SOUTHPORT, N.C. (BRAIN) — Tuesday was supposed to be the grand opening for Matt Jones’ second store, which is in this community near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Instead, Jones spent the day boarding up the new location of City Bicycle Co. ahead of Thursday’s expected arrival of Hurricane Florence.
“We’re not being evacuated yet, but it’s already started to look like a ghost town here, even three days out,” Jones said. The mayor of Southport — a quaint town that has been used as the set for many a TV series and movie — ordered all visitors and tourists to evacuate the town Monday. Residents are supposed to leave Wednesday.
Retailers up and down the coast of North and South Carolina and into Virginia and Maryland were boarding up this week as the Category 4 storm bears down. More than 1 1/2 million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas ahead of the storm, which could place normally dry land under as much as 10 feet of water. The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will hit the coast Thursday or Friday and said Florence will remain “an extremely dangerous major hurricane through landfall.”