Wrightsville Beach, N.C. — Hanna caused killer floods in Haiti on Tuesday, and even as it weakened to a tropical storm, forecasters said it threatens to hit the U.S. East Coast as a hurricane.
At Wrightsville Beach, most people stayed out of the water Tuesday. That is, of course, with the exception of surfers. They were riding Hanna's swells.
At Seapath Yacht Club, employees aren't taking any chances with Hannah. They spent Tuesday unloading plywood from a flatbed truck so they could board up the boathouse.
"There's just a lot to do. All the head sails have to come down off the sailboats,” Haley Morris, with the yacht club, said.
The lines have to be doubled and the dock boxes tied down "because they'll fly open, rip off and really cause some damage" if they aren't, Morris said.
At the Bidenbach's beach house, they were also battening down the hatches, or at least they have called in Jeromy Kerr, with Kerr Custom Construction, to make sure the hurricane shutters are working.
“Yeah it will probably take 150 to 200, probably 200 mph winds ... and some debris flying into it,” Kerr said.
Back at the dock, Danny Weaver's boat is a little too big to trailer back to Raleigh, but he is not abandoning ship just yet.
"We're just 'wait and see' how far up the coast it goes and get prepared, get ready in case it comes right here,” Weaver said.
Town officials along the coast said they are in the beginning stages of storm preparation, making sure evacuation plans are clear, vehicles are gassed up, equipment is working and emergency numbers are posted.
Gov. Mike Easley ordered the State Emergency Response Team to start work Wednesday morning on possible tropical weather threats.
"Basically, we all have 36 to 48 hours to get prepared for this storm (Hannah), and then there could be another one right behind it," said Easley, referring to two other tropical storms – Ike and Josephine – in the Atlantic.
"Emergencies disrupt the systems we depend on – electricity, clean water, grocery stores, gas stations, transportation, commerce and education," said Easley. "If people can be prepared for those disruptions, then emergency responders can focus on helping those who are in life-threatening situations."
The state Emergency Management Division said the entire state is expected to receive heavy rainfall if Hanna stays on the current track. Officials said areas of great concern are those already flooded last week by Tropical Storm Fay's remnants.