MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - All eyes this week are on Tampa, Florida as the Republican National Committee prepares to select its nominee for the upcoming November election. Normally, this event would attract a huge economic impact and unprecedented publicity for the host community. With Hurricane Isaac wreaking havoc on their plans, our friends in Florida must be beside themselves, possibly thinking this is the worst possible outcome.
Consider This: It could be much, much worse. Each year, we welcome millions of visitors. In fact, during much of the summer, our population far exceeds what Tampa, FL was expected to host this week, even with a national convention. But there's one major difference: Tampa is served by two major interstate highways, enabling safe, efficient evacuations. Here in Myrtle Beach, we have no interstate highway.
Now imagine this: a major storm, even bigger than Isaac, picks up speed or changes direction and heads here during the peak of the summer, causing us to have to evacuate several hundred thousand people on Highway 501. In Tampa this week, they are losing profits and publicity. Without Interstate 73, we could lose lives. In my opinion, that would be the worst possible outcome.