Wrightsville Beach residents ready to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Florence

Residents on the coast are preparing to evacuate

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A mandatory evacuation due to Hurricane Florence was issued for residents of Wrightsville Beach Tuesday.

The evacuation officially goes into effect Wednesday morning, according to the town’s website. After 8 a.m. residents of the island will be the only ones allowed to cross the bridge that leads from Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach. No one will be allowed on the beach after 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The evacuation notice from the town also notes that power and water will likely be shut off some time Wednesday evening due to the evacuation.

Some residents of the island will be leaving the Cape Fear region altogether.

“We decided to take a trip and go up to Massachusetts to visit family. We figured why not make the best of a bad situation,” explained Wrightsville Beach resident Sarah Alicea.

Alicea said she was concerned about the magnitude of the storm. Once she learned how severe it could be, she decided her family would not be staying in the area.

“Once it was a category 4, that was it, no way,” she told WBTV.

Other residents, like Tina Williamson, will remain close to home throughout the duration of the storm.

“We’re going to go into town but we’re gonna stay in Wilmington. We’re not going to leave Wilmington,” Williamson explained to WBTV.

Williamson said she has experienced other hurricanes while living in the Wilmington area, and has an idea of what to expect.

“We’ve done it before and we know we’re gonna lose power but we’re okay with that,” she said.

A steady stream of onlookers came to see Wrightsville Beach Tuesday night. It will likely be the last time the beach draws crowds for several days.

“I just wanted to see it before I head out tomorrow,” said Wilmington resident Kimberly Daigenault. “I know this is the last time it’s gonna look exactly like this.”

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