Gas station canopy knocked over from storm winds Friday night

“Material things can be replaced but not life,” Musa Agil, the owner of Masonboro Country Store, said.
One gas station in Masonboro is left with major damage after Tropical Strom Ophelia.
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 3:12 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2023 at 11:21 AM EDT

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - One gas station in Masonboro is left with major damage after Tropical Strom Ophelia.

The storm passed through New Hanover County Friday and early Saturday. Many people in New Hanover County said they did not expect the tropical storm to come with such strong winds.

Masonboro Country Store is a gas station and convenience store on Masonboro Loop Rd. A little after 10 p.m. Friday the canopy over the gas pumps collapsed in front of the building.

“I don’t feel good, it’s a bad day, but you know this is the cost of doing business,” Musa Agil, the owner of Masonboro Country Store, said.

The store was closed at the time, and no one was hurt. Agil said one of his employees saw the covering leaning towards one side. Agil then made his way to the store and just minutes later the covering completely fell.

“I got a call around 10 o’clock from my associates right here and he told me there’s some problem with the canopy so I found it like half falling so when we came right here tried to secure the site the rest of it fell off,” said Agil

Agil said the covering is about 40 years old, he bought the building back in 1999. However, he did not expect this to happen. Inside of the store, it is still business as usual with normal hours.

“I hope no more natural disasters will occur. There’s nothing I can do to stop it. But you know, hopefully, next time when we have a better canopy, maybe a better, you know, the more sturdy, much stronger against winds,” said Agil.

Down the road from the store, many homes were left without power Friday night. Chris Craven lives in the Masonboro area, he lost power for about 12 hours.

“We were measuring about 40 miles an hour when and we heard a loud bang so we thought it was a transformer is what we assumed it was,” said Craven.

Duke Energy crews came out to restore power on Saturday morning and finished in the early afternoon. Many people say they did not think Ophelia would come with such strong winds and rain.

“Did not expect to have any damage whatsoever not even flooding,” said Craven

Agil also said he plans to have the gas pump covering replaced and hopes to do so as soon as possible.

“Material things can be replaced but not life, so we’re good. I’m glad that this happened this way. I’m glad it happened at night, glad it happened when nobody was here,” Agil said.