A week ago at this time it seemed like we were heading into Armageddon here in South Carolina. A tropical storm called Arthur was brewing in the Atlantic Ocean and it had a decent chance to wreak havoc on all of us living by the coast. It almost seemed like Fourth of July would be canceled and violent destruction would serve as the only fireworks this year.
Of course we all know by now that the giant catastrophe never materialized. Even though Tropical Storm Arthur got upgraded to Hurricane Arthur we didn’t experience a major disaster. On Thursday the Myrtle Beach area did receive several hours of heavy rain and strong winds but my apartment complex is still standing and by the time the Fourth of July rolled around on Friday one could only see blue skies and a big yellow ball that provided some glorious rays. I survived my first storm of hurricane season.
What I learned last week is that people here don’t take hurricanes lightly. Because this area has been devastated by horrific storms in the past the folks here don’t take chances. Although I received warning when I moved here that I was entering hurricane territory and even though the message was sent when my renter’s insurance went dramatically up, I still didn’t understand the significance of these storms until I actually settled here. A day doesn’t go by in my daily conversations that someone doesn’t mention Hurricane Hugo or any of the other hurricanes that terrorized this region. It is woven into the fabric of this society.
So it made sense to me last week when Myrtle Beach went into hurricane mode. The news stations and newspaper tracked Hurricane Arthur as their top story. Our hurricane specialist team at Coastal Carolina sent out regular updates. My apartment complex sent out notices on what to do in the event of extreme conditions. My co-workers gave me pointers as well as their best predictions on what the storm would do. Many of the local schools shut down. Things got pretty intense.
In the end though Hurricane Arthur didn’t cause too many problems. What it did do though was prep me for the seriousness and possibilities of such a weather phenomenon. All you do is have to talk to a local here about what these storms can do and the tone alone in their voice will tell you that they aren’t to be messed with. Hurricane Arthur served as my fire drill so to speak of these violent storms. I know it is just a matter of time before I witness firsthand the ugly results that hurricanes are capable of. Don’t Blink.