As of the time of publication of this post, the entire coast of South Carolina is under a hurricane warning. Hurricane Matthew picked up strength and has been upgraded to a Category 3 storm, in addition to shifting its track to head closer to Charleston. That means that hurricane conditions -- fun stuff like 74 mph (or greater) sustained winds and flash floods -- will be possible within the next 48 hours. If you’re still on the fence of whether to stay or go, you don’t have a lot of time left to make a decision. If you’re in an evacuation zone, don’t risk it: pack up your car and go. (Note: if you’re in Edisto, Daufuskie, Hilton Head, or Daniel Island, evacuation is mandatory.)
What Charleston can expect from Hurricane Matthew:
Tropical storm-force winds and hurricane-force winds on the coast for 18-24 hours 8-15in of rain 4-8ft storm surge High risk of flash flooding Low risk of tornadoes High risk of power outages Almost exactly a year ago, Charleston experienced flooding and power outages that basically shut down the city for four or five days. And that was just from heavy rain and high tide conditions. Hurricane Matthew is predicted to have the same levels of flooding or worse, with added dangers of a 4-8ft storm surge and heavy winds. These are likely to cause property damage, power outages, water contamination, and more. If you had any issues with last year’s flooding or if you’re in an area that’s below sea level (lookin’ at you, downtown Charleston), it’s a good idea for you to take an early vacation and get out of town for a few days.
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There are 66 shelters open in the state, many of which are pet-friendly, so you can pack up Fluffy or Fido and bring them with you to evacuate. Download the SCDOT evacuation app to see which evacuation route is best for your location. Although the city doesn’t plan on closing any of the bridges out of town, travel over those bridges in heavy winds is very unsafe.
If you choose to stay:
Get some water. If the grocery stores are out, remember that gas stations and drug stores also sell water. Stock up on non-perishable foods. If the power goes out, food in your fridge is likely to spoil, and you won’t be able to cook anything. Non-perishable foods are your best bet, especially if the power is out for days. Fill up your bathtub so that you have potable water in case tap water becomes unusable. Board up your windows, sandbag doors, and place belongings as high up in your home as possible. Many fire departments are asking residents who are staying to call and leave their name, address, and phone number to keep track of who’s staying. Leave your car in a parking garage downtown -- garages will be open for free until Monday morning. Add these emergency numbers to your contact list. Sign up here for our daily Charleston email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.
Sydney Gallimore is a Charleston-based food writer who escaped to Greenville with lots of wine to ride out the storm. Follow her on Twitter @Sydney_inc
It’s a testament to Charleston’s rich history and food culture that its beaches are rarely the main draw for out-of-state visitors. That said, one of the East Coast’s longest protected stretches of coastline (Cape Romain) is just 30 minutes north of the city, and communities like Sullivan’s Island have been retreats for Charlestonians for centuries.
The under-the-radar nature of Charleston’s beaches may be due to geography. Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head each encompass huge areas, but around Charleston, each beach is a barrier island, and these thin slivers of sand possess their own identity, both culturally and ecologically.
In other words, whether you’re looking for a place to shag dance on a pier under a full moon, or you prefer complete isolation and solitude, there’s a beach near Charleston that fits your mood.
From Los Angeles to San Diego: Every Pit Stop You Need To Make Along The Way
With zero humidity and palm trees in the rearview mirror, cruising down the Pacific coast to San Diego from Los Angeles is summer. Of course, LA traffic can make it less cruiseworthy and more bumper-to-bumper. But with authentic taquerias, whale watching, and iconic surf breaks, there’s a quintessential SoCal pit stop just about every mile of the ride to distract you. Here’s seven summer getaways you can easily hit on the way to San Diego -- just don’t forget the sunscreen and a swimsuit.
The Best Non-Touristy Things to Do in Myrtle Beach This Summer
Myrtle Beach is known for being a tourist’s paradise, complete with water parks, neon lights, and enough chain restaurants to make a mall food court blush. But just because you’re visiting the tourist capital of South Carolina doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden, local gems to visit while you’re in town -- here’s a rundown of things in Myrtle Beach that are actually worth doing.