Pender Co. prepares for Irene as tourists decide what to do
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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The threat of the Hurricane Irene has people keeping a close eye on the storm, including vacationers and emergency management in Pender County.

For the majority of vacationers in Topsail Island/Surf City area, Irene has not destroyed their plans. Many folks are still on the beach, and realtors say rentals have not been canceled yet.

The sun and the beachgoers were out on Topsail Island Wednesday. Despite Hurricane Irene vacation plans have not changed for most.

"As of right now everyone is still planning on coming," Brandon Ward of Ward Realty said.

Ward said his customers don't seem too worried about Irene. Reservations for this weekend are still booked.

"We called everybody yesterday and told them that we were going to keep them informed," Ward said. "We updated all their contact information, figured out what the best way to get in touch with them would be."

But there are some vacationers we caught up with who are possibly cutting their vacation short.

"Our original plan was to leave Friday night and make our way back up the coast through Friday night and Saturday," said Kyle Buckley, who is visiting from New York. "The plan might change now depending on the course of the storm."

The Boyle Family from Long Island, NY, is especially keeping an eye on the weather as the storm has a possibility of chasing them on the drive back home.

"Being that the hurricane is suppose to hit Long Island Saturday, we're kind of just playing it by ear," Susan Boyle said. "We may just have to do the drop and run to try and get home before it hits Long Island."

Pender County is getting ready for what may come as well. Emergency Management moved into its new building Wednesday and is getting everything up and running for Irene.

"All personnel will be here," Emergency Management Director Tom Collins said. "What they are doing now is just hooking up all the phones and get things ready to go. All of our IT stuff is ready, so we're in good shape."

Whether Emergency Management or vactioners, there is one thing that everybody told us they will be doing in the coming days: Keeping an eye on the hurricane.

Pender County Emergency Management says information about shelters and evacuations will be on its website if needed. You can also keep here on WWAY both on-air and online.

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