New Beaufort resident installs shutters as Hurricane Matthew nears
On Thursday night, Parker Moore and his wife Molly, sat on the porch of their New Street home in Beaufort sipping beer and wine, watching storm forecasts on their phones.
The Moores don’t have cable.
Some of their belongings are in boxes.
They moved to Beaufort just five days ago.
“Even with (Hurricane Matthew),” he said Friday morning, “we wish we'd done this 20 years earlier.”
Moore smiled as a light rain wet his baseball cap. He stood by the ladder he'd just descended - he’d been securing storm shutters over his home's windows.
His wife and 6-year-old son might still evacuate ahead of the storm, he said.
But he’s staying.
So, too, is George Trask.
Trask walked his dog, Moses, on Friday morning, green umbrella in hand. He stopped in front of his Bay Street home - Tabby Manse - where he’ll weather Matthew.
“We can’t even get flood insurance we're so high” he said, gesturing to the waterfront.
Trask said his home is 26 feet above sea level. Moreover, it’s 32-inch-thick tabby walls have withstood storms before.
“Got half the neighborhood coming here to spend the night,” he said.
The home was built in 1786. Trask has hunkered down in Beaufort storms for 76 years.
On the drive from Blufffton to Beaufort, police cars and safety vehicles made up the bulk of the sparse early morning traffic.
Most most of the gas stations along U.S. 170 were closed, save for the Callawassie General Store Exxon - which will be closing early, noon perhaps, said an employee.
Stations along Savannah Highway and Ribaut Road were closed - some with plastic around the pumps, others with empty spaces on their signs where prices would normally be.
In Beaufort, some more windows had been boarded up along Bay Street. A few dozen pumpkins sat next to Cateret Street United Methodist Church, and some homes sported early Halloween decor on their porches - faux cobwebs that eerily fluttered in the breeze.
That breeze should turn into a strong wind soon, as Hurricane Matthew hammers Florida and sets its sights on the Lowcountry.
But at the moment things are quiet.
Police cars patrol through the streets.
Folks walk their dogs and tie up their boats.
Parker Moore is thinking about doing some more moving - the unpacked boxes that line the floor of his ground-level basement.
Still, he’s glad to be out of the city.
“There's a sense of community,” he said.
“Everyone is helping out.”