FUQUAY VARINA, N.C. — Tim Terman is riding out the now Category 2 hurricane south of Raleigh, rather than south of Wilmington — where he retired several years prior.
The former employee of WVU and long-time Morgantown resident interrupted his quiet retirement on the beach when family members began urging him to flee inland earlier this week.
“If you leave, if you evacuate, you may not get back in for a long time,” Terman said. “They’ll let you out, but they won’t let you back in.”
Two years ago, he chose to ride out Hurricane Matthew — a decision he felt was the right one.
“I regret leaving, but you know you don’t know what to do,” Terman said. “But I’ll have a heck of a time getting back in.”
Terman, who lives in Southport in southeastern North Carolina, said flooding is more of a concern than wind speed.
“I used to hike down from the top of a hill in West Virginia — mile and a half down before you got to the creek,” he said. “Down here in the low country of North Carolina, you hike down 10 feet and you’re about up to your knees in water.”
Still, Terman is hopeful that when he does try to return to his home — which was facing mandatory evacuation earlier this week — the flooding will not be as bad as predicted.
“We had the worst rain in history in Brunswick County, North Carolina in July,” he said. “It rained the most its ever rained since the 1800’s when they started keeping records, and I did not get any water up around my house. I’m encouraged by that.”
The former WVU employee is in good spirits though, joking about the mood in Southport.
“I’m missing all the hurricane parties,” Terman said. “People there in Morgantown will appreciate the fact that I’m missing a number of hurricane parties down there. I should have stayed.”
The plywood started going up mid-week, he said. On Monday, everything seemed normal as he made his annual trip to the beach. By Tuesday, he was ready to make a tongue-in-cheek prediction.
“I’m looking forward to, possibly, the President coming down here and tossing out some free paper towels.”
Hurricane Florence, though weakening in wind strength, is about the size of the state of Minnesota, according to meteorologists.
Landfall is approaching, with projections expecting Florence to begin hitting the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday.