Businesses prepare for incoming storm

Published 6:29 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hurricane Matthew is expected to hit eastern North Carolina this weekend, and area businesses are beginning preparations to weather the storm.

Laura Scoble, owner of Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar and Grill, said she is nervous about the impending weather, referring to it as “frightening.”

Backwater Jack’s experienced widespread damage during 2011’s Hurricane Irene, forcing the restaurant to close for months.

“I think this is going to be a way wet one,” Scoble said. “Every time it happens, we hope to have the grace to fix it.”

After Irene’s destruction, she said construction crews built a concrete floor to help the building withstand flooding and make it easier to air out and replace the drywall.

Scoble said she is also helping neighboring business Inner Banks Outfitters prepare for Matthew, as owner Liane Harsh is out of town this week.

Between moving kayaks at Inner Banks and moving restaurant property above Irene’s water line, Scoble has her work cut out for her, but she said Backwater Jack’s will be open for as long as the weather allows.

“This is like the third hurricane in two years that I’ve been through,” she said, referencing her experience with another one while in Mexico. “I kind of feel like a hurricane magnet.”

Beaufort County’s marinas are also preparing for rising waters.

Washington Yacht & Country Club dock attendant Earnie Glover said he was unable to give many details, but he was working with members to move their boats to safer areas on Tuesday.

He said a mass email was sent out to the membership, alerting them about the incoming hurricane and necessary precautions.

Mark Henley, owner of McCotters Marina and Boatyard, could not be reached for comment.

Belhaven’s Spoon River Artworks and Market staff is also watching the weather closely, according to owner Teresa VanStaalduinen.

VanStaalduinen said the restaurant is making no plans to close as of yet because of large-party reservations Saturday. She said the staff will put restaurant property up high, but Spoon River won’t close unless it has to.

“We’re not entirely sure yet,” VanStaalduinen said of preparations. “We’re going to watch and see what happens.”