Well….we made it through Tropical Storm Hanna with only a few scratches here and there. Mostly Holden Beach “weathered” it pretty well. In the beginning of tracking Hanna, she could not quite make up her mind as of where she wanted to go. When she got around the Bahama’s she seemed to wander to the North, then back to the South, then Southeast, then Northwest. Finally, she decided to take aim on the NC/SC border. Holden Beach officials had a good grasp on how to handle the situation. Thursday Sept. 4th, Holden Beach Mayor and Town manager decided to make it a “Voluntary Evacuation” beginning the next day at 10am. Holden Beach town employee’s, rental agencies, and local businesses began going into lockdown mode. The rental companies, begin calling all of the renters to notify them of the voluntary evacuation and how to get the latest updates from the town. During these phone calls we ask that our renters to please bring in all outdoor furniture and anything that can become blown around in the wind that might be dangerous. After the guests lock all of the windows and doors, most decided to checkout late Friday afternoon. After our guests leave, then we go to all of our rental homes and double check these windows and doors to be extra cautious for our homeowners.
After all homes were checked that evening, we all went home to wait on Hanna. My wife and I along with our three young childen decided it was not going to be much of an event and stayed on the island. The night went on as usual with the wind slowly beginning to increase just before dark. When bedtime came at 9pm, the kids were put to bed and we put the Weather Channel on. Slowly the rain began to fall and the wind picked up even more. I believe the wind really was at it strongest around 3am Saturday morning. My wife and I went downstairs to get something to eat….as usual. While we were eating, we noticed that a large 6ft pane glass in our living room was bending inward about 1/4 inch. It looked like it could go at any moment. The house was shaking and you could hear the wood in the walls bending and flexing from the wind. I tried to open the back door and I could feel a suction on the door and could hardly open it. This suction was actually from the eye of Hanna passing directly over us. I shut the door and we went back upstairs to try to get some sleep. We had just gotten to bed and then the power went out. So I got up and looked out the window and saw that the entire neighborhood was out as well. I knew this was not good…..because then the house starts getting hot inside and you can’t open the windows. The kids were sleeping through this whole thing and never made a sound.
The next morning we had to go to work back here at the real estate office to take calls from incoming renters and our homewowner’s. As we got out and were able to look at the island things looked pretty good! There were a few places that the ocean came over the dune and put some debris on a few lots. Also there many homes with shingles and siding off. For the most part, that was really about it. We escaped the wrath of the storm this time, but next time we may not be so lucky. We will keep our eyes on the Weather Channel for another few weeks.