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Detroit Lakes native braces for Hurricane Irene

BOTTINEAU, N.D. - Hurricanes weren't on Jon Skogen's radar until after he moved into an ocean-front condo in South Carolina earlier this year. But reality dawned when neighbors casually remarked that special flood insurance could be purchased to ...

BOTTINEAU, N.D. - Hurricanes weren't on Jon Skogen's radar until after he moved into an ocean-front condo in South Carolina earlier this year.

But reality dawned when neighbors casually remarked that special flood insurance could be purchased to cover hurricanes.

"It was like, 'Oh, wow. I guess I need to think about that,' " said Skogen, a Detroit Lakes, Minn., native who has been thinking about storms a lot since Hurricane Irene began moving toward the East Coast and the community of Folly Beach, S.C., where his home rests on a small island connected to the coast by a causeway.

Skogen works at a church retreat and Bible camp in Bottineau and makes trips home to South Carolina every few weeks.

He returned to South Carolina on Thursday to see what he could do about securing his home before Hurricane Irene makes landfall, which could happen late today or early Saturday.

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It remained unclear just where Irene may hit, but Skogen said there was some comfort in knowing his home is already somewhat storm-proofed.

It sits atop stilts about 5 to 6 feet off the ground, and the windows are made of heavy-duty glass.

It also has a track record of surviving storms.

"The property survived (Hurricane) Hugo back in the '80s, which I guess was pretty devastating to the area," said Skogen, who knows he needs to find a high spot to park his car because the land around his home is only a foot above sea level.

"If there's a storm surge, the whole little island would be kind of under water," he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

Related Topics: DETROIT LAKESWEATHER
I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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