Beach property owners, vacationers "wait and watch" Irene

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Pick any Carolinas beach this week, and it's the perfect picture of calm. Vacationers are still soaking up those last days of summer.

This is also the time of year when hurricane season gets really cranked up.

"It used to be real nerve-wracking, but I've gotten a lot better with it," said Madeline Phillips from Huntersville.

It's one of those "good" problems to have. Phillips loves their beach house at Topsail Island, but worries about Irene churning away in the Atlantic. Just as her renters are leaving, Irene could be paying a visit.

"I'm watching the news keeping an eye on it," she said. "Thursday we'll make the call on what to do. Our boards are cut, stored. We just go down with a fully charged drill," she said.

It's been a while since a real threat has come to the Carolina Coast. The last direct US hurricane hit was Wilma in 2005.

Several employees at property management companies told me they are still renting beach homes and they haven't had any cancellations.

Irene is on their radar, but not in their neighborhood just yet.

When and if the time comes to secure their home, Madeline says she won't be sticking around.

"I always said I'd like to ride out the storm. But I've got more sense than that!"

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