Indiana family rides out Hurricane Arthur in North Carolina
By Kevin Rader, WTHR political reporter - bio | email
NAGS HEAD, N.C. -
This time of year, it's not at all unusual to find some Hoosiers spending time down in North Carolina on vacation. The Wiles family from Noblesville were doing just that when Hurricane Arthur crashed the party.
The Wiles family cottage in Nags Head, North Carolina was built in the 1930s and is strong enough to withstand a Category 2 hurricane.
"We stuck it out. It was a Category 2 when it hit. Category 2 when it came through. Just south of us they had wind gusts of 98mph," Greg Wiles told me by telephone friday morning.
He and his wife Megan had not intended to do that.
"No, this was new. We have been chased out by bigger ones. We were expecting this to go farther east and when I say east, 100 miles makes a huge difference with these things," he noted.
Weather reports showed it would hit 100 miles away but it struck at 2:30 Sunday morning. That is when his wife gave him that look.
"She gave me the look like 'I am not sure we should have stayed,' but at that point you are 100 percent all in. You have to ride it out," he said in hindsight.
The dunes protect the lower level of the cottage from the wind and water. By the next morning the family started cleaning up, with everyone doing their part.
I asked if he would batten down the hatches and then try to survive one again?
"No. Next time we would board up the windows which we did not do this time. Board them up and go ahead and head out," he answered.
I continued. So what will you tell everybody about a hurricane if they ask you?
"Don't stick it out. Be safe and go away from the path for a few hours. You can always come back to the beach," he said.
There will be nothing but sunshine to greet the Wiles when they return here to Noblesville from North Carolina, safe and sound after the hurricane. That is when the really good stories will start.
Their children Garrett and Grace are probably already tweeting it out.
"They will tell their friends, 'Yep, I survived. I made it through a hurricane. What did you do this summer?'" Dad asked rhetorically.
Few will be able to match that.
State emergency officials say more than 40,000 people lost power and floodwaters buckled part of a state highway on Hatteras Island. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says officials hope to have the road and the bridge to Hatteras open by the end of the day tomorrow.
Meantime, beachgoers at the Jersey Shore are being warned about potentially dangerous rip currents and forecasters say the storm could also bring periods of heavy rain and gusty winds. There's been some flooding in Cape May and other coastal areas of south Jersey.
The National Weather Service has issued a flurry of advisories for New England, including flash flood watches and warnings with up to 6 inches of rainfall possible in some areas.
A hurricane warning has been issued for the Atlantic Ocean east of Cape Cod, with Arthur centered 145 miles southwest of Nantucket at last report.