We interviewed Bob Portteus right after his home was destroyed by the wildfires and he had the most unbelievable attitude regarding the situation. And now he continues to provide a valuable perspective regarding the accusations that are flying from some residents in North Myrtle Beach.
Consider This: The old saying, hindsight is 20/20 certainly applies in this situation. It is very easy to look back to the night of the wildfires and say "shoulda, coulda, woulda" in regards to how things might have been handled differently. But I trust that the people who were involved in protecting the local residents - specifically fire and law enforcement personnel - were doing everything they could at that particular time to keep them safe.
Looking back on that night are there things that could be handled differently? Yes. But that wisdom comes after the fact. If the same event took place next week there would be different policies and procedures in place now that didn't exist before the fire. That's what happens when you go through an experience like this, you review what went right and what went wrong and make adjustments and improvements in case it happens again. That was the exact purpose of the Wildfire Task Force.
But, we always want to blame somebody when something happens. It seems to me that a few people are on a witch hunt, and I question if their motive is justified. Maybe we, the media, should do a little more research on our end to find out what is really driving these accusations.
Was there a cover-up? I don't think so. Did someone make a poor decision editing some audio tapes? Definitely! However, I'll give the leaders in North Myrtle Beach the benefit of the doubt that they did everything they could with the information they had at that moment in time. If there is evidence that surfaces that proves otherwise I would be surprised, but if that happens I promise that WMBF News will be there to make sure these leaders are held accountable for their actions.