ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - Residents of St. Simons Island in Southeast Georgia are preparing to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma.
“The waiting to see where you’re gonna go, how it’s gonna affect you, it truly is the worst,” Rebecca Newburn, whose family owns a souvenir shop near the St. Simons Island Pier, said Thursday.
Newburn said they’ve faced several hurricanes in the 40 years they’ve owned the business, but it never gets easier to evacuate and leave everything behind.
“It’s our livelihood, it’s our homes, you know?” she said. “We may not have anything to come home to.”
Taylor House, who works at the shop, moved to St. Simons Island from Arizona two years ago. Her family evacuated during Hurricane Matthew but House said they’ll likely stay behind for Irma.
“This is like the first time I’ve been here for like this big of a hurricane and my family’s probably planning on staying so I’m a little nervous to see what happens,” House said.
Brian Masters spent Thursday crabbing at the pier.
“Until it makes a decision which way it’s gonna go there’s not too much I can do about it,” Masters, who splits time between St. Simons Island and his home in Denver, said.
As of Thursday afternoon, Masters planned to ride out the storm on the island.
“What are you gonna do?” he said. “Lock yourself in a house and just stay there? Or be an idiot like me and keep fishing and crabbing off the pier.”
But the general sentiment around town – get out while you can.
“You just hope for the best, that’s all that you can do,” Newburn said. “You take what’s most important, your family your loved ones, and you get out of town.”