Island brothers in North Carolina to help grandparents during Hurricane Florence

Two Island men from Winsloe, P.E.I. have travelled to North Carolina to help protect their grandparents' home during Hurricane Florence.

'It's better if I stay along with my brother as well to be able to help them'

"If they're going to stay, I think it's better if I stay along with my brother as well to be able to help them," says Sheets. (Submitted by Dane Sheets)

Two Island men from Winsloe, P.E.I., have travelled to North Carolina to be with with their grandparents during Hurricane Florence. 

Dane Sheets, 24, said he arrived in Carolina Beach a week ago to visit his grandparents Barry Faulkner and Cathy Malizio. He said it wasn't until he was travelling south that he heard Hurricane Florence was on course to hit the shores of North Carolina.

"At that time it was still predicted that it might turn northwards," Sheets said. "We had hope, unfortunately that is not the case today."

Sheets said his grandparents have lived in their home for the last 50 years and they didn't want to leave during the storm, despite there being a mandatory evacuation order. So he and his brother Clay have decided to stay too, Sheets said, to ride out the storm and deal with any problems that may arise.

NOAA's GOES East satellite captured this view of Hurricane Florence — a massive storm— at 11:45 a.m. Sept. 13, showing the outer bands beginning to lash the North Carolina coast. Tropical storm-force winds reached the Outer Banks, where roads had already started to flood. (NOAA)

"Majority of people here including my grandparents were adamant about staying here and being able to deal with problems as they arise on their property," Sheets said. 

"If they're gonna stay, I think it's better if I stay along with my brother as well to be able to help them and give them our hands."

Sheets said the house is located in one of the areas expected to experience the worst conditions during the storm, with wind speeds of up to 220 kilometres and storm surges that could reach between 9 and 13 feet.

Preparing for the storm

Sheets said his grandparents' property sits about 150 metres from the ocean shore and while the house sits on high ground, it's surrounded by lots of trees which he said is a big concern. 

He said he and his brother have been working around the clock to trim hazardous branches on the property and to put up storm shutters, by bolting pieces of plywood to the windows, on his grandparents' home as well as neighbouring buildings. 

Sheets said his family also has 30 gallons of drinking water stored in the house and has filled a bathtub with tap water as a reserve. He said his parents have also travelled south and are staying in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"They thought it was a good idea for my brother and I to stay here," Sheets said. "My grandparents, they have a good property."

He said there are two structures on the property, both of which are two storeys tall. 

"Worse case scenario, we'll be able to escape this surging flooding if that was to come to that," Sheets added.  

His grandparents have experienced several hurricanes over the years, Sheets said, and are confident they will be okay throughout the storm. While he is scared, he added, he will stay by his grandparents' sides and ride out the storm.

"If their confidence is okay, I'm with them and I will stand next to them alongside that."

More P.E.I. News

With files from Island Morning

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