NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WTVD) —
Residents and business owners in Wrightsville Beach spent much of Friday boarding up and laying out sandbags preparing for Hurricane Matthew.
This morning, emergency management here announced the area was officially under a hurricane warning.
“When the storm took a different turn, it kind of upgraded it so to speak I think people got a little more concerned,” said Jazz Undy, who owns an art gallery on Lumina Avenue in Wrightsville.
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The county is under a voluntary evacuation for anyone living in flood prone, low lying areas.
There is also a mandatory evacuation for any visitors at Carolina Beach. The bridge will also be closed when winds reach sustained 45 mph winds.
Authorities are also worried about the beaches. Lifeguards are no longer on duty and rip currents are only getting rougher.
New Hanover County has also opened emergency shelters starting early Friday evening, for those who evacuated the area.
WATCH: Elaina Athans’ 11 p.m. report on preparations at Oak Island
Several homes and businesses are boarded up on Oak Island in Brunswick County, as folks brace for Hurricane Matthew.
County officials are extremely concerned about the storm surge and are blocking access in the beach in some spots.
Nearly every boat has been pulled out of the water of the Blue Water Point Marina in anticipation of the storm.
Inland, grocery stores are closed. The Lowes is boarded up and the parking lot is barren.
WATCH: Elaina Athans’ 6 p.m. report on conditions at Oak Island
Some places, such as the Dollar Tree, are keeping the lights on and welcoming customers.
People have been frantically stocking up on supplies.
“Everybody’s scared,” said Dollar Tree Assistant Manager T’Lia Payton. “A lot of people have come in nervous trying to get everything they can get and they are comparing it to Hazel, and they’re nervous.”
This is a mandatory evacuation for visitors. Residents living in low-lying or flood areas are being asked to voluntarily leave.
Several shelters are open in Brunswick County. The American Red Cross is helping folks through the storm.
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