The danger is not over on the Grand Strand.
The Waccamaw River is expected to reach record flooding levels. The National Weather Service said Sunday the Waccamaw could crest at 17 feet this week, “about three-quarters of a foot above” last year’s flood.
Horry and Georgetown counties on the Grand Strand were two of the four S.C. counties that remained subject to evacuation orders Sunday.
Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach has lost one of its landmarks. Hurricane Matthew destroyed the Springmaid Pier, leaving only 100 feet standing of the 1,060-foot-long structure, the longest pier on the Grand Strand.
The pier is owned by Doubletree by Hilton, and it will be up to the company to make repairs or dismantle the remains, a city spokesman said.
The Springmaid Pier opened in 1953. It has been rebuilt twice in the last 62 years, after crumbling under Hurricane Hazel’s 130-plus mph winds and after a plane crashed into it.
3 deaths in SC
Three people have died in South Carolina from Hurricane Matthew – including a Richland County man who was pinned after falling from his electric wheelchair into a puddle of standing water, and two men whose vehicles were swept off flooded Florence County roads, authorities said.
Gov. Nikki Haley couldn’t guarantee those would be the only deaths. Search and rescue teams were still checking remote areas and waiting for flood waters to recede.
Metro Charleston: Evacuees can return
Charleston, Berkeley, Colleton and Dorchester counties were opened to returning evacuees Sunday morning. Beaufort and Jasper county evacuations were lifted Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
However, in her Sunday news conference, Gov. Nikki Haley advised those returning to show “patience, patience, patience. That’s the only way we’re going to get through this thing.”
Civil War era cannonballs uncovered
A Charleston County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad was called to Folly Beach on Sunday after Civil War-era cannonballs were found on shore, washed up by the hurricane, Maj. Eric Watson said.
The squad had to wait for the tide to go back out before they could make sure the cannonballs were safe, Watson said.
Edisto: Evacuation continues
Edisto Beach was continuing its evacuation order Sunday due to storm damage. The Edisto Police Department reported there was no electricity or water, and roads were impassable.
“Due to the damage we suffered and the hazards that still exist, we are continuing the evacuation for the beach at this time. We hope to expedite your return but please bear with us for a while longer,” the department said on Facebook.
Lowcountry: Some residents returning
Evacuations finally were lifted Sunday night for Beaufort and Jasper counties in the Lowcountry.
Residents who evacuated Hunting, Harbor, Fripp Island and other Lowcountry barrier islands north of the Broad River were using social media to send questions about their homes to neighbors who stayed behind and weathered Hurricane Matthew.
Residents of Harbor Island started a Facebook group specifically for information about the island post-hurricane. Pictures posted include flooded buildings, blocked roads and standing water.
Kate Hines of the Fripp Island Property Owners Association said she and others who relocated to Aiken have been receiving word and pictures from residents and safety officials about the conditions.
“(T)he pictures that people are sending to us show that it could have been just so, so, so much more worse than it is,” she said. “We feel very lucky.”
Staff reports; also, the Sun News of Myrtle Beach, Island Packet of Hilton Head, The Associated Press, Post and Courier of Charleston