NAGS HEAD, N.C. -- After three decades living and working in the Outer Banks, Tim Chambers knows the drill. The Virginia Beach native has stayed put through several hurricanes, and his job Thursday morning with the eye of Dorian approaching the Carolina coast was boarding up his properties and businesses like Elizabeth’s Tea Garden.
“Eager to do it. [We were] unsure what was going to happen, but now it looks like it’s coming this way, so everyone has to have it,” Chambers said with an emphasis on the word “has.”
Hurricane Dorian regained strength overnight and is progressing toward the Outer Banks as a category two storm. Damaging winds, storm surge, and flooding are anticipated to create life-threatening conditions for those who do not heed the evacuation orders, which have been in place since Tuesday.
“Dorian will bring life-threatening impacts, evacuate now,” the latest bulletin from Dare County Emergency officials reads. "The window of opportunity for evacuation is closing. Dare County Emergency Management strongly warns everyone to evacuate immediately to ensure the safety of you and your family.”
"Storm surge from ocean and soundside flooding is now estimated at four to seven feet above the ground, not including wave action. According to the National Weather Service, there will be periods of rapid water rise from the soundside as the storm passes, possibly into Friday evening,” the 10 a.m. bulletin reads.
Chambers, like many locals planning to stay in OBX while Dorian moves through, said his experiences from past storms will help keep his family safe.
“If it comes from the ocean, the catastrophic winds will tear everything up, but behind us, it brings that sound water up and that’s where we get most of the damage,” he said. “I’ve got my generators gassed up, everything’s ready to go, everything is tied up, boats put away. You know it’s just preparedness and willingness to stick it out when the power goes out and the water goes up.”
If some people are deciding to stay but have not properly prepared, Chambers said they better hurry.
“By now, they need to figure out what they need to do because it’s coming!” he said.
Models show Dorian’s path impacting the southern edge of the Outer Banks beginning Thursday evening and moving up the coast from there.