OCRACOKE, N.C. — Hurricane Dorian's wrath sent shock waves through the island community of Ocracoke. Pastor Susie Fitch-Slater felt every jolt.
"To be quite honest, I was petrified. I've never seen anything like that in my life," Fitch-Slater said.
She documented the waters rushing into her home.
“All of it happened in just a few minutes,” said Fitch-Slater.
The aftermath was devastating.
"Our floors are in bad shape. We lost, in my house, all the appliances,” she said.
But she's thankful she and her husband are alive. She was finally able to talk about it all after cell phone service was restored on the island.
She described the atmosphere as others return to see their homes.
"There's a little bit of chaos. So, there's a weariness. You're physically weary,” said Fitch-Slater.
She said people walk around, surveying damage while trying to stay strong.
"I have probably prayed for more people this week than I have prayed with people in a month,” she said.
The simplest gestures make the days of recovery a little better.
"You just thank Jesus for a cup of hot coffee and do a little dance!" said Fitch-Slater.
It's that attitude and hopeful outlook that makes the future look brighter. The pastor says all the devastation has put a lot of things into perspective.
"Possessions can go. The most important thing is that the people you love know every day that you love them and you serve a God that's going to see you through,” she said.