On September 9, 2018, it seemed we were all fixated with any form of technology that was broadcasting up-to-date information and storm-related events throughout the state of North Carolina with reference to Hurricane Florence. The Governor of North Carolina urged all North Carolina residents and businesses to prepare for Hurricane Florence, issuing a State of Emergency management and emergency plan. Before the massive storm even hit, North Carolina emergency officials were preparing for what meteorologists have called the second “500-year storm” to hit the state since Hurricane Matthew in 2016. As reports grew with intensity during the week, Spartan Logistics’ Executive Management Team in Columbus, OH, maintained consistent communication with Maxton, NC Warehouse Manager, Bobby Morman. Prior to evacuating the building, all hands were on deck to board up glass windows and doors; the forklift propane tank cage was chained and secured while Spartan forklift operators brought in 10,000 contract customer pallets from the outdoor elements so they would not become projectiles when the storm arrived. Bobby Morman purchased a pallet of 76 cases of bottled water from a local Food Lion store to bring back to the warehouse to be distributed to all employees before evacuating the property—and then we waited.
The monster storm battered the North Carolina coast, trailing inland, leaving a path of destruction throughout eastern coastal regions. The warehouse sustained minor damage to overhangs, but the outdoor lighting was destroyed due to the strength of the wind. Local authorities created shelters for those not able to escape the wrath of the storm in time.