Bikers pack up early ahead of storms on Sunday in North Myrtle Beach
With the rain rolling in from storm Alberto, folks are packing up and leaving Atlantic Beach Bikefest early, which officials say will impact business sales.
People started heading home throughout the day Sunday, said North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Patrick Dowling.
"When people leave early during a major holiday weekend, there is a loss of planned revenue," Dowling said.
The rain, which started Sunday evening, caused bikers to cover and pack up their motorcycles on trailers and in truck beds. Traffic was congested on U.S. 17 Business North as people left the area.
North Myrtle Beach officials sent out a statement Sunday urging drivers to be careful on the roads as the city prepares for up to 4 inches of rain.
"Be prepared for possible flooding and flash flooding in low-lying areas of the city," the statement said. "The ground is already saturated from previous days of rain."
Marvin Davis of Hope Mills, North Carolina, said he had to pack up and leave early because he didn't want his motorcycles to get ruined by the rain.
"I've got a lot of money tied up in these bikes," he said. "So I've got to get it loaded up. I couldn't enjoy my last day, but overall it was a good year."
At a parking lot across from Bahama Sands hotel in North Myrtle Beach, Selena Butler, who was contracted to monitor the parking lot full of bikes, said the lot was full with about 50 bikes, but bikers started clearing out ahead of the rain.
"It was packed," she said of the lot. "Because some of them rolled on their bikes, they wanted to beat the weather. But you have some who still won't leave until tomorrow."
Darnell Harris plans to head to Jacksonville, Florida, early Monday morning, driving into the storm. He said he didn't bring anything to cover his bike from the rain.
"You can never tell what's going to happen," Harris said of the rain. "I'm sad to go home."
But the rain wasn't going to stop Boujetta Carter of Fayetteville, North Carolina, from partying.
"We ready. Don't you see we ready?" Carter said wearing her poncho on the street at Atlantic Beach. "We're going to enjoy ourselves."
Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765, @HannahLStrong