Fernandina prepares for impact ahead of Hurricane Matthew, reflects on Hurricane Floyd

Fernandina Beach remembering 1999 storm

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla.= With Matthew, a category four hurricane, threatening the First Coast, the splintering sound of circular saws between the growls of the wind drowns out the crashing of the waves off the coast as homeowners in Fernandina Beach brace for impact.

"We got our storm panels up. We got all our stuff packed up," Ken Laramore, of Fernandina Beach says.

Laramore has lived in Fernandina Beach for 20 years. He's seen first hand the damage a  storm like Hurricane Matthew can do.

"It's just devastating," says Laramore.          

Laramore's family left during a mandatory evacuation in 1999 when Hurricane Floyd struck the east coast. Although the powerful storm stayed out to sea, it caused $2.65 million in damages to oceanfront homes.
          
"Sand about this high and all the houses on Ocean Ave.-- stilt house--- sand was completely under their houses, they were no longer on stilts," Laramore recalls.

Laramore says Floyd ripped the siding off his house and although he's a few streets over from the shoreline, Laramore says the water came dangerously close to his doorstep.

Several of Laramore's neighbors are prepping their homes for the worst but many of them, like Jordan Gallup, are new to the area.

"I grew up in Illinois. This is kind of my first real hurricane," Gallup says.

Gallup has lived in the area for about a year.

"I see neighbors , boarding up their windows and I'm not prepared like that," Gallup added.

However, Gallup says he's following the steps of several of his neighbors and leaving the area.
         
"We have a two week old little baby so, we're going to head out of here and play it safe," Gallup says. 

Laramore says his family will head west as well to a friends house, hoping for the best when they return.



 


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