More than locals at Carolina Beach during COVID-19 pandemic

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The Carolina Beach Boardwalk was especially quiet for a warm Sunday afternoon in March (photo: WWAY)

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Carolina Beach banned short term rentals until April 22, but some temporary residents are still making their way to the island.

The ban keeps property owners from renting out their homes and condos, but it doesn’t keep out those who own second homes on the island.

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One man from Garner, NC has been out of work because of the outbreak.

Patrick Poole owns two properties on Carolina Beach, a second home and one he rents using VRBO.

He isn’t able to make a supplemental income on his rental property, but he’s making the most out of his time off work.

“Yeah I do see a lot of people that are coming here from other areas,” Patrick Poole said. “And they said, ‘well if I can sit at home I can sit down here.’”

But, Poole says he can’t wait to return home to work.

“We just need to get back to work, America needs to get back to work,” he said. “It’s not meant to be shut down.”

One man who is still at work in the midst of it all is Rob Williams, owner of Carolina Smokehouse on the Boardwalk.

The smokehouse is one of the few businesses still open along the beach.

Williams says most of his customers are locals, but not all of them.

“A lot of the restaurants are done, so we’re one of the few doing just to-gos and deliveries. We have noticed some are not locals coming here to eat,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep the lights on and keep some employees afloat.”

Williams says he was more worried about the virus spreading when restaurants were still open, as a high-risk person. Now he is more comfortable since he can distance himself by only doing to-gos and deliveries.

WWAY has reached out to Carolina Beach Mayor LeAnn Pierce for comment but has not yet heard back.

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