CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Carolina Beach is back up and running after Hurricane Florence devastated many businesses along the boardwalk.
Business owners say they expect to see more foot traffic than usual this summer thanks to growth at Carolina Beach and an improved atmosphere.
“I don’t think we’re going to get by any loss of it because right now, its not even in season yet and this island has been getting destroyed," said Alex Powers, General Manager of Nollie’s Taco Joint. "We’re so busy and we’re not even in season and I think we’re busier now than seasons we’ve had before the hurricane.”
The “Boardwalk family” has been doing a lot to help support one another since the hurricane rained down on them, including fundraisers. Many believe tourists see the togetherness and that’s what brings them back.
“Tons and tons of fundraisers, I mean you name it, this island is just one giant fundraiser. We help each other so much; I think tourists see that when they come,” said Powers.
It hasn’t been easy for all businesses though. A few in the area still need some work to fully re-open their doors. Owners say there is no doubt the Savannah Inn and Crush and Grind will be ready in some capacity, during the summer season.
“We’re getting there, were getting there. I mean it’s been a long journey; it’s been ongoing but everyday we’re getting closer and closer," said Susan Riggs, owner of The Savannah Inn. "Now, we’re not getting closer to opening the whole property, we’re getting closer to opening half of my business.”
Throughout the business community on the boardwalk, owners are ready for the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, and welcoming the thought of a growing Carolina Beach.