Along the coast, it was a rainy and windy Wednesday, but almost every off-season business remained open. While it is the beginning of the off season, tourist on vacation were sticking around, even if they were avoiding the ocean.
Tropical storm-force winds are expected to arrive Thursday morning in the Grand Strand, with the National Weather Service warning about possible tornadoes and flash flooding.
Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 early afternoon Wednesday in Florida and is making its way through Georgia and Alabama Wednesday evening after weakening to a Category 3, according to the National Weather Service’s 5 p.m. update.
Many areas of Horry and Georgetown counties remain saturated from Hurricane Florence flooding, so NWS warns that flooding could occur in areas without much rainfall. Current projections show an additional 1-4 inches of rain in the Carolinas, with higher amounts in the center of the states.
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Wind gusts could reach up to 55 mph Thursday in the Myrtle Beach area, and NWS warns that weakened or poorly-rooted trees could topple, causing power outages.
The Waccamaw River, still at moderate flood levels from Florence, shouldn’t see significant increases from Michael rainfall, the NWS notes.
Bonnie Griffith, owner of Garden City Coffee Grounds, is expecting to close tomorrow due to the chance for high winds. The store next door, Garden City Grocery, also had a note on the door saying it might close.
“I just don’t see the business being here with all the winds,” Griffith said.
The wind coming off the ocean made the water choppy, keeping many people from swimming.
Laurent Weissberger from Montreal, Canada is staying in Garden City this week and has never experienced a tropical storm. On Wednesday, despite heavy winds and rains, he was surfing on the abnormally-big waves.
He isn’t worried about Michael impacting his vacation.