HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Hours ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias, some tourists in the Grand Strand hit the beach while others headed home early.
While Horry County officials continued to monitor Isaias at the emergency operations center in Conway, over in Myrtle Beach tourists had to decide whether to stay or cut their vacation early.
For some, the rough waves and strong wind didn’t stop them from spending a day at the beach.
“We want to enjoy the beach a little,” one said.
Other tourists took a stroll along Ocean Boulevard, some soaking up the last minutes of a vacation cut short.
"We're kind of nervous so we're going home, packing up and leaving, walking the strip one more time," visitor Amber Clark said.
Over at the Horry County Emergency Management Department, director Randy Webster said they have extra resources on stand-by in case of an emergency. He said there will be fewer people inside the center and will communicate with other agencies virtually because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"Here we are with a hurricane upon us amidst COVID, which is one thing we were dreading the most this year," Webster said.
While there won’t be evacuations, Webster said Isaias is still a strong storm. They’re keeping an eye on areas like Cherry Grove in North Myrtle Beach and Garden City for possible flooding.
“The fact that it is an overnight storm - also, we’ll have tornadoes along with the wind and heavy rain - so it being at night it just adds that much more anxiety,” Webster said.
Still, other tourists like Joseph McLaughlin from Georgia said he plans to weather the storm here in Myrtle Beach.
"Pretty much been through two hurricanes. They're not as bad as you think; you just need to know your precautions and where you're at, especially on the beach too," McLaughlin said.
Webster said they’ll be at the emergency management center throughout the night to monitor conditions.
Officials in Horry County and the city of North Myrtle Beach are reminding residents of the phone lines set up to call for non-emergency storm-related information.
Horry County’s 24-7 non-emergency dispatch line is (843) 248-1520. North Myrtle Beach citizens can call the city’s emergency operations center at (843) 663-8778.