Myrtle Beach area residents, tourists taking it in stride as winter weather approaches

mprabhu@thesunnews.comJanuary 28, 2014 

Ray and Edna Yoder picked this week to visit Myrtle Beach for the first time, hoping to get some reprieve from the cold and snow in their Pennsylvania hometown.

“I guess it is a few degrees warmer here,” Ray Yoder said Tuesday afternoon as the Grand Strand braced for about 1/2 inch of freezing rain and 2 to 4 inches of snow. “And there are inches and inches of snow on the ground at home.”

The couple ventured out from their timeshare at Sheraton Broadway Plantation to take a walk down the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade.

“We came out to look and see what the town was like,” Ray Yoder said.

Fewer people than normal were seen out and about on a Tuesday in January as a storm rarely seen along the Grand Strand approached with the threat of ice and snow. Meteorologists with the National Weather Service called the storm the worst one the area has seen since 2004, with about 1/2 inch of ice expected to accumulate along the coast and a winter storm warning in place until 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Edna Yoder said they had no idea the area was going to be getting ready for snow until they got to town Monday night, but she wasn’t concerned.

“We don’t care because we brought bags of books to read,” she said.

She said she hoped to make it to a few restaurants before she and her husband leave town on Sunday, but she planned to stop by the grocery store before heading back to her timeshare Tuesday just in case they needed to stay in.

Many grocery stores that had been close to cleaned out Monday night by shoppers preparing to be indoors for a few days had been restocked by Tuesday.

Mark Frink, store manager at Kroger in Carolina Forest, said the store nearly ran out of bread and other popular pre-storm items on Monday night.

“We’ve sold a lot of bread, milk, canned goods, water, stuff to stock up on so you don’t have to go outside for a few days,” he said. “And, honestly, alcohol sales were up, too.”

Frink said he expected an additional delivery to come Tuesday night. There were no plans to close the 24-hour store.

At the Piggly Wiggly on Kings Highway at 17th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, store manager Kelvin Gerald said the store had not seen too many additional customers as people prepared for the storm because it caters more to tourists than locals. The store planned to close at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Bernice Frinks said she was picking up a few extra items on her planned trip to Piggly Wiggly early Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m probably going to get some meat, canned goods, snacks for the kids, batteries – you need those,” she said. “Candles are good to have, too.”

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service warned about the potential for some residents to lose electricity due to ice accumulating on the power lines. But Frinks said she wouldn’t be concerned if that happened.

“I’m not going to worry about it,” she said. “If it does go [out], it’s gone. It doesn’t phase me any because I’ve learned how to live with that.”

Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.

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