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'Go Away Florence' Says Myrtle Beach

Businesses, residents, and city officials prepare for Florence's impact

Myrtle Beach, SC (WLTX) - Myrtle Beach officials spent most of Wednesday urging people to leave, and if they didn't, telling them to hunker down and be ready to ride out the storm on their own.

As it appeared Hurricane Florence might make a direct impact to the area, people were hard at work preparing the coastline for the storm.

Early Wednesday morning, crews finished removing the gondolas from the SkyWheel, a popular tourist destination in Myrtle Beach.

There were several people on the beach throughout the day Wednesday, a lot of them saying they were staying.

“We've been here for 16 years so, this is our home and we want to be able to help our neighbors. And just kind of stay and see it through, so,” said Kristy Pack with her two teenagers on the boardwalk.

“Well our apartment is brick so, we think it should be good. And, we have four cases of water and a lot of snacks that don't require a stove,” added Fran Bozak, another resident deciding to probably stay in Myrtle Beach.

Other residents added they decided to stay as well.

“We're prepared, we've bought water, food, so we're just going to ride it out and see what happens,” said Omar Espinosa.

“We've got a generator and everything over there so, it should be alright,” continued his friend Mackenzie Baldwin.

There were other businesses following the trend of boarding up shop and leaving town as they prepare for potential storm surge and flooding rain from Florence.

But, one business says they're not leaving so they can stay and serve people and 1st responders.

“I have customers coming up here all year long. For 15 years. And I'm loyal to them. So, I figured that I'd do a service for them and not only that is-- you have special policemen, and if they come in they're more than welcome, they can have coffee, they can have donuts. You know, I think it's just, it helps pretty much all the way around,” explained Joseph Santos, the owner of Donut Man in Myrtle Beach.

Santos told WLTX he was planning to stay open till power went out.

The City of Myrtle Beach and Horry County EMD spent Wednesday telling people to stay out of the water in an official city order.

Horry County EMD added that people probably needed to prepare to buckle down and be ready a number of days without assistance if they did not leave the area Wednesday night.

They also warned the public that in winds over 60 mph, 1st responders will not be able to get to the people that decided to stay.

Lastly, anyone who left Myrtle Beach will need proof of residence to return after the storm ends, according to Horry County EMD’s twitter feed.

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