Resilient SC coast is open for business after Hurricane Matthew

scflagprtIf you’re looking for a way to help South Carolina recover from Hurricane Matthew, come for a visit.

While some parts of the Palmetto State are still working to get back to normal, Charleston, Beaufort and the Myrtle Beach areas are open for business and the southern islands are getting closer every day.

Charleston was spared from major problems, and roads are open in all directions. Two piers in the Myrtle Beach area were destroyed, but most everything else along the Grand Strand is back to normal. Much of the South Carolina coast was rebuilt or repaired to modern building codes after 1989’s Hurricane Hugo, and houses and attractions held strong during Matthew.

“There’s something special about being in the Lowcountry during the fall and while the storm has attempted to leave its mark, we’ve been very blessed to weather the storm,” said Robb Wells, Vice President for Tourism at the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. “For 300 years we’ve weathered much, and we’re still standing.”

To see how Beaufort fared, visit Eat Sleep Play Beaufort on Facebook.

To be sure, some parts of South Carolina are still recovering, with pockets of the lower coast continuing to scrape sand from roadways and pick up tree limbs and other storm debris and some inland river towns are seeing floodwaters rise as the storm’s rainfall flows to sea.

But most of the coast is clear, and a visit will help the state recover from Matthew faster. Fall travelers are crucial to the coast’s small businesses, and the unbeatable weather makes outdoor activities even more enjoyable.

“There are some places that are still recovering and the state’s priority will remain the health and well-being of its citizens,” said Duane Parrish, Director of the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. “However, the majority of South Carolina – its beautiful landscapes and waterways, its Southern towns and mill villages, its historic sites and cultural centers, most of the coast and resort islands – is open and ready to welcome visitors.”

You can still go shopping on Charleston’s King Street and enjoy numerous fall festivals, all of which are still going on as planned in both Charleston, Beaufort and the Myrtle Beach area. The annual fall tour of homes in Beaufort, set for the end of October, is still on, along with the other planned events.

“We are thankful to report that the Charleston area sustained minimal damage, and we are ready to welcome our visitors,” said Catherine Dority, Director of Marketing with the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

And while golf courses are still cleaning up around the state, all but five of the Grand Strand’s courses are open. Fall golf season remains in full swing.

“Golf courses took a hit, with a number of trees down, but most reopened a couple days after the storm,” said Brad Dean, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “Matthew packed quite a punch, but the Myrtle Beach area has shown its resilience and is open for business.”

Airports are open, but if you’re planning a trip by car, be sure to check for the latest information because some roadways are still flooded or are awaiting inspection before reopening. Sections of Interstate 95 in North Carolina are closed, as are some secondary roads in both Carolinas. Please check the DOT websites in both states for the latest information, as well as with the individual tourism offices along the coast.

“Our authentic appeal shines as brightly as ever,” Parrish said. “We welcome people to come see it for themselves.”


Article by Chrysti Shain / Discover South Carolina / SC Dept. of Parks Recreation & Tourism