As tropical storm Florence hammers North Carolina, Takoby Cofield is getting ready to hammer the Redblacks defensive line.
The born and raised North Carolinian and Roughrider offensive lineman is keeping close tabs on home as most of his immediate and extended family is still in Florence’s path.
The last time he spoke with them was Friday morning.
“The power’s out, it’s been raining for probably the last two days but they’re prepared for it,” Cofield said. “(We’ve) been through a few hurricanes, lived through a couple so they’re prepared.”
In fact, Cofield was surprisingly at ease for someone whose family has decided to stay put despite evacuations notices being handed out to nearly two million people.
“You just kind of get used to it after a while – it’s kind of like snow here,” Cofield said. “It’s like ‘All right, it’s hurricane season, all right everybody get ready.’”
Cofield said his family is more prepared than most as his father is a retired firefighter and his mother works for a local school, meaning they always have the most up-to-date information. Cofield also said that the television and 24-hour news cycle always make it seem worse than it is.
“My hometown in eastern North Carolina has been in so many of these that I just call everybody back home and go ‘Hey, what do y’all think?’ and they were kind of like ‘Well, it might get a little bad, but we don’t think it’ll be too horrible.’”
Add the fact that there have been so many false alarms, or late evacuations over the years and Cofield said people just start to decide for themselves if they should leave or not.
“It’s like a catch-22 because they’ll tell you ‘Hey, get out everything is going to get bad’ and then storm will come, storm will go and you’ll go ‘We didn’t even get touched’ or I’ve been in one where it was like ‘Hey it’s not going to be that bad’ and then the next thing you know there’s water creeping all up in the front yard and you’re like ‘Oh no, it’s time to go, we got to get out of here,” Cofield said.
“So most of the time you just kind of sit there until you see something that makes you go, ‘OK, this is about to get bad.’”
The Cofield home also becomes a bit of a meeting ground for the family as it’s located on high ground that is rarely affected by flooding.
The family communicates through group chats and take no chances when things start to get hairy.
“We just tell certain family members ‘Come stay over here, don’t even risk it because you don’t know what could happen.’”
The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually head over to the southern Appalachians and downgrade to a tropical depression by the middle of next week.