Hurricane Isaias churning along the Grand Strand brought flooding, power outages and sights for vacationers to the coast before it made landfall late Monday night in North Carolina.
As the storm headed north, public safety agencies in the Myrtle Beach area received reports of flooded roads and downed trees and power lines due to the rough conditions, encouraging locals to stay inside.
Ocean Boulevard was desolate with some folks sitting near pools or relaxing on the balconies of their hotel rooms as winds from the storm caused trees to flutter and trash can tops to litter the road.
Trista Evans of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, was one of multiple visitors examining the scene, having come to Myrtle Beach for a days-long trip with her boyfriend and his parents.
“We had already made the arrangements,” Missy Tarter said. “We figured we’d ride it out.”
After being cooped up in their hotel for a while, the group was checking things out by the beach near Holiday Sands North.
For Evans and the others, the scene was unlike anything they’d experienced in their home state – much to their excitement – as waves lashed the shore.
Just a tad further south along the beach, Cliff Scott was at a walkover close to the hotel where he resides, peering at the water breaching the dunes that Detroit, Michigan, transplant Paul Hughes trudged through.
For Scott, a North Carolina native who relocated to Myrtle Beach from Georgia, this was also something different.
Earlier in the day, he had seen several swimmers hit the ocean before being spoken to by lifeguards; a double red flag advisory issued Monday remained in effect for the rest of the day, meaning the water was closed to the public.
“I’m just standing out here enjoying it waiting on my wife to get off work so I can go in cook and watch the rest,” Scott said.
Even further south, there was flooding at Family Kingdom and adjacent to the amusement park. The water by the intersection of 3rd Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard in the Withers Swash area caused some to capture the scene on their cellphones.
Myrtle Beach Police Cpl. Tom Vest said inundation was also reported in the area of 15th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard. He said, for the most part, the city escaped severe damage.
“Some of our neighbors weren’t so lucky.”
Over in Carolina Forest, Horry County Fire Rescue crews were called to a vehicle sinking in floodwaters shortly after 8:15 p.m. in the 4900 block of Carolina Forest Boulevard. The driver was able to get out of the vehicle, according to the agency, and no injuries were reported.
Garden City Beach was another local community that saw several roads flood.
Shortly before 9:45 p.m., the Horry County Police Department reported North Waccamaw Drive near the community being covered by water in several areas as the storm continued north, with Beach Access 11 at Sunset Drive being completely inaccessible.
The Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District announced on Facebook Monday earlier in the day the agency was taking precautions ahead of the storm’s arrival.
The district said the storm was forecast to affect the area during a full-moon high tide, “dramatically” changing access to North and South Waccamaw Drive and Atlantic Avenue.
Because of this, the agency shifted crews and responding apparatus from their station on Atlantic Avenue in Garden City to the station on U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet Monday afternoon.
Among those affected by power outages in the area was Beth Bozeman, who was staying in a Garden City home owned by her family with others.
A small kiddie pool that floated near the house was nearly full as Bozeman stood on its porch and recollected at least one sand berm on the beach collapsing under the weight of the ocean water.
“It was just rushing through this street like a river,” she said.
As a longtime South Carolina resident, she’s familiar with the community, having seen high tides fill the road before.
“To me it didn’t look any different than … [a] king tide when it was raining really hard outside,” she said.
This also wasn’t her first hurricane.
Bozeman, from the Sumter area, recalled Hurricane Hugo devastating that region in 1989.
Back then, her family was without power for several days, she said.
“This is nothing,” she said of Isaias. “A Category 1 is like a bad storm.”
She was frustrated by the numerous drivers she saw on the road nearby.
“I guess we’ll wait and watch,” Bozeman said of what she and the others would do as they waited for the power to cut back on. “If not, we might just go to bed.”
As for tomorrow?
“We’ll hang out on the beach,” she said, “when the sun’s back out.”
Isaias made landfall in southern North Carolina around 11:10 p.m. near Ocean Isle Beach with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.