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Winterville woman dodges two hurricanes in a week

091818twohurricanes

Jorine Olson, second from left, with family members Kevin Olson, Callie Parks, Willie, Marley and Ashley Olson in Hawaii. Jorine, of Winterville, dodged hurricanes in the Atlantic and the Pacific last week.

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By Kim Grizzard
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Weather forecasters weren't the only ones tracking multiple hurricanes last week.

Jorine Olson of Winterville was keeping an eye on Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic and Hurricane Olivia in the Pacific, both of which posed a threat to her family.

Jorine, a nurse at Vidant Medical Center, was in Oahu, Hawaii, visiting her son and his family when Olivia approached. Willie Olson and his wife, Ashley, both graduates of South Central High School, live on the island with their daughter, Marley, while Willie is serving in the Navy.

“It's kind of hard when you're not here (in North Carolina) to help,” Jorine said. “Even though you are in paradise, I was worried about home.”

The Olsons traveled to Maui on Sept. 9 to do some sight-seeing when rains and winds from Olivia began bearing down on the island. Jorine watched as shop-keepers closed their stores, piling sandbags out front.

“It was beautiful there, even with the storm,” she said. “But we weren't sure if we were going to be able to fly out on the 12th because that was when the storm was getting worse.”

Meanwhile, Jorine was trying to keep up with weather news from back home, where her husband, Terry, and son, Benjamin, were waiting.

“I was more worried about North Carolina to be honest,” she said. “The storm (in Hawaii) wasn't as bad I think as not knowing what was going on at home.”

Despite Olivia, Jorine, who was traveling with her son, Kevin and his girlfriend, Callie Parks of Winston-Salem, was able to return to Oahu on schedule. But the next day's flight home was canceled.

Jorine and Terry Olson had weathered storms together and apart for much of their marriage. The couple lived in Charlotte in 1989 when Hugo hit, leaving the family with downed trees and no power for weeks. During Hurricane Isabel in 2003, the Olsons were in the process of moving to Greenville, leaving Terry alone with the kids while Jorine was required to report for nursing duty in another city. Two years ago, when Matthew hit, Terry was in Boone with his parents while Jorine was called in to spend the night at Vidant.

Due to Florence's milder effects in Greenville and the Triangle area, the couple's separation during this latest hurricane was a brief one. Jorine was able to arrive at RDU by Saturday afternoon.

“I'm very glad I went,” said Jorine, who was able to celebrate her granddaughter's first birthday during her stay in Hawaii. “But the fact of not being able to get home and not knowing what was going on was kind of bad. I'm glad I'm home.”

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