Robert and Janet Dunn

Robert and Janet Dunn check out the waves as Dorian begins to head through the county.

Sooner the Maltese eagerly poked his nose in the air, sniffing out his surroundings beneath the Garden City pier Thursday as waves slapped the shore nearby.

“I like the excitement,” laughed one of the pup’s owners, Robert Dunn, as Hurricane Dorian’s effects were felt in the Grand Strand. “You see them waves coming up like that? The swells? I love it. It’s unbelievable.”

The Murrells Inlet man was surprised he and his wife Janet even made it to the pier.

“Usually, they don’t let us down here at this time,” he said.

Last year, Hurricane Florence sent the couple evacuating. But this time around, the two are staying, ready for the hurricane and equipped with a generator.

“There’s nothing better than a good storm,” Mrs. Dunn said.

A self-described “storm chaser,” Scott Connolly has experienced his fair share of major storms, some in Florida, on the Grand Strand and in New York, another a Category 5 hurricane touching down in Antigua. In the afternoon, he was on the beach by the pier snapping photos of the ocean.

While the Murrells Inlet resident who lives four miles inland from the coast wasn’t concerned about his home being affected, he hoped no houses and roofs along the seaside would be impacted.

The waves he’s gazed at went from roughly two to three feet Wednesday to seemingly five times as higher the following afternoon.

In years past, major storms have sent sand and even dumpsters into nearby roads, the South Strand resident said.

On Thursday afternoon, Atlantic Avenue saw some flooding over ankle-deep with water breaching the causeway into Garden City.

Behind some dunes nearby, local Mallory Panuelo was with her boyfriend and some family, all apparently unbothered by the gusts and rain.

“We’re kind of veterans,” she said.

She said high tides routinely cause flooding in the area, recalling Hurricane Matthew decimating the Surfside Beach pier near her family’s home and locals taking pieces of the landmark to keep.

Everyone watched as first responders scouted the area and as a sign was ripped off the pier and flew to the ocean.

“It’ll be down in Florida tomorrow,” Mallory's mother Teri joked.


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