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Triangle Equipment Company Charlotte News Raleigh News Durham/Chapel Hill Fayetteville News Down East News
Beach-goers react to Alex
8/2/2004 8:06 PM
By: Ken Derksen & Web Staff

Tropical Storm Alex is slowly working its way towards the Tar Heel coast. On Tuesday morning, the storm is expected to be due east of Wilmington.

Selma Mills is a Wilmington beach-goer and said it won't keep her from the beach.

"In between the rain and whatever, you can come out and enjoy the beach," she said. "And it's nice to watch the surfers. So it's a good place to be."

That's something many beach-goers disagree with.

The National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Alex is gaining strength and could become a hurricane.

Many Tar Heel tourists plan to leave if Alex continues to intensify.

"It's not moving," tourist Alan Borisenko said. "It's sitting there, sitting there, and sitting there. I'm getting concerned and worried right now."

Fortunately, meteorologists don't expect the eye of the storm to make landfall. But the edges of the slow moving storm is expected to have 60 mile per hour winds and drop several inches of rain.

And for lifeguards patrolling the Tar Heel coast, they have simple advice for beach-goers. Red flags are up to warn people of dangerous currents.

As Alex looms closer, waves are intensifying. On Sunday, life guards rescued nine people from rip tides.

"Unfortunately, this is the most crowded part of the beach, where everyone comes to swim," said Wrightsville Beach Lifeguard Bud Woodrum. "That's what causing all these incidents."

Many beach-goers are heeding the warnings while others are staying safe by playing near the edge of the water.

Surfers are the only ones venturing out past the breaking waves.

Borisenko added, "The waves are going sideways and kind of ways. It's like a washing machine out there and I'm not going to turn into a dead piece of cloth, know what I mean?"

Mills said her only concerns about Alex, is it's a reminder hurricane season is getting into full swing. “A sigh of relief when it's gone."

Meteorologists said one of the biggest dangers of the storm could be to the beaches themselves. Heavy rains, intense waves, and high wind gusts can easily cause beach erosion, changing the face of the North Carolina coast.



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