Even though Hurricane Florence was still more than 800 miles from Cape Fear, North Carolina, on September 11, she was already having a strange effect on the Carolina coast. At Hatteras Yachts in Beaufort, North Carolina, one employee told Soundings of an unusual phenomenon she had never seen before.
“The basin looks crazy. All the water is sucking out,” said Avery Brooks, associate brand manager at Hatteras Yachts. “It’s freaky. Low tide, it’s maybe two feet maximum, the changing of the tides here. We can see the bank on the other side. You can never see that. It’s really weird.”
Strong hurricanes have been known to pull water towards themselves. Last year, Hurricane Irma's winds were so strong that it also pulled water away from the shoreline. It first happened in the Bahamas and a couple of days later on the Gulf Coast of Florida when people walked on Tampa Bay.
As Hurricane Florence slowly crept toward the Eastern Seaboard, Hatteras Yachts employees took all the boats on their big dock out of the water to try to save them from the storm.
“They’re moving boats onto the line,” said Brooks. “We have a couple customers who keep their boats down in Beaufort, at the dock, so they reached out to see if we had room to put them in our covered warehouse where we build the boats. And we have some demo boats that Hatteras owns that we had to put away. And we have boats that are almost ready to take delivery, so they were floating and painted, but they’re back on the line.”
The National Hurricane Center is calling the storm "extremely dangerous," and as of Tuesday, predicted it could still strengthen to near Category 5 intensity.