Ocracoke School 4th and 5th graders share their thoughts about the hurricane.

Thanks to Ms Karen Teklinsky and Ms Jeanie Owens for providing the Ocracoke Current with their students' answers to the writing prompt, "What does Ocracoke Strong mean to me?" 

4th Grade: 

#Ocracoke Strong means....

For me, Ocracoke Strong means that we got this, and we are not going to give up. We're never going to say, "We can't." Denisse Hernandez 

Ocracoke Kids are #OcracokeStrong

I think Ocracoke Strong is a phrase that is used for courage and inspiration so you don't give up. People are strong. People are stronger than Hurricane Dorian. People are brave. People don't give up. Because of Hurricane Dorian, I went to a different school for a month and I got a new experience and it was fun, but I like Ocracoke School a lot more and I want to stay here. I think strong means to never give up, have a growth mindset, and be nice and help other people. Uriah Johnson

Ocracoke Kids are #OcracokeStrong

#Ocracoke Strong! Ocracoke Strong means to have perseverance, and even when things are rough we still never give up! And ya know that maybe your parents say to you that life is not fair, and life is hard, and we have to deal with the consequences of life. Even though I might lose my house it is really hard and I am grateful that I have a beautiful place to stay and that my cat is safe. Sofia Vergara 

Ocracoke Strong: People are stronger than Hurricane Dorian. People will be alright. People are safe. Alan Ibarra

Ocracoke Strong means to care about the things you can't replace: people, life, pictures. People are strong. People don't give up. Angel Hernandez

Ocracoke Kids are #OcracokeStrong

Ocracoke Strong are people that don't give up and live on Ocracoke Island. They are brave. They are courageous. They survived Hurricane Dorian. Stephanie Flores

Ocracoke Kids are #OcracokeStrong

Ocracoke Strong means courage to survive! People are stronger! Tommy Bullard

Ocracoke Kids are #OcracokeStrong

#OcracokeStrong means we are strong and we are helping other people needing help. Isaid Bravo

Ocracoke Kids are #OcracokeStrong

#OcracokeStrong means we can get through it together. It also means be positive and don't give up. What I went through in Hurricane Dorian: My shed got flooded and my winter clothes got lost, a tree fell onto one of my bikes, and my floor rose. Jenny Garcia

Ocracoke Kids are #OcracokeStrong

Ocracoke can do anything if we try. Lots of people lost things, but we all made it through. I saw tables floating in the road, and I saw refrigerators and logs. And we made it. Some people had to get flown out. Brian O'Neal

#OcracokeStrong means strong people of Ocracoke. They stay strong, work hard for their young ones, and for their own lives, too. Teachers, too, work hard for our education. Javier Ibarra

Ocracoke Kids are #OcracokeStrong

Ocracoke Strong means that people are stronger than before. People don't give up. People are brave. It was hard for us but we made it. Tyler Carbis 

Ocracoke Kids are #OcracokeStrong

5th Grade:

Ocracoke strong to me means we can handle anything; we are strong citizens. We are ready for anything that comes for us. We just have to stick together and stay strong. What if we help strangers – so what? We live on a small island we have to have each other's back and help everyone in this small community. We are #OcracokeStrong. Some people lost their homes. We can help them with whatever we can. Some people don't even have money to get water or food so we have to help each other. Lots of people need our help here. We need to help people that lost everything. We all live in this small community and we have to help each other through this rough time. We should all get together and help. Ammy Ortiz-Flores 

We lost everything. My family and I lost everything on our first floor. We lost three rooms, one bathroom, my entire kitchen, a closet, and my living room. At first, the water was normally rising just like all the other hurricanes, but I never expected the water to get into my house in 10 minutes. I was in shock at first. Then I realized what had happened I never thought my house would have flooded, never in a million years I thought this was gonna happen. All my things downstairs were gone, all of our appliances were gone and our furniture. We have to start over. The good thing I said in my mind was ”at least my family is ok.” What does Ocracoke strong mean to me? To me it means work together to rebuild and that the Ocracoke community is strong to survive the hurricane. That's what Ocracoke strong means to me. Angel Garcia 

My grandma and uncle lost almost everything. My grandma's studio got flooded and my uncle's house. Thankfully enough me, my mom, and my siblings were safe because we live upstairs. It was hard for my family the first couple weeks but after days and days of work we were able to fix almost all problems Dorian gave us.  I can tell that everyone got way closer than we were by helping each other out. Dorian was a horrifying experience for me and my brothers to watch stuff in our yard floating away and seeing waves from the water in our yard.  It was hard going to sleep at night thinking of all the stuff everyone lost. After the hurricane, a lot of people that don't live on the island were saying everyone should have evacuated. Most people don't know that everyone in our community works together on everything. Emma Gonzalez 

Water got into my house. It was not so deep it was about to my ankle. When the water started to rise, my dad yelled at me and my brother to lift some stuff. The day the storm hit we were ripping stuff out. Our feet smelled bad and my house smelled bad. My dad lost everything in the shop. We lost our golf cart and our new truck. The next day I was riding my bike around and felt so bad. I took a few pictures. I went to the fire department and helped out. My dad, my mom and Jacob helped out, too. What everybody has done to help out is awesome. I can't believe how many people came to help. During the flood, my chickens died. Other people lost their pets too. On the island seeing all these fish were pretty bad. Flounder, minnows, bluefish and more. In my back yard, I had a big tree that fell. I was able to climb the tree. I was pretty bitter and sorrowful for everybody. And I hope everybody is okay from the storm. Jonah Daniels

What does Ocracoke strong mean to me? To me it means that everything will be alright and that everything will be back to normal like it did. But what we need to do is to help each other and be calm about what just happened. We have to clean the whole island all of us together. Make it feel better when we come here to make it feel like home like it used to. We have to check on each other to see if we are ok. It will make you happy when we help each other. We have to hope that everything is ok that the island will be back to normal sooner or later. Dulce Juarez Resendiz

This is what happened to me… We woke up and everything was fine.  Then the water started rushing down the road and my dad had to go to our parasail boat in the back yard and put the plugs back in because it was on blocks.  It would have sunk. Then my dad went out because one of our cats was drowning. He is ok now, but we are still missing 2 at our house and 4 behind the Pony Island Motel because my mom fed them there.  When the water was at its highest, the golf cart got pulled by the current under our house and caught on fire. My dad had to push it out from under our house so the house would not catch on fire. Then he was riding around on the jet ski so he could check on his rental boats. My mom was handling us through the whole storm. It was very scary. Nobody on this island thought it would be that bad. What Ocracoke Strong means to me is that everybody has to work together to piece Ocracoke back together to make ocracoke better than it was before. Daisy O'Neal

Hi, I am a local on Ocracoke Island, NC. I am 10 and am currently enrolled in Ocracoke School. I am in 5th grade, along with 18 other students. I believe that Dorian had a big effect on our school, and overall, the way we live. Some people lost everything, and I feel lucky because I didn't lose much, but I know people lost houses, technology, everything. My great-grandma lost her house, which was not high up, and I know everyone is happy to have people who are helping them restore their houses, and in fact, my father (Rex Beach O’Neal, Jr.) is lending a hand at my great-grandma’s house. No-one was prepared for Dorian, and I myself am not happy at Dorian’s timing. Dorian has ruined our yearly tradition of trick-or-treating and our Halloween carnival. I feel like in this era of technology, people stare at devices, and not go out and explore the beautiful world as they should. During Dorian people finally got off of their devices and helped mend the hole in our hearts and in our houses. My name is Essie Carrington O’Neal and I am #OcracokeStrong.

We were lucky. We only had a small puddle of water in our house. But others weren’t as lucky. Some had to move. Some lost everything. So, what does it mean to be Ocracoke strong to me? It means to have faith. To believe. To never give up. But more importantly, it means to help each other. Help each other rebuild and repair. To get back up on our feet and stand up. It may take a while, but we can do it. Being Ocracoke strong does not mean to stay down and wait for everything to get better. If we did that, it would never get better. We have to be Ocracoke strong for everyone and everything. Hurricane after hurricane, problem after problem, we will always have to be Ocracoke strong. Marlena Cuellar

I lost the bottom part of my house. I feel a little heartbroken for myself, and everyone who lost something. Ocracoke is such a pretty island, and it is still going to be we just have to keep fighting, and everyone is going to be fine. We lost so much stuff on this island. I was not here on the island when it happened, but I saw so many pictures I was so sad. I just kept saying Ocracoke is strong we will just be fine. I will like to say thank you, everyone, from here, and off the island for being so helpful. Some of my family lost their house, and I am so heartbroken. Ocracoke Strong means to mean we will be just fine. I love this island a lot because everyone is so sweet, and if there is a problem people will go check if you are ok. Jami Martinez

This is Ocracoke strong means to me... that we don’t give up we just keep going and to always help other people that we know. We should tell each other we are going to be fine. Always stay positive for each other. If we all be kind, we will be strong. This is what Ocracoke strong means to me. Also showing that you want to help others. People will say I want to help that is a helpful friend. That is a friend that is always there for you. Don’t forget to check on others to see if they're ok. Mia Perez Leyva

I feel traumatized about everything. I am mad and I have told nobody about this  I have been trying to open up, but I just can't. A lot of people lost their pets, houses, and cars. But I think that houses were the biggest thing. Many people were homeless but some realties have been nice enough to let them have houses. I am just one of the lucky ones and feel terrible that I am. For some reason, I have a guilty feeling inside of me and I wish it would go away, but it won't. Dorian kind of put me in a depression stage. I believe that Ocracoke is strong. Bailey Bryan

When Dorian hit Ocracoke we lost…everything. Some people lost a little; others lost a lot. Today I am going to talk to you about how Ocracoke has fought through Dorian. When the island got reports of a hurricane coming our way we were told not to worry about it, but they were wrong. When it hit some people lost some stuff others lost cars and some lost homes. You can’t go outside without being warned about sharp objects. I myself didn’t lose much only my shed. Did we give up though no, we will soon fix our shed. Even though some lost homes they are also rebuilding, some have already finished while others aren’t. Even though we have gone through all this we stay Ocracoke Strong no matter what. You can’t go outside without seeing someone help someone else. The best part is that you can see people enjoying themselves with family, friends and even strangers just as long as people get to see that person smile and enjoy themselves that's the true gift that we all deserve. One last thing before I go... Ocracoke Strong. Petros Burleson

I lost everything. The people who got water in their house – I know what it feels like because I got 2 ft. of water in my house.  It's was unbelievable. When I saw my house I started to cry because of how much water there was in my house. I couldn't believe how much damage Dorian did to the island I was so shocked. When people started to put stuff on facebook saying they got water in their house I looked out the window and my house was flooded. I want to thank everybody who helped us during the hurricane. I want to thank my uncle Junior for letting us stay in their house. I love you, tio and tia. I want to say one more thing. Mom and dad, I love you so much. Thank you for helping me get through this. Thank you fire department for helping us. Big thanks to the military for bringing supplies for us. One last thing Thank you to everyone. Mau Guerrero Perez

What Ocracoke strong means to me is everyone working as a community and being positive no matter what. I've personally been staying strong. I've gone through so much. My grandad, my grandmother, and my dad have lost so much and so has this community. My grandmas are now staying in a hotel. Most of my friends have lost their houses, too. The fire department has also been a huge help letting people bring food, supplies, toys and more. And when people work together like that is being #OCRACOKESTRONG. So I would like to thank everyone that has helped Ocracoke. Griffin Wells