HOLDEN BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - Reports from the National Weather Service estimate the Town of Holden Beach sustained $40 million in damages from Hurricane Isaias.
While the mayor says the town wasn’t hit as severely as neighboring Oak Island or Southport, Holden Beach still experienced hurricane force winds and several feet of storm surge.
Holden Beach was one of a handful of beach communities that made the decision to send renters packing before Isaias made landfall.
“In the back of my mind I was scared the last few hours before the storm got here. I knew what was coming. I’ve been here 71 years living on this island so I have a little experience and knowledge and that’s why I caused our renters and visitors to evacuate. I got a lot of criticism for that, but looking back, it wasn’t a bad decision,” said mayor Alan Holden.
Boats and docks were swept away and homes along the intracoastal waterway and the adjoining canals were badly impacted by flooding; Some homes saw up to four feet of water from Hurricane Isaias.
Much like the town of Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach also saw fires spark from vehicle batteries inundated with salt water. Mayor Holden confirms Tri- Beach fire crews were called to a house fire on Tuna Drive during the hurricane.
No one was in the house when it caught fire, but firefighters couldn’t save the home. Over the course of the week, a golf cart and a lawnmower also ignited, according to the mayor, but both were extinguished before they could spread to homes.
While the roads were cleared of sand, floodwater and debris this week, the mayor says its still going to take months to get the town completely cleaned up.
“We were very blessed compared to some of the other communities in the area,” said Holden. “Thank goodness we’ve gotten through this one and hopefully it will be the only one we have this year. We will keep our fingers crossed and our prayers going.”