Wilmington couple escapes Hurricane Florence to Mississippi

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PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - For almost 3 weeks, Kathy and John Muzzey have been watching the beating and the aftermath Hurricane Florence laid on their hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina from afar.

“It’s just hard to see the city you love go through this,” Kathy said.

The couple has a second home in Pass Christian. When Florence became a Cat. 4 hurricane, they packed their bags, grabbed the dog, and loaded the car. Everyday since they evacuated, they say they have been streaming the local news from back home.

"That was just terrible to see to see the streaming on that," said John.

Kathy's been having nightmares seeing the scenes play on the television screen.

“I guess it’s survivor’s guilt,” she said looking down at the floor.

The Muzzeys say it’s hard knowing that while they evacuated and are comfortable, others in the hurricane-ravaged-area are struggling to get by.

They say luckily their house and neighborhood were spared from the destruction, but their hearts ache for people who weren't so fortunate, like a mother and a baby who died when a tree crashed into their home.

“And that was just a couple miles from our house, and that really hit home,” said Kathy."It just broke my heart."

Staying in touch with their friends and neighbors, they decided to open their home as a refuge for people to find some relief. More than 800 miles away, they say it's the least they can do.

Kathy sounded proud when she said her neighbors came to do “laundry and spent the night... You know everything. You have to do that, you know?,”

“We were able to loan our generators to a couple of neighbors, so we’ve had these connections,” said John.

Now that the roads and interstates leading into Wilmington are beginning to open, their main concern is getting home and doing what matters most.

"I’ll have more time to give, and give back, and to volunteer and not be so worried about myself," said Kathy.

They say that disasters have a tendency to bring out the best in people. Everybody is going through a similar experience together, so people tend to lift each other up.

"It shows what a wonderful country we really have,"said Kathy.

The Muzzeys have a 15 hour drive ahead of them when they hit the road back to North Carolina. They say they enjoy coming to Pass Christian a few weeks out of the year to unwind, but nothing can keep them from the place and the people they love most.

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