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Be prepared
Recollections of Isabel, 19 years later

With Hurricane Isabel approaching on Sept. 18, 2003, Billy and Gail Kellum of Hayes went out to buy groceries to ride out the storm.

They returned to their home in Jenkins Neck to find floodwaters rising out of the roadside ditch, and in the three minutes it took them to run in their house and grab the dog “and a couple more things,” the water had nearly reached their house, 100 or so feet back from the road. When they stepped off their porch, the water was six inches deep across the sidewalk.

The couple raced down the road as the waters continued to rise. They got to the junction of Perrin Creek and Maryus roads and water was coming from two different directions, pouring down the road. They knew they couldn’t make it out, so they decided to ride out the storm at Billy’s mom’s house on Perrin Creek Road. His mom, Nancy Kellum, had already evacuated, but the land there was higher than down in Jenkins Neck, and the house had never flooded.

“Once we got into my mother-in-law’s h...

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