Last weekend, while I was vacationing at Mom's place at Topsail (pronounced Top-suhl) Beach, we started hearing about this storm named Irene that was heading for the NC coast.
Hey, we're on that coast!!
This is the closest to a hurricane as I have been in the last 40 years. At age three, I did go through Hurricane Hazel back in 1954, but did so at Goldsboro, NC, quite a few miles inland. My mother's parents lost their cottage at Carolina Beach, though. No trace of the cottage was ever found other than a few items.
There are six town homes at the Topsail Arms at the south end of Topsail Beach. My mother has one and my cousin the one next to hers. Only two units had people in them at the beginning of the week.
Mom is 80, so I was elected to prepare for Irene's arrival at four of the units. That meant bring furniture in off all three levels, both front and back, which wasn't too bad.
What was bad was getting those hurricane shutters to close. As hard as that was, it still beat nailing up pieces of plywood on all ocean-fronting doors and windows. You definitely don't want that glass breaking.
About five years ago, the association purchased these metal hurricane shutters for the front of the building. They are supposed to be effective up to 165 mph winds and are accordion-like. You pull them together, then maneuver some bolts into locking position by aligning holes.
And that was the rub of it. Just try to get those bolts and holes lined up.
And there were 32 of them. I think only 4 went in on first try. By far the worst ones were at the end unit. I am sure they had never closed theirs in all the time they've had them. It took me about two hours of a whole lot of fun, pinched palms, scraped fingers and sweat, but I mostly got the shutters closed on that one.
Not Volunteering for Hurricane Duty Next Time. --RoadDog