Business owners in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach were in full recovery mode Sunday morning after the last breaths of a once blustery Hurricane Matthew were no more than a gentle breeze.
Matthew was gone, but he surely left his mark.
“We’re just cleaning this mess, then we are good to go inside,” said Dinesh Rawat, owner of Masala Myrtle Beach, who was clearing a toppled roof ledge and awning from the front of his restaurant with the help of friends Sunday.
Masala was fine at 2 p.m. Saturday. But by 7 p.m., Matthew’s forceful winds slammed the awning and ledge to the ground.
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“There are some pretty bad areas around,” said Mike Campbell, who lives upstairs in a nearby building and came over to help clean up. He brought his nephew, Kasey Toothaker, and Heidi Howes with him. Toothaker and Howes had just finished a 2,100-plus-mile journey along the Appalachian Trail from Maine.
“They’ve been walking for six months, and they wanted to come to Myrtle Beach to relax,” Campbell said, with a laugh.
“It could be worse,” Rawat said, as he looked at the debris they were clearing. The storm had not damaged the inside of his restaurant at 1711 N. Kings Hwy. He planned to reopen as soon as he could.
And 11 miles away at Oscars Food & Spirits in North Myrtle Beach, Carla Williams pulled up to her restaurant — littered with a fallen sign and awning — to get some ice. The metal roof of Williams’ 28-year-old grill was split by the hurricane’s gales.
Puddles of water pooled in the restaurant’s kitchen.
But aside from a cleaning and fixes to the roof, the restaurant was spared.
“We fared a lot better than a lot of people,” Williams said. “This can all be replaced.”
Williams said she planned to reopen just as soon as the power was restored to her darkened block and the cleanup inside could begin.
Her daughter lives in Zone A and was one of the first to evacuate, but Jordan says her daughter had less damage and her daughter’s place never lost electricity.
“Myrtle Beach is strong,” Jordan said. “It’ll recover. We’ll be fine, because when you look at it, it could have been a whole lot worse.”