First it left death and destruction in its rear view mirror hitting Cuba, devastating Haiti and the Bahamas and then took aim at Florida.  With over 800 deaths associated with the category 4 hurricane, Mathew put the south east coast of the US on alert evacuating millions from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  All 4 states were in a state of emergence status in advance of Mathew’s arrival.

florida-govStrong warnings from the governor of Florida and every Government official, Weather reporter and News station practically begging people to evacuate paid off when well over a million people did the smart thing and left the hurricane’s path.

Along with the wind knocking out the power of more than 500,000 homes and the rain plus the  storm surge did it’s own damage Floridians will never forget.

Next up, Georgia was in Mathew’s path

Theysavanah-mathew too are suffering all the same issues with hurricane winds, huge amounts of rain and a strong storm surge from the Atlantic Ocean.  Over 36,000 power outages were reported on Friday with more to come as the storm continues it’s assault on Georgia.

 

I am one of the many still in Myrtle Beach riding out the diminishing Hurricane.

myrtle-beach-mathewWinds are projected here to be in the 35 to 45 mph range with a lot of rain coming and certainly more of the relentless storm surge.  Our biggest concern was power outages.  If I was in Florida’s coast and the direct path of Mathew, I would have been long gone to somewhere safer.

As of this morning, surfers were still being surfers in Myrtle Beach

My hats off to the weather channel for it’s continuing updates of everything hurricane Mathew.

weather-channel-mathewOther than the storm surge, farther north of Charleston is Myrtle Beach and barring some change, we will see more of a tropical storm scenario only with the storm surge.  I’m sitting high enough to be safe from the surge and have seen many tropical storms living in Myrtle Beach and have yet to experience a power outage more than 30 minutes.

As I wait for our turn, I’m reminded of all the hurricane and winter storm issues while living in Maryland and Pennsylvania.  The power outages were a regular occurrence last up to 10 days on one occasion.  The storm is expected to begin in a few hours so an update will follow to finish this post.

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This was high tide earlier in the day.  The water was cover the sandy beach and reaching the pool deck area.  Looks bad this is actually normal for high tide.

 

Hurricane Mathew reaches Myrtle Beach SC

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Well, the hurricane finally reached us and although it wasn’t nearly as devastating as the east coast south of us down to Florida.  It was the untimely combination of high tide, storm surge and severe wind gusts up into the 70 m.p.h. range where the damage occurred in Garden City  at the resort Water’s Edge where I was bunker-ed down to ride things out.

By now, the eye was over the edge of the coastline and the brief moment of calmness was soon forgotten after seeing the waves in the ocean 20 to 30 feet high and the sand being overcome with the ocean on the so called shoreline at this point.   The deck, pool and hot tub was completely run over by the surge

My only moment of concern at the moment was when I went to check on another unit for any damage, I stepped out the back side entrance and the 70+ m.p.h. gust of wind actually lifted me up for a second, all 250 lbs. and that got my attention so I immediately went back inside until the wind calmed down.

By this time, the damage was hitting hard and we now lost power and water, needless to say cable and internet were non existent.  The elevators had been shut down and the surge ravaged the bottom level by washing out the bar, restaurant, convenience store and the maid’s and resort’s supplies.  The water filled up the bottom garage area turning it into a muddy type swimming pool.

Everyone had moved their cars up to upper floors in the garage and it took a couple of days for it to recede to the point where we could leave the building all the while having no power or water.  Trees were torn from the roots with some trunks the size of mini vans.

In Myrtle Beach, the Springmaid resort’s Pier was lost from wind and surge damage.  Just gone.

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Before                                                            Gone                                                  After

When I finally was able to leave the garage area, I took a slow drive into Myrtle Beach.  It was a couple of days after the storm and I was surprised to not see a lot of structural damage.  Mostly there were awnings from businesses blown apart or completely gone, plenty of down trees and about half the area still without power.  Many of the street lights didn’t operate but all things considered, it could have been much worse.

Now it was North Carolina’s turn with Mathew

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I still didn’t have TV but was able to follow reports from my tablet, watched and listened in amazement at the amount of rainfall in a very short time.  Over a foot of rain just decimated parts of NC.  Roads and bridges heavily flooded, some washed out completely, houses under water and cities in crisis.

It happened so quickly, many people died not expecting such devastation.  Many days after, homes were still under water and roads still closed.  As many people who could be found were being saved and relief efforts were non stop.

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The photos and videos kept pouring in as had been the case throughout the long history of Hurricane Mathew.

Over a week later, the problems in NC continued as rivers kept rising in historic numbers before reaching crest stage. It was really heartbreaking to see the enormous damage by this hurricane.  Many residents will never be the same in how they react to future storms.  For those who lost loved ones, we pray for them and those lost.

We are mesmerized by the unfolding stories throughout this horrific event.  We should count our blessings every day we have a good day.  It only takes one event to change our lives forever.  I will end this story by thanking all those who chose to be a helping hand amidst all the emotions Hurricane Mathew bestowed in it’s path.  Where there is pain, there is hope and a stronger future by coming together in a moment of need.