Tuesday, August 16, 2022

In Pictures: Stay-at-home order takes effect in Wilmington, Carolina Beach [Free read]

“It’s kind of scary, a little unnerving, almost, because it makes this place a ghost town. We’re the only people here,” Ashley High School student Spencer Van Wormer said, sitting on the Carolina Beach boardwalk early Monday evening.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — As Governor Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order took effect at 5 p.m. on Monday, popular hangouts in downtown Wilmington and Carolina Beach were relatively empty.

Dave and Cheryl Gavitt were walking down an empty Water Street with their 11-year-old Patterdale Terrier, Sam, nearly an hour after the stay-at-home order took effect.

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“It’s very weird. It’s like a twilight zone,” Cheryl Gavitt said.

At Carolina Beach, the shelter-in-place order was clearly evident. The boardwalk was completely empty — a bizarre sight for anyone used to warm weather season on Pleasure Island. Seagulls took the place of tourists.

Just one store, Carolina Smokehouse, had its doors propped open for business. Inside, the store’s co-owner, Tammy Williams, stood ready to serve barbecue by takeout, curbside, or delivery. In normal circumstances, “We would have a wait line,” she said. Now, the store has its second-story view all to itself. “It’s devastating. But we’re trying to stay open, trying to keep the lights on and keep some people working.”

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Stay at home

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