Onlookers check out Wrightsville Beach surf ahead of Ian

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY)-  Lots of people were at one local beach to check out the surf conditions in advance of Ian’s arrival.

Many strolling Wrightsville Beach, normally, surfers take advantage of the big waves but on Thursday they were pretty rough.

According to the National Weather Service, the wind impacts are expected to increase Friday, especially across Northeast South Carolina.

Storm surge is also a concern, especially with high tide.

Julia Hirka has lived in the area for three years and is a frequent Wrightsville Beach visitor.

“It’s exhilarating but you know, I’m glad the surfers are smart,” she said. “And the waves are rolling, they’re moving in different directions, so they look definitely different, you can see the cross current.”

After 20 years living in Wilmington, Michael Barnes is no stranger to weather events like hurricanes.

“It’s exciting when this type of stuff happens, but at the same time, you don’t want anything bad to happen to anybody,” he said. “You know it’s a mixed bag.”

More than a week ago, crews with Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue removed all of the lifeguards standing along the shore for the season but continue patrolling and responding to emergencies.

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