ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WITN) – The Crystal Coast is under a tropical storm warning and storm surge watch as Ian moves closer to Eastern Carolina.
Red flags were up Thursday at Atlantic Beach. Winds were at about 30 mph and could reach up to 45 mph Friday.
Throughout the day on Thursday, locals visited the beach one last time before the rain.
Jackie and Briana Lietuvninkas say they were around when Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on the coast. They’re already prepared for Ian.
Meanwhile, other beachgoers that live inland don’t think the storm will be too bad.
“We’re hoping it doesn’t come too far in but I might tie down some furniture also, but I’m going to travel back tonight and I hope everyone stays safe,” Goldsboro resident Lori Mozingo said.
Crystal Coast officials don’t anticipate a lot of rain, but if that does change, Atlantic Beach Fire Chief Michael Simpson says, “make sure you’re watching out for wind, watch out for flying debris, emergency crews and line crews that are out working. And there’s also low-lying areas that, once we start getting some heavy rains, there will be some water flooding in some areas.”
As the storm closes in, Simpson is asking everyone to stay out of the water and prepare the best they can.
“It could build up into a stronger storm, it could start to dissipate later on… we can’t let our guard down. Regardless, we’re going to get some kind of event here in our area whether the storm comes near us or goes around us, we’re gonna get some wind and rain,” Simpson says. “It’s just at this point in time a matter to what extent are we going to receive.”
WITN’s Justin Lundy will be back in Atlantic Beach Friday monitoring the conditions there.
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