified, with pre-agreed parameters that trigger turning around without further debate or argument. Take all emotions out of the decisions, from the moment you buckle your seatbelt.

Also, be aware that mandatory evacuation means government services are withdrawn. If you get into trouble, 911 will be very sad for you, but there is a real potential they won't have any resources available to help you.

edit: spelling
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: MrMoneySaver on September 11, 2018, 05:49:44 PM
Quote
Besides the issues of no gas, no supplies, and potential power grid being hit, you may not be aware that during a mandatory evac, they sometimes will close roads/reverse highway lanes so all main arteries are one-way OUT routes. That helps cut down on the people stuck in traffic/running out of gas when people wait for the last minute to all evacuate at once.

Exactly. Stay away.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: bryan995 on September 11, 2018, 06:12:38 PM
Hard cancel. Go visit after the storm.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: OtherJen on September 11, 2018, 06:35:23 PM
One of the maps on this page (https://weather.com/safety/hurricane/news/2018-09-11-hurricane-florence-forecast-north-carolina-south-carolina-virginia) is forecasting that Greenville will be hit by Sunday. It won’t be hurricane force by that point, but Harvey and Irma should have given you an indication of the type of flooding that can happen inland with these storms. I promise that no one will think less of you and your pregnant wife if you decide not to risk it. Visit later, once you know that the roads are passable and infrastructure has recovered.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Hvillian on September 11, 2018, 07:41:20 PM
Reserve plan is to now go to Chattanooga and then Greenville, which is out of the way of most of the storm.

Still dumb?

Good plan.  The current forecast for Greenville has minimal rain/wind until Sunday, and even Sunday is not currently expected to be anything extraordinary.  Head to Chattanooga and keep an eye on it - prepared to stay in Chattanooga or head home if Florence decides to make a turn towards Greenville.    This is the least I would do for the wedding of one of my best friends, and I am not particularly sentimental.  Make a good faith, but reasonably safe effort to be there in case conditions are perfectly fine in Greenville this weekend.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: BicycleB on September 11, 2018, 08:18:09 PM
You could message the bride and groom your Greenville plan, see how they feel. They might just let you off the hook.

Do they have a clear communication link decided, in which they update guests on developments? For example, maybe they're thinking of rescheduling. if they conclude they need to reschedule, do they have an easy way to tell everyone?  If not, would they find it helpful for you to set one up, and would you have time to do that instead of traveling into harm's way?

Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Another Reader on September 11, 2018, 09:18:17 PM
https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/212435.shtml?gm_track#contents

Current track is directly to your destination, but as a tropical depression.  Winds arriving Friday at 5 PM.

Have you been in communication with the bride and groom?  Any hint from them about canceling or moving the date/time to accommodate Florence?
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: meerkat on September 12, 2018, 06:31:58 AM
Reserve plan is to now go to Chattanooga and then Greenville, which is out of the way of most of the storm.

Still dumb?

Yes. It's nice that you want to see your friends and support them when they're getting married but realistically:
- you will be taking up room on the highways when other people need to be evacuating or obtaining critical supplies,
- you will be using gas when gas stations will be overtaxed by people trying to get their loved ones to safety and provide fuel for their generators. By the way, generators don't make the whole house have power, it's usually for running the fridge, essential medial equipment, and the like while we deal with sweating out the humidity in 90+ temperatures in the days after a hurricane because it can take a week or more to get electricity restored.
- you will be taking up a hotel room that would otherwise be used by people who are fleeing the hurricane and are unsure if they will have a home to safely return to.

Your trip is optional. Visit your friends another time.

A friend of mine was supposed to get married at this time last year in Orlando. Orlando is in the middle of Florida, hours from either coast. They cancelled the wedding which freed up hotel rooms. Even with those rooms available at the last minute, there were still no available hotel rooms anywhere within several hours of Orlando (aka most of the entire state of Florida). The wedding was rescheduled for December and everything went smoothly.

Please, please be considerate of others. Do not go.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: SillyPutty on September 12, 2018, 08:20:22 AM
Driving straight to Greenville is eleven hours. Again, my wife is about 14 weeks pregnant, so we were trying to break up the drive.

Speaking of that, anyone have any thoughts on the pregnancy angle of all this? I know every expecting mom has a different experience, but it’s giving me a lot of pause.

I think you're fine as far as the pregnancy. I mean, I'm only 25 weeks into my first pregnancy, so maybe not the best source. But as long as your wife's not freaked out (and sounds like she's not, because she wants to go), then I think mom and baby will be fine. She's still pretty early (so, not huge yet, I'm guessing), so the long drive shouldn't affect her much.

That said, still would keep track of the hurricane and make sure you're not driving into danger.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: MayDay on September 12, 2018, 08:24:12 AM
I think it's a major asshole move to drive into an evacuation area for fun. You are clogging highways, using gas, and taking up a hotel room. Don't do it.

If it is about visiting your in laws, go literally any other weekend.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 12, 2018, 10:10:32 AM
Just so I'm perfectly clear, we all get how far inland Greenville, SC is?  I mean, we've obviously scrapped the Statesville portion of our trip, but the forecast for Greenville is 86 and sunny on Saturday. It's 250 miles from the coast (for reference, the Florida peninsula is about 150 miles wide). Local news isn't concerned about it hardly at all.

(https://www.worldatlas.com/img/us-county/567-greenville-county-south-carolina.jpg)

I appreciate the concern, and I'm obviously concerned given that I've posted, but I'm not going to be anywhere near evacuation zones.  I was coming at this more from the "my wife is pregnant, what would you do" angle, and further seeing if anyone this far inland has ever had any terrible experiences.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Another Reader on September 12, 2018, 10:20:21 AM
I think you should look at what the meteorologists say:

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/152637.shtml?mltoa34#contents

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/152637.shtml?cone#contents

It isn't just about Greenville.  It's about the right half of the state evacuating to the left half.  Not one of the roads there will be pleasant to drive and places to stay will be non-existent.

Again, what do the bride and groom say?  Are they going forward in tropical force winds?
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: LifeHappens on September 12, 2018, 10:22:54 AM
Look, it sounds like you've made up your mind to go, but I'm going to make one last attempt to convince you otherwise.

This isn't about the weather in Greenville. It's about you and the wedding party taking up resources that evacuees will need. By going into that area at all, you are going to be using gas, food and lodging that will be needed by the 1.5 million people currently under mandatory evacuation orders. During the Irma evacuation last year, there were no hotels available for several days in Georgia and Alabama due to the number of people evacuating. There was almost no gasoline in Florida for several days after the storm passed.

Also, Greenville is predicted to get 4-6 inches of rain due to the storm. That may not seem like a lot, but in a water saturated area that is already prone to flooding, it could be hazardous.
(https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT06/refresh/AL0618WPCQPF+gif/152637WPCQPF_sm.gif)
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Khaetra on September 12, 2018, 10:25:16 AM
I would cancel.  You and your wife being there on the roads are two more people emergency folks would need to worry about when they will already have their hands full with the people who live there.  Don't add to the traffic and don't take resources that the locals will need to start recovery.  Also, depending on how bad it turns out to be, they may not let you anywhere near where you're supposed to go.  Roads may be closed, businesses may be closed, etc.  Stay home!!
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: MrMoneySaver on September 12, 2018, 10:28:08 AM
(https://accuweather.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/c568c68/2147483647/resize/590x/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Faccuweather-bsp.s3.amazonaws.com%2F70%2F16%2Fa35f877348b7b44b2325df2666df%2Fstatic-florence-flood-risk-10-am.jpg)

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/hurricane-florence-threatens-to-unleash-catastrophic-inland-flooding-in-carolinas-virginias/70006016
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Free Spirit on September 12, 2018, 10:30:51 AM
I highly encourage you to cancel this trip. Here is a fantastic blog if you want lots more detailed information.

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Florence-Expected-Stall-Near-Coast-Bringing-Extreme-Rain-Surge-and-Wind-Damage
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: rockstache on September 12, 2018, 10:53:06 AM
My relatives are evacuating to Greenville. Please do not go and take up space.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Schaefer Light on September 12, 2018, 10:55:02 AM
If I was driving to this area, my biggest concern would be the ability to find gas.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: saguaro on September 12, 2018, 11:00:46 AM
My cousins in Florida had to evacuate Irma last year.   This was their experience: they left early and got a hotel for several days way out of the evacuation zone plus they got there with no issues, but in the days following hotels in the area booked up, lines at gas stations, gas stations running out of gas, and bumper to bumper traffic where they were staying (northern GA).   So even if the weather is okay where the OP will be at, and it seems to be a safe distance, there's still the issue of evacuees on the roads, in hotels, needing food, water and gas coming into the area. 

Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Sailor Sam on September 12, 2018, 11:09:48 AM
Just so I'm perfectly clear, we all get how far inland Greenville, SC is? 

This is what contraflow looks like: 

(https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-c1a3235934d2df975a335a9de81064f2)




That's from hurricane Irma, which was projected to be a large, category 4 storm when it made landfall. Florence is a above-average large storm, which is projected to hit land as a strong cat 3 or low cat 4 at landfall. Look at all those people on the road. The 1 million people who have been ordered to evacuate ahead of Florence aren't stopping 20 miles from their origin. They are headed hundreds of miles inland. They need resources - fuel, food, shelter, water. During the Irma evacuation, fuel tank trucks were escorted by police cars. That's how tenuous the supply chain is.

I'm certain you're not the kind of person who would snatch the last bottle of water issued in an emergency situation. You, being kind and rational, would hand that bottle right over. A hurricane evacuation is so large it looses the personal feel, but rest assured that staying home is exactly the same as handing that bottle of water over. You won't get to witness some family gratefully collapsing into the hotel room bed you would have rented, but the moment will still happen. You can be a hero, just by staying put.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: OtherJen on September 12, 2018, 11:14:26 AM
Just so I'm perfectly clear, we all get how far inland Greenville, SC is?  I mean, we've obviously scrapped the Statesville portion of our trip, but the forecast for Greenville is 86 and sunny on Saturday. It's 250 miles from the coast (for reference, the Florida peninsula is about 150 miles wide). Local news isn't concerned about it hardly at all.

(https://www.worldatlas.com/img/us-county/567-greenville-county-south-carolina.jpg)

I appreciate the concern, and I'm obviously concerned given that I've posted, but I'm not going to be anywhere near evacuation zones.  I was coming at this more from the "my wife is pregnant, what would you do" angle, and further seeing if anyone this far inland has ever had any terrible experiences.

It seems like you've made up your mind, so I'm not sure of the point of this thread. Almost 90% of us have told you to cancel, and people who actually live in the targeted region have given you very good reasons.

I'm assuming the wedding is on Saturday morning and you'll be on your way back out by late afternoon Saturday? Because the Saturday night forecast for Greenville currently states "tropical storm conditions possible". Good luck, and I sincerely hope that you don't get flooded in place.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on September 12, 2018, 11:22:43 AM
Why do people ask for advice, receive input from experts both via personal experience and professional credentials, and then ignore it all anyway? Psychology is alarming and fascinating.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 12, 2018, 11:22:56 AM
Just so I'm perfectly clear, we all get how far inland Greenville, SC is?  I mean, we've obviously scrapped the Statesville portion of our trip, but the forecast for Greenville is 86 and sunny on Saturday. It's 250 miles from the coast (for reference, the Florida peninsula is about 150 miles wide). Local news isn't concerned about it hardly at all.

(https://www.worldatlas.com/img/us-county/567-greenville-county-south-carolina.jpg)

I appreciate the concern, and I'm obviously concerned given that I've posted, but I'm not going to be anywhere near evacuation zones.  I was coming at this more from the "my wife is pregnant, what would you do" angle, and further seeing if anyone this far inland has ever had any terrible experiences.

So this question is just "would you go anywhere with your pregnant wife?" 
Because the angle here doesn't seem to have anything to do with her being pregnant, it has to do with the hurricane.

If that's the question, and you want to ignore everything everyone is telling you- sure 14 weeks is an excellent time to go on vacation for many pregnant women.  Avoid areas with Zika outbreaks or potential natural disasters.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: charis on September 12, 2018, 11:28:10 AM
Several people have asked what has been communicated by the couple getting married - what are they (or their families) saying about the situation?  This sounds like something they can't ignore. 

I wouldn't be concerned about a healthy 14-week pregnant woman needing medical attention anymore than any non-pregnant person of similar age and health.  But everyone needs water and a medical emergency can happen to anyone at any time (more or less) and I wouldn't want to be stuck in that traffic or out of gas on the side of the road when it does.  Would you be fine with the risks mentioned here if she wasn't pregnant? 
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on September 12, 2018, 11:31:47 AM
Several people have asked what has been communicated by the couple getting married - what are they (or their families) saying about the situation?  This sounds like something they can't ignore. 

I wouldn't be concerned about a healthy 14-week pregnant woman needing medical attention anymore than any non-pregnant person of similar age and health.  But everyone needs water and a medical emergency can happen to anyone at any time (more or less) and I wouldn't want to be stuck in that traffic or out of gas on the side of the road when it does.  Would you be fine with the risks mentioned here if she wasn't pregnant?

Mouthy nurse here. To be fair, what can happen is rain -> flooding -> potable water contamination and increase in tropical diseases via mosquitos -> much more of a problem when you're pregnant than not. Giardia isn't a problem if you're treated promptly if you're not pregnant, generally. But acute dehydration is much riskier for a fetus.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: RWD on September 12, 2018, 11:36:02 AM
Just so I'm perfectly clear, we all get how far inland Greenville, SC is?

And yet the Saluda river, which has a dam right next to Greenville, is expected to have ten times the usual streamflow.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: dougules on September 12, 2018, 11:43:09 AM
I'll preface this by saying that I agree that you're possibly displacing evacuees and risking getting caught in flooding.

If you are dead set on going, why Chattanooga?  There's not really any good way from Chattanooga to Greenville.  Two of those routes involve windy roads through narrow gorges that are already painful without flooding and landslides.   The other option is driving out of the way through Atlanta traffic. 
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Khaetra on September 12, 2018, 11:53:36 AM
Just so I'm perfectly clear, we all get how far inland Greenville, SC is?  I mean, we've obviously scrapped the Statesville portion of our trip, but the forecast for Greenville is 86 and sunny on Saturday. It's 250 miles from the coast (for reference, the Florida peninsula is about 150 miles wide). Local news isn't concerned about it hardly at all.

(https://www.worldatlas.com/img/us-county/567-greenville-county-south-carolina.jpg)

I appreciate the concern, and I'm obviously concerned given that I've posted, but I'm not going to be anywhere near evacuation zones.  I was coming at this more from the "my wife is pregnant, what would you do" angle, and further seeing if anyone this far inland has ever had any terrible experiences.

And the storm is huge.  Yes, inland will be getting it pretty hard and the forecast now is for it to go north, so no, you will not be safe.  Trees come down, power goes out, flooding is almost certain, especially if it moves as slow as it's forecast to.  Dude just stay home.  Send a nice gift and consider making a donation to a local food bank in NC/SC.  They will need it after all is said and done.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 12, 2018, 11:56:17 AM
Hey @ReadySetMillionaire - your signature reads "No more zero days. Promise yourself that you will do one thing every day that takes you one step closer to your goal."

This trip points you in the opposite direction of the message in your signature. The extraction costs will be tremendous when things go wrong. The survival costs will be tremendous if things go as expected by the posts here. The cost of success will be incredible if your vacation goes as planned. I see no way for this trip to bring you closer to your goals unless your goals are to lose incredible amounts of cash, your credibility and leadership in your family, and possibly your family itself if things turn tragic.

Your call.

ETA: See here for just how many hurricanes have blown through there - I get a total of 25 tropical storms with one bonafide hurricane in the county you are visiting. Yes. That far inland. https://coast.noaa.gov/hurricanes/
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Noodle on September 12, 2018, 12:00:31 PM
At the time the question was asked, it was pretty reasonable--at the time it wasn't clear exactly where Florence was going to make landfall and where it was going to go, and if it had ended up farther north and made the usual right turn up the east coast, Greenville could have been just fine.

At this point, with the western track over SC looking much more confirmed, I'd skip it. High wind and a lot of rain will likely do a lot of damage upstate, and locals are going to need the hotel space. That's assuming the couple doesn't go ahead and cancel anyhow...
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: CalBal on September 12, 2018, 12:07:40 PM
You say yourself you are a hurricane noob, please take seriously the warnings of all the people on this thread who have lived through significant hurricanes. It still sort of sounds like you are planning (hoping?) on going.

Everything everyone is saying is accurate:

I've lived through several major hurricanes in southern New England (Bob and Gloria, one of which spawned tornadoes the next town over from us, 100 miles from the coast). I was evacuated from the eastern shore of Maryland during Hurricane Bonnie - although that one ultimately made landfall in North Carolina, for a while, we were in the landfall bulls-eye. Once it made landfall it stalled and moved up the coast extremely slowly. So much rain fell.

Hurricanes are no joke. Hurricane forecasting is a difficult thing, and no, they can't predict very accurately where it will make landfall, or when, or what the condition of the storm will be at that point. However, it is extremely important that people heed evacuation warnings when they are called. There is real risk, and authorities do not take such significant action lightly unless they thought the danger was real. Yes, sometimes conditions change and in retrospect evacuations seems foolhardy. Hindsight is 20/20. Authorities take this into account and don't issue notices blithely. It's not a game. However, when people ignore evacuations (or simply can't get out, or wait too long) that's when tragedies like Katrina happen. Heading into an area "as far away as" 250 miles from the coast is foolhardy.

Just the opinion of a random internet stranger.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: mm1970 on September 12, 2018, 12:23:34 PM
My sister is one of the people being evacuated, and my aunt too.  I wouldn't go anywhere near there, seriously.

Look, we don't get hurricanes where I live, but we do get fires and mudslides.  Many people did not evacuate when we had a massive rain storm last year, and a number of people died in the resulting mudslides.  There are still the bodies of two CHILDREN missing.

Don't mess with flooding.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 12, 2018, 12:32:15 PM
Several people have asked what has been communicated by the couple getting married - what are they (or their families) saying about the situation?  This sounds like something they can't ignore. 

I wouldn't be concerned about a healthy 14-week pregnant woman needing medical attention anymore than any non-pregnant person of similar age and health.  But everyone needs water and a medical emergency can happen to anyone at any time (more or less) and I wouldn't want to be stuck in that traffic or out of gas on the side of the road when it does.  Would you be fine with the risks mentioned here if she wasn't pregnant?

The locals are not at all concerned about the hurricane.  The couple has not even bothered to announce anything on their wedding website.

If we go, we will make sure we have a full tank of gas, our own water, etc.  We are staying at an AirBNB of friends who are already going and 100% are not cancelling anyway.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Sailor Sam on September 12, 2018, 12:36:59 PM
And that, friends, is why the United States Coast Guard will never go out of business. Semper fucking Paratus.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 12, 2018, 12:47:52 PM
Several people have asked what has been communicated by the couple getting married - what are they (or their families) saying about the situation?  This sounds like something they can't ignore. 

I wouldn't be concerned about a healthy 14-week pregnant woman needing medical attention anymore than any non-pregnant person of similar age and health.  But everyone needs water and a medical emergency can happen to anyone at any time (more or less) and I wouldn't want to be stuck in that traffic or out of gas on the side of the road when it does.  Would you be fine with the risks mentioned here if she wasn't pregnant?

The locals are not at all concerned about the hurricane.  The couple has not even bothered to announce anything on their wedding website.

If we go, we will make sure we have a full tank of gas, our own water, etc.  We are staying at an AirBNB of friends who are already going and 100% are not cancelling anyway.

I'd bring a gas can with gas for your return trip too.

It's very likely you will be totally fine. But my thought is that if you are not fine, it's going to be in a shit-hit-the-fan kind of way, and not a mild inconvenience kind of way.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: 405programmer on September 12, 2018, 12:54:22 PM
I'll buck the norm and say you're probably going to fine. Just be sure to keep an eye on the weather and adapt accordingly. If you have family living in Greenville I'd send them some money for them to get some extra gas to keep at home. That way if a gas shortage happens you can fill up easily from 5 Gallon jugs.

NOTE: I've never lived through a hurricane but I do have coworkers in Greenville SC and they're just getting some extra gas and ice in case the power goes out. Not really a need to batten down the hatches since it's so far from the coast.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Khaetra on September 12, 2018, 12:55:39 PM
https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/2018/09/11/hurricane-preparation-greenville-south-carolina/797087002/
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Hvillian on September 12, 2018, 01:00:57 PM
I stand by my original assertion that you will probably be fine.  Keep an eye on the predicted storm path and be prepared to change your plans accordingly.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 12, 2018, 01:30:14 PM
Enjoy the wedding. I mean, what's the worst that could happen, right?

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/11/15-million-flee-hurricane-florence-worries-grow-over-half-dozen-nuclear-power-plants
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Another Reader on September 12, 2018, 01:37:45 PM
Maybe this will be a good life lesson for the OP.  He can learn to listen to other people offering sensible advice when the trip goes terribly wrong.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: frugaliknowit on September 12, 2018, 01:45:01 PM
Too much has to go right and TOO MUCH can go wrong.  I wouldn't.  Maybe try to catch up with them later, either between the wedding and the honeymoon or visit them when they get back.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: former player on September 12, 2018, 02:06:57 PM
Several people have asked what has been communicated by the couple getting married - what are they (or their families) saying about the situation?  This sounds like something they can't ignore. 

I wouldn't be concerned about a healthy 14-week pregnant woman needing medical attention anymore than any non-pregnant person of similar age and health.  But everyone needs water and a medical emergency can happen to anyone at any time (more or less) and I wouldn't want to be stuck in that traffic or out of gas on the side of the road when it does.  Would you be fine with the risks mentioned here if she wasn't pregnant?

The locals are not at all concerned about the hurricane.  The couple has not even bothered to announce anything on their wedding website.

If we go, we will make sure we have a full tank of gas, our own water, etc.  We are staying at an AirBNB of friends who are already going and 100% are not cancelling anyway.


Have you checked whether the Airbnb you are staying at is at risk of flooding?  Have you checked whether your routes in and out are at risk of flooding?  (I bet there are pinch points which are.  Because there always are, given the geography of building roads.)  Have you checked whether the wedding venue is at risk of flooding, whether the bride and groom's homes are at risk of flooding and whether the parties to the wedding will be able to get to the venue?

Are you bringing enough tinned food and bottled water and bug spray to be self-sufficient for a week?  Are you bringing dead tree reading matter for when the internet is down and your batteries are drained?  Have you told work that you may be out for two weeks if you get stuck in South Carolina?

Even if all the above checks out, don't make any final decision to go until an hour before you leave, and make sure you have the latest news and weather.  There's a decent chance that the inevitable pictures of disaster, death and misery will change you mind.  If they don't, I suspect I'll spare my prayers for Sailor Sam rather than you.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Frankies Girl on September 12, 2018, 02:19:33 PM
Several people have asked what has been communicated by the couple getting married - what are they (or their families) saying about the situation?  This sounds like something they can't ignore. 

I wouldn't be concerned about a healthy 14-week pregnant woman needing medical attention anymore than any non-pregnant person of similar age and health.  But everyone needs water and a medical emergency can happen to anyone at any time (more or less) and I wouldn't want to be stuck in that traffic or out of gas on the side of the road when it does.  Would you be fine with the risks mentioned here if she wasn't pregnant?

The locals are not at all concerned about the hurricane.  The couple has not even bothered to announce anything on their wedding website.

If we go, we will make sure we have a full tank of gas, our own water, etc.  We are staying at an AirBNB of friends who are already going and 100% are not cancelling anyway.

The locals are not concerned because most of them likely have never seen a hurricane like this. According to CNN, the last time anything close to this size/strength was 29 years ago - Hugo. And the area is more densely populated, likely built up (which makes flooding worse when they cover the areas with concrete and dump way more people into the area).

This is a monster, the entire Carolinas is already saturated, and they are forecasting the hurricane to hit, and then stall, pounding most of the state (you do realize that the bands will reach out easily to Greenville?) with insane amounts of wind and rain for well over 24 hours. This is not going to hit Friday and then end up with a tiny little drizzle contained to the extreme coastal areas the next day.

Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: deborah on September 12, 2018, 04:02:28 PM
As someone who has experienced several hurricanes, the probability is that nothing will happen because you will be far from the epicentre.

However, nobody ever knows just where the epicentre will be. Look at what happened to Darwin when Tracey changed course.

There are also all the evacuees - who are all trying to get away from a moving object.

I am absolutely certain I wouldn’t be going, and adding to the mess.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: startingsmall on September 12, 2018, 09:10:08 PM
I work in a suburb of Charlotte. Today, there were gas stations out of gas and the gas stations that still had gas had LONG lines.

Duke Energy told the NY Times that their models predict that up to 75% of their NC/SC customers could lose electricity during this storm and that restoring electricity could take weeks. I serve on my county Board of Health and we learned last night that our county is being asked to take in 35,000 displaced individuals from the coast... which is laughable, as we barely have shelter space for our own residents who live in unsafe old trailers or near creeks that will flood.

I grew up in Florida and I'm no hurricane newbie... but our cars are fully fueled up, we got 2 new tanks of propane for cooking on the grill, our pantry is well stocked, our freezer is being gradually filled with ziploc bags of water, we're filling all of our reusable water bottles and putting them in the fridge, and we'll fill the bathtub and a few rubbermaid bins with water "just in case." I'm not panicked, but I think it's important to be prepared. In your case, preparation means staying away so that more resources are available for those who have to be here.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: letired on September 12, 2018, 10:15:32 PM
Central Texas is ~200mi inland from the coast. When Harvey hit, there was flooding and significant power outages that far inland.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Candace on September 13, 2018, 03:18:17 AM
Seriously, don't go. It's just irresponsible. Power will be out or go out over a large area. Even without the "refugee" issue, that should be enough to keep folks from traveling TO the area and adding to the problem. Unless you're rescuing a sick or elderly person, it's just ridiculous to go towards a hurricane. Coming in for a wedding is just the height of cluelessness.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Samsam on September 13, 2018, 07:59:08 AM
Looks like it's going right at SC now.

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at1.shtml?cone#contents
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: FLBiker on September 13, 2018, 09:22:04 AM
Interesting thread.  I live in Tampa, and we thought about leaving during Irma but stayed.  It turned out fine (other than no power for a week) but it made me take hurricanes more seriously.  Personally, if I lived in Greenville, I certainly wouldn't evacuate, but I don't think I'd go there.  Full disclosure: I don't like weddings or relationships that carry a sense of obligation, so saying no comes easily to me. :)

I wish you the best, and I agree with the folks who suggest that (so far inland) things will probably be fine, but you could absolutely still run into some flooding, shortages, traffic, etc.  During Irma, I had coworkers who couldn't make it back for days from Tennessee / Georgia because they couldn't find gas.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: historienne on September 13, 2018, 01:23:26 PM
Current forecast has the eye going right through Greenville, sometime Sunday morning.  If you go, I would start the drive home after the wedding on Saturday, and drive for at least 3-4 hours west.  You'll want a prebooked hotel room for the Saturday overnight, and enough gas to make it there.

I would also keep an eye on the radar and be ready to pull out early and start driving west if it looks like the forecast is changing and the storm might get there sooner.  Despite what the weather forecast says, the flash flood warning still starts on Saturday morning, so the experts seem to think it's possible. In fact, NOAA has the area with about a 40% chance of getting tropical storm-level windspeeds, and the earliest reasonable arrival time for those is on Friday.  Greenville might be totally fine, but that's not at all certain, and it's possible that the bad stuff will come before the wedding. 

Finally, be prepared to be stuck in traffic on the drive west, whenever you start.  You won't be the only people trying to get out of town.  It might suck, kind of a lot.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: honeybbq on September 13, 2018, 01:33:23 PM
Let him go and be miserable-- stuck on the side of the road for hours or trapped in a sticky hot hotel room with no electricity or AC. Ran out of gas because there is no gas, and no restaurants will be open, and no grocery stores will be open. Hope you like being hungry.


Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 13, 2018, 01:41:52 PM
Let him go and be miserable-- stuck on the side of the road for hours or trapped in a sticky hot hotel room with no electricity or AC. Ran out of gas because there is no gas, and no restaurants will be open, and no grocery stores will be open. Hope you like being hungry.

It's perfectly fine if you disagree with my ultimate decision, but this seems a bit over the top.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 13, 2018, 01:47:21 PM
Let him go and be miserable-- stuck on the side of the road for hours or trapped in a sticky hot hotel room with no electricity or AC. Ran out of gas because there is no gas, and no restaurants will be open, and no grocery stores will be open. Hope you like being hungry.

It's perfectly fine if you disagree with my ultimate decision, but this seems a bit over the top.

Let us know next week.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 13, 2018, 01:49:35 PM
Let him go and be miserable-- stuck on the side of the road for hours or trapped in a sticky hot hotel room with no electricity or AC. Ran out of gas because there is no gas, and no restaurants will be open, and no grocery stores will be open. Hope you like being hungry.
Waffle House will -probably- open.  If it's not, things are like the worst kind of bad.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: patchyfacialhair on September 13, 2018, 01:53:44 PM
Let him go and be miserable-- stuck on the side of the road for hours or trapped in a sticky hot hotel room with no electricity or AC. Ran out of gas because there is no gas, and no restaurants will be open, and no grocery stores will be open. Hope you like being hungry.

It's perfectly fine if you disagree with my ultimate decision, but this seems a bit over the top.

Nah, that's a reality in areas that get hit with catastrophes.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Secret Stache on September 13, 2018, 01:54:41 PM
Let him go and be miserable-- stuck on the side of the road for hours or trapped in a sticky hot hotel room with no electricity or AC. Ran out of gas because there is no gas, and no restaurants will be open, and no grocery stores will be open. Hope you like being hungry.

It's perfectly fine if you disagree with my ultimate decision, but this seems a bit over the top.

Nah, that's a reality in areas that get hit with catastrophes.

agreed

 I've been stuck in evacuation traffic for 20+ hours on a drive that normally takes 4 (Houston to Dallas).  Many ran out of gas on the road and we pushed them out of the way, helped when we could, and kept moving.  Was in Louisiana after a storm once and none of the hotels had electricity and they were housing first responders and crews from the power company that came from all over the country to help. No electricity meant no ice either for these guys working on the recovery effort in a mosquito ridden 100 degree swamp.

Not hoping for any of that for you but it is very possible.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 13, 2018, 02:00:27 PM
Before this thread turned into a hive-mind about calling me a dumbass (which this forum does on so many occasions), the general advice that grounded my fears was to keep very close track of things and make up my mind at the end of the week.  So that's what we've done.

The storm slowed down.  The precipitation was originally expected Friday.  Now it's moved back to Sunday.  It is predicted it may slow down even more.

Forecast is 82 and sunny Saturday.  Winds ranging from 14-24 mph.  No precipitation expected.

Rain is expected to begin around 7AM Sunday.  Winds ranging from 10-22mph.  They are expecting about 4-6 inches over a five day period.  We just had three inches of rain here in Ohio this past weekend...I'm not too worried about 4-6 cumulative inches over a five day span down there when I'm only going to be there for a brief period on Sunday.

The only people in this thread from Greenville have said they expect me to be fine.  A few others have indicated this is where their relatives are going for safety.  The bride and groom are not concerned about any of it, and neither are any of their friends (from what they tell me).

We will be out of there early Sunday morning.  We are bringing a case of our own bottle of water and a ton of food.  My car has an 18 gallon tank and I will fill up about three hours away, and I'm bringing 2.5 gallons just in case, meaning I should be able to get all the way well into West Virginia before needing gas again.

We will be taking Route 77 to Route 81 and Route 26, taking us further west and a bit out of the way; this is opposed to Route 77 all the way to Charlotte and then taking Route 85 west to Greenville.  On the way back, we will monitor traffic via apps.  If things are bad we will head west to Knoxville and then take Route 75 up north (taking us toward Cincinnati, where we have relatives).  If things are that bad that far west, with just a couple inches of rain, then we are all going to die soon anyway.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 13, 2018, 02:04:26 PM
...
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: CalBal on September 13, 2018, 02:17:28 PM
People aren't intentionally being jerks. (At least, most aren't.) I wish you luck RSM, I really, really do. I hope you don't need it.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: SweetTPi on September 13, 2018, 02:25:05 PM
If you have extra room in the car, you might consider bringing supplies to donate.  Things will be in short supply after the storm, and local agencies will be collecting.  Think gloves, plastic bags, and other non-food items.  You could call local animal shelters and see if there's a big need for donations, as people evacuating with animals will usually need to find a place to house them temporarily.  (Temporary evacuation shelters may not allow pets.)  They'll likely need food, litter, kennels, etc.

Calling local agencies and asking would be the best way to see what supplies they'll need.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Another Reader on September 13, 2018, 02:28:43 PM
In the OP's shoes, I would look at traffic cams on every highway he plans to use that has them.  See how congested the roads are and get a feel for how big of a problem he is taking on by driving.  Also, read the local on-line news from the local TV stations and the newspaper.  Maybe follow the local and state emergency management agencies and the state highway patrol on twitter and Facebook.     

When the OP gets back, he can either smugly gloat about how wrong we were or slink away, not wanting to admit it was a harrowing experience.  For the sake of the bride and groom, I hope they have a wonderful and uneventful wedding.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: CalBal on September 13, 2018, 02:34:48 PM
@SweetTPie and @Another Reader  these are both great suggestions.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 13, 2018, 02:39:57 PM
Presently 48 % of gas stations in Greenville have no fuel.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/09/13/hurricane-florence-gas-outages-shortages/1287840002/
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: erutio on September 13, 2018, 02:43:32 PM
The storm is calming down.  I think with where you're going, you'll be fine. 

Please come back to this thread next week to gloat.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Hvillian on September 13, 2018, 02:44:25 PM
As of 3:45 this afternoon Clemson is still planning to host a football game on Saturday (moved from 3:300 to noon), so you aren't the only one taking a cautiously optimistic approach to the situation.  That said, all of the other scheduled games in the region seem to have been canceled or moved.

I think you would be fine taking I-77 to I-85 on the way down to Greenville on Friday or Saturday, but I know you mentioned possibly staying in Chattanooga, too.  I haven't see any stations without gas in the north Charlotte area, although GAS Buddy is reporting a few around the metro area.

Good luck.  You plan seems like a reasonable approach to a tough situation.

Presently 48 % of gas stations in Greenville have no fuel.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/09/13/hurricane-florence-gas-outages-shortages/1287840002/
Wrong Greenville (to be fair, this confusion happens a lot.  Unfortunate when it involves flying to the wrong one). It is around 15% in Greenville, SC.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 13, 2018, 03:29:41 PM
As of 3:45 this afternoon Clemson is still planning to host a football game on Saturday (moved from 3:300 to noon), so you aren't the only one taking a cautiously optimistic approach to the situation.  That said, all of the other scheduled games in the region seem to have been canceled or moved.

I think you would be fine taking I-77 to I-85 on the way down to Greenville on Friday or Saturday, but I know you mentioned possibly staying in Chattanooga, too.  I haven't see any stations without gas in the north Charlotte area, although GAS Buddy is reporting a few around the metro area.

Good luck.  You plan seems like a reasonable approach to a tough situation.

Presently 48 % of gas stations in Greenville have no fuel.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/09/13/hurricane-florence-gas-outages-shortages/1287840002/
Wrong Greenville (to be fair, this confusion happens a lot.  Unfortunate when it involves flying to the wrong one). It is around 15% in Greenville, SC.

The goal in going further west on the way down is to make sure that when we stop for gas, we are not taking gas from locations that need the fuel.  By going westward on the way down, we will be 350-400 miles from the coast, and I've looked and all of these places have 100% fuel right now.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: momcpa on September 13, 2018, 06:29:32 PM
Wishing safe travels for you and your wife.   You haven't mentioned how she feels about going as this gets closer to your time of departure and current weather reports.  Please consider that your decision to go affects more than just you if you encounter problems along the way.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: AMandM on September 14, 2018, 05:41:31 AM
Good luck on your travels and best wishes to the happy couple.  Make sure you have cash, in case power outages make card payments impossible.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: erutio on September 14, 2018, 07:48:11 AM
Good luck with your travels.  Try to remind your wife to pump those legs and feet during the long car rides.  She's at higher risk of developing blood clots due to her pregnancy.  Make her walk around the car at every stop. 

Looks like you guys will be fine in terms of the storm.  Appears that the storm is stalling on the coast, and is downgraded to Cat1. Doesn't make it less dangerous though.   Winds are down but rainfall is up, causing massive flooding.  Sucks for those on the coast, they're getting and will continue to get pounded.  Should be fine for you guys and the wedding.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Case on September 14, 2018, 09:14:27 PM
Before reading the thread, to myself i said “i’ve read enough posts by this poster to know that no matter what anyone says, or how bad the hurricane is, he is going”.

After skimming the thread:  All this thread did was waste the time of many responders, and give us all an answer to the question everyone is asking nowadays:  “why are there people that stay behind during hurricane evacuations when all authorities are warning them?”

Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on September 15, 2018, 07:34:11 AM
Before reading the thread, to myself i said “i’ve read enough posts by this poster to know that no matter what anyone says, or how bad the hurricane is, he is going”.

After skimming the thread:  All this thread did was waste the time of many responders, and give us all an answer to the question everyone is asking nowadays:  “why are there people that stay behind during hurricane evacuations when all authorities are warning them?”

I always wondered the same, but recent reading on the forum made me come up short and 'check my privilege' as it were. Some people really feel like they have no options and wouldn't have a life to come back to. What if someone living paycheck to paycheck overestimated a storm and lost their job? An entirely different sort of disaster, especially if other people had stayed behind so they were the anomaly. For now, I'll contemplate my gratitude that I'm in a place where I will never have to put myself or my loved ones at risk for a choice like that. As for solving that problem, I have no idea, but I feel like perhaps we should have some sort of FMLA-style protections for disaster evacuation. IE, if experts have said to evacuate, you cannot be penalized for being unable to reach work again for a certain time. It seems odd this wouldn't be a given, but there you have it.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: peggster on September 15, 2018, 08:35:36 AM
Before reading the thread, to myself i said “i’ve read enough posts by this poster to know that no matter what anyone says, or how bad the hurricane is, he is going”.

After skimming the thread:  All this thread did was waste the time of many responders, and give us all an answer to the question everyone is asking nowadays:  “why are there people that stay behind during hurricane evacuations when all authorities are warning them?”

It's a great question, and I think there are several answers to it. I live in central NC, and while we don't get the brunt of these storms like those on the coast, we've had a few that marched right through the middle of the state (Fran in '96 and Floyd in '99 are two in recent memory) and left their mark. Some people don't leave because they worry about what will happen to their houses and fear being stranded, unable to get back and start the needed repairs. Others are convinced that it won't happen to them; in their view, the forecasters are simply wrong (hey, it's happened before), and it won't be as bad as everyone keeps saying. Some truly believe they'll be fine, that they've prepared and will make it through just fine. And if not, someone will come and rescue them. This latter group makes me the most frustrated, because they're making a decision to risk not only their own lives but those of the first responders who have to come and save them when it all goes to hell.

As BJ notes, there are those who simply can't leave, mostly for financial reasons. Evacuating is a big deal; packing up your most important possessions and leaving for an unknown period of time is scary. If they don't have family or friends to stay with, they may have to stay in a hotel for weeks on end, and that ain't cheap. For some (many?) in this group, not being able to work means not getting paid. The suggestion of FMLA-style protections is an interesting one, and in my opinion it's worth thinking about. My employer has had a "severe weather policy" in effect for the past few days, which basically means that non-essential staff are told not to come to work. But if we don't come in during regular business hours, we have to use vacation time, make up the hours within 90 days, or take unpaid time off. I'm lucky because I have plenty of vacation hours accrued (plus I was already on vacation this week). Others aren't so lucky, and have to either try to make up the time or know they won't be paid. And I suspect my employer's policy is one of the more generous ones out there, and that some people simply won't get paid this week or anytime soon.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Khaetra on September 15, 2018, 01:07:16 PM
Before reading the thread, to myself i said “i’ve read enough posts by this poster to know that no matter what anyone says, or how bad the hurricane is, he is going”.

After skimming the thread:  All this thread did was waste the time of many responders, and give us all an answer to the question everyone is asking nowadays:  “why are there people that stay behind during hurricane evacuations when all authorities are warning them?”

Like others said, they just can't afford to.  Leaving is expensive.  I had to do it (luckily it was only for a couple nights) and when you do not have the luxury of taking your time to pick out a cheap room (if you can even find a room) you can end up paying a steep price, something some folks cannot do.

Also, sadly in events like this there are those who take advantage of people fleeing and get right to looting, so while you may not have any damage you might not have everything as you left it.  I get that it's just 'stuff', but if you are living paycheck to paycheck your home and that 'stuff' might be all you have.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: kimmarg on September 15, 2018, 07:08:57 PM
. As for solving that problem, I have no idea, but I feel like perhaps we should have some sort of FMLA-style protections for disaster evacuation. IE, if experts have said to evacuate, you cannot be penalized for being unable to reach work again for a certain time. It seems odd this wouldn't be a given, but there you have it.

This would make sense. I work for the Federal government and they have this type of policy. If you're in a mandatory evacuation zone and you're not an essential employee you evacuate and get paid the same. If you're in a mandatory evacuation zone and required to stay ("essential") the gov pays the travel costs for your family to evacuate.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on September 15, 2018, 07:27:37 PM
. As for solving that problem, I have no idea, but I feel like perhaps we should have some sort of FMLA-style protections for disaster evacuation. IE, if experts have said to evacuate, you cannot be penalized for being unable to reach work again for a certain time. It seems odd this wouldn't be a given, but there you have it.

This would make sense. I work for the Federal government and they have this type of policy. If you're in a mandatory evacuation zone and you're not an essential employee you evacuate and get paid the same. If you're in a mandatory evacuation zone and required to stay ("essential") the gov pays the travel costs for your family to evacuate.

Natural disasters are only becoming more common. It seems a decent protection to add. I'd also be very curious on running the numbers on subsidizing evacuations, vs the cost of rescuing once disaster strikes. Perhaps tie a cash stipend to CHIP or SNAP or similar program, and it triggers in the even of a mandatory evacuation being declared. I could see that being ultimately cost saving for the government, not to mention reducing cost of human life and risk to first responders.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: geekette on September 15, 2018, 08:26:27 PM
Then there's the problem of the $#%@ looters.  They were shooting at reporters tonight outside a dollar store.  I'm about as liberal as it gets, but the reporters were making excuses for the looters, saying they might be hungry. 

Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: lizzzi on September 16, 2018, 10:59:01 AM
I wonder how the OP is doing. Any Mustachians down there near his destination? How are things?
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Noodle on September 16, 2018, 12:23:20 PM
Before reading the thread, to myself i said “i’ve read enough posts by this poster to know that no matter what anyone says, or how bad the hurricane is, he is going”.

After skimming the thread:  All this thread did was waste the time of many responders, and give us all an answer to the question everyone is asking nowadays:  “why are there people that stay behind during hurricane evacuations when all authorities are warning them?”

I read a really interesting internet discussion about this, and relatively few fell in the "I just don't believe it will get that bad" or other foolish thinking. Money (either lack of money to travel, or fear of losing a job) and animals were probably the two biggest groups. Some shelters and hotels don't take pets or have limits on what they will accept (only small pets in carriers, for instance.) One guy was a farmer, and evacuating his animals would have meant multiple trips hours away hauling a trailer. If he had left them, it might have been dicey about whether he could get back to them in time to feed and water them. Since he was in a "maybe" zone, he chose to stay. One lady had a very, very elderly relative and an autistic son who couldn't handle the change in routine, and she didn't feel they could be moved. And I think some people just get overwhelmed by the whole thing and staying with what they know seems easier than getting an evacuation together.

Plus, with the extreme inland flooding, there are probably people who didn't anticipate having to leave who are getting caught. That happened a lot with Harvey, for instance.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: former player on September 16, 2018, 01:35:09 PM
Another very frequent reason for not leaving is that it can sometimes be days or weeks before a person is allowed to return to their home.  While there are no doubt safety reasons for this, if  people were confident that they would be allowed back to their homes as soon as possible after the first danger has passed (eg as soon as the winds die down) they might be more inclined to leave.  And yes, I know that it is not particularly safe to travel immediately after a storm, but the alternative is having to rescue people from roofs.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 16, 2018, 02:58:14 PM
I wonder how the OP is doing. Any Mustachians down there near his destination? How are things?
He's probably fine.

Most of my NC and SC connections said it wasn't as bad as expected
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: geekette on September 16, 2018, 07:09:48 PM
Lucky friends.

It really nailed eastern N.C., and isn’t gone yet. Not going to be an easy recovery (https://apnews.com/4e419a203e854a75bd3b0e1c96458d45/Flooding-fears-surge-as-rivers-rise%3B-Wilmington-cut-off).

I’m so sick of the rain, and we’re lucky. We have power and food.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: OtherJen on September 16, 2018, 07:17:00 PM
@SwordGuy is in Fayetteville, NC and hasn’t checked in since Friday. Hope all is okay.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: RWD on September 16, 2018, 08:02:19 PM
Drivers advised to avoid the entire state of North Carolina (http://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/news/2018/09/16/florence-drivers-advised-to-avoid-nc-and-to-go-through-other-states).
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: RWD on September 16, 2018, 08:07:46 PM
@SwordGuy is in Fayetteville, NC and hasn’t checked in since Friday. Hope all is okay.
Yeah, hopefully he's fine. Presumably parts of Fayetteville are under mandatory evacuation. Roughly 20% without power in that county (https://poweroutage.us/area/state/north%20carolina). Lots of flooding risk.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: SwordGuy on September 16, 2018, 10:22:47 PM
Thanks everyone!   We were without power for 3 days and enough cell towers weren't operating that web access wasn't working either.

We're fine but parts of our city aren't.   There's bad flooding (and worse to come), plus a number of roads washed out or closed due to dangers of dams failing.   

I travelled out of the area today into eastern TN to help teach a class.   I managed to find one route out of town that wasn't closed off.

And our area is nowhere as bad as many in eastern NC.


It will take many years for parts of our state to recover.   


And, ps, we still have people waiting on help from hurricane Matthew that went thru 2 years ago...
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: former player on September 17, 2018, 01:59:47 AM
Thank you for the update SwordGuy - it's good to hear that you are OK so far and here's hoping that continues for you.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 17, 2018, 05:29:15 AM
Sword Guy glad you are OK.

Also, I didn't mean to minimize the disaster. It is very much not OK in many places. But OP was going to western SC, not eastern NC. It turned out better there than forecasted.

I still think it's irresponsible to go into an area that expects a hurricane. "I got lucky" can just as easily be "I didn't" and you are taking resources from those who need them
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Case on September 18, 2018, 05:49:09 AM
Before reading the thread, to myself i said “i’ve read enough posts by this poster to know that no matter what anyone says, or how bad the hurricane is, he is going”.

After skimming the thread:  All this thread did was waste the time of many responders, and give us all an answer to the question everyone is asking nowadays:  “why are there people that stay behind during hurricane evacuations when all authorities are warning them?”

I always wondered the same, but recent reading on the forum made me come up short and 'check my privilege' as it were. Some people really feel like they have no options and wouldn't have a life to come back to. What if someone living paycheck to paycheck overestimated a storm and lost their job? An entirely different sort of disaster, especially if other people had stayed behind so they were the anomaly. For now, I'll contemplate my gratitude that I'm in a place where I will never have to put myself or my loved ones at risk for a choice like that. As for solving that problem, I have no idea, but I feel like perhaps we should have some sort of FMLA-style protections for disaster evacuation. IE, if experts have said to evacuate, you cannot be penalized for being unable to reach work again for a certain time. It seems odd this wouldn't be a given, but there you have it.

I don’t buy the ‘losing a job’ thing in this situation.

But I somewhat understand the idea of potentially having nothing left if the hurricane wrecks your home, so why leave?

The answer is, “so as not to endanger your own life or that of anyone else (who might have to rescue you”.  Right now a lot of people are facing the consequences of that decision, and some are dead.

The only way i buy the ‘check your privilege’ thing you are suggesting is from the angle that some people are very uneducated and unable to make sound decisions.

Of course, there are always exceptions.  The elderly for example have a much harder time responding to an evac.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Case on September 18, 2018, 05:58:21 AM
Before reading the thread, to myself i said “i’ve read enough posts by this poster to know that no matter what anyone says, or how bad the hurricane is, he is going”.

After skimming the thread:  All this thread did was waste the time of many responders, and give us all an answer to the question everyone is asking nowadays:  “why are there people that stay behind during hurricane evacuations when all authorities are warning them?”

I read a really interesting internet discussion about this, and relatively few fell in the "I just don't believe it will get that bad" or other foolish thinking. Money (either lack of money to travel, or fear of losing a job) and animals were probably the two biggest groups. Some shelters and hotels don't take pets or have limits on what they will accept (only small pets in carriers, for instance.) One guy was a farmer, and evacuating his animals would have meant multiple trips hours away hauling a trailer. If he had left them, it might have been dicey about whether he could get back to them in time to feed and water them. Since he was in a "maybe" zone, he chose to stay. One lady had a very, very elderly relative and an autistic son who couldn't handle the change in routine, and she didn't feel they could be moved. And I think some people just get overwhelmed by the whole thing and staying with what they know seems easier than getting an evacuation together.

Plus, with the extreme inland flooding, there are probably people who didn't anticipate having to leave who are getting caught. That happened a lot with Harvey, for instance.

Things like immovable pets or children could certainly be legit reasons, though taking a dog/cat on an extended road trip is not the end of the world.

In the end, i would guess most people in these situations just didnt take the threat seriously, despite the extensive warnings far in advance.  They probably didn’t understand the risk/consequence relationships.  Im sure there are exceptions with legit excuses, but im sure there are also many who just made a poor choice.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 18, 2018, 06:05:31 AM
Haven't heard from @ReadySetMillionaire since Thursday.

I hope the wedding went well and there were no issues for him. OTOH, if things are troublesome, I hope he finds a solution that has the lowest impact on his family. Best case, I hope he's still down there assisting with the evacuees.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 18, 2018, 04:26:41 PM
Haven't heard from @ReadySetMillionaire since Thursday.

I hope the wedding went well and there were no issues for him. OTOH, if things are troublesome, I hope he finds a solution that has the lowest impact on his family. Best case, I hope he's still down there assisting with the evacuees.

Thanks for the concern. Everything went completely fine.  We checked the weather non-stop all last week, and Greenville was not expected to be affected at all, and it wasn't.  There were some winds, but I experienced worse when I lived up in Cleveland.  They probably got less than a half inch of rain, if that.

After the wedding, we took a good route from Greenville to Statesville (where my wife's aunt lives), which took us more north and more away from the coast, and that drive was very easy.  Statesville never lost power and did not have anything close to what was predicted (we would have gone west to Chattanooga if they did get hit).

We drove home yesterday from Statesville without any problems.

At the wedding, we learned 4 of the 130 guests decided not to go.  Bride was from Cincinnati, groom was from NE Ohio, so 95% of the guests came from out of town.

Lastly, I just want to address this:

Before reading the thread, to myself i said “i’ve read enough posts by this poster to know that no matter what anyone says, or how bad the hurricane is, he is going”.

After skimming the thread:  All this thread did was waste the time of many responders, and give us all an answer to the question everyone is asking nowadays:  “why are there people that stay behind during hurricane evacuations when all authorities are warning them?”

I actually started this thread trying a prove to my wife that we *shouldn't* go.  Go read my original posts in this thread -- I hate bad weather (which is why I live in Ohio), and I was scared to death of this thing, but I was leaning towards going because my wife desperately wanted to go to the wedding so we could also swing by and tell her grandfather (who she loves beyond words) that she's pregnant in person.

I started this thread to try and dissuade her. I showed this thread to her constantly in the early parts of the week.

But as the week went on, the forecast changed.  The hurricane slowed down to a screeching halt, and then it was projected to slow down even more over Wilmington.  And it was projected to reach Wilmington Friday night -- and Wilmington is almost 350 miles from where the wedding was.

I appreciate the responses and the concern, but the responses that resonated were from (a) people who lived there who weren't worried, and (b) people who advised to monitor the weather. I did just that and ultimately made the decision that it was safe to go. 

If you think I'm incapable of listening to people on here, read this thread, in which I've basically made entire career decisions based (in part) on responses from the kind lawyers in that thread.  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/employment-dilemma-take-new-job/
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Cranky on September 18, 2018, 05:29:49 PM
If you hate bad weather, I’m not sure Ohio is the place to live - in the last 12 months my neighborhood has had a straight line wind event, an ice storm, subzero temperatures, lots of snow, flooding...
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: frugalone on September 18, 2018, 06:31:22 PM
Have to agree- Ohio weather sucks but we have beautiful FALL weather. LOL
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 18, 2018, 07:43:35 PM
If you hate bad weather, I’m not sure Ohio is the place to live - in the last 12 months my neighborhood has had a straight line wind event, an ice storm, subzero temperatures, lots of snow, flooding...

I should have said extreme weather.  We don't have any of that here compared to a lot of other places.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: dougules on September 19, 2018, 10:45:02 AM
I'm curious if you saw many evacuees, assuming you could tell that they were.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 19, 2018, 01:24:39 PM
I'm curious if you saw many evacuees, assuming you could tell that they were.

Didn't see many.  Roadways coming from the south were pretty bare.  Most people did not flee too far, and ended up closer to the coast than where I was for the wedding.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: AMandM on September 19, 2018, 04:22:39 PM
In the end, i would guess most people in these situations just didnt take the threat seriously, despite the extensive warnings far in advance.  They probably didn’t understand the risk/consequence relationships.  Im sure there are exceptions with legit excuses, but im sure there are also many who just made a poor choice.

I'm not so sure. I can see some people making the assessment that the expected cost of evacuating is higher than the expected cost of staying.  Evacuating doesn't change what the hurricane will do to someone's house or property, so basically it means incurring certain costs (hotel, eating out, lost wages, possibility of looting) in exchange for the practical certainty of personal safety from the hurricane.

For someone who lives right in the path of the hurricane, the chances of being killed or severely maimed by falling tress, buildings collapsing, etc. are high enough that that certainly of personal safety is a big benefit. But if the threat is power loss and flooding, a person with a well-situated house and stocks of food and water might have a reasonable expectation of surviving without evacuating, especially if a rescue is likely in case of need. Then the benefit of the increased probability of safety might not seem worth the costs of evacuating.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: former player on September 20, 2018, 02:26:30 AM
Evacuating does make one difference to property: it gets your vehicle away from the flooding.  So many pictures of cars (and big ass useless trucks) ruined for ever: if you are living so close to the edge wouldn't it be worth leaving in order to save your car at least?  Because those folks who stayed and are flooded out don't even have a vehicle to their names now which must make their situation much worse than it would be if they had evacuated.


Perhaps from now on those mandatory evacuation orders should say "please move your vehicle out of the flood zone so that you have transport available when the flood comes, and it would be best if you moved yourself with it".
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 20, 2018, 05:20:24 AM
I get ppl staying out of fear of looters. That's really the only thing that I would fear in evacuating. But then that logic seems silly as you watch entire houses floating away or filling with water. At least the looters get something out of the disaster while you stand to lose everything.

Really all the other scenarios have work-arounds. Maybe not easy work-arounds, but with days of notice, you can scramble together a plan.

I may be a monster, but the villification of people leaving pets behind bothers me. Sorry, but if I have to choose between the neighbour's kids getting a seat in my car or the dog, getting the kids out of there wins. In our case, we are looking at paring down our car ownership and our neighbour is often on the road for months at a time with work, leaving his wife and kids at home. That family would need someone to extract them. Our minivan could easily move us and them.

Anyways, opinions. And they're like armpits - everyone has a couple, most of them stink.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Moonwaves on September 20, 2018, 07:08:52 AM
Well, as you say, with days of notice, you can scramble together a plan and if you own a pet, your plan should take that into account. A couple of days is enough time to also think about what to do with a pet (and if you're in an area prone to extreme weather, ideally shouldn't you have thought about what to do way ahead of time anyway?) and if nothing else to phone a local animal rescue. At the very, very least, people should not, in my opinion, leave animals tied up. That is just cruel. We don't want our dog to run away but we're fine with him drowning? I did see one case where a dog was taken away by a rescue service - I don't know if the family had evacuated or not (I think not) but they were leaving the dog tied up in the garden because they had recently had their house remodeled and didn't want him to mess it up. I'm not terribly uncomfortable with that kind of person being villified to be honest.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: Khaetra on September 20, 2018, 08:01:31 AM
Well, as you say, with days of notice, you can scramble together a plan and if you own a pet, your plan should take that into account. A couple of days is enough time to also think about what to do with a pet (and if you're in an area prone to extreme weather, ideally shouldn't you have thought about what to do way ahead of time anyway?) and if nothing else to phone a local animal rescue. At the very, very least, people should not, in my opinion, leave animals tied up. That is just cruel. We don't want our dog to run away but we're fine with him drowning? I did see one case where a dog was taken away by a rescue service - I don't know if the family had evacuated or not (I think not) but they were leaving the dog tied up in the garden because they had recently had their house remodeled and didn't want him to mess it up. I'm not terribly uncomfortable with that kind of person being villified to be honest.

How about the people who left their dogs locked up in a shed and would have drowned if they hadn't been rescued:

https://abcnews.go.com/US/dogs-rescued-locked-cages-rising-florence-flood-waters/story?id=57878561

Something not many of us think about is that certain states have different rules for vaccinating pets.  NC (and I believe SC) are states where you can vaccinate them yourselves, no need for a vet visit, which also means no record of pets having had them.  All shelters require pets to be vaccinated but if you don't have a piece of paper from a vet saying they are up to date they can't go with you.

I really feel bad for those who lost homes due to flooding, because there's a very high chance that none of them had flood insurance and insurance (regular) doesn't cover flooding.  Sadly the maps that predict that kind of thing are severely outdated and trying to get flood insurance when the maps say there's no risk is a total PITA, if they would even write a policy for you (most of the time they won't).  I am one street away from the flood zone and I can't get it.  I doubt many thought they would see flooding.  Now they may have nothing to return to, nor the money to rebuild.
Title: Re: Would You Cancel Travel Plans (Wedding) Down to NC/SC This Weekend?
Post by: dougules on September 20, 2018, 10:50:01 AM
I get ppl staying out of fear of looters. That's really the only thing that I would fear in evacuating. But then that logic seems silly as you watch entire houses floating away or filling with water. At least the looters get something out of the disaster while you stand to lose everything.

Really all the other scenarios have work-arounds. Maybe not easy work-arounds, but with days of notice, you can scramble together a plan.

I may be a monster, but the villification of people leaving pets behind bothers me. Sorry, but if I have to choose between the neighbour's kids getting a seat in my car or the dog, getting the kids out of there wins. In our case, we are looking at paring down our car ownership and our neighbour is often on the road for months at a time with work, leaving his wife and kids at home. That family would need someone to extract them. Our minivan could easily move us and them.

Anyways, opinions. And they're like armpits - everyone has a couple, most of them stink.

I'm sorry but I'm not leaving my cats to drown.  If it's life or death for the neighbor's kids they can ride with a cat carriers on their laps.  Their parents should have had a plan. 

Even sympathy for animals aside, leaving pets behind creates hazards.  Adding desperate dogs to a disaster scene is not helpful.  Then, the pets that do drown add an extra disease hazard.  You also have rescuers putting their lives on the line to save cats and dogs that need help.  Hurricane Katrina was a lesson on making sure people can and do take their pets when they evacuate. 

If you live near the coast in the south you're guaranteed to have a major hurricane sooner or later.  I hope people in other areas take a lesson. 

In terms of looters, that would make me want to leave even more.  If somebody's going to be coming around looting in my neighborhood, I'd rather be in the next state than in a gun battle in a place that is temporarily lawless.  If you have material possessions that are so important you won't flee a natural disaster, you need to reevaluate.