There were 11 motorcycle crashes but no fatalities overnight Friday as the Atlantic Beach Bikefest cranked into high gear, but showers from a tropical storm the rest of the weekend concern officials.
The first night of the 23-mile traffic loop, operating all weekend from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., went smoothly Friday, according to officials with the Horry County Emergency Operations Center
But officials are concerned about the potentially hazardous conditions Tropical Storm Bonnie will bring as both bikers and the storm thunder along the Grand Strand this holiday weekend.
Horry and Georgetown counties are under a tropical storm warning, with the storm expected to bring between 2 and 4 inches of rain over the next several days, wind gusts up to 40 mph and rip currents.
Some of these tropical rain systems can bring quite a bit in a very short amount of time, which can cause ponding on the road, water to settle on top of the road, so you want to make sure you slow down, motorcycles especially.
Cpl. Sonny Collins with the South Carolina Highway Patrol
“With inclement weather your chances of being involved in a crash are certainly higher,” said Cpl. Sonny Collins with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
“Some of these tropical rain systems can bring quite a bit in a very short amount of time, which can cause ponding on the road, water to settle on top of the road, so you want to make sure you slow down, motorcycles especially,” Collins said.
Motorists should give themselves extra space between themselves and others on the road to allow for more stopping time.
“The roads being wet in general are a concern for all motorists, but especially motorcyclists,” Collins said.
Motorcyclists should slow down, so they have more control over their motorcycles, wear protective gear, such as a helmet, eye protection and clothing and shoes that cover exposed skin, Collins said.
“You want to cover as much exposed skin as you can so if you are in a crash, your clothing and that protective gear is what is impacting the roadway, instead of your skin directly,” Collins said.