The king tide rolling ashore this week caused flooding along low-lying areas of the Grand Strand on Tuesday, and the National Weather Service is predicting the water will rise even higher with Wednesday morning’s tide.
Businesses along Atlantic Avenue in Garden City Beach prepared for the second onslaught this month of the unusually high tides by lining doorways with sandbags.
These high tides are killing us. It just kept coming in the back door, we couldn’t keep up with it.
Holly Hughes, who owns Garden City Grocery
But at the Garden City Grocery, the rising marsh water simply rolled over the makeshift blockades creating a four-inch stream from one exit to another.
“These high tides are killing us,” said Holly Hughes, who owns the grocery store. “It just kept coming in the back door, we couldn’t keep up with it.”
“This is supposed to be a fluke,” Hughes said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen again.”
The king tide earlier this month mixed with record rainfall and the passing of Hurricane Joaquin offshore to cause flash flooding in North Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island and Garden City. Beach erosion was also severe in those areas, with early estimates of damage from Pawleys Island reaching nearly $1 million.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Ray DeBruhl says Tuesday’s king tide was higher than what the Grand Strand experienced in early October, and Wednesday’s tide will be higher.
We have onshore wind (Wednesday) morning, which we really don’t want to see.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Ray DeBruhl
“We have onshore wind (Wednesday) morning, which we really don’t want to see,” DeBruhl said.
Winds from the southeast are expected to reach 20 miles per hour. Pawleys Island Mayor Bill Otis, Jr. called the prediction “the worst combination.”
With a super tide of eight-and-a-half feet on Tuesday, Otis said the streets were flooded and the dunes were getting hammered by waves.
Some dunes in North Myrtle Beach that were damaged by the storm earlier this month and plugged last week were bulldozed by the waves again on Tuesday.
City spokesman Pat Dowling said those breaches will be fixed as soon as the king tide recedes by Friday.
“This is typical for a king tide of that size,” Dowling said. “When you have a high tide in a low-lying area, it’s a recipe for flooding.”
Georgetown County beach access number 60 became the most recent of entrances that have been closed to the public since the previous storm, joining Garden City number 44, and Litchfield access points number 62 through 65.
“Today's high tides did this one in,” Jackie Broach, county spokeswoman, said in a statement Tuesday.
Broach warned that continuing high tides could cause additional damage at access points not marked as closed, and said beach goers should be cautious when crossing walkways.
Audrey Hudson can be contacted at 843-444-1765.