What a day!
Although all of us in the Myrtle Beach area had braced for heavy rain, the byproduct of Hurricane Joaquin, I don’t think we expected this. Big time flooding impacted the Grand Strand today and it has thrown a wrench into the upcoming work week.
Sidney and I knew the storm had really arrived this morning. We arrived at church and got soaked by something other than holy water as we made the short walk from my car to St. Andrew Parish. By the time the service had ended, sheets of rain were violently coming down. We made it to my car completely drenched and made the challenging drive back to Sid’s house. We ran inside and ate brunch. After watching maybe 20 minutes of TV, Sidney looked outside and yelled at me to come join her.
Her home street, located in a very nice residential area, was completely flooded. It was as if the pavement had been magically replaced by a river. A short time after this discovery, Sidney got notice that Horry County Schools, the district she works in, had canceled classes for tomorrow. With Horry County making this move, I knew our Coastal Carolina University social media channels would be blowing up with inquiries on whether our campus would shut down.
Shutting down a university is a much more complex process than most people realize. For the next couple hours I kept our CCU audience updated on smaller campus developments (shuttle stoppages, safety tips) until the big decision to cancel classes was made. When the call to pull the plug on tomorrow was official, I was able to get word out on what everyone really wanted to know.
But back to the scene in our neighborhood. The body of water on our street had receded so Sidney took a chance going over to her parents’ house as they live close by. She took my car while I stayed at her place to work on the CCU developments. She didn’t get far. As soon as she turned off her street she encountered gigantic pools of water in the middle of the roadway. There was no way she was getting anywhere in my Toyota Solara.
She came back to the house and after about 30 minutes we got in her RAV4 and took a very scenic drive to get to her parents. Even though we bypassed a lot of the insane water, we still gritted our teeth as we went through huge pools and said a prayer as we went by neighborhoods that were completely flooded. After eating a fantastic roast meal cooked by her mom, we ventured back out in the “ocean.” While on the voyage back we encountered a scene so wild that we had to pull over the vehicle and get out. At the entrance to a flooded neighborhood was a jet ski maneuvering through the waters. It was saving possessions and people from flooded houses.
We got back home and rested for a few minutes as Sid made cupcakes and I continued to work. After getting caught up, we decided to do exactly what Governor Haley said not to do…go exploring!!
On foot we left Sidney’s house and started walking around the neighborhoods. Wearing grubby clothes and shoes we walked down the river, um, I mean the streets, as we took the whole spectacle in. The water reached well above our knees as it took effort to walk as the established current ripped opposite of us.
We walked by the unfortunate houses that were prone to flooding. Everyone was out in front of their homes putting bricks or sand bags in front of their garages to prevent too much water from seeping in. A family had an inflatable that their toddler was floating on. I talked to one of my media aquaintances who was interviewing folks. A couple kayaks floated by. Emergency vehicles were stacked up at the end of one of the streets.
I did a Periscope broadcast of the madness and at one time over 180 people were on it. They could not believe the scene I was showing them. Questions, well-wishes, and a whole bunch of hearts dominated the time I was live. Sidney and I shook our heads in disbelief at cars that attempted to bulldoze through the flood waters.
We turned back and came home. Words can’t describe how thankful we are that Sidney’s house nor her parents’ house has been susceptible to this nasty storm. As night has fallen, we are now shut-ins. We plan to relax and just be safe. Although I thought today was going to be my first day off in two weeks, I feel #CCUSocialMedia crushed it when it came to notifying our audience, especially legions of terrified parents, about what was going on at Coastal Carolina University. Thank you all for your support and be sure to watch the Weather Channel for live reports on what is going on in our neck of the woods. Stay dry. Don’t Blink.