As rains started to pour and winds made walking difficult, Herbert Robles and two construction crew members worked to ensure Robles’ oceanfront home is secured as Hurricane Florence arrives in the Grand Strand.
“If Mother Nature wants to take it, will take it,” Robles said, his native-Mexican accent still present though he’s lived in Myrtle Beach for 20 years and San Diego before that.
His pink shirt flapped in the breeze, exposing the Christian cross around his neck as he showed off the home originally built in the 1920s. Robles is renovating the entire facility to its original look. He shows off the boarded up windows as the crew members worked to nail the sheets covering the roof shingles.
The 15-foot-black doors gently sway in the wind as Robles shows the completed framing in the house, though there is still weeks worth of painting and other work before it is ready for move in.
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Robles also proudly walks to the beach to boast about the view and points to where a dune broke during Hurricane Matthew, allowing storm surge to flow toward Ocean Boulevard and 41th Avenue North.
“This went though Hazel, all the Hurricanes of the 20s,” Robles said. But, will it survive Florence?
“Listen, this house will,” he said, speaking with a smile and poise.
That confidence is quickly tempered as Robles said they are still not ready despite doing three days of preparation work.
Robles visited the residence - he and his wife are staying at another location for the storm - on Friday after the alarm sounded at 2 a.m. He reset the security system and took final moments to make sure everything was ready for Florence’s punch. The unfinished home’s fate is now up to storm surge, flooding, faith and luck.
“I was hoping that nothing will happen, so maybe next summer I will enjoy it,” Robles said with a chuckle. “It would be a shame if something were to happen.”