Man rides out the hurricane in his beach house

Riding out the storm in Destin

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - On Tuesday afternoon, winds were already causing concern for people who live in Destin.

We spoke with one man who decided to ride out the storm.

Darryl Shelton built his home during and after Hurricane Ivan came barreling through, which devastated much of the gulf coast.

He said the destruction he saw back then encouraged him to build a house that could withstand the storm.

And that’s why he’s staying put.

Darryl Shelton
Darryl Shelton (Source: WBRC)

“That was a wakeup call for me, yes," said Shelton.

For Shelton, when it comes to hurricanes, he said he’s seen some of the worst.

“I’ve been through Ivan and Dennis, and I saw the after effects of Hurricane Opal,” he said.

But he said the destruction from those hurricanes taught him exactly how to build his home here in Destin: very high.

Shelton lives about 1,000 feet from the beach in Holiday Isle.

Even though the barrier island is under a voluntary evacuation, he said he’s going to wait out the hurricane.

Destin beach before Michael
Destin beach before Michael (Source: WBRC)

“We are and I guess the biggest reason is because most of our neighbors are staying,” said Shelton.

For those who aren’t leaving, they’re taking the usual precautions.

“This’ll be the house directly across from me,” Shelton said as he walked around his neighborhood. “Every opening in the house has a hurricane canvass on it.”

Some condos, Shelton said, shut off the utilities and forced their residents to evacuate.

He said he’s prepared for the worst, and praying for the best.

He’s grateful that Michael is a much quicker-moving storm than Florence.

Shelton’s biggest concern, though, is losing much of the beach.

“Because as you know, Destin is a very tourist-oriented area. 90 percent of the people who come here come for the beach. The beach is the primary reason people come,” he said. "And if we don’t have the beach, then they don’t have any reason to come."

He said another main reason he’s staying is so that if anything goes wrong with the house, he can be there to fix it as soon as possible.

Shelton has his generator and plenty of food and water.

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