As Hurricane Florence moves inland, the impact of the storm’s heavy winds and rain will begin being felt along the South Carolina Coastline, if it already hasn’t.
Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney said earlier this week six of his players’ families are being affected by the storm. A couple of them got in front of the storm and evacuated to Clemson.
But, it just isn’t the football program that is being affected by Florence. On the baseball team, Clemson outfielder Sam Hall is being directly affected by Florence. Hall’s small town of Hampstead, N.C., was right in the path of the hurricane as it made landfall Friday morning near Topsail Beach.
“We are more inland, where Hampstead is not necessarily Topsail Island,” Hall said to The Clemson Insider on Friday. “The Island is really messed up. They have taken the worst part of it just with flooding.”
Hall’s stepfather and grandfather stayed back and waited out the storm, while his mother and sister came to Greenville on Wednesday, where they are staying with Bryce Teodosio’s family.
Hall, who is in Clemson as the baseball team gets set for fall practice next weekend, reports his stepfather and grandfather are both okay, and despite some minor damage, the family’s house is okay, too.
“A couple of pieces of metal have flown off because the wind has been so bad,” Hall said. “Apparently, that has been the worst part of it. There has not been a whole lot of rain thus far. It has been mostly just wind.”
Half of Hall’s fence blew over, as well, and the storm lifted off the roof of one of his neighbor’s house. Even the garage doors to the batting cage he uses back home were blown off.
“They have like a horse barn, too, and they’re roof is kind of messed up,” the Clemson outfielder said. “It has been mostly just wind. There is one end of our road that we live on and it is completely flooded, probably about six to eight feet with water so you can’t drive through it.”
Hall says so far, his family has been blessed. He said he has not been too worried about everything because he prayed to God and put it in his hands.
“Honestly, I feel like I should have been more worried about it, but I wasn’t,” he said. “But, I knew they were going to be okay. I knew God was going to take care of them. I knew everything was going to be okay with them and the house. I really was not worried at all, to be honest.”
Hall said he has received great support from head coach Monte Lee and the rest of the coaching staff, as well as his teammates. He says what has been the best thing has been all the calls and prayers he has received from so many people.
“Every single day leading up to it and today, they have been asking me every single day if the family is alright and if the house alright,” Hall said. “Lindsey (Ricketts), my academic adviser, has been texting me and asking me if everything is okay. So, I really have gotten a lot of support.”
Hall said even his host family from the Cape Cod League checked in on him this week.
“People have been checking in from everywhere, which I think is a huge blessing. I think it is awesome. I’m so thankful for that,” he said.
Knowing his family is safe and the house is okay, Hall has turned his attention to baseball, again, where he is excited about starting fall practice. Clemson begins fall practice on Sept. 22 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
“This is my sophomore year, so I know everything that will be going on with us and what is expected of us as players and men in the program,” Hall said. “It has been really cool getting to help the freshmen out and lead them through everything. I know it is all new to them.
“It is going to be an exciting year and I’m just excited. It is going to be a lot of fun.”
Hall’s mom and sister might have to stay a little longer in the Upstate depending on how much damage is done to the surrounding areas and the roads back in Hampstead. But, he is just glad everyone is okay, and that Florence did not treat his family or his hometown too bad.