Bill Cocklin and Willa

Bill Cocklin and his dog Willa pose for a picture while checking out the ocean before Hurricane Dorian. Cocklin plans to ride out the storm at Boulineau's to make sure he doesn't get trapped in his neighborhood as the streets flood. 

As Hurricane Dorian spins up the Carolina coast, switching between a category 2 and category 3 storm, people in North Myrtle Beach didn’t seem impressed. 

Cherry Grove resident Bill Cocklin and his dog Willa were on the beach around half-past noon Thursday to check out the ocean, as the angry waves battered the Cherry Grove Pier and the sea foam pushed up against the dunes. 

“I live here and I’ve been through the last two hurricanes,” Cocklin said. “It’s not big deal, there’s always a safe place to go.” 

Cocklin moved into his house a few days before Hurricane Matthew in 2016; a good thing, he added, because his house flooded before all of his stuff had arrived. 

“I’ll be up at Boulineau’s Convenience Market, around that area,” he said, hoping to avoid getting stuck at home if the streets flood. 

“I won’t ride it out there because there’s a chance I couldn’t get out if it got bad. With Matthew, we flooded a couple of feet,” he explained. “If we get the storm surge and those high winds at high tide, it’s gonna flood again. I’m just a block and a half from the beach.” 

Katie Williams came to the beach with her daughters to look at the ocean as the waves got bigger. 

She said she’d moved away from the area several years ago, and this was the first hurricane she’d experienced since moving back. 

They visited the ocean after a riding out a flurry of reported tornadoes in the area. 

“They’re kind of scared,” she said of her daughters, “but I think the tornado part was the worst.”

Williams said they’ve stocked up on the essentials like water and toilet paper, and have plenty of board games to pass the time while the storm passes.

“I think the king tide had a lot to play into it, so I think there’s going to be some really big waves and a storm surge,” Williams said. “It is what it is, we live on the coast.”

Anderson Boyers, who lives on the other side of the Intracoastal Waterway, said that he thought past storms have looked worse.

“They’ll report it, it’s kind of over-hyped,” he said. “And it’s not that bad in the end, just a lot of clean-up.”

Monica Powers, who lives in Conway, stood on the Cherry Grove Pier, watching the sea with her friends.

“We love the beach, it’s our happy place,” she said. “Even now.” 

Powers described the ocean as more “angry” than it was during Florence and Matthew. She and her friends planned to ride out the storm in Conway and Longs. 

“We’re leaving shortly,” she said as the wind picked up. “It’s starting to rain.” 


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