BY ANDREAS BUTLER
As Hurricane Dorian slowly moved up the east coast, many local residents’ reaction about the storm shifted dramatically from fear to agitation.
People admitted to relaxing quite a bit once they learned the storm was staying well off the coast.
“I wasn’t too worried about the storm from the beginning. One of my sons was fretting over things he was hearing. We had to keep him calm. My family and I just prayed and stayed faithful,” Holly Hill resident Yvonne Roberts told the Daytona Times.
Took to a shelter
Even those who took to the shelters to ride out the storm were ready for it to be over on Tuesday night.
Richard Mills was sitting outside Mainland High School, which had opened as a shelter.
“I came here because I had too. I live in a trailer. Nobody really wants or deserves a storm but God has his will. I hoped it just turns out to be just a tropical storm and not a hurricane,” he said.
850 at Hinson
Mills admitted that he was frustrated.
“First, I heard it was coming close, then I heard it’s not. I want it to do what it has to do although I am having fun and I am with people I wouldn’t normally be around,’’ he said.
All shelters were closed on Wednesday afternoon as the storm was moving out of the area. Shelters opened on Monday and usually operate between 24 to 72 hours.
Hinson Middle School at 1860 N. Clyde Morris Blvd. was the only shelter to reach capacity at 850, which it did on Monday due mainly to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University sending some of its students there.
Daytona resident Sherman Doughtry was looking for someone to board up his home early Monday morning, but by Tuesday evening he had given up on the endeavor.
“I was looking for someone earlier, but it was too late. I’m not worried about it. We didn’t get much of the storm – Just a lot of wind and some rain,” he said Tuesday.
“We still have to watch the storm but they said it wasn’t supposed to bother us as much. It’s a weaker storm than first projected. You always hope for the best.’’
Soul food success
Even throughout the day on Tuesday, most of the town seemed to be a ghost town with businesses, schools, banks and other places closed.
Also, many restaurants were closed as of Tuesday but two soul food spots remained open to serve customers.
Bethune Grill on Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard and the Crab Stop II at 933 W. International Speedway Blvd. remained open on Tuesday.
“We decided to open because the weather allowed us. We had a customer come by and say that they needed us to be open for the community since almost everyone was closed,” said Rosemary Jenkins, manager of Bethune Grill.
“We had a great day. We sold out 12 cases of chicken. We had just got a new load of product come in that could have gone bad if the storm knocked out power for a few days.’’
Crab Stop II Owner Oliver Ross added, “We looked at the forecast and decided to open. It was a very good day for us. I think Bethune Grille along with us were the only two food businesses open.”