WILMINGTON, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall Friday morning along the coast in Wrightsville Beach.
Residents were seen putting boards on the windows and nails in their doors on Tuesday as they braced for the category 4 storm.
"This thing is going to be for real,” Matt Woison said. He runs Green Spirit Hydrogardens. It's ten miles from ocean front, but he knows nothing in this area is safe.
"You can't tell mother nature what to do you just have to accept it," Samantha Fasul said.
Florence hits closer to home for Fasul. Her home is just one block from Wrightsville Beach. She remembers the last time a category four hurricane hit North Carolina.
"October 15, 1954," another Wilmington resident recalled.
That's when Carolina yacht club was destroyed. It's now rebuilt, but employees are scared about what could happen next.
"That building right there came completely off it's foundation," he said.
Smaller boats are stashed inside the club where, hopefully, they're safe from washing out to the ocean.
"I was hoping this thing would curve out and give us huge swell and then not give us any rain or wind," one tourist told FOX 46.
The impending hurricane has ruined vacation for some who traveled far, hoping for a relaxing time at the beach.
"Yeah, we went to our first hurricane party just down the street," Kelly Tuohy told FOX 46. She and her mother are in town from New York. She says, despite the threat, people are having a good time before they have to leave it all behind-- and there's not a whole lot of time left as mandatory evacuations are set to begin on Wednesday.
"Sometimes you just have to get out because the anticipation is so bad," said Erin Collins.
She wants to make sure her toddler, baby Wright, named after Wrightsville Beach, gets somewhere safe.
"It's baby wright's first hurricane," she said.
In the meantime, everyone is hoping, when it's all said and done, the neighborhood stays the same.
"You can't panic. you've got to take that anxiety and everything you feel, put it to a positive resource and be smart," said Woison.