A North Carolina man who spoke to media about riding out Hurricane Florence aboard his boat has survived the storm and become a bit of a celebrity in the process.
Masten Cloer — 57, of Hudson, North Carolina — stayed with his cabin cruiser named “Later” throughout the storm.
The boat is more than 40 feet long and was docked at Lightkeepers Village Marina in South Carolina, near the North Carolina border. The marina is located on the Intracoastal Waterway about 2 miles from the Atlantic shore of Cherry Grove Beach.
Though he admitted to some trepidation before the storm, on Saturday he said he and the boat were never in any danger.
“It kicked it (the boat) around some,” he said. “But I made it through.”
The winds at their peak, he said, sounded like “a freight train.”
The storm came ashore as a hurricane on Friday near Wilmington, North Carolina, located roughly 50 miles to the northeast of Cloer and his boat. Florence has claimed multiple lives, caused widespread flooding and knocked out power to nearly 900,000 homes in the Carolinas, according to poweroutage.us.
Cloer said that at one point he went to the Marina’s clubhouse to watch the storm.
“When they really got tough, I went up to the clubhouse up here and sat on the front porch and watched them go by,” he said of the winds, which were gusting past 60 mph. “They were rolling. I think we dodged a bullet.”
Cloer said he wasn’t scared of the winds, “I just wanted to get a better view.”
“You get more sense of it if you’re by the point,” he said.
He said he watched movies and television until he lost power and then just napped.
“I caught up on my napping a lot,” he said laughing.
Cloer said he would do it again if he had the chance.
“Absolutely,” he said. “This wasn’t a bad storm.”
He said since his story was first published, he has been contacted by news media from all over the world.
“If that’s my 15 minutes of fame, I got it,” he said.
He hopes to leave town Tuesday, but if it’s still raining at his home, he said he won’t be able to work.
In the meantime, he said he has some movies to watch.