Hurricanes have dealt Sally’s Ice Cream owner Karen Barchowski a punch or two over the years, but as Hurricane Dorian approached the east coast of Florida this week, she’s didn't let it get under her skin.

Hurricanes have dealt Sally’s Ice Cream owner Karen Barchowski a punch or two over the years but as Hurricane Dorian approached the east coast of Florida this week, she’s didn't let it get under her skin.

Barchowski saw Hurricane Irma bring widespread flooding around her State Road A1A location in Flagler Beach, closing her shop for several months before she reopened the 34-year icon in April 2018.

Looking to break the tension for many after a long week of hurricane prep, Barchowski announced free scoops of ice cream for the community on Sunday, Sept. 1, along with free sprinkles, hugs and love.

Coming from as far away as Jacksonville, people responded to her social media post. Ormond Beach Police officer Justin Soard and his family joined friends at Sally’s, nabbing the very last scoop of ice cream before the doors closed and the shop was boarded up inpreparation for the storm.

The banana creme pie hit the spot for the dad of two, who called it "awesome."

“I saw on Facebook they’re trying to relinquish their stock of ice cream so we came. I got the last little bit,” said Soard, who appreciated the chance for a family outing. “This brings support and unity, and lets everybody know we’re in this together.”

Also stopping by, former owner of the Beach House Beanery Carol Fisher came to spend a few dollars in the community while sporting her “I Survived Irma” T-shirt. As a former restauranteur, she knows how important the Labor Day weekend is for small town business owners, many of whom closed early to allow employees and families time to prepare for the approaching storm.

“All these restaurants are suffering because this is supposed to be Labor Day weekend, we’re supposed to make all this money and I care about that. I’ve been out eating around town the last few days,” she said.

Seeing businesses and residents looking out for each other is what the community in Flagler Beach is about, she said.

“The people who have been through it two or three times are like, OK, we know how to do this,” said Fisher. “You’re crossing your fingers (meanwhile) people are so out there for everybody. Helping people fill sandbags, board up windows, we’re a family.”

Heading out, Barchowski says the day was about more than running out her stock of gourmet ice cream. It was about sharing the love with the community that has been so supportive of her business — and each other.

“We decided we were going to give away ice cream today, maybe throw some smiles on people’s faces,” Barchowski said Sunday.

“It’s a sense of community. Everyone is under a lot of stress and we’re thankful for the community we live in and the support we always have,” she said. “We live in a great place and I was trying to put some positivity out there in the face of uncertainty.”

 When thinking about the approaching storm and the implications it has for her business and the dozens of others that make up Flagler Beach, one thing is for certain.

“I am peaceful about it. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen and I know we’re going to be OK,” said Barchowski. “We’re Flagler strong. Our community is amazing, our volunteers are amazing and our fellow neighbors are amazing.”