Tom Hughes, the owner of the Sea Shell since 1992, was not terribly worried about flooding.
Historically, it stayed dry in storms.
father owned it, he
didn't even have flood insurance.
figured if it ever did flood, he'd just open the front doors and let the water go through.
left directions to have the electric turned off to avoid a fire.
While off the Island, he
asked anyone still at the hotel on Monday to "abandon ship.
Only one man was expected to stay and his
job was to watch the roof, which had a precarious drainage system.
wanted early warning if that were to go.
employees did not close the hotel.
They called Hughes at home and told him residents were coming by looking for a room.
The Engleside was full so they gravitated to the hotel across the street, even if it was not officially open.
could not turn them away.
employees to let them in, but to keep the electricity off.