Despite Warnings, Some Coastal Residents Are Choosing To Ride Out Hurricane Florence

RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a stern warning for people to leave the coast on Wednesday. He said emergency services may not answer the call if people stay behind.

Some are still in Carolina Beach, where the storm is expected to make landfall day they’re staying put. Boarding up their homes, as Florence bears down.

“This is going to be my safe house where I keep my gas and my generator and everything,” said Kyle Winstead, a Carolina Beach resident.

Winstead and neighbor Jason Ebidag are taking a chance and hunkering down for what could be days of battering by the hurricane off the Carolina coast.

“I’ve got a bunch of water, food. Got propane gas. Got two generators,” explained Winstead.

“There is no point in leaving,” said his neighbor Jason Ebidag.

These two have lived through several hurricanes. They and some others are ignoring the governors call to get out.

“If you’ve been asked to evacuate, don’t wait. Leave now,” said Cooper during a Wednesday evening news conference.

People in Carolina beach had until 8 o’clock Wednesday night to board up their homes and put sandbags down before leaving. Some people even put messages on their doors for the storm that read “Have Mercy.”

“I’m not sure if we want to chance it, being our first time,” said Jordan Lynch.

He and his wife moved to the Wilmington area a month ago.

“We got as much furniture as we could upstairs and we’re kind of just hoping for the best now,” said Nicole Lynch.

The Lynch family and nearly one million others have evacuated so far. According to state number, about 5,000 people are in shelters.

State Emergency managers are prepping for response and recovery as resources from dozens of states pour in ahead of the inevitable devastation.

“We are on the wrong side of this storm where most of the damage is done,” said Cooper.

By Wednesday night, more than 50 shelters were open across the state. Flooding remains the main concern. According to the State Department of Health and Human Services, it was the number one cause of death during hurricane Mathew in 2016.