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Waiting to evacuate

In this oral history excerpt, Renee Lee recalls waiting for the Sheriff's boat to pick her and her family up during the flooding of Hurricane Floyd. She describes the vehicle transfers along the evacuation route and the few things she brought along with her.


Renee Lee: It was hard. It was terrifying. I would never want anybody to experience something like that.

Charles Thompson: When you - all of these people were waiting together for the boat?

Renee Lee: No one fought, you know. We tried to let the older, the elderly people go first, black or white, because they lived down there, too. And no one argued about who's going to go. They only let, I think, three or four at the most in each boat. And these police boats had motors. I told my mom, I said, "I can wait." So we waited. My mom took, see, she can swim. We waited with my kids because all they had to do was go up and meet the bus, and you got off this boat and got on a bus. And from the bus they put you on a National Guard jeep. So, you know, it was like three vehicles you had to meet. So we waited, and then the second load we did get on. And it was some cousins of mine that wanted to go, you know, they wanted to go with us. But we were next in line to go. They were young like me. So my mom said, "We're getting on here. I'm ready." I really wish I had time to get some clothing, but at the point, at the time, you didn't have time.

Charles Thompson: What all did you have?

Renee Lee: What was on my back. All I had was what was on my back. I did get my dad to stop by my trailer on my way out, and I went in my house. There was so much water he just pulled the boat right up to the top - we just rode right up on the deck. He just backed it right up in there. I stepped out of the boat on my deck and then opened my door and went in my house. I took my license and fifty dollars out of my wallet, closed my door back, closed my storm door, put a chair in front of my storm door so the wind wouldn't blow it open and got back in the boat to meet the sheriff's department. I didn't get clothes. I had no idea. Even after seeing the water I still had no idea the water would get into your - would get into our homes, you know. I wasn't thinking.

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