Hurricane Ian rocks waterfront communities in Brunswick County

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It was a dramatic scene along the waterfront communities in Brunswick County as Hurricane Ian crept toward the Carolinas on Friday.

Massive, choppy waves crashed in Ocean Isle Beach before the storm surge breached the dunes and flooded roads. Residents say water rose up as high as their mailboxes.

The bridge onto the island closed in the early afternoon because of the storm surge. It reopened around 8 pm on Friday.

In Southport, heavy winds stirred up the waterfront and caused extensive tidal flooding. Despite the wind and waves crashing over the sea well, several people drove around the city and walked around riverfront park to witness the storm in action.

“My dog’s having a great time. He loves the waves so much that I decided to bring him down and let him see his first hurricane,” 20-year Southport resident Michael Proctor said. “I’ve seen some pretty severe storms here so given the information we’ve gotten from the news, we knew it was going to be maybe exciting but not catastrophic.”

“It was a little worse than I expected actually. I thought it wouldn’t be quite as intense but as you can see it’s pretty bad,” Visitor from Greensboro Jeff Harris said.

Southport Police Chief Todd Coring says the wind knocked down several power lines and trees across the city. Just before 5 pm on Friday, a WWAY crew watched a power pole at the corner of South Howe Street and West Bay Street fall.

Tidal flooding took over much of Bay Street, causing damage to businesses in the yacht basin.

“We’ve got some large dumpsters and things that have come loose and have dislodged in the roadway so we’re going to ask everybody to keep clear of that area until we can get with business owners and emergency personnel to check and clear that for us,” Coring said.

Some businesses in the yacht basin reopened on Monday.

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