ORIENTAL -

People in Oriental in Pamlico County are bracing for Hurricane Sandy.

The area was severely flooded last year during Hurricane Irene, and residents fear that could happen again.

"Anytime I hear storms coming near us, it just brings back flashbacks of Irene," said Linda Wright, an Oriental resident.

The area is preparing for Hurricane Sandy's impact, including people at Whittaker Point Marina in Oriental.

"We were hoping this wouldn't happen, but now that it's happening we're cautiously optimistic it will stay east of us," Bob Carr said.

Carr, like many other people at the marina, spent the day strapping down his boat in preparation for Sandy's strong winds and rain.

"I'm feeling confident in our preparations, but you can't predict the future and Mother Nature is a powerful thing," he said.

Pamlico County is putting all staff on alert for the weekend and monitoring the storm's conditions, according to county manager Tim Buck. Buck said a voluntary evacuation could possibly be issued for low-lying areas in the county.