GEORGETOWN— Following Hurricane Ian's landfall, reports of damage across the Grand Strand started coming in, including two destroyed piers.
The hurricane made landfall at Georgetown at 2:05 p.m. on Sept. 30, the Weather Channel reported.
Flooding damaged at least two piers including the Cherry Grove Pier in North Myrtle Beach and the Pawleys Island Pier.
The middle section of the Cherry Grove pier in Horry County has collapsed, WMBF reported at 2 p.m. The Cherry Grove pier was also damaged by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
In Georgetown County, the end of the end of the Pawleys Island pier has collapsed and floated south, Pawleys Island Police Department reported at 1:23 p.m.on Twitter.
Pawleys Island police also tweeted "Someone's dock is blocking the N Causeway in front of town hall."
Pawleys Island town administrator Daniel Newquist said just after 3 p.m. on Sept. 30 that water was beginning to recede in the area but that the island’s roads are still “far from navigable” and will remain closed for the foreseeable future, though workers from the S.C. Department of Transportation could be on scene as soon as the evening of Sept. 30 if conditions permit.
“We’re utilizing all the resources we can, but we’re certainly encouraging people to be as safe and cautious as possible, definitely not try to drive on any of our roads at the moment,” Newquist said.
Newquist said that he knew of at least one rescue undertaken on Myrtle Avenue, the island’s main north-south stretch. The town began encouraging people to stay away from the island starting Sept. 29, he said, and he presumes that the entire island has lost power.
Newquist said that he was on the phone with a Wall Street Journal reporter at Pawleys Island Town Hall around 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 when the building lost power.
“Anything immediate, call the (Georgetown County) disaster call center number,” Newquist said, also encouraging residents to follow the town’s website and social media accounts, as well the social media accounts of the Pawleys Island Police Department.
The call center can be reached at 843-545-3273, but Georgetown County noted on the morning of Sept. 30 that the call center is experiencing “intermittent outages” due to ongoing power issues.
Myrtle Beach Police on Twitter were telling motorists to avoid the flooded roads.
"Don't drive through flooded roadways. Take another route and stay safe. This is 3rd Ave S and Ocean Blvd," they tweeted, along with video of an SUV driving down aflooded street.
“I'm hearing that we have more flooding on Ocean Boulevard than I thought, with some vehicles stranded in the waters. It's coming in from the low spots,“ Mark Kruea, Myrtle Beach public information officer, texted at 2:30 p.m.
“Myrtle Beach Fire crews responded to 316 4th Ave S for a structure fire. There was no fire, but Truck 6 rescued 4 people who were trapped on the second floor due to flooding in the area," the Myrtle Beach Fire Department tweeted around 2:30.
Surfside Beach Police Chief Kenneth Hofmann emphasized to the public that they should not come downtown due to the unsafe conditions in the area.
“We’ve already had to rescue some people out of the water,” Hofmann said during a livestream. “If people don’t stop coming down here, we’re going to have to ask the mayor to set a curfew and we don’t want to do that. Please don’t come down here.”
“Hurricane Ian is preparing to make landfall anytime now on the South Carolina coast,” Brandon Ellis, Georgetown County emergency services director, said just after 1 p.m. on Sept. 30. “The eye of the storm is approaching an area between Awendaw and Georgetown as we speak as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds.”
Effects felt by the county the morning and early afternoon of Sept. 30 included “several downed trees throughout the area, flooded streets (and) incredible storm surge impacts being felt on our coastal communities and tidal marshlands.”
Ellis encouraged residents to stay inside as the storm arrives.
“We encourage everyone, stay at home, do not get out, make sure that you’re taking care of, that you and your family are safe,” Ellis said. “Don’t put yourself in jeopardy just to take advantage of the sights and sounds of this great and powerful storm that is impacting our area.”
Ellis said “several” of the county’s utility partners have ceased aerial operations such as the use of bucket trucks to repair power lines. The most serious hazard the county is seeing thus far, he said, is storm surge along the county coast. High winds have also downed trees, in some cases across roadways.
In a Facebook video, Georgetown Mayor Carol Jayroe asked residents to stay off the streets as the storm made its approach around 1 p.m.
“Our first responders are very busy with the most important things that need to be done right now, so don’t put our first responders in harm’s way,” Jayroe said. “Stay home, stay safe, we will get through this, and we have a lot of staff and other help coming to us from other parts of the state. The state has been in contact with us, the Department of Transportation has been in contact with us, the governor, (state) Rep. (Lee) Hewitt, (U.S. Sen.) Tim Scott’s office, so we have lots of support coming to us. So let’s stay home and we’ll assess the damage as soon as we get through this.”
“Worst of the winds will be upon the county over the next 3-4 hours. Number of roads closed in Garden City due to inundation,” Thomas Bell, Horry County Public Information Officer, stated by text at about 1:40 p.m.
Surfside Beach Police Chief Kenneth Hofmann said that many parts of Ocean Boulevard are currently under at least a few inches of water, and at least three sections of Ocean Boulevard are closed due to flooding in the area.
Hofmann told residents not to drive in the area due to these unsafe conditions.
“Just a reminder to motorists, if you drive down through here, please heed the barricades. Don’t drive around them,” Hofmann said through the city’s Facebook page. “Not only could it be deep water, but remember, you’re driving through salt water. Salt water conditions are not good for your vehicle to drive through. Don’t come down here if you can help it.”
Power outages continued to rise into the afternoon as Hurricane Ian made landfall Sept. 30.
As of 1:30 p.m., Santee Electric Cooperative was reporting 4,628 customers without power in Georgetown County, and 2,871 without power in Williamsburg County.
Horry Electric Cooperative reported 4,016 customers without power, and the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (except for Marlboro Electric Cooperative and Pee Dee Electric Cooperative) were reporting 42,829 outtages.
Ellis confirmed that crews responded to a downed tree that impacted a home on Graham Lane near Georgetown, reportedly causing injuries. Ellis said first responders were responding to “numerous” calls for downed trees throughout the county.
“Our crews are working diligently to respond to all calls for service as conditions allow,” Ellis said. “Once conditions reach an unsafe point we will cease response operations until they improve.”
The town of Andrews posted on its Facebook page that power lines were down on Jones Avenue and Privet Street on the morning of Sept. 30, while trees had fallen near Tony’s Famous Pizza on North Morgan Avenue and along S.C. Highway 41. The town had previously announced on the night of Sept. 29 that municipal offices would be closed on Sept. 30.
From Myrtle Beach Police Department reported around 12:40 p.m. that the lights at the intersection of Kings Highway and 3rd Avenue South are out.
Loud gusts of wind and rain and mauve morning skies heralded the arrival of Hurricane Ian's outer bands early Sept. 30.
The Category 1 Hurricane, less than 100 miles south of Charleston was making its way north toward South Carolina at about 9 mph, but already the monster storm was pelting Georgetown and Horry counties with driving rain, and lights were flickering around Georgetown County.
In Myrtle Beach, two women walk in the rain along North Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach around 10 a.m., one of them pushing a stroller, struggling against the wind. Homeless people wander along the street, one carrying a pillow, others with sacks of belongings, looking for shelter.
Debris was apparent along 21st Avenue and it was very windy and rainy around 9:30 a.m., with some people walking or biking around, but not many. Two couples exited a diner on the Boardwalk while a few cars were driving around. A small group of people were camped out underneath the pathways from the main road to the beach in the Boardwalk.
Neon signs along the mostly deserted Boardwalk added a surreal feel as the wind and rain intensified. Along 37th Avenue north, there was less debris but some flooding beginning around 10 a.m.
In North Myrtle Beach, officials were busy setting up traffic cones along intersections in Cherry Grove that typically flood while emergency vehicle sirens could heard in the distance. Waves splashed violently against the Cherry Grove Pier, just a few joggers made their way past.
In Georgetown, the mayor declared a state of civil emergency with a proclamation Sept. 29, allowing city council members who may have evacuated ahead of the storm or who cannot travel to an emergency meeting to attend via phone. The proclamation also authorizes the mayor or mayor pro tem to "issue such orders in the interest of public safety and welfare as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property."
At 10 a.m. on Sept. 30, Jayroe issued a statement on Hurricane Ian.
"In early afternoon on September 30th, Hurricane Ian is scheduled to make landfall between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Governor McMaster called to offer any assistance the State can provide to keep Georgetown safe. Currently, our electric crews have suspended doing aerial work.
"Transportation Secretary Christy Hall has also reached out and SCDOT will be assisting the City with debris pickup as weather permits.
"I am asking our city residents to stay home as the wind and rain are beginning to pick up this morning," the mayor stated.
Georgetown County recycling centers and the landfill were closing at 10 a.m. due to worsening wind conditions, except the Pawleys Island center, which closed immediately.
Likewise, city and county offices were closed Sept. 30 ahead of Ian's landfall.
Georgetown Emergency Management noted that the forecast for Hurricane Ian has shifted further up the coast but authorities anticipate the same impacts mentioned earlier as the storm is currently bringing wind and rain to our area. Impacts expected include strong winds, surge inundation, heavy rainfall and isolated tornadoes.
Horry County Emergency Management warns residents that those in low-lying coastal areas (Garden City, Surfside, Cherry Grove) need to pay attention to the high-tide this morning. Be aware that roads that are prone to coastal flooding are likely to see inundation.
Do not drive through flooded roads and do not drive around any barricades. If you are concerned about the water, leave before the tide rolls in.
Dangerous storm surge is expected across coastal areas of northeast SC, especially around high tide today at around 11:15 a.m. Surge inundation of 4-7 ft is expected across NE SC coastline, according to the National Weather Service Wilmington.
Governor Henry McMaster will hold a media briefing with state emergency management officials at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 30. The governor will update the public on Hurricane Ian's impact on South Carolina.
This is an developing story and will be updated. Last update 3:49 p.m.
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Randal Seyler, Mike Woodel, Rick Caines and Nicole Ziege contributed to this report.
The end of the Pawleys Island pier collapsed and was floating south around 1:30 p.m., according to a Twitter post from the Pawleys Island Police Department. The hurricane also destroyed part of the Cherry Grove Pier in North Myrtle Beach, according to posts on social media.What pier was damaged by Ian in Myrtle Beach? ›
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Boat docks damaged in Cocoa
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Hurricane Ian's Impact On Our Area
There were no reports of flooding or injuries.
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Pier 14. Pier 14 is one of four fishing piers in Myrtle Beach and one of two accessible along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Multiple piers have stood at the site since 1926, with the current pier built in 1984.Did Cherry Grove Pier wash away? ›
A huge chunk of the iconic Cherry Grove Pier was swept away. “You could hear popping and cracking. The boards were making sounds of that nature.Where did the boat wash up on Myrtle Beach? ›
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Myrtle Beach State Park is scheduled to reopen on Monday following the storm. Several piers up in down the Grand Strand suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Ian, including Cherry Grove and Pawleys Island piers. Copyright 2022 WMBF.