Currently, Hurricane Hanna is projected to hit NC sometime early this Saturday morning. It is not a powerful storm at the moment, but that could change quickly.
Hurricane Ike, however, is ginormous, with a clearly well-defined eye. It's also projected to head up our way, probably late next week.
Hurricanes are impossible to predict with 100% accuracy, and I can't count the times that we've gone in and out of the path of huge storms over the past 20 years here on the OBX. It's also impossible to predict the damage a hurricane can cause...wind, rain and tidal surge all play a factor when a big storm hits the OBX. Fortunately, evacuation is much easier here than it is in big cities like NOLA, especially since the tourist season has slowed down tremendously. It's usually safe to wait before making a decision to evacuate until about 24-48 hours before the outer walls of a storm actually hit, and, anything below a category 3 rarely causes much damage for us here.
Growing up, I can only remember evacuating once (I've lived through probably close to 10 hurricanes)...the breaking point for us was always 115 mph winds. Tricia has yet to experience a hurricane since moving here 8 years ago, which is pretty amazing... If we do decide to evacuate, we'll be heading inland toward Raleigh or Lynchburg.
Anyway, we're praying that these storms either die before they cause further damage and loss of life (over 60 dead in Haiti because of Hanna). We're also praying that these storms will not cause us to cancel our Great Strides Walk next Saturday. It's a rain or shine event, but only if that rain isn't accompanied by lots of wind.