Coastal communities brace for Hurricane Matthew

As Matthew gets closer to the South Carolina coast, officials are urging people to start preparing. The attitude on the beaches is very different from Monday. People are realizing the Lowcountry is going to feel some impact from this storm and many of them have never experienced a hurricane before.

Some people are worried.

One woman says, “I’ve never been in anything like this before, so I’m a little nervous.”

Some are still taking it lightly.

Another man says, “I think it’s going to be fun. I’ve never been in a hurricane before, so we’ll see.”

But Isle of Palms Mayor Dick Cronin says these hurricane newbies need to start paying attention to how to prepare.

He says, “We have a lot of people on the island and, in fact, a lot of people in the Lowcountry who have never experienced a storm that’s a direct hit and that’s of concern to all of us.”

He says it has been a while since the Lowcountry was threatened by a storm of this magnitude.

Mayor Cronin says, “The last evacuation, I believe, was 1999 when Floyd came by. Fortunately, Floyd stayed off the coast. The last real hit was, of course, Hugo in 1989.”

Hugo had devastating impacts on the Lowcountry.

Mayor Cronin says, “Everything on the island was damaged in Hugo.”

One person who is taking the storm seriously is Bill Ramsay in Mt. Pleasant. He started boarding up his windows on Monday.

He says, “We went through multiple hurricanes and we live in a hurricane area. So better safe than sorry, you know.”

He says he used to live in Florida, and learned how serious the threat of these storms can be.

Ramsay says, “Living down in Ft. Lauderdale kind of gives us a leg up where we’ve been through multiple storms before, so we know it gets hectic as soon as the storm gets closer and the cone starts narrowing in.”

He hopes the rest of the community starts following suit.

He says, “I’m trying to help my neighbors get ready. We’re stronger together.”

IOP’s mayor urges everyone to listen to the evacuation recommendations because eventually, first responders evacuate too and there may not be anyone left to help in an emergency.

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