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Some Ignore Hurricane Bonnie

August 26, 1998

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (AP) _ As Bonnie’s winds began to reach the North Carolina coast Tuesday, Joyce McNulty stood in the kitchen of her bayfront home and calmly peeled shrimp.

Her 6-year-old daughter, Teddy, sat downstairs watching ``Rugrats″ and ``The Brady Bunch″ on television, oblivious to the wind rattling the plastic in a window still out since Hurricane Fran two years ago.

``Maybe I’m not scared enough,″ McNulty said as dire weather reports were reported on television. ``Maybe I’m too naive about this.″

But there was no leaving now. McNulty had dropped her car off at a friend’s house, and her boyfriend Scott Rudisill had just watched another buddy drive off in his pickup truck.

The police set an 11 p.m. curfew and were planning to cut the electricity and raise the drawbridge that separates this sand barrier from Wilmington on the mainland. Anyone still on the island after that was on their own.

``Have you ever been on an island during a storm?″ asked Rudisill, a lifelong islander who runs a tour service. ``They actually move _ the houses do.″

The three were among the few who decided to defy a mandatory evacuation order and wait out Hurricane Bonnie on Wrightsville Beach.

Thousands of cars and boats streamed out of Wrightsville Beach Tuesday, but Rudisill didn’t see the point. He was counting on the storm hitting farther north.

Across the bay, Jim Wallace also was sticking it out with his sister and 13-year-old son. He lost his house in Fran and had just moved into his new home three months ago.

``This time I built to hurricane standards,″ he said. ``I want to see if it can cut the mustard.″

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