Andy & Tori: Wedding in the Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

October 20, 2016
Kate Pullen

Community.

Definition: a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common, or a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Definition: Hatteras Village.

This is Andy and Tori.

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Tori is as Hatteras as Hatteras gets. This is a photo of the house they are renting in Hatteras Village.  They had about two feet of water in their house from flooding of the Pamlico Sound during Hurricane Matthew- just days before their wedding.

Nearly everything they had, including wedding gifts, were ruined by the storm surge.

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They had been planning their wedding for months, and it just happened to fall 5 days after Hurricane Matthew devastated Hatteras Village.

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This is Donna, she is a professional Cake Baker, aka Hatteras Cake Boss. Donna watched Tori grow up. They’re family… not by blood.. but by proximity.

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Donna shares her kitchen with Hatteras Harbor Deli.

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Donna was scheduled to bake Tori’s cake, but evacuated during the storm to Greenville. Stranded in Greenville, she couldn’t get back to the Island until just before the wedding.

Donna had 2 feet of storm surge in her house.

When she came back to the village, she couldn’t bake in her kitchen. She couldn’t live in her house. She didn’t know what the next day would bring, but she did know what she would bring to it.

Selflessly, she put her life on hold to make sure that Tori and Andy had a cake for their wedding day.

Hatteras Harbor Deli opened their kitchen to her. For a few hours she left behind the turmoil around her and baked. It was an act of love.

But it wasn’t easy.

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This is Dee, she is a Professional Chef who has been feeding the Island ever since I can remember.

Her food is legendary. Everyone, and I mean everyone on the Island, knows that “No one does it like Dee.”

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Dee usually cooks out of her kitchen located at the Marlin Club in Hatteras.

Her kitchen was flooded in early September by Tropical Storm Hermine, but after a few days of backbreaking work, it was open again.

Not this time. Hurricane Matthew destroyed her kitchen…  literally.

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But you’re resourceful when you’re from Hatteras Village, and you do what you have to do to get done what has to get done.

So Dee and her staff took everything over to the Hatteras Civic Center to prepare food for the wedding.

Did I forget to mention that the Civic Center was flooded as well…? Villagers took to mopping, cleaning, hauling, anything needed to get the Civic Center ready to open for the wedding.

There would be time to think about everything that was destroyed later… the matter at hand was that the wedding needed to go on. Tori and Andy needed it, Hatteras Village needed it… we all needed it.

This is Tori and Paul, her dad, walking down the aisle the night of the rehearsal.

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The Hatteras Methodist Church was flooded with a foot and a half of water during Matthew. The hymnals, Bibles, organ, piano… anything low, was lost.  The day after the storm, without being asked, folks from all over the Island showed up at the church to clean up. No questions. No directions. They came in and just knew what needed to be done.

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But, here’s the awesome news…

The Wedding Happened.

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And it happened because of selflessness… the kind that humbles you beyond belief.

So many people pulled together for one night to forget the devastation and celebrate new beginnings.

The Community of Hatteras Village, and the people of Hatteras Island, are a blessed people. Blessed because they have the most important resource ever…. each other.

.. Daniel

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