But other town residents chose to ride out the storm elsewhere. At the Hilton, Bunting, the downtown refugee, was joined by neighbors Joel and Christine Brous, who watched from a hotel lobby window as the wind and rain besieged their own hotel, the Flamingo Motel, a block away. They browsed photos on Facebook from neighbors who stayed behind, including one showing a teenage boy surfing the bay floodwaters and another showing a stray boat floating toward bayfront homes.
"We're calling it our evacuation vacation," Bunting said.
"Our evacuation staycation," Joel Brous corrected.
The Hilton was a refuge for other local residents, like Rick and Dawn Goodwin of Ocean Pines. Both work for the Harrison Group, the hotel's owner; he is the Hilton's executive chef and food and beverage director.