Johnson City family weathers Arthur

Nathan Baker • Jul 3, 2014 at 8:57 PM

A Johnson City family were caught in the tendrils of the first hurricane of the season overnight while vacationing on a North Carolina island.

Carleton Lyon, an instructional technology coach for the city school district, planned to weather out Hurricane Arthur with his family in a vacation rental condo on Emerald Isle, N.C., in the Southern Outer Banks.

“The surf has been up for a while, but it’s just now starting to get kind of windy,” Lyon said Thursday afternoon, nine hours before the eye of the Category 2 storm was expected to pass within 30 miles of the beachside hamlet.

Meteorologist were forecasting a 6-foot storm surge and 75-mile-an-hour winds for Emerald Aisle, but authorities did not enact an evacuation order, opting instead for a 10 p.m. curfew.

“We’ve had the Weather Channel on constantly,” Lyon said. “It looks like the first landfall might be about 15 to 20 miles east of where we are. I’m a science major, so this is all kind of exciting for me. I taught weather to seventh-graders, so I’m probably a little more excited than I should be.”

In preparation for the storm and the potential for power loss or flood, Lyon’s wife, Sanja, stocked up on essential supplies.

Lyon said the nearby Food Lion grocery store was out of bottled water, likely because of a late run on provisions, but she was able to get water, batteries, bread, milk and ice elsewhere.

The condo board of the community in which Lyon’s family is vacationing with the Gordons, also local residents, issued warnings to occupants and advised them to remove loose furniture from decks, but no one is boarding up windows, he said.

“There’s not a whole lot of excitement right now, but overnight is when things will start picking up,” he said. “Around here the waves are up a bit, so we’re not letting the kids play on the beach.”

Although the tide was supposed to rise six feet above normal levels, Lyon said flooding wasn’t much of a concern to his family.

That surge would put the water at the neighborhood’s steps to the beach, but wouldn’t crest the sand dunes between the home and the ocean.

A festival in Emerald Isle slated for Thursday was canceled ahead of the storm, but the evening’s Independence Day fireworks at the nearby pier were still scheduled as planned, after the rain was expected to move out of the area.

Because of the family’s excitement, Lyon said he probably wouldn’t get much sleep overnight, and planned on live tweeting the events of the storm using his Twitter account, @technologycoach.

“We’re expecting the building to be shaking quite a bit, so I won’t be sleeping,” he said. “I’m going to try to keep our friends and family back home up to date with what’s going on.”

Follow Nathan Baker on Twitter @JCPressBaker. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jcpressbaker.

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