Residents remain cautious but optimistic about Irene impact

GARDEN CITY, SC (WMBF) - Hurricane Irene has dominated news coverage for the past 48 hours but not everyone believes the storm will have a negative impact on the Grand Strand or Pee Dee.

"I mean it's dangerous but it's more fun and more exhilarating," said 17-year-old Brandon Player of Garden City when asked his thoughts about the possibility of Hurricane Irene making waves in the Grand Strand.

On Tuesday, several tourists told WMBF News that the fear of the impact Hurricane Irene could have has not stopped them from enjoying their vacation.

"This is our vacation, well just ride it out whatever we have to ride out, we are the kind of adventuresome type, if we can stick out for as long as we can, we will." said Laurie Gervais, visiting the Grand Strand from the Northeast.

Not everyone believes the storm will have a negative impact on the Grand Strand.

"We just had a client this week who decided to make his home stronger because of the storm," said Bruce Carrell, President of the Carrell Group. The company designs and builds homes across the Carolinas, many of them with an emphasis on fortified protection.

"People seem to have short term memory when it comes to major storms but no doubt will have another one someday, it may be this year maybe not." Carrell added.

Tourism officials have yet to release any numbers about the potential impact a Hurricane could have on the Grand Strand economy. Horry County emergency officials are expected to meet early Wednesday morning to discuss the latest track of the storm and what precautions need to be taken ahead of it.

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