Hurricane Center

Officials warn that outside furniture, decorations become dangerous in hurricanes

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) - Officials are warning residents that any furniture or decorations outside homes can become dangerous projectiles once Hurricane Florence makes its way to North Carolina in a few days.

Taking these objects inside or storing them in a shed or garage is the best way to prevent them from harming property.

“Anything that you have on a patio — if you have lawn ornamentations, anything like that — that can be picked up by wind and thrown against your home or someone else’s home or car,” said Leslie O’Connor, Division Chief for Durham’s Emergency Management. “It needs to go inside of a shed, a garage, or even inside of your house.”

O’Connor has been tracking Florence. She said the hurricane’s rain and wind can turn these decorations into harmful objects.

“Anything that gets picked up by wind becomes a projectile, and it could also become a life-safety hazard,” O’Connor said.

Securing decorations and furniture isn't the top priority for all, though.

“The hurricane coming in. Whatever it’s going to roll up, it’s going to roll up,” said Carolyn Mackey. “I don’t care if you have sandbags down or what.”

Mackey said she has no plans to move the decorations outside her house.

“If I feel the wind getting real strong, I’ll come out here and take the plants in and set them in there,” she said. “But until then, I will not make a move.”

Despite predictions of destructive rain coming, and warnings from officials, Mackey is not worried.

“They’re not going anywhere,” she said. “It’s going to be fine. And if it do, it’s God’s will.”

Officials said sandbags are an effective during storms for a number of reasons. They can find them at local hardware stores.

“They can try and deter almost in a dam-like fashion, but the water eventually will go somewhere,” O’Connor said.  

Mackey says her priority is making sure she is safe.

“These are materialistic things,” she said. “They can be replaced. We have insurance, so worry about living.”

Officials ask residents to check with neighbors, as well, to make sure they’re clearing their yards, too.

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