WRIGHTVILLE BEACH, N.C. (NEXSTAR) — Evacuation began Wednesday as people left the coastline before Hurricane Florence makes landfall.

As people prepared to leave, some took pictures, others went for a run and some even got in the water for a quick surfing session. A usually crowded beach was almost empty as many people had already left. With the strength of Florence, the peaceful beach could look very different when residents return. 

Resident Daniel Tesfaye-Wilmington said, “I honestly don’t know. I’ve never been through anything like that. In the past, the worst thing was Matthew two years ago I walked on the beach a couple days after, and it wasn’t too bad but I hear this is going to be a disaster.” 

Hurricane Florence was expected to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday.

Brent Remadna of WKRN contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter: @RemadnaWKRN.