Carolina Beach residents fear worst with Florence looming

By Jacob Rascon - Anchor-Reporter

CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. - Millions in the path of Hurricane Florence fear their hometowns may never be the same.

Generations of the Kelly family grew up in Carolina Beach: Summer Kelly, her parents and grandma Nene, who arrived in the 1920s and still lives in the same house.

“I’m just worried about my grandma’s house and all my family’s things, and just where we’re all going to go if all this stuff gets torn up,” Kelly said.

The entire family will now evacuate to Wilmington, a half-hour inland. Among other essentials, they’re bringing a canoe in case they need to navigate flooded roads.

“The storm surge is going to be devastating, I’m afraid,” said Jody Greenwood, a native Houstonian now living in Wilmington, a couple of blocks from Cape Fear.

Greenwood recently got a call from her parents in Houston, including former City Council member Cody Greenwood, who wanted to make sure she had a plan.

“I reminded them that I was having the exact opposite conversation with them last year at this time when they were preparing for Hurricane Harvey," Jody Greenwood said.

Jody Greenwood and her wife, Alice Melott, will leave their home for a friend’s house a little farther inland. But as an Episcopal priest, Jody Greenwood also leads a congregation of 150 at a church just minutes from the water.

“We covered things at the church,” Jody Greenwood said. “We feel fairly confident that it’ll be OK, it’s on high enough ground. But there’s always a concern.”

About half the congregation has decided to evacuate.

“We have a calling tree that has already contacted everyone to find out who’s leaving and who’s staying,” Jody Greenwood said. “So that for those who are staying, we can check on them after the storm.”

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